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Lumia 950 XL Initial Thoughts

 
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dannycamps
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Phone: Nokia 9000i, Nokia 9290, Nokia 9500, Nokia E90, Nokia N900, Nokia E7, Nokia Lumia 920, Nokia Lumia 1520

PostPosted: Tuesday, 26.Jan.2016 04:00    Post subject: Lumia 950 XL Initial Thoughts   Reply with quote   

Hey guys,

It's been a while since I have posted. In that time, I "upgraded" my phone going from the Lumia 1520 to the Lumia 950 XL. As some of you know, I am part of the Windows Insider program so I have been playing around and testing Windows 10 Mobile for quite some time so I was prepared for the move from WP 8.1 to W10M at least from a usability perspective.

I do like the 950 XL and I feel it is a well built device. Some of the features like Continuum (where you can connect to a display via dock or Miracast and use the phone like a Windows RT device) are really innovative and work well.

The Lumia 950 XL on paper is a good device. Much as has been made about its plain looks but I don't really care about that as mine is in a case. But seriously, Snapdragon 810, 3gb RAM, 32gb internal w/MicroSD expansion up to 200gb, QHD AMOLED display, large battery, iris scanner, etc... the list goes on and on - what's not to love??

But with the positive are a good number of negatives. Here are my biggest gripes with the phone so far:

1. The software is half-baked
A few days in with this device and I really started comparing it to the Nokia N900. Not because of how open or easy to program, or extensible it is...but rather how it feels like a 'step 4 of 5'. This thing is riddled with bugs. While Microsoft has addressed some items with software updates, there are still many sporadic problems. I can reliably reproduce a scenario where I dial a number in my car via bluetooth and then hang up before the phone starts ringing - which effectively crashes the bluetooth daemon on the device requiring a restart. Many apps have performance issues. Games like 'Crossy Road' stutter badly making them very difficult to play (oddly enough this game runs fine on my Lumia 920 also running Windows 10 Mobile so maybe it's a hardware thing there). A few times, I have placed the phone on my wireless Qi charger only to have it reboot itself. But by far, the worst has to be...

2. Battery life
Another comparison that I made with the N900 is how the 950 XL seems to include the 'portable heater mode' in the sense that it gets amazingly hot when you are using it. Seriously - a few minutes playing a game like the aforementioned 'Crossy Road' and the phone is so warm that the display is hot to the touch. Battery life is inconsistent at best and atrocious at worst. There are times where I can easily make it through 16 hours and there are others where I can barely get through 8. Running some apps can drain the battery by as much as 20% in an hour. Mind you - I am not talking about video streaming, hardcore gaming type stuff but simple social networking type apps like Instagram or Nearby. I heard this was fixed in a soon to be released firmware update but we will see.

3. The Apps
I am not an app whore. As a longtime Nokia user (Communicators to S60v3 to Lumia), I was never one for needing a gazillion apps on my phone. That being said, I was disheartened when MS yanked the Project Astoria (Android Compatibility) from Windows 10 Mobile. They cited performance and battery concerns but as I noted above, there are already performance and battery concerns Smile The ability to sideload and run Android apps is a nice-to-have feature that I was looking forward to utilizing. That being said, W10M apps are well-designed and thoughtfully laid out. The 'universal apps' (those that support Continuum) really work well on the device's high resolution screen in both portrait and landscape modes.

So where do we go from here? With rumors of MS ending the Lumia line and moving towards a more high-end Surface phone, we will see if they can get their act together. In the meantime, I am hoping they will continue to support and address the known issues with W10M. I know it sounds like I am dissatisfied with my purchase but I am not. The 950 XL is a great phone and what does work really works well. It's just getting the bugs worked out so the experience is as smooth and effortless as their previous offerings.

-DJ
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jApi NL
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PostPosted: Tuesday, 26.Jan.2016 13:30    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Thanks Danny for your thoughts . A month ago I bought the Lumia 950XL . A replacement for my Nokia E7-00 . Main Reasons :
- Up to date hardware , incl Camera
- easy battery removal
- off-line navigation
I don't like the software yet . It gave me quite some headaches .
Now I'm using the 950XL mainly as a fast 4G Hotspot for my very cheap HEMA H8 Phablet (8" Android 4.4) + PoV BT keyboard . Cost : E125 + E7 = E132 .
Image taken and cropped by the E7-00
However : problems when I try to connect the E7 to the Lumia Hotspot . This Wifi connection will last about 2 a 3 seconds then disconnect . But thats not all : Lumia's Hotspot will not work anymore , unless a reboot is performed . I tried this several times . Allways the same result . It looks like Windows 10 Mobile carries a preoccupied aversion against Symbian . Happens(ed) it both situations : before and after the firmware update .
Regards jApi NL
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MeowTseDong
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PostPosted: Tuesday, 02.Feb.2016 00:24    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Microsoft has come to Windows Phone 10 .. er Windows 10 Mobile.

I travel a lot and then I use internet tethering in the hotels using USB. Of course everybody does that now days but with Wifi causing chaos so that no Wifi works at all in building. Therefore USB tethering is essential. Both Symbian and BB10 gives me this possibility but Microsoft has STILL not implemented this. How can Windows Phone be a business phone when it doesn't support basic things like this.
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