Specs summary

Screen
5.7"

The Microsoft Lumia 950 XL's screen is 5.7 inches with 1440 x 2560 pixels resolution.

Processor
2GHz

There is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 Octa core 2 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Windows 10 operating system (OS).

Camera
20+ MP
You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 20+ megapixel camera. There is also a secondary front facing camera with 5+ megapixels resolution.
Storage
32 GB

Internal memory is 32 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 200 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
3340mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 3340 mAh battery. Microsoft's performance ratings are 12.5 days standby time, 1140 minutes (2G), 660 minutes (3G), 1500 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.



The Lumia 950 XL is a smartphone with good specs and great features, which can be used as a PC replacement thanks to Continuum.

- Daniel Schmidt , Notebookcheck 

Reviews summary

7/10AVG.
RATING
Based on 19 reviews

What's good  

  • Sharp display with accurate colors and excellent contrast
  • Camera provides detailed images in bright and low light situations
  • Smooth performance

What's bad  

  • App gap between Android and iOS
  • Mediocre sunlight legibility
  • Boring and basic design

Windows continues to struggle in the smartphone market as Android and iOS gobble up the majority of their audience. Rather than focus on converting fans, the company now hopes to keep the remaining few they have with the release of the Lumia 950 XL.

As the name suggests, the XL sits firmly in the phablet territory, measuring in at 5.9 x 3 inches making it practically impossible for one-handed use. At 0.3 inches, it isn’t the thinnest smartphone on the market, but reviewers still found it quite comfortable to hold thanks to the rounded edges and light weight of 167 grams. This lightweight is due to the mainly plastic body, which critics found very flimsy. One of the best updates to the 950 XL, however, is the ability to switch out the case for something with a bit more flair. Users can choose from different designs and colors to suit their needs allowing for amazing personalization. Still despite this, many describe it as “bland” and “basic.”

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For the most part, critics found the screen passable. The 5.7 inch AMOLED display has a resolution of 1,440 x 2,560, which translates to a pixel density of 518ppi. As expected, they didn’t have any issues with pixilation making for a very sharp display. Of course, sharpness isn’t everything, and luckily the 950 XL delivers. Almost everyone found the contrast perfect with excellent color accuracy all around. Unfortunately, it started to struggle once they got into bright light situations with text becoming almost illegible in sunlight.

Powering the phone is an octa-core 2.0GHz processor and 3GB of RAM. Microsoft has opted for liquid cooling to keep the processor from overheating, though reviewers still found it to get quite hot leading to worries about its longevity. In actual practice, the 950 XL performed well with no crashes or stutters occurring even when running multiple apps or gaming. And while it comes with 32GB of internal storage, it also has an expandable microSD slot. Like its predecessors, the biggest drawback is the lack of apps for Windows phones. The 3340mAh battery is also removable, which might come in handy as critics noticed battery life was fairly unpredictable. In general, they were able to get a full day’s worth of life with moderate usage.

Most Lumia owners don’t get the phone for its powerful specs. They get it for the camera and in this department the 950 XL excels. Armed with a 20MP rear camera, optical image stabilization and triple-LED RGB flash, experts consider this one of the strongest mobile cameras available. In good lighting, their pictures were detailed with accurate and vivid colors and excellent white balance. Even in low light situations, the pictures came out quite clear with very little noise. It also shoots 4K video, which they describe as “crisp and clear.”

Although the Lumia 950 is certainly a good phone, reviewers are hesitant to suggest it to those already in the Android or iOS market. For those already devoted to Windows phones, however, they highly recommend it. Tech Radar states, “As a device, the Lumia 950 XL...has been carved out as a tool for the purist...For the faithful, this will likely be enough to keep them going while rumours of the ‘Surface Phone’ fly around…” CNET adds, “...I’d have to say unless you’re a die-hard Windows fan then you’d have a better mobile experience from Android and iOS.


Reviews (7/10 Avg. rating)


Only for the fans

from Mobile Choice

If you are a devout Lumia fan then it cannot get better than this. Windows 10 is present and correct and it has the battery power, camera and the display that, in theory, can take on the best out there.

If you are a devout Lumia fan then it cannot get better than this. Windows 10 is present and correct and it has the battery power, camera and the display that, in theory, can take on the best out there.

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A pure Windows 10 Mobile phablet

from Know Your Mobile

The Lumia 950 XL is definitely the best Windows 10 phone available right now, but it's still not quite good enough to be a viable alternative to its Android competition. Continuum is a really attractive feature and the Lumia's camera is easily one of the best I've seen all year, but it has too ma... More

The Lumia 950 XL is definitely the best Windows 10 phone available right now, but it's still not quite good enough to be a viable alternative to its Android competition. Continuum is a really attractive feature and the Lumia's camera is easily one of the best I've seen all year, but it has too many minor annoyances day-to-day holding it back to make it good value.

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Best Windows-based phone till date

from Digit

The Lumia 950XL isn't the phone that'll bring Microsoft the sales that it's looking for. The phone lacks good design elements for the asking price and there are just not enough apps on the Windows Store to recommend the phone to anyone. A lot of work needs to be done still.

The Lumia 950XL isn't the phone that'll bring Microsoft the sales that it's looking for. The phone lacks good design elements for the asking price and there are just not enough apps on the Windows Store to recommend the phone to anyone. A lot of work needs to be done still.

