Today, Microsoft has announced several new devices and we're sure many of you are specifically excited about the Lumia 950 XL. Featuring a 5.7-inches display (1440x2560), this new phablet from Microsoft also boasts a 20-megapixel camera with ZEISS F/1.9 lens, iris scanner, wireless charging, and more. Several photos and specifications have leaked before the event, so there weren't many surprises. Nevertheless, we were very excited to play with it for a few minutes here at the New York launch.

Watch our hands-on video!

Lumia 950 XL Specs

Category Lumia 950 XL
Operating System Windows 10 Mobile
Display 5.7 inches (1440x2560)
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 810
Materials Polycarbonate
Rear Camera 20MP F/1.9, OIS
Rear Flash Triple LED
Front Camera 5MP
Connector Type C
Notifications Glance
Biometrics Iris scanner
Internal Storage 32GB
External Storage micro SD
Battery 3340mAh removable
Charging Qi wireless, USB Type-C, Quick Charge
Dimensions 8.1 x 151.9 x 78.4 mm
Weight 5.82 ounces (165 grams)
Price $649

How is it?

So how is the Lumia 950 XL? It is hard to say with such little time with the device. I will note that as of now the odd power and volume button setup is a bit, well, can't say it won me over. However, with some usage I can see getting used to it. That is not exactly a ringing endorsement.

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The OS version was Windows 10 Mobile build 10546.

Overall the device felt very thin and light just as we expected. In fact, it feels nearly hollow, which is not a bad thing when you consider the specs it packs inside. I could feel the device get a bit warm near the lower 1/3 where the processor likely sits. This temperature sensation was by no means hot, but you could feel there was something happening down at that end.

A nice touch at the event had some third-party vendors on site with their new back covers for the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL. Want some metal? Want a new color? Like some leather? Looks like you can get all of those through a third party. No word if Qi is included, but it's nice to see users can quickly swap out the covers for something different.

The display looked great, but I cannot say it was mind blowing. In fact, the whole device felt very utilitarian and lacked what I would call the usual 'wow' factor of Nokia devices in the past.

The camera seemed decent enough but it the is hard to judge when using the incomplete software. Due to the higher specs it felt quite fast although that backend processing is still there, which is frustrating. Overall, the camera experience feels like it does today for Insiders but with a little more pep. I don't think that is enough, however, for the market.

Windows Hello looked interesting, and like I thought, it is a neat visual to experience. However, I don't yet see the value of it over a newer fingerprint scanner and that is a problem. All else being equal I am not sure what the value is here.

So what to conclude? The Lumia 950 XL is much what you may have imagined it to be once the specs leaked out. The phone feels light; the ergonomics are there and truth be told it's nice holding a high-end phone that doesn't feel like it will shatter into a million pieces if you drop it a foot.

Microsoft is gearing these new Lumias towards business and I can see that paying off. They're sturdy, can take some drops, but deliver where they need to deliver. I am not yet convinced that these are consumer devices that your friends must have. Maybe that is not a bad thing if Microsoft is aiming for only the enterprise market, but I can't help but feel a little bit of a letdown.

Interestingly, I found the Lumia 950 more suited for my needs and likes. More on that soon.


The Lumia 950 XL goes on sale in November for a retail price of $649 off contract. You'll be able to order the Lumia 950 XL through the Microsoft Store sometime in the near future.

How do you feel about the Lumia 950 XL? Will you be picking one up? Let us know in the comments!

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