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Why I chose the Microsoft Lumia 950 XL over HP's Elite x3

HP Elite x3 vs Lumia 950 XL

HP has been involved with Microsoft's mobile platform since the days of the Pocket PC and the HP Jornada) devices. The company has a reputation for delivering solid devices, and the HP Elite x3 is no exception. Recent price cuts brought the cost of the Elite x3 within reach for me, so I took the plunge to see what all the excitement was about.

My current daily device is the Microsoft Lumia 950 XL. It is a Windows 10 Mobile phone that gets more right than it gets wrong. The Elite x3 also gets a lot right and is an attractive device in many ways. However, the Elite x3's downsides ended up being too significant.

What I like about the HP Elite x3

My initial impression of the Elite x3 was good. The device is packaged in a style befitting a premium laptop, and out of that box the Elite x3's solid build quality is obvious. In fact, the Elite x3 sets the standard for build quality the way Nokia did with the Lumia 900.

While it's a larger phone than the 950 XL, HP did a good job masking that size with polished and rounded corners and distributing the extra ounces throughout the form factor. The positives range from the gorgeous 5.96" AMOLED screen to the powerful Snapdragon processor and the tremendous battery life. The Elite x3 has a lot to offer a Windows 10 Mobile user, and it's a fresh breath of hope for the struggling platform.

However, as impressive as the Elite x3 is, the device needs a little polish.

What I don't like about HP's Elite x3

The camera is OK but pales in comparison to the Lumia 950 or 950 XL. I found issues with white balance, sharpness, and metering. The hardware seemed to be fine and while these issues could be corrected with editing software, HP should be able to tweak the camera software to improve overall performance.

The Elite x3 has the Tap-to-Wake feature, but it is unreliable. It is my understanding that this feature is based on the device's motion sensors and not the screen's digitizer. That makes the Elite x3 susceptible to waking up while in a car charger due to the bumps and bounces, for example. It can also be tough to wake the device while it's in hand.

The screen is sharp-looking but noticeably more sensitive than other Windows 10 Mobile phones. There were too many times a slight glance launched an unwanted app. I have also heard some users say the automatic brightness control was too bright, but in my experience, it seemed too dim.

Other areas of concern include the lack of a Glance feature, no physical camera button and the lack of an independent storage expansion card slot. While the missing camera button and the inability to use a second SIM card and the microSD card at the same time are issues that are not easily resolved, the Glance feature could be a different story.

The Elite x3 is the first non-Lumia Windows phone I have owned since the days of Windows Mobile 7, and I did not realize how dependent I have become on the Glance screen. If the Glance software is Microsoft's to license, they need to offer it to HP, and HP should jump on it. The Glance screen helps set the mobile OS apart and should be a standard feature on all Windows 10 Mobile devices.

Microsoft Lumia 950 XL

Why I chose the 950 XL instead of the x3

In the end, after bouncing between the two devices, I found myself missing the Lumia 950 XL more than I liked using the Elite x3. The 950 XL is by no means a perfect device, but it gets more things right for my needs than the Elite x3 does. If you could take the best from both phones, you may have the perfect Windows 10 Mobile phone. Until that happens, the Lumia 950 XL is my phone of choice.

Do you use an x3 or 950 XL? Let us know in the comments why you chose one over the other.

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.

219 Comments
  • Nokia Lumia 950 XL is a mistake in the article...
    You're welcome 😊
  • but this was a nokia design
  • It was an old discarded /rejected Nokia design.
  • So you have evidence for the fact that it was a design the old Nokia handset division discarded/rejected, but then (bad old) Microsoft resurrected it? Or, as the retort used to be when I frequented ArsTechnica back in the day: Prove or retract.
  • No it was not, it was a design by Nokia that hadn't been released yet. It was never rejected or discarded by anyone.
  • What I find funny is how Nokia is blamed for all the faults and Microsoft takes all the laurels.
  • I find it the other way around, Microsoft blamed for Nokia's mistakes...
  • I don't understand which mistakes you refer to. It was the worst OS in terms of features when launched and that took it down. Not to forget how Microsoft ditched the old OS. And its Nokia's fault. How???
  • Nokia was bankrupted well before Microsoft came onto the scene. They refused to change - refused to do what people were asking for. That's it. That's the entire story.
  • That's correct. WP7 and Nokia's partnership with Microsoft was supposed to save them, but it didn't work, and it was a last-ditch effort. I wonder if they would still be around if they had gone the Android route,
  • you are absolutely wrong dude. its other way around.
  • You mean "you're", not "your". You're welcome.  
  • The punctuatioin always goes inside of the quotation mark, so your comment should have been "You mean "you're," not "your." " You're welcome.  
  • All corrections above are correct. One remaining issue: quotes inside quotes should use single quotes. Ha! :-)
  • Yes, that's true, but depending on the continent. In Australia it's opposite to the US. So.....
  • Firstly, you don't need a full stop for a single quoted word, you only use full stops to end sentences, which is what I did. Secondly, what is this "punctuatioin" that you speak of? You're welcome.
  • Correct, Mark, except you ended your second sentence with a preposition! You're welcome. Better a pedant than a pederast.  
  • Ending a sentence with a preposition is allowed.
  • Not in my book and those of many others.  I do believe some non-English languages permit it, but then those speakers are not English-speaking. You're welcome.
  • or...even a non-native speaker may sometimes know a particular example that a native speaker doesn't know of.
     
