The all new Windows 10 phones are here, and they are more powerful, interactive and productive than ever, as per the company claims. After all the company's smartphone future depends on the new range of device and the Windows 10 software. Microsoft promotes the first Windows 10 powered Lumia phones, namely the Lumia 950 and the Lumia 950 XL as smartphones that have are mobile but work like PC.
The company today launched its flagship range of Windows 10 phone running devices including the Lumia 950 and the Lumia 950 XL in India for Rs 43,699, and Rs 49,399 respectively, which are quite high considering the competition in the market and Windows' small market share against Android OS. However the company is confident about the newly launched flagship phones and justifies the high price by saying that these phones have premium software features like deep Cortana integration and Continuum, with best supporting hardware, which give this device more weight over others.
The company also emphasized that Windows 10 software is developed to offer a similar experience across devices, be it a phone, tablet, laptop or PC, which make them connected and more productive. Hence, it allows a user to do the same on a smartphone what they can do on a PC. While the Lumia 950 and 950 XL are mostly about software, you cannot ignore its hardware as well. Microsoft's new Lumia phones do pack in some interesting specifications and features like an iris scanner and a 20MP snapper with triple LED, OIS, 4K video recording and more to beat its rivals.
However, the question here is that whether the new software will be able to lift the sales of the Lumia smartphones, considering that Android tops the chart with a major share and iOS is gaining popularity in the market.
We went hands on with the Lumia 950 XL at its launch event in Delhi, and tried to check out its new features. Here are our first impressions of the phone in the form of 10 highlights.
The new Lumia smartphone is thinner and lighter, but does not have a metal body which we see on most phones in this price category. You get the same old polycarbonate chassis that has been seen on previously launched Lumia smartphoes. However, we are not complaining about the design or form factor here, as the phone does feel premium and good on hand. It is comfortable to be used, even single handedly, but you must be accustomed to using bigger display smartphones.
The front has a selfie camera and Microsoft branding at top, followed by display with thin bezels, and three soft keys as part of the screen. The right hand side of the device is where all the hard buttons are placed. So you get chrome power key, volume rocker and dedicated camera key on the right. The left has been kept plain. The top is home to 3.5mm audio jack, whereas the bottom has the microUSB connector.
The good part is that the back panel is removable, which means you can easily change the battery of the phone in case needed.
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL, as its name suggests, is a bigger variant amongst both the new Lumia 950s. It flaunts a 5.7inch WQHD display carrying 2,560 x 1,440 pixels resolution, with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection. Speaking of the display quality, we quite liked the display as it was immersive and vivid, and offered good viewing angles.
Camera has been one of the highlights of most premium range Lumia smartphones, and the latest Lumia smartphones are not different. The Lumia 950 XL phone adorns a 20MP rear snapper with support of triple LED flash, 5th gen OIS, 1/2.4 sensor, f/1.9 aperture, and 4K video recording capabilities. During the brief time we got to test the phone, we found its camera performance pretty impressive. Sample shots taken were sharp, detailed and had good colours, but we will keep our final take on the camera performance for detailed review of the phone.
Windows 10 Software is the USP of the Lumia 950 XL, as it has been developed to as to offer a consistent experience between smartphone and laptop or PC or tablet. It is smooth, interactive, and brings an array of new features and updates, which do look appealing to be used. The company has deeply integrated Cortana, its personal voice assistant, in the platform for a better user-experience. Then, there is Continuum for connecting the PC and smartphone world, and the all new Edge browser. The phone also brings productive features for corporate and has fun elements for Windows fans.
A few new features:
Microsoft is trying to bridge the mobile and desktop platforms by offering a similar experience. So you get feature that turn the display of the Lumia 950 XL to function as a track pad for your PC. Also, the default messaging app on the Windows 10 for mobile and that for PC let the two platforms work together to let a user chat on mobile while using a PC. And this happen without the need of a third party app!
We could test them all during our short hands-on of the phone, but do look forward to test these all.
Thanks to the new Windows 10 OS, Lumia 950 XL offers a new Outlook, which is the default Windows client for mail. The new Outlook interface allows users to format email text, add tables and do more just the way the desktop app work.
The phone runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor which has been known for giving heating issues, however the company is pretty confident that the Lumia 950 XL will not heat up because of the liquid coolant inside. The company has worked up on keeping the device cool even during heavy processing.
The chipset is accompanied with 3GB of RAM to support chipset and 32GB of inbuilt memory with microSD support which should take care of most of your data storage need. If that is not enough, the phone comes with additional storage space on OneDrive.
The Lumia 950 XL is powered by a 3,340mAh battery, which supports wireless charging as well as fast charging features. The company says that the hardware design saves battery of the phone to give it more life. Moreover, the battery saver mode does come handy in case of need. However, we reserve our verdict for the detailed review.
We go by the company claims and feel that the phones are indeed more powerful and interactive, but they will have their own challenges to fare in the Android dominated market. The phone seems to be more suitable for enterprise segment, as the Windows 10 merges the gap between the two platforms and has an array of productive features. Overall, the Lumia 950 XL seems promising to us, but its price may affect its sales in the market.
We will give you more information about the phone in our detailed review. Stay tuned!