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.
I have written several posts discussing some of my concerns regarding the iPad Pro but today I am going to tell you why it’s a bargain at £1,000.
The iPad Pro comes with a really large canvas screen with iOS 9 multitasking options that do work really well. The Apple Keyboard shown in the above photos with the Apple Pencil is fantastic. It is so slim, fast and light that you can leave it attached all the time.
And then comes the Apple Pencil that is getting around 12 hours battery usage from one charge. And in a clever Apple way, if you run short while drawing, just stick it into the iPad Pro for a quick 10 min charge. It may look cumbersome back actually its clever.
The iPad Pro is the only iPad that allows for proper on screen drawing using the Apple Pencil and it is by far the best pencil/stylus available. The options are endless and only hindered by your own creativity. As a quick mockup, I used Adobe Sketch to import a photo and add some triangles, use the pen to add notes and the pencil too. But there are plenty other third party apps and Apple’s own Notes app that all use the Apple Pencil. And the options are endless with the Apple Pencil from drawings, sketches and one of the best note taking tools.
So when you add everything together, with an astonishing solid 10 hours battery life from the iPad Pro, excellent loudspeakers which negate the need for a bluetooth speaker and all and all you have one powerful productivity and media consumption device that actually represents a new class of category of device.
The issue becomes that at its price point it is invading other categories so one has to be very clear if this iPad is for you. For me personally, it is both marvellous and at time frustrating over little annoyances. It is too big in my opinion for browsing and playing games on the sofa, which is also compounded by its heavier weight. But listening to podcasts or watching films is epic. I also have the Steelstratus Nimbus MFI game controller and with the iPad Pro on a table playing games turns it into a new experience aided by the larger screen and 4 loudspeakers. The full size Apple Keyboard cover works so well, and this whole post was typed on it. But I am left with a painful decision whether the iPad Pro stays or goes. At the moment, it is on death’s door, but then I spent Sunday using the Apple Pencil and realised I don’t have a single device that could repeat the drawing and note taking functionality. If I made a switch to an iPad Mini 4, I could play games and browse the internet from the comfort of my sofa, and without undertaking a weight training session at the same time! But then I would lose the fast keyboard entry, super large screen canvas, pencil and loudspeakers. Ultimately even using the iPad Pro without a smart cover or keyboard, its overall weight is uncomfortable after an hour or so and this might be the single factor why it goes. For its price point, I do believe its a gem of a device, just not for everyone.