  • This grammar discussion hooked my interest. :D
  • Nokia Lumia 950xl i got the Microsoft Lumia 950xl xD
  • I kind of agree with you. I dont use any buttons to wake up or shut down my lumia 950 XL. Just tapping the screen. Its one of the better features.
  • My wife presses my buttons :)
  • You cannot use 2 SIM plus a microSD in the x3. The Camera is not as good. Battery is awesome. Addons via Jacket (like on the old iPAQs) are great for businesses. The Fingerprint reader is great. The integrated Magnet under the Display is great to keep the Leather folio closed. The missing Camera button is a big minus.  
  • I made the same choice. Based on camera. Camera button, camera noise not being able to be disabled, and of course the picture quality.
  • I chose the 950 because it has a camera button
  • Speaking of camera buttons is your camera button disabled mine don't activate the camera since the last build update
  • CAMERA CAMERA CAMERA CAMERA CAMERA CAMERA CAMERA!!!! That is what I base my phone buying decisions on. 950 series is the best of the lot. Which is why I'm dismayed. I have a feeling that Microsoft will be quick to dump the absolute premium imaging in their future phones, if they ever come out. Sad sad sad. I hope I'm wrong.
  • "If the Glance software is Microsoft's to license, they need to offer it to HP..." "...and should be a standard feature ..." The screen(s) would need to have display memory for Glance to even work. Making it standard would drive up the cost of devices. Even if it cost an OEM a few cents to use a screen that supports it, they will cut corners where they can. But yes glance is awesome. It's hard to use a phone without one once you're used to it.
  • Yes msf lumia 950xl to me is all a phone can be.but sometimes i wish they didnt remove some features with insider updates.Hence i got myself a new 950 xl and refrain from upgrading.
  • New 950xl ke, Are you balling like that. Hope you are not one of our Nigerian politicians lol.
  • why didn't you just reset it instead of buying a new one? Also, what features have been removed from windows 10 mobile through the insider builds? i've heard people complain about losing features from 8.1 to 10, but i don't think i've heard folks talking about losing features from updates to 10.
  • They have "removed" reliable Bluetooth!!! ;) OK, I know I'm exaggerating... but it still annoys me a lot that my older 920 and 830 were so awesome with BT, and my 950 XL is horrid so far. Especially since 830 is also running on Win 10. Being able to send, hear and reply to sms messages with Cortana and BT handsfree was really big selling point for me... and one of major reason to stay with Lumia... so I'm venting my frustration a bit. With all that being said, I'm wondering if my 950 XL isn't actually faulty... but with so many people complaining about BT performance around the web, I think it really is current state of BT functionality on 950 XL. Which is quite wobbly. They have "removed" reliable Bluetooth!!! ;) OK, I know I'm exaggerating... but it still annoys me a lot that my older 920 and 830 were so awesome with BT, and my 950 XL is horrid so far. Especially since 830 is also running on Win 10. Being able to send, hear and reply to sms messages with Cortana and BT handsfree was really big selling point for me... and one of major reason to stay with Lumia... so I'm venting my frustration a bit. With all that being said, I'm wondering if my 950 XL isn't actually faulty... but with so many people complaining about BT performance around the web, I think it really is current state of BT functionality on 950 XL. Which is quite wobbly.
  • oh, well, they're completely updating the bluetooth stack in the insider builds so that doesn't really surprise me. i was hoping it'd be fixed by the time the creator's update got released, but i haven't tried it out yet. the bluetooth stack pre-creator's update was only a partial one with a lot of stuff hacked together. while what you used it for was reliable, it was awful in regards to anything else. that's why so many bluetooth related features in regards to wearables don't work with windows 10. notifications were a joke and work less than 25% of the time. i believe they were working on adding a bluetooth gatt server like every other OS out there, but i haven't really kept tabs on it. so while unfortunately it may not be working as well as it had been for what you were doing, it was pretty much a requirement that they had to start from scratch on the whole thing, because windows 10's bluetooth stack is a joke compared to anyone else. they need to rewrite it and it's just taking as long as it does for them to do anything else. my guess is they simply don't have the resources to dedicate to mobile. as redstone 3 is supposed to focus on mobile, my guess it will start to improve a bit more quickly after creator's update is released.
  • Yep, I was pretty much using it to start and answer calls... and do SMS with help of Cortana. Maybe it was basic, but at least basics were working like a charm! My previous Lumias were somehow always connecting to Jabra Tour (which can connect two phones simultaneously) before Nexus 5X... so Jabra was treating them as primary device, and when I press voice command button, Jabra would connect me to Lumia, with Cortana listening. Connection was really reliable, too. On top of that... Nexus with stock Android does not even give me sms notification over BT. If I press voice button ant tell Nexus "read last message" (the only way to make it read message without 3rd party apps, much as I have figured out), for some reason it reads out loud 3 last messages merged into one. I have been looking into some 3rd party apps, but didn't like requirements (one basically said that it is little OS running over Android, as excuse for asking permission/access for everything)... so I didn't bother. I don't know where is iPhone nowadays with these things... but for my humble needs, Windows Phone was beating Android flat out with its BT implementation. Until Lumia 950 XL, that is. I think my problems must be due to this phone's firmware and drivers, because Lumia 830 works fine, also running Win 10 Mobile...?
  • I've always liked the camera button but I've found myself prone to moving the phone ever so slightly when pressing the button. Now I've switched to using the on-screen high contrast button and I have to say it's easier.
  • For taking pictures, sure. But to launch camera from locked screen hw button is made of awesome
  • i chose the hp.  i have suddenly became handicapped and live in terror of falling.  it looks as though i can fall with the hp in my pocket and still contact 911
  • I'm using l950 (no xl) and it's the best phone ever... Some software bugs, but hardware is perfect...
  • Pretty much my same thinking except for the fact that I couldn't afford both so I just bought the 950 XL
  • I use the Lumia 950 XL and I love it!
  • Windows Mobile 7? What's that?
  • Glance is the sole reason I haven't switched from my 950 XL to the Elite x3.  I've become so reliant on "glancing" at the screen while it sits in its dock on my work desk, as well as using it as my bedside alarm clock, that giving it up would be a painful transition.  It's also the thing keeping me on W10M and from switching over to an iPhone, for that matter.
  • Not that I'm wanting you to switch. But you do know phones like the Galaxy s7 and G5 have what they call "always on display" which is in its most basic form are glance screen.
  • Yep, but I'm not an Android fan, personally.  I'll be going to an iPhone if I ever finally give up on WP/WM; I already have an iPad to help deal with the app gap, so the iPhone switch will be pretty easy, aside from issues such as Glance, loss of live tiles, camera button, etc.
  • The camera is ridiculously clunky to try to get to quickly on an iPhone, I've missed so many shots that I could've easily captured if I had a hardware button to launch it. I've found not having Glance less of an issue since iOS displays the full notification on the lock screen instead of the little icons with numbers like Glance does.
  • Love my 950XL. No camera button is a no-go for me.
  • Never quite got the need for glance myself, yeah its useful I won't deny that, but personally I can't see it as a make or break when using a device. No doubt others will feel different though - often see it come up like this with WP/W10M devices.
  • I would go with the x3 because of the battery, screen size, fingerprint scanner, better processor, quick charge 3.0, stereo speakers, and it looks better than the 950 XL. The only advantage the xl really has is the camera imo
  • "The only advantage the xl really has is the camera imo" What about the numerous comments in the "What I don't like about the HP Elite X3" piece? He makes a lot of good points of ways in which the 950 XL is better.   
