Gavin's Gadgets and the Lumia 950 XL

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With the Lumia 950 and 950 XL's imaging prowess and with my tech contact Gavin Fabiani-Laymond, over on Dartmoor, being as keen on me as testing out smartphone cameras, I was keen to let him have a play. I lent him the editorial 950 XL for a couple of weeks and, aside from the lack of third party applications (mainly social) I think he was quite impressed. Some quotes and comments (and a video) below.

Microsoft Lumia 950 XL - The end of an era

From his quick review:

From a hardware point of view, the Microsoft Lumia 950 XL rocks and in many areas is ahead of the competition especially when you consider when it was first released. Just have a look again at the specification above. Qi Wireless charging. Quick charging. Excellent 20mp camera. Great audio and so on. Where the 950 XL suffers is software. Windows 10 is still being improved so there is the odd bug present.

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. Universal apps may be what helps keep Windows 10 going. However, some of the included software like the Creative Studio are absolutely brilliant...

The screen is fantastic. Amazing visibility in sunlight, bright and good viewing angles. Cellular and wireless connectivity was top notch too. Callers had no difficulties hearing me. Battery lasted a day and was recharged over night. Bluetooth audio was good and the loudspeaker was reasonable.

Gavin included a special mention for the 950 XL camera, of course:

The highlight of the phone so far is the camera quality. It is a real quality affair. Period. It does have some weaknesses mainly in the post processing whereby if you take a few shots and go to view them, you might see applying the finishing touches and have to wait until these are completed. Another aspect is using burst mode, or taking a large number of shots one after another. Eventually you might see a message on screen “saving” and will have to wait until this finishes before taking another photo. However, the image quality is so good, its worth the wait!

I was also interested to see him post, shortly after receiving the Lumia 950 XL:

I would learn how to use the camera as I walked through the rugged terrain of Dartmoor. If I am being honest, the camera app is really easy to use and most of these shots below were taken in auto. I did notice how readable the screen was in the bright sunlight. Actually, the lighting was particularly hazy so I was unsure how the shots would turn out. I also had my Samsung Galaxy S7 with me and after comparing shots from both phones, it was the Lumia 950 XL that took the better quality photos. 

He concluded:

The Microsoft Lumia 950 XL is a hardware powerhouse phone with its weakness being the lack and quality of applications / games in the Windows Store. The camera is fantastic, one of the best I have used, so if you can live without a number of apps, which many can, then the Lumia 950 XL is ideal.

He included a quick video overview too, embedded below for completeness:

Source / Credit: Gavin's Gadgets