Being the Microsoft fan-boy that I am, I have been waiting a long time for this device to surface, and what with all the hate toward Microsoft and Windows 10 over the past year or so, it’s not been easy. So now I have had it since the beginning of December, I thought It best that I give it a review. That and I haven’t done a blog post for like a month now.
Not that I was expecting much, but the packaging is about as bland as it comes, if not blander. Following Nokia’s trend in a downward spiral of bland packaging, the Lumia 950 follows the trend. The only thing even remotely interesting about the packaging is the shaped outer-sleeve which follows Microsoft’s Surface / Band packaging. Inside the box you get the following (ignoring the bits of paper that noone reads),
- Lumia 950 Smartphone (Well Duh)
- A wall charger (With a molded connector on the plug side, and a USB Type-C Male, on the other)
- A USB 3 Male to USB Type-C Male lead
- A battery
Exciting huh? Yeah maybe not.
You can watch Windows Central unboxing the device in the video below,
It’s disappointing that it doesn’t come with a wireless charging pad but then I haven’t found wireless charging to be particularly reliable anyway, it’s still in its infancy in my opinion, and when I put my phone on to charge at night, I want it to do just that, my 930 regularly failed to charge when done wirelessly.
Now, I’ve read many reviews saying that the device feels uninspiring and cheap. My 2-pence worth on that, bollocks does it. I don’t hear any Android users say that