  • But he also doesn't touch on how the xl has alot of batteries going bad with not many legit replacements available, the uninspiring design, weak speakers...etc
  • The elite has weak speakers too. Don't let that faux grill foolbyou
  • Better sound then the XL tho
  • Weak speakers? They're a bit tinny, true. But mine can go so loud that they hurt my ears. Definitly louder compared to the 950XL.
  • Love the design.
  • Agree with everything you just said...
  • I agree with all the OP said plus removable battety (I have a spare with stand alone charger) and I already own the 950XL. X3 is expensive.  
  • How about buying a used one at an affordable price?
  • Go for 950 XL . Faster and about cat 6 .
  • cat 6 is useless since no company haven't implemented yet and only the single sim have it not sold here the US got both phone with the creators update and the hp is way faster and smother than the xl
  • The color options on the 950 xl is a big plus to me. To be able to change the back cover color to a bright orange, blue, white or green is nice and reminds me of the old Nokia days. The Elite X3 is a fantastic phone but it is a business device for a reason and therefore does not have any color options just the standard black. The Lumia was geared towards the consumer so it has the better camera and color options. I still considered the X3 mainly for the better battery life but have decided to hold off until either the new X3 arrives or we find out more about Surface phone.
  • I am considering going from my x3 to a 950XL. I am hopeful that the x3 will receive a lot more upgrades and support - although I don't expect it to be anything like I enjoyed with Nokia. Keep the input coming - it will help me make a decision.
  • The X3's autobrightness feature got completely hosed in the last update.  The screen was perfect for me being in sunny texas, but now dims to almost unusable levels.  They need to roll it back to where it was.  Other than that and the camera being better for the 950xl, the X3 is better in EVERY other way.  Battery life is MUCH better than a 950xl and the phone runs faster and cooler.  There is no way I could go back to the inferior 950xl after using both.  
  • One other note, why on earth would you use tap to wake on the X3 when the fingerprint scanner wakes and unlocks the phone instantly?
  • One thing on earth I could think about is, you have your phone on your desk the whole day at work, you use glance screen for quick updates and then double tap to wake without even moving the phone; you would have to grab it and put your finger on the sensor otherwise. Not that big of a deal but that's what I do on my 950XL.
  • Sorry, that's not a point. FP scanner is awesome, but you have to pick up the phone - completely different to reaching from your bed half asleep and tapping.
  • Seriously, we can just dismiss points now when they don't fit into our usage? Well, then double-tap to wake isn't a point though. I didn't use it on my lumia 950 xl when i had it and therefore didn't miss it when i went to the x3.
  • Thank you George, your opinion is much appreciated. I've been on the fence ever since the price came down on the Elite X3. The glance screen and camera button are a huge deal for me. Also double tap to wake and lock,I use them all the time and I find it awkward when I need to use the hardware button. The way it works on the Elite is the same some FitBits have it. You're actually shaking the device when tapping and then the motion sensor reacts as opposed to the more clean, faster experience of a tap on a digitizer command.
    I only dream of a world in which my 950XL's firmware, software and features work perfectly; in that world I could keep happily using this phone for a long time.
  • What's not working? Ours is pretty much perfect.
  • My biggest issue with the 950XL is the battery life, which is mostly down to the processor. 
  • 950XL is my choice, because I already own it and a 950.  I looked at the X3 but it was overpriced IMO for what you got.  When I had the Icon the main thing I missed was Glance.
  • 950xl for me. But I'd certainly like to try the Elite. Camera quality is very important to me, as is size in my hand.
  • HP feels great in your hand, but it is big. Build quality is phenomenal. Camera is quite good, just not 950xl good. Feeling the HP in person is very important, as photos don't do it justice. It is quite thin as well. Love it, but love the 950xl as well. 🤓
  • When upvoting your comment I noticed that the screen is nicely sensitive.
  • Why would you go with either? There are so many good phones these days. These two are among the worst! Not to mention, Microsoft no longer makes the 950 and W10M's future is unknown.
  • The worse as far as what?
  • Anything phones are judged by these days. The only redeeming feature of the 950 is the fantastic camera, and there are plenty of phones today with great cameras. I don't think there is anything great about the X3. Maybe the battery life? Even that is more than overshadowed by the rediculous price.
  • Yes, but the other phones with great cameras are also Lumias. May as well have the latest. Still not sure what measure you're using to compare, all of them? So the screen on my 950XL is bad? How? The speed? The storage is poor? Really? Perhaps the iris scanner's not as good as the one on other phones? Or perhaps Continuum is better on these other phones you mention? Sounds unlikely. I'm not seeing the problems you mention (or rather you don't mention...).
  • There are phones with better cameras than the 950 and they aren't Lumias. No other Lumia phones are even in ballpark Iris scanner is a gimmick and so is Continuum. There is a reason everyone else uses a fingerprint reader and might have an iris scanner as a secondary method. If you want Continuum, it is better implemented on Android. You aren't limited to a single app or only approved apps. You can get an actual desktop experience. It is pointless anyways and never caught on for a reason. Anything else you mentioned is widely available on every phone down to $100. There is no reason to be using a Windows phone in 2017. Just the quality and availability of apps on W10M makes it a non-starter. Then you get into all the other issues like why your best choice is a 2 year old device.
  • I disagree with all you've written, and it is all opinion based. No actual facts in there. Write off everything as a gimmick if you like, but if people find these features useful your position is immediately shown up as nonsense. And it is. I have my gripes with MS but they are at least logical. Continuum is not limited to 'a single app' or 'approved apps'. Heck, I can even write my own and stick it on the phone. You speak with false tongue there mate. I find it very useful. I find iris scanning far better than a fingerprint scanner. Why wouldn't I? Certainly something I find useful all day every day. Not the best definition of gimmick, don't you think? Sure, other things I mention are available on other phones, but that wasn't the point you made that I responding to, was it? Be honest now, you we're trying to change tack because you were in a sticky spot, right? You said my Lumia compares badly to other phones on every usual comparator. So for example screens are the usual first target in reviews, so why does mine compare badly? Yes, other phones exist and do great stuff. I still see nothing but opinion on anything that you say compares badly. Re. apps it would be nice to see a few more and doubtless we will, but currently I have a phone full of quality apps to do all I want. What's more, I get most of them on my desktop, my laptop, my tablet, both phones and my TV stick for zero extra charge. I don't need many apps for my phone, it just picks up my desktop apps and runs them instead! Genius. But I suppose that kind of thing is just a gimmick, right? By the way, I have to say, Continuum better on Android? Really? At least try. That's just funny.
  • You said it yourself, if people find the features useful then my position is nonsense. Sales tells us people have not found Windows phones as useful as competitors. Manufacturers using fingerprint readers instead of iris readers show that fingerprints are preferred. Not only are there gaps in the apps on Windows phone, the ones it does have are mediocre quality at best. For the most part, they are lacking features and polish of the other platforms. You are the only one saying anything different. Why you would use those apps on a desktop I will never understand. UWP is straight garbage on desktop. There is a reason no one uses them. Continuum is better on Android. Multiple, free floating Windows and better apps are readily available on Android. It isn't even close. Microsoft can't even do that right. https://www.xda-developers.com/android-nougats-freeform-window-mode-what... https://blog.en.uptodown.com/turn-android-into-desktop-leena-ui/
