10 Factors That Make the Lumia 950 XL a Good Smartphone Buy

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2015-10-19
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    10 Factors That Make the Lumia 950 XL a Good Smartphone Buy
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    10 Factors That Make the Lumia 950 XL a Good Smartphone Buy

    Microsoft is determined to make Windows smartphones a desirable option to iOS and Android phones. Can its Lumia 950 XL appeal to consumers and enterprise users?
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    It Comes With a Top-Notch Display
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    It Comes With a Top-Notch Display

    Microsoft's Lumia 950 XL comes with one of the top mobile displays money can buy, offering a quad-HD resolution built on AMOLED. And the screen size is likely to appeal to consumers who are increasingly turning to big displays: It measures a whopping 5.7 inches, making it slightly bigger than the 5.5-inch screen in the iPhone 6s Plus.
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    The Processor Offers High-End Power
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    The Processor Offers High-End Power

    High-end processing power is important for Microsoft as it attempts to drive adoption of its devices. In the Lumia 950 XL, the company has bundled arguably the best smartphone processor on the market, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810. The processor offers a 2GHz clock speed and eight cores, delivering more than enough power for consumer and enterprise use cases.
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    Camera Sensor Harks Back to the Good Old Nokia Days
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    Camera Sensor Harks Back to the Good Old Nokia Days

    When Nokia was still going strong as a mobile phone maker, it made high-end camera sensors a core component in its designs. After Microsoft acquired Nokia's Devices business, it kept that effort going. Lumia 950 XL customers will find a 20-megapixel rear-facing sensor in the handset that offers triple LED flash and Zeiss optics. It also supports 4K video recording. The rear-facing camera, in other words, is top-notch.
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    The Design Is Among the Best
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    The Design Is Among the Best

    To Microsoft's credit, it has built a device that actually looks and feels like a high-end smartphone. Its front panel is dominated by its huge display, and its 8.1mm depth makes it easy to slip into a pocket. The polycarbonate case projects luxury at every turn. The Lumia 950 XL doesn't necessarily come with a groundbreaking design, but it's certainly among the better-looking options on the market.
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    Windows Integration Could Be Important to Some
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    Windows Integration Could Be Important to Some

    Windows integration could be a major selling point for device buyers. The Lumia 950 XL runs on Windows 10, Microsoft's latest operating system. With that, customers will find a familiar user experience that mimics that of PCs. Better yet, all data is synced between the Windows devices, ensuring users can move to another device without losing time.
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    If You Love Cortana, Lumia 950 XL Is a Winner
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    If You Love Cortana, Lumia 950 XL Is a Winner

    While there is much competition in the machine-learning marketplace, there are some who truly adore Microsoft's Cortana. For those folks, the Lumia 950 XL is a real option. After all, Cortana runs natively on the Lumia 950 XL and can sync across other Windows devices to evaluate user behavior and respond accordingly. Anyone seeking the Cortana experience will want the Lumia 950 XL.
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    Microsoft's Cloud Services Are Fully Supported
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    Microsoft's Cloud Services Are Fully Supported

    Microsoft has made it clear that it believes the future is in the cloud. As a result, the company has built several cloud functions into the Lumia 950 XL, including support for Office 365, OneDrive and more. Whether the customer is a consumer or an enterprise user, the Lumia 950 XL will fully deliver on his or her desire for cloud services.
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    Windows Continuum Integration Is Cool
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    Windows Continuum Integration Is Cool

    Windows Continuum may just be one of the nicest features bundled with the Lumia 950 XL. Windows Continuum allows users to connect their Lumia 950 XL to a Display Dock and essentially use a PC monitor as a display for the smartphone. All of the Windows apps, including Office, scale to the larger screen and deliver a PC-like experience. Continuum is a neat option that could add a new dimension to the smartphone experience.
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    Lumia 950 XL Has a Cutting-Edge Security Option
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    Lumia 950 XL Has a Cutting-Edge Security Option

    Microsoft is testing a new security feature in the Lumia 950 XL that could be important to the enterprise. Rather than rely on a fingerprint sensor, the Lumia 950 XL comes with Windows Hello Beta. When turned on, the smartphone will wake up and users can look directly at the screen. The handset then uses infrared camera technology to automatically authenticate users. Windows Hello, in Microsoft's view, is the next frontier in biometric technology.
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    It Will Hit the Market at a High-End Price
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    It Will Hit the Market at a High-End Price

    Given its high-end features, the Lumia 950 XL won't be cheap. The smartphone will cost $649 for the 32GB storage-based model when it launches in November. It will be complemented by a smaller Lumia 950, however. While the Lumia 950 XL's 32GB of storage is rather small compared with some competitors, Microsoft says that it can be expanded by more than 200GB with its microSD slot. Image 10: Please use this image:
 

It hasn't been easy for Microsoft to sell smartphones in a market dominated by Apple's iPhones and Android handsets. But Microsoft gamely keeps trying with its Lumia line of Windows smartphones. This time it's coming to market with what is arguably its best handset design yet, the Lumia 950 XL. Microsoft has packed this new model with a number of high-end features, including the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, a 20-megapixel camera and a large, high-definition display. The new phone will also include Windows 10, which smartphone users might find more effective as a mobile device OS than earlier versions, especially since it's integrated with Microsoft's Cortana digital personal assistant. It's still possible that this latest Lumia model won't catch the eyes of smartphone buyers who are content with their Android or iOS unit. But it appears that Microsoft is determined to prove that there is a place for Windows smartphones in today's mobile device market. Read on to find out more about the features in the Lumia 950 XL that could make it a desirable option for consumers and enterprise users.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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