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Very hard phone to recommend, to anyone, ever

from My Nokia Blog

Overall the Lumia 950 XL is an exercise in futility, the OS lags and stutters in most places, not to mention the general lack of apps that will probably ever be filled at this point; meaning unfortunately the Lumia 950 XL is a very hard phone to recommend, to anyone, ever.

Overall the Lumia 950 XL is an exercise in futility, the OS lags and stutters in most places, not to mention the general lack of apps that will probably ever be filled at this point; meaning unfortunately the Lumia 950 XL is a very hard phone to recommend, to anyone, ever.

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Powerful components, great features

from Notebookcheck

The long wait for a new flagship smartphone from Microsoft was worth it. The Lumia 950 XL is a great high-end product, which does not make any mistakes in respect of the technology. Besides a fast SoC, you get sufficient storage, which can also be expanded. The camera can convince as well and tak... More

The long wait for a new flagship smartphone from Microsoft was worth it. The Lumia 950 XL is a great high-end product, which does not make any mistakes in respect of the technology. Besides a fast SoC, you get sufficient storage, which can also be expanded. The camera can convince as well and takes both great pictures and videos. Microsoft implements a new USB Type-C port that even supports the USB 3.1 standard, which is currently unique in this segment.

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Microsoft's first Windows 10 smartphone is difficult to recommend

from Sunday Express

The Microsoft Lumia 950 XL is a solid smartphone, thanks to its beautiful Quad HD AMOLED display, consistently great rear camera and smooth performance from the SnapDragon processor and 3GB of RAM. Windows 10 Mobile is a towering achievement that brings a synchronicity and coherence between your... More

The Microsoft Lumia 950 XL is a solid smartphone, thanks to its beautiful Quad HD AMOLED display, consistently great rear camera and smooth performance from the SnapDragon processor and 3GB of RAM. Windows 10 Mobile is a towering achievement that brings a synchronicity and coherence between your work or home computer, tablet and smartphone previously only seen in the Apple ecosystem. Windows 10 is fast, reliable and stylish.

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Brilliant display, powerful processor, good cameras

from The Inquirer

It's certainly worth noting that two of the Lumia 950 XL's biggest problems - the ugly backplate and inferior OS - could be fixed before its inevitable successor is launched. More attractive rear covers are already on sale, and Microsoft has committed to providing Windows 10 Mobile with feature a... More

It's certainly worth noting that two of the Lumia 950 XL's biggest problems - the ugly backplate and inferior OS - could be fixed before its inevitable successor is launched. More attractive rear covers are already on sale, and Microsoft has committed to providing Windows 10 Mobile with feature and performance updates. Here's hoping that third-party support for compatible apps will improve as well.

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Best camera, beautiful OS

from Absolute Geeks

Again Microsoft have proved with the 950 XL that they have a knack of going to the extremes when it comes to smartphones. There’s no subtle way of saying this: The 950 XL could have looked better. The design is heinous for a flagship smartphone that’s supposed to revitalise the Lumia... More

Again Microsoft have proved with the 950 XL that they have a knack of going to the extremes when it comes to smartphones. There’s no subtle way of saying this: The 950 XL could have looked better. The design is heinous for a flagship smartphone that’s supposed to revitalise the Lumia brand. Software wise the Windows OS has both sad and elated. I’m sad that not many developers are giving it attention and making apps for it but I’m excited due to the cross platform ease of use and mobility. Plus, Windows Hello is just plain cool, fingerprint sensors are so 2015. The performance capabilities of the 950 XL are top notch but sadly there’s nothing that can stretch those factors to the limits. The show stealer is of course the camera. I could wax eloquently for hours about the camera; it’s just amazing.

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Best Windows 10 Mobile available when it comes to specs, software display quality, and the camera

from Brighthand

Microsoft's Lumia 950 XL is the best Windows 10 Mobile available when it comes to specs, software display quality, and the camera. It has a lousy finish, however, and offers nothing to sway dedicated Android and iOS users.

Microsoft's Lumia 950 XL is the best Windows 10 Mobile available when it comes to specs, software display quality, and the camera. It has a lousy finish, however, and offers nothing to sway dedicated Android and iOS users.

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An uninspired look and feel that isn't fit for a high-end smartphone in this day and age

from PhoneArena

Unfortunately, the Lumia 950 XL fails to champion Windows 10 before the better, faster, stronger competition of Android and iOS phablets. The operating system is still in need of improvement and doesn't make for the kind of polished user experience that we're used to from competing devices. The p... More

Unfortunately, the Lumia 950 XL fails to champion Windows 10 before the better, faster, stronger competition of Android and iOS phablets. The operating system is still in need of improvement and doesn't make for the kind of polished user experience that we're used to from competing devices. The phablet itself feels undercooked, as if it was quickly put together so that the new platform would have a launch device. We fear the 950 XL is destined to be forgotten quickly after a more elaborate handset claims its media and retail presence for itself in the first half of 2016. Hopefully, it will make a better case for Windows 10's strong sides.

Still, fans of Microsoft's non-traditional approach to mobile computing, or users deep into MS's product ecosystem will have a hard time finding a more impressive Windows 10 smartphone than the Lumia 950 XL right about now. Otherwise, with its unlocked price of almost $600, the 950 XL simply lacks a killer feature that would make one go for it, instead of a superior and more reasonably priced Android device, like the Google Nexus 6P by Huawei. However, we must acknowledge that hi-end phablets that play on the same hardware field as the Lumia 950 XL usually start from $700 and up. But given the handset's serious shortcomings, we still cannot call it a bargain.

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