  • May I remind you this article and your original post is about why we as individuals choose the L950(XL)? I am people, I find these features useful, therefore in this context you are demonstrably wrong. I never claimed Lumia sales figures are good but the discussion is about whether the phone is bad for me, not for Microsoft. You seem to have us confused, my name is not Bill. You appear to be trying to shift the topic away from why I use a L950XL and on to why others do not. Do you usually do this when you find yourself working with crumbly logic? What you're doing is quite obvious to everyone in your responses you know. Again, a post full of opinion. I get it, you don't want to use a Windows phone. That's OK. There are plenty of other good phones out there. The fact other people want to use other phones isn't a great reason for me to stop using mine though is it? Also, I had to laugh at those links. That's old style screen cloning which every smart phone I've ever bought could do (except one old Android one), not Continuum, and it still can't just pick up and run my desktop PC's apps like a Lumia so would be a complete pain in the Harris. Using windows on a phone is an awful idea with cloning, and would only make sense on a Continuum device. Not that it's a feature I would really like, I'd prefer a split screen approach like that taken on my touch laptop and tablet, though even then I'm not convinced I'd use it much over a flip system.
  • Freeform != Continuum. The fact you think show points out your lack of understanding. Freeform doesn't change the UI at all. It just scales it. This is what people complained about with iPhone apps on the iPad. Scaling even that small amount was awful, imagine scaling to full screen on a desktop. This sounds so much worse than Continuum that it makes me wonder if you use computers.
  • Free form completely changes the UI and allows multiple, actual Windows. Could be useful if such a thing even made sense in the first place. Continuum is just a single, crummy UWP that can only be full screen. Either way, living your life into a screen is pointless. PCs are cheap and the cloud made your data ubiquitous already. I bet Samsung used free form to create DeX.
  • from the article you linked, it looks like it only puts the app into a window. i don't see that it makes it simple to rewrite the entire UI (again, other than making it float). granted, you may have just linked a crappy article about the feature, i don't know. its still a shame that as a developer, if you want the app on PC and phone, you still need to write it twice. and multi-window support is coming to Continuum, its already been demoed. i still prefer buying once and using in multiple locations instead of having to buy the app twice. and as a developer, it'd be nice to write once and have it deploy to multiple platforms.
  • Android will automatically scale your app according to screen size, but as you said this isn't ideal. Developers can also create multiple UIs for their apps depending on screen size. This has been around since Android 3.
  • You are really trying hard...
  • He really isn't you know. At least, with those results I hope not.
  • Just go away.
  • Have you used the X3? If so, you know the screen is freaking amazing and the battery will last all day.
  • Great screens and battery life are not unique traits. They are widely available at most any price point.
  • Noooooo
  • Yea, it does have a great screen but the price... considering the bargain price for the 950XL I couldn't justify the cost of the HP for the screen. The 950XL's battery lasts me all day, so again for the bigger one in the HP I couldn't justify the price. Then there's that camera, and the double tap thing would drive me crazy. It was a difficult toss-up, but I'd just bought a car so the bank account felt a bit battered.
  • When IOS has live tiles, we can all leave WP. And I don't see that happening in the foreseeable future. Until then, there doesn't exist a better phone outside of the WP arena offering live tiles.
  • Android has fully featured, Chaseable and actionable Live Tiles and so does iOS. Microsoft's​ implementation of widgets is mediocre at best. Very poor excuse.
  • Now I know that you exist in your own fantasy world. Neither the GS7 or the iP7 has a widget system remotely as elegantly executed as WP live tiles. Otherwise I would be using them.
  • you really don't understand how these features work, do you? you're comparing things that aren't alike. First the freeform windows to continuum is laughable and now this? Bro, do you even computer?
  • You don't understand that "Live Tiles" are just severely gimped widgets? Android developers could easily make a "Live Tile" for their Android apps, but they do not. It is pointless when you can create a fully featured widget. If Microsoft opened up Live Tiles and allowed developers some freedom, they certainly wouldn't continue make such boring, useless tiles. But why would Microsoft want to do something exciting for developers? There is a reason every product based on Live Tiles has failed. It just isn't a compelling feature.
  • Actually, live tiles are active icons. Just like icon, they can be grouped into folders, you can move them around on your screen, you touch them they open up an application. The fact that they can do more than an icon is what makes it live, and can gives it widget like characteristics. As far as the basic operation of an icon, the live tile already surpasses the capability of what's available on other OS. The possibilities of what the live tile could do has not been fully explored, but even in its infant state, is still more than a small static icon. For example to have an icon change colors when there is a weather emergency, and turn over and show you a radar image of cloud activity is more than a icon that does nothing. Or to have your contact icon show you pictures of your family and friends is more than an static icon. Then to have the ability to organized it to fit on one screen allowing you quick access to the app without having to flip pages until you find the icon of choice is a more elegant implementation than what is found on the other OS. You call the live tiles watered down widgets, but in reality they are expanded icons. Adding more widget like functionality I hope is the next direction and hopefully MS will take it there, but even in its current iteration, it's more than what's available on IOS and Android. As far as a compelling feature, I remember when I got the L920 and I was trying to figure out how to work it. I hated it. It was so unfamiliar. By day 10 I finally started understanding what the system was about. Now I prefer it. In retrospect I wish the people at ATT would have done a better job of showing me the wonders of the live tile system, but they didn't even understand it. Sometimes I would run into people who hate their Windows Phone, but after I showed them how not to use it like a Galaxy or an iPhone, they were amazed at what they could do easier with the WP. I say this to say that as far as the live tile not being a compelling feature I fault on MS evangelism efforts, not the OS. For us who know how to work it, it will be a hard sell to get us back to a static icon system willingly. Therefore the best phones that can do the live tile OS are the Alcatel Idol 4S, the HP Elite X3, and the MS Lumia 950 and 950 xl.
  • Whatever you want to call it, Live Tiles are limited in functionality compared to widgets. They certainly aren't an effective selling point and neither are widgets. It is funny to say a 7 year old feature is in an infant state. Microsoft doesn't seem to care much about Live Tiles. I wonder if Project Neon will even keep them around.
  • I'm fairly certain we've had this discussion elsewhere. Windows 10 isn't 7 years old. Windows 8 & 8.1 may look like 10. But it's not 10. The direction of development was radically different under Ballmer than it is under Nadella. So its stupid to ever say the technology is 7 years old unless the statement is made from ignorance. Yes, MS made a lot of mistakes early on. But the path they are now on didn't start 7 years ago.
  • Live Tiles were introduced with Windows Phone 7 in 2010 and basically haven't changed since. That was 7 years ago if you need help with the math!
  • When I said infant stage, I was actually agreeing with you that MS could do more with the live tile, and at its current development it's in its infant stage. As you know there have been information released regarding concepts of further development of the live tile. I wasn't referring to the years of existence. As for their limit as a widget, that's true because they are icons. But what makes them more interesting and better implemented than IOS and Android, is that they have room to grow. And as you know IOS and Android can't touch this design so they are stuck with the old Windows 3.1 icons on a screen. The most they can do is change the look of the icons.
