Microsoft Lumia 950 XL

Announced Oct 6, 2015 •
5.7 screen | 20 megapixels (rear) | 5 megapixels (front)
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Reviewed Apr 14, 2016
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Product description
Announced Oct 6, 2015
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As the name suggests, the Lumia 950 XL is the bigger and more powerful of the Lumia 950. It comes with a 5.7-inch AMOLED QHD display and the Windows 10 operating system is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chipset and 3GB of RAM. A liquid cooling solution is used to keep the device temperature in check. A new USB Type-C connector serves as data and charging cable but also lets you connect the phone to the Microsoft Display Dock, allowing you to use a large screen, keyboard and mouse with your phone and giving you a PC-like experience. Power is provided by a large 3,340mAh battery and there is Qi standard wireless charging as well. 32GB of storage can be expanded via a microSD slot.

In terms of numbers the camera specification is actually not that much different to the predecessor Lumia 1520 but given all the components have been updated we'd certainly expect a boost in performance. The PureView camera comes with a 1/2.4-inch 20MP sensor and a Carl Zeiss branded lens with F1.9 aperture. A latest generation optical image stabilization system is keeping things steady and a triple-LED RGB flash should ensure there are no undesirable color casts when shooting with flash. 4K video recording is on board as well. At the front a 5MP module is supported by its own dedicated LED flash, similar to what we've seen on the recently announced Motorola Moto X Style. On the software side of things the new Windows Hello feature uses the front camera to recognize your face and unlock the device.

Quick specs
OS Microsoft Windows Phone
OS Version Windows 10
Front camera effective pixels 5 megapixels
Rear camera effective pixels 20 megapixels
Rear camera resolution 4992 x 3744
Rear camera aperture 1.9
Camera physical shutter release Yes
Camera image stabilization Optical
Video camera recording format 2160p, 30fps
LCD size 5.7
Built in memory 3GB RAM, 32GB storage
Weight 165 g (5.82 oz)
Dimensions 152 x 78 x 8 mm (5.98 x 3.09 x 0.32)

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Our review

The Microsoft Lumia 950 is capable of capturing very good image detail and maintains low noise levels across the ISO range. However, it is slightly let down by very saturated images and white balance instabilities. The imaging feature set lacks behind the competition but Raw mode, manual control in an intuitive user interface and a hardware shutter button will appeal to many users. Overall, the Lumia 950 is not for everyone but if you can live with its weaknesses, or are willing to work around them, it can be a very good tool for mobile photographers.

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Scoring
Camera and Photo Features
Screen Quality
Ergonomics and Handling
Video Quality
Still Image Quality
Speed and Responsiveness