So it’s been nearly a week with the Microsoft Lumia 950 XL and I am starting to form some opinions of this phone. I also have the dock to review and test. Thanks to Steve Litchfield from @AA_WP for the loan.
The hardware is reasonably well specified but so is most other hardware nowadays. I have a red leather back cover, which looks very smart, but without this extra cost, the 950 XL is just too plastic.
The Windows Store for apps and games is dismal at best, but we all know that by now. So if the official app is not available you will be hunting for a decent third party option or not bother with an app, and use the web browser instead. You may be lucky and a universal app arrives though.
The highlight of the phone so far is the camera quality. I have taken some more photos.
The above photo is extremely accurate to the actual colours.
Again, very well balanced shot.
Vivid true to life colours with the shot above.
Difficult lighting but a great shot.
Unusual shot, but superb result.
The white flowers are handled well and again overall a good shot. Some of the above photos were also snapped with a Samsung Galaxy S7, so have a look at the other posts today.
Whilst the 950 XL takes marvellous photos, I am getting frustrated by the processing or saving messages while it either saves or post proceses the finishing touches. There should be an option to complete this task without slowing down the phone so you can’t take another photo until this has finished.
I am also experiencing the odd bug and this is again a nusiance.
Anyway, more soon.
Despite the sad news coming out of the smartphone division of Microsoft, I now have a Microsoft Lumia 950 XL to evaluate along with the dock to connect to a screen via HDMI for the next few weeks, thanks to Steve Litchfield.
So, I powered up the Lumia 950 XL, entered my Windows credentials and shortly was asked if I wanted to restore from an earlier Windows Phone backup from an old device I had used previously.
This time, I choose new setup. I left the phone for a few hours to update and download a few apps.
The 950 XL I am testing has a gold edge and red leather back cover which really feels great in the hand and looks somewhat premium too.
Live Tiles. Oh how I missed them. I don’t know what it is, but I really do like the live tiles interface. I also have had a little play with the camera and in my brief testing it does seem rather good. More over the weekend on the camera and other aspects next week.
Michael Fisher loves Window Phones. So do I. Just look at all my reviews on the earlier devices I have written!
Nokia Lumia 830 vs Samsung Note 4 camera
Nokia Lumia 830 – First Impressions / What App Shortages?
Microsoft Lumia 535 review
Nokia Lumia 1520 – 6 Part review
Nokia Lumia 820 – 5 Part review
Nokia Lumia 1020 – 10 Part review
Nokia Lumia 925 – 9 Part review
Nokia Lumia 620 – 7 Part review
So why does Michael Fisher start and end by saying don’t buy it. It is because the software is unfinished. There are bugs everywhere. Faults everywhere. The Windows app store is sorely missing decent and cross platform apps. The Microsoft store is broken! Can universal apps save the day. Maybe but I am not optimistic. In fact, Outlook on iOS is way better than Outlook on Windows Phone. Go figure that one!
Window Phone fans keep saying the software is in beta or Microsoft will fix everything. This sounds like a familiar pattern from the old days. Microsoft don’t sell or advertise the phone as BETA, so fan people stop giving it excuses. The platform sucks at the moment.
But it has a great camera. So does the LG G4, LG V10, Samsung Note 5 and iPhone 6S Plus. So a great camera by itself is no longer a Lumia advantage.
Now, am I being harsh. I don’t think so. I have read countless reviews but more importantly followed Window Phones fans on social media. This is where when faced with another crisis or problem a social media post will be made. I have seen so many fans vent their frustration there is no way in a million years I can or will buy this phone until the software is properly fixed and universal apps start being a going concern. In my estimation this is one year away.