  • Worst??? Whatever dude. GREAT phones, AND best OS. What the hell are you doing on this site!
  • The camera & double tap to wake is much better on the 950 than the X3. And not having glance on the X3 sucks! Do a speed test between the two and you'll see the X3 doesn't open apps any quicker though it has the better hardware. Crazy!
  • Ohhh.....the Glance. My Lumia 730 doesn't support it. Anyone here having registry hacks or cab files to get Glance screen. Yes, the Lumia 730 lacks display memory, but still...
  • For me X3 is the choice. Fantastic design, ultra fast, battery, everything is better, I had a 950 before, but I won't come back. Walter from Italy
  • I m using 640 ... Works good for me...
  • Camera and Glance screen are the two most important features for me also. I was very close to replace my 950 XL with an X3 when I cracked my screen but I didn't want to lose the Glance screen and downgrade the camera that I love on my 950 XL. Hopefully the next HP device will do better
  • Lumias have no support anymore, HP is expensive for nothing. Bad situation for geeks.
  • I love my 950xl, I think I'll wait for a sd835 device or something, until then I'm going to stick with the Lumia, and also see where W10M is going first as well.
  • The x3 looks nice. I had a 950XL briefly before returning it and went with a 950. Granted there not getting anymore support doesn't mean your phone won't last forever as long as you take care of it. :) at the end of it all I'm fine with my 950 and it gets the job done.
  • its been 2 years, I still hate my 929 for not having glance, so much so that I keep dreaming about my 928 becoming fast enough to be usable again
  • I got an icon when my 928 broke. I don't see the 950/xl or HP being better enough for me to upgrade. I saw a928 the other day a friend had got off eBay as a spare phone. Give it a new processor, newer flash and Windows hello(iris or finger print), I'd take it in a heart beat
  • Oh man, I loved the 928! Probably my most favourite WP from Nokia.
  • The only reason i chose the Lumia 950xl above the hp elite x3 was because i could still use my two sims without sacrificing my SDcard. I understand you either sacrifice one sim or sd card on the hp elite x3
  • Just bought X3 after price lowered. Had HTC M8 and grew tired of Verizon inertia. Love the phone. Spreadsheets display great on the large screen. Doc allows synching with thumb drives and use of keyboard/ mouse. Went with HP for build and figured support would remain active longer than 950 or Alcatel. Reading comments, seems like biggest complaint is camera. For me phone is secondary option, use my Canon T6 for pictures
  • The lack of new Windows phones for Verizon Wireless, Sprint and US Cellular customers is due to Microsoft, HP and Alcatel taking a restricted stance and not submitting their phones for CDMA certification. Microsoft is thought to be introducing a new phone...but not the Surface Phone...sometime this year. I have my doubts that it will be CDMA certified. It looks like there won't be any new Windows phones for the above three mentioned carriers until they have their next generation networks up & running and capped their existing CDMA networks.
  • I've had the 950 for a year now, and from everything I have read about the x3, I'm glad.  Having that camera button is big, along with the micro sd card slot and second sim.  I've picked up secondary sim cards on two trips now (Europe and Canada) and I'm quite glad I can use the second sim and the sd card at the same time.  And the camera, you just can't complain about the cameras that Nokia (and now MS) always used.  And the X3 and its accessories just seem to be way overpriced.  
  • I love my Elite x3! The 2 main reasons: Screen size: I wanted a small tablet or large phone. [check] Battery life: I wanted looooong battery life. [check] Bonus is the fingerprint reader. I'm very happy with it.
  • I've regretted getting an elite x3 since November til now. This thing is unstable and the camera is rly bad (coming from a 950). I enjoy the battery however
  • You should get it checked out, mine is VERY stable.
  • Has anyone done Dual-SIM Cards review on these phones and/or compared to the Lumia 950 XL?? This is a Enterprise phone not a consumer phone.
  • I think the big differnece between the two is the Elite X3 is aim for Enterprise market an not the consumer market like the Lumia 950/XL. Sounds like they did a consumer review on a business phone from what I read. Dual-SIM Cards: Elite X3 Lumia 950 XL I would like to know how well the 2 devices work with Dual-SIM cards? Has noone dug further into these questions? How is reception? Do both card work simutenously? DO both cards do 4G LTE or not? etc....
  • I can speak to dual-SIM on both. The way it works is you set a SIM for data in the settings. So if you set SIM1 for data, all cellular data goes through that. If you set it as SIM2, cellular data goes through that. It's just a matter of flipping a switch in the settings and takes about 15 seconds to complete the switch. Both can do LTE, but not at the same time. It's only the SIM selected for data. I also noticed that reception was always better if a SIM was selected as my data SIM. I imagine it's because that SIM has access to LTE bands. But regardless of which SIM is selected for data, you can receive texts and phone calls on either at any time (assuming reception of course).
  • Thanks Dan12R, I appreacite the reply back on this question. SInce you are a 'Power User' on WIndows 10 Mobile, what are your though on both Dual-SIM Phalets? How is support for the two? I would be using either phone as a Daily Driver with as a Dual-SIM phone..? I am a current Lumia 950 user and I love it though it has become flaky a bit, especially with the camera launching, it shutter glitches. I would assume a Soft Reset would probably take care of the issue although it could be do to the fact it is not water repellent like the X3, due to my little accidents with liquids.    
  • I haven't had a chance to try out the dual SIMs at all yet, but if a voice call is occurring on the non-data SIM is data available on the other SIM simultaneously? I thought that finding a straightforward answer online would prove easier but it hasn't!
  • Roman. The second SIM on the 950XL is only rated at 2G, which is no longer supported by AT&T (which sucks). The second SIM on the x3 is rated at 3G. I was unable to use the second SIM on the 950 XL but did use it on the x3. It's a great advantage if you have a work cell. I didn't experience any issues using the second SIM on the x3. You do have to establish which SIM card is used for data in the phone's settings but with my work cell being voice only, that choice was easy to make.
  • Glance screen, wireless charging, and good DTTW. The only combo that will pull me away from my 950XL
  • Well said, literally every reason I am holding on to my 950XL, especially the so so camera, no camera button, no expanded memory and no glance screen and no notable improvement from the improved specs.
  • You can thrown in a SD card though, but the latest firmware made them unstable it seems. But the 950XL is still very precious to me. Too bad about the horrible battery life.
  • It has a sd card slot.
  • 950 XL and loving it.
  • I own the x3 coming from a 1520. I like the fingerscanner, battery life and speed. I miss all Lumia apps, glance and the camera. Also the x3 is not as sophisticated as my 1520, WhatsApp on pc does not work, some apps simply don't work at all on the X3 and overal the phone is not as smooth as the 1520. When comparing the X3 to my 1520 it would be a close call, with the 1520 leading the way.
  • Interesting.
  • "the lack of an independent storage expansion card slot"...It has a MicroSD Card slot...
  • Reference is to the shared SIM 2/SD slot versus the independent SIM slots and SD slot on 950 XL. Although am I correct in assuming the 950 doesn't support 3G on SIM 2, so pretty much useless on AT&T correct?
  • Mr. Ryan, you are correct on both accounts.
  • Yes, but you can't use it and another sim at the same time.
  • Although 64GB internal is awesome, so.....
  • What about 650 guys????
  • That's the phone I have. Never regretted buying it!
  • The 650 is fine but the camera doesn't equal to the 950. I had one and I liked it a lot, but hated the battery life.
  • Yep, battery life isn't great, and it's way too thin and feels like it's almost not there sometimes.
  • Ha, I like the thinness and lightness of my L650 but yeah I find myself checking my pocket a lot to see if it's still there. One way to make the L650 a wee bit thicker and a wee bit heavier is to get a Mozo back cover. They look and feel great too.
  • But that doubles the price of the 650 ;)
  • Love my 650, but as backup, but it's no way near in the same ball park 🏞
  • Shouldn't there be a warehouse somewhere full of Mozo covers of all varieties for the 950 and 950XL just waiting to be sold off cheap?
  • I'm using Lumia 950xl but my battery is really bad... Example if I use Facebook for half an hour it sucks nearly 15%
  • I'd be more worried about using FB for half an hour or more! 😜
  • I was hoping that you would write about your experience George, thanks for this! It sounds like it was a challenging decision, but your experience shows that it is important to identify what your top things are in a phone.
  • I also have the x3 a try for about a week. Great hardware, great hand feel, maybe felt a little bit big but manageable. Continuum experience slightly better than 950XL, possibly owing to a more customized dock. I returned mine over the weekend, although who knows... maybe I'll give it a try again some day. I thought about hanging onto it for future use $599 is a reasonable chunk to spend not knowing how often I'll use it. Dual SIM is also a good feature, I'm accomplishing two numbers via Google voice but that doesn't help if I'm without coverage on my normal carrier.
  • Hi! I use a 950xl
  • It can't be for its battery life...
  • Just switched back to 950xl from a 7plus considered the X3 but huge cost difference was the main factor
  • The X3 is a great phone but, like the article says, true DTTW, Glance and the dedicated camera button are missing features that make me miss my 950xl a lot! I almost forgot no Tap-2-Pay either... On the other hand, the responsiveness of the fingerprint scanner, superb battery life and the overall speed of the X3 are positives that I enjoy a lot.
  • The battery life of 950 xl can be greatly improved by joining the insider and getting the creators update.
  • I will wait for it's release ;)
  • I got a 950XL when it was released. Recently it started becoming a little flaky (battery doesn't last as long anymore) so I got an HP Elite x3. I agree with a lot of this, but I find the Elite x3 to be a better phone for productivity. I have decided though that for travel and I'm away from work, I'll be switching back to the 950XL primarily for the camera and dedicated camera button. Both are great devices though and you can't go wrong with either.
  • Tap Tap, the best way to wake or sleep the 950 xl. Glance is requied, once you have it, there's no going back.
  • Yep totally. I would buy an HP device but it's got to have all the features the 950xl has, camera, glance and camera button being 3 big ones.
  • Have both. My 950XL is now a business phone for my wife. I do miss the camera button, better photo quality and glance. However, I absolutely love the finger print scanner. I have my X3 in the leather wallet folio. Flipping the cover open turns the phone on and closing it turns the phone off. I simply put my finger on the scanner as I open the cover and my phone is on and unlocked with no delay. I don't use the iris scanner much. I agree that the X3 screen is very sensitive. I have launched apps without trying just having my finger too close to the screen. I can't even feel that I have touched the screen but there goes the app launch anyway. I do miss wallet and the ability to load a CC although tap to pay opportunities are so rare that it doesn't make a noticeable difference. I like both phones and each has strengths. For me the fantastic battery life of the X3 and it's fingerprint scanner win me over.
  • Agree totally.
  • And the quality of the leather wallet holder is amazing - seamless.
  • I'm using a 950 XL over an Elite x3 because I can't afford an x3. That's about it really!
  • Have both. Love both. Your article, although short, is to the point and accurate. I agree with all you said. When I first got the HP I thought I would be fine with how ultimate the specs are and how great it looks etc. Big thing I missed more than the camera was Glance and DTTW. Tap to wake on the HP is something I can genuinely say is a disaster, and possibly the only really bad thing with this device. I eventually chose the HP because of battery, screen real estate, the water proof thingy, how it holds in the hand, and, the fingerprint reader is friggin awesome. My wife uses the 950xl now and loves it. I find myself looking over with envy sometimes, so I've decided when I can afford it, to get myself a 950xl before they aren't available anymore. 😀 Addicted to WM!!!!
  • Agree with pretty much everything you said, and these are exactly the reason's why i'm not bothering with the elite x3. Things like camera quality and glance are too important to me, and I absolutely love the ability to be able to swap batteries (even if the elite x3's battery is impressive) and the ability to swap back covers is also a nice bonus. All in all the x3 is not worth the investment comming from a 950 xl, at least not now. Maybe if it becomes considerably faster in the future and all bugs are sorted out.
  • So true about the battery. I hadn't really thought about it until I had a hiccup with the X3, and there was nothing I could do to somehow disrupt the power. Side buttons wouldn't reset or restart - nothing. It made me feel helpless. Any time that kind of thing happened with 950xl, 640XL, 650, 520 etc. I could remove and then put it back in.
  • After owning a L930 for two years, and lots of time of analysis, last week I grabbed a L950XL. It has the upgrades the L930 needs, besides normal battery life, the rest is near perfect: camera, screen, speed, expansion, continuum, etc. My L930 did not have LTE due to my country's LTE requirements, this L950XL works perfectly in LTE,  is a real rocket. Worth the upgrade, not seen a surface phone in a near future...
  • Finally got my 950 XL a few days ago... and I am happy!
  • i got the 950 and the hp and yes the price difference it's big but not a deal breaker i put both on the creators update on then and the hp runs circle on my 950, now my friend have the xl and performance wise it's less than a second opening apps and to be honest all I hear its excuses from some of you guys. Microsoft abandoned Lumia so no more internal software update to better optimize the processor and should i say Bluetooth you know it got it and HP updated my like four times to optimize my device like the camera i know my 950 camera it's better but the hp is acceptable now in complete darness with the flash so why compare a future proof device with a abandoned Lumia by Microsoft i mean after all this updates by msf their devices still buggy and thoses that came with 8.1 and updated to 10 hit some bumps cuz of the update (no insider updates) and i use continuum in my hp since my 950 lag on normal use sometimes my hp don't. Just because that bald headed fucktard it's not don't more for mobile like he should doesn't mean i have to leave Windows being a fan since 8 and never gone back 😁
  • 'Fucktard' I love it!
  • Also, I forgot to add. In case anyone in Australia wants a HP but can't lay out $1200. Telstra business has it on plan now, and you don't have to be a company or business per se, you can be a sole trader with ABN. Just saying. Also, OPTUS will have it soon - enterprise plan as well.
  • I recently bought a new 950 XL to replace my 1520 due to a bad battery. I actually like it alot more than I thought I would, except for 1 thing...the size of the screen. Going from 6.0 to 5.7 inches doesn't seem like much but throw in the on screen software buttons instead of hardware buttons and now it becomes a 5 inch secreen. Might as well have just used my spare 640. I constantly swipe to remove the software buttons to help with the screen size but it's such a change. I want another 6 inch screen, not interested in the Elite X3 due to the camera and the lack of camera button. I might actually buy another 1520. Having said that, the recent update dramatically improved W10M on both my 1520 and the 950Xl and I'm ectremely happy with this phones performance, screen and camera. Got a Mozo black cover and it looks nice. Overall it is a really good experience and a nice looking phone with a great screen and camera. Just..too..small.
  • Replacing the battery on the 1520 is easier than I suspected - I bought a new one off of eBay. It breathed new life into my 1520 - my favorite phone. I am considering leaving my x3 for it!
  • I use a 950xl as my daily driver. Secondary phone is a Lumia 1520. I agree its still early days for HP despite its pedigree. HP has mentioned to windows central that they're still exploring mobile with windows 10. Its still early experimental days, ss is the x3. In that regard the Lumia line is more established and has a mire "grown -up" look and feel.  
  • yeah but they optimizing the device without making promise unlike msft lol
  • Indeed perhaps a better way to approach things in light of public relations. But HP has been out of the mobile business for a while, has had some shaky times with Palm and WebOS, and is likely only just now finding their footing with the introduction of the elite x3. An impressive come back, and rightly so to tread carefully but determined in this manner. The issue with the camera is no real surprise. I have never known HP to have expertise with this higher end technology. It was to be expected, even for the elite x3, that the camera quality and performance would not live up to expectations in their first gen device.  HPs talents lie in other fields, printers, pcs and laptops is what I know them for best. It is no surprise then that the spectre line is doing well. They're still growing, but growing fast. But I think it would help if they did do some outsourcing, from nokia or samsung for example, to improve a better symbiosis between hardware and software. I'm sure with the Elite x3 second gen and the upcoming snapdragon 835, HP is going to surprise us in a postive way.
  • I chose the 950 XL. The Elite X3 is a great device but the lack of Glance Screen, the inferior camera, and the slightly less polished software experience pushed me to the 950 XL. And I enjoy the 950 XL's hardware. My only issue is that there's a little bit of creaking at the bottom.
    I also really like the Lumia 950. The small size and the feel of the screen meeting the frame is alluring. I can't give up the screen real estate of the XL though.
  • less polished you said 🤔 hp already updated from their end like 4 times and surpasses the l950 xl in performance and speed now and better camera performance including low light and night flash pictures
  • Lumia 950XL here. I didn't choose the Elite X3 becausae the 950 came out first. I don't want to spend another grip of cash on a new phone when my curent one is working pretty swell. Sure I could sell it, but I'd get no where near the cash I spent on it. 
  • So can I ask a question?  How about the Lumia 950/XL vs the Alcatel Idol 4S?  I've asked this before in the context of the Lumia vs Alcatel (vs HP) and I got a few different answers with no clear winner.  Wondering if anything has changed.  Specifically, I'm looking at Continuum performance, and hopefully, the ability to run multiple windows side by side.  I know, that's a future CShell feature, so it's muddy as to if/when that shows up for existing phones and how it will perform if it does, but I'd still appreciate input.
  • forget the alcatel man they don't even support their android device that often so its a no there plus the x3 have 4G of ddr4 ram where both lumia and alcatel only have ddr3 and when it come to continuum which you already said you like though will love it and trust me you hey used to there side within one week coming from the lumia 950
  • I see on my 950xl 3GB of DDR4.
  • Why need double tap when you have finger print scaner and iris? I found that dttw is some kind of useless for my preferences (maybe its only me) its not that reliable, even on my android device which more rational than windows phone still not on my preference, and for camera yeah kind of agree, but I dont have camera, and then still here I am waiting for 950XL, idol 4s or elite to launch on my country
  • *I dont use camera that much
  • DTTW is extremely reliable on WM. It's also SUPER useful. Not sure I agree with Android, 'More rational' but hey, each to their own. I'm sure you can get the 950xl on the internet from Germany or somewhere else???
  • But the postal fee would be 2/3 of the phone itself, lol here Iam trapped with my 830
  • I'm very surprised the author does not experiance the SD card disconnects that most using large SD cards are encountering. I am currently working with an escalated support team and supplying logs in the hopes of identifying the cause. I believe it is a software/firmware issue. It's not the tray or the hardware.
  • I'm so tempted to buy an X3 but W10M just lacks some apps I most have (i.e. Lyft, Zoom)
  • If it's just for that, you could use the web to go to Lyft.com and pin it to the start screen, as an example. Really is a fantastic device.
  • Agree with all points after trying out the Elite x3 and Lap Dock. Returned them after the 30 return period at the MS Store...
  • I am still using a nokia lumia 930 love the device
  • I know this post is for the 950xl, but I had the 950 and was happy at first till I had problems with it getting hot, connection issues and so forth, so I came close to deciding to get the 950xl. But then I remembered my first WP, The yellow Nokia 1520 ( My wife cracked the screen on it ) and realized even though the 950xl seem to be a great phone I prefer the camera and screen size of the 1520. While also enjoying the battery life. So I decided to get another 1520, but maybe one day I will get the 950xl.
  • Chose Lumia over the x3: more size options (have the 950), photography features are better, Micro SD Card and removable battery (had problems with my 930 battery degrading and didn't want to have to deal with non-removable batteries again)
  • I recently went back to my roots and hopped on the windows 10 mobile platform after leaving Windows phone back when I had Lumia 920. I bought myself a Lumia 950 xl to make sure I could get the best Windows 10 mobile experience possible. I wanted a premium phone but didn't wanna spend a fortune because I know the platform is dying and I might want to switch later (back to android or hopefully a surface phone). I absolutely love the Lumia 950 xl. It's beautiful. The screen size, the microsd slot, the camera and the SCREEN (again). I am happy I have it temporarily until Microsoft figures out what they're doing with their mobile strategy
  • I recently went back to my roots and hopped on the windows 10 mobile platform after leaving Windows phone back when I had Lumia 920. I bought myself a Lumia 950 xl to make sure I could get the best Windows 10 mobile experience possible. I wanted a premium phone but didn't wanna spend a fortune because I know the platform is dying and I might want to switch later (back to android or hopefully a surface phone). I absolutely love the Lumia 950 xl. It's beautiful. The screen size, the microsd slot, the camera and the SCREEN (again). I am happy I have it temporarily until Microsoft figures out what they're doing with their mobile strategy
  • I'd go with HP for higher processing power, because I don't care about the camera. Too bad it costs x3 as much.
  • 950xl is awesome,even battery life is good on my device. I don't miss l920 quality since i use that phone too. I don't like HP. I just don't like that brand so why do I need their phone? 
  • 950xl all the way, function over form. Camera hear and dual sim is a godsend.
    No more carrying 2 phones about
  • Looked at both x3 and 950xl last fall and decided on the 950xl mainly because of glance screen.  I was already using a Lumia 830 with glance and reading the x3 didn't have it I put my choice on the Lumia 950xl.  What I really wanted was a phone with Continuum and a Lumia 830 upgraded to Win10 couldn't support Continuum.
  • Premium smartphones should be able to replace cameras when travelling, so HP's camera performance is the biggest issue. Lack of 2nd SIM is important, given that frequent busienss travellers typically use a 2nd SIM for data at their travel destination. Roaming charges will fall within Europe and make this insignificant, but intercontinental ones will remain too high to ignore. Finally, lack of external storage is an issue, and the argument that "other premium phones" also lack it, simply moves this phone below competition, when it could easily be above it. I believe these three areas should be improved in a 2nd version to make HP the absolute business phone.
  • The x3 supports MicroSD card.  On one model it's a one SIM one card slot, on another with two SIMs slot the second SIM slot is used as well as card slot.  Not the best combination of options but it does have external storage even if you can only have one SIM when you use a MicroSD card. 950xl is better for that, got two SIM model of 950xl and the MicroSD slot is not one of the SIM but its own slot.
  • I love my 950XL. I bought it before the X3 was released (but in reality there is no way I'd have spent $800 on a cellphone anyways). I got my 950XL for $540 from BH Photo and was able to refer two people so I got $100 back in the form of a microsoft gift card (no regrets). The camera on the 950XL is the best on the market, not quite as good as my 1020's was but it's so much faster at saving the pictures that it's a trade off worth having. I love the crystal clear (and huge) screen, as well as the amazingly smooth and quick UI.
  • The Glance screen is why I went with a Moto Z when I Switched to android. As far as I know it's the only android with it. Everyone else has an always on display.
    I still have my 950 XL as a backup but for some reason the camera never seemed to work well for me. My 920 was better in that respect. I also considered the Elite X3 but poor tap to wake, no glance, no SD card slot and a worse camera all scared me away from it. I'll return to Windows Mobile once a Surface Phone comes out.
  • Not a photo maniac, but always found odd on my 950xl that the specs says it's got a 20MP camera but the camera app only reports 16MP.
  • I'm still with my Icon, which is running well with Build# 15603.2! Still waiting for a better phone on verizon, as it is the only service that works in the area!
  • Thank you George; you just saved me a bunch of money. I'm not an enterprise user and don't care for large phones. The dedicated camera button is a must for me. I have a tremor and virtual camera button doesn't work well for me. I currently use an iPhone SE as my DD but will be picking up a 950 for travel. No more packing a travel camera. Boy do I miss my Lumia 1020!
  •   Anyone who says the 950 compares to the X3 is either a contrarian, does not actually own both or is more worried about a camera than actually using the phone as a phone or communication device.  I loved my 1020, and I was buying them as I could find them new in box, but even that didn't work after a few years since the batteries were already so old by the time they got to me. The 950 is perhaps the worst phone, design-wise, of any phone I have ever had in comparison to the competition. The body was not secure, the screen twitchy, the bluetooth an outdated version and the materials used so cheap that the phone compared to the 500/600 series Lumia's.  In no way did this phone even compare to the 920, let alone the 1020. I was about to switch operating systems when the X3 came way down in price so I gave it a try. The only thing that the 950 beats the X3 at is camera, and that is debatable once you get used to the settings. The 950 camera could not compare to the 920 due to the poor lens quality and definitely not the 1020. As far a physical camera button, it is unecesary if you enable the fingerprint sensor on the X3 as that rear facing button wkes the phone when you pick it up and it can be arranged to have the camera on the home screen.  If you are using as a communication device, the interface is nearly identical, the HP has a better screen, the wifi and bluetooth are much more capable, the speed of processing about twice as fast and the phone reception much much better than the 950. The battery on the X3 lasts much longer than the alleged difference in size indicates, and I have been able to use the X3 for multiple days, not hours before recharging as I don't watch much in the way of videos on my phone. For any people with issues with X3, I recommend getting the HP cases. The wallet case shuts off the screen, and you can set all your fingers to open the screen so that whenever you hold the phone it comes to life when you open it. Again, the X3 is not perfect, but I can't believe that anyone who uses it would prefer the 950 except for the camera. It is poor quality in materials, build, speed and battery life and nearly drove me from WIndows mobile like so many others before me. And the cost difference is minimal as Microsoft seems to recognize the disparate quality and is now featuring the X3 in its stores and with special deals.  
  • Agree with what you said about the HP but not about the 950(xl) as it is one awesome phone. Metal or other shiny materials don't always mean quality.
  • I actually wonder how "bad" the camera is on the HP or if it is more a case of folks trying to make a case for a choice that they already made and just cheering for team Lumia? I will be at Microsoft Store later today and go check one out a little closer.
  • So, as a new phone purchase, would you buy the Lumia 950XL at a good price - or wait for Microsoft's "next" phone device? I have a Lumia 640XL dual SIM - good for the price, but I want more RAM and a much better camera than it has (the 640XL does allow an SD card, and I make use of that).  
  • I think you shouldn't wait for the 'Surface Phone' or whatever it will be called. However, if you are budget conscious I think the 950xl is a fantastic device at the price. You could wait to see what Wharton Brooks will do when they release the Cerulean soon, and maybe that German company that apparently is releasing a WM. Depends how urgent it is for you. The 640xl is a great phone for what it is, but the 8GB is dire. If you can spare the cash I'd order the 950xl (white) from grooves.land in Germany for WW free delivery or try to find it elsewhere. It will last at least a couple of years I'd say, without any problems keeping up, AND you just may want to keep it for nostalgia.
  • Get the 950XL. I have one, and it is a great phone. A susbstantial upgrade from your 640XL. The "Surface Phone" will probably be delayed like everything else they do lately, so if you are still good with Windows mobile, then get this one now, don't wait another year+ when the 950XL is pretty affordable now.
  • If you want the 950XL and can get it "new" with a warranty, get it now. If it craps out, you can get a store credit towards a new device. All Lumias are EOL. No new ones. The "next" devices will be evolutionary changes from Windows phone.
  • I own both phones. Yes, I'm probably a "windows *****". I just like the mobile OS better.
    The HP Elite x3 is hands down a better phone. I really like the 950XL but the HP Elite's battery life is much better. The forward facing speakers are terrific and as far as the camera goes the 950XL has the edge but when you get used to the Elite I don't think there is big difference and adjust to how both phone shoot pictures. Windows mobile still crashes or restarts on the 950XL at least once a day. I've not had that happen on the HP phone once. The HP phone is bigger but not by much. The curved edges and it's thin design help make it "feel" smaller than it is.
    The 950XL shoots great pictures. The accessory choices are infinitely better for the 950XL. I would recommend the Mozo leather case. When attached it turns the 950XL into one of most stylish windows ever made. The leather back with the metal around the sides give the 950 a great look. There are only a few case choices for the HP phone. It's really shame because the phone needs a better selection. The mobile OS runs fine but I think it works faster on the HP phone.
    If I had an older windows phone and needed an upgrade I'd buy the HP Elite. If you absolutely value the camera over all else then buy the 950XL.
  • Being a new owner of the 950XL and owning and x3, the former feels like an Windows 7 device (and i don't mean that in a bad way). I find it to be a smooth and i think the OS may run better on it. In terms of speed my very brief experience says the Lumia runs just as fast if not faster. But...the hardware is MUCH better on the x3. Ill use both for a while but eventually ill have to get rid of one if them. As if now I have no idea which one it will be.
  • November, 2019 and I still find myself on the Lumia 950 XL. I got this Samsung S10 and I cannot get used to those Android platforms. I simply just like the setup on the Lumia 950 XL too much. It does what it needs and it does so in a very streamlined and smooth fashion. Core apps that works, no distracting apps, pure In browser news reading in the morning. No crazy amount of notifications one needs to shutdown. No privacy interfering Favebook app(only a light third part version with DARK theme), a great high resolution cam that even now stands up well against my Samsung S10 cam. The best Outlook mail and calendar app. Equipped with a 200GB SD card and just got two new batteries from PolarCell that makes the phone works as new. And then the Glance screen... I mean I love to see my reminders from the calendar on it. And when we hit late evenings my Glance screen turns into blue dim digits and texts.... Soothing and awesome. Great music streaming with Spotify(several good third parts apps here as well) and Netflix streaming as well (this can also be done in the Monument browser in case they should ever kill the Netflix app). Winsta for Instagram and a fine PWA for Twitter. The Microsoft To Do app and the Todoist app make sure that you can plan your day easily and with the dark/gray theme OneNote you can quickly take notes without burning out your eyes by evening/night or the dark mornings here in Northern Europe. The Lumia 950 XL with changeable batteries is the greatest companion ever on the run or in the office. It just do what we need a phone to do and then leaves you alone. It is designed for making you productive and being able to communicate and nothing else. No distractions and a lot less data mining.... some will occur though. The Lumia 950 XL is my personal assistant and time planer and has been so since June, 2016. No Android or Apple phone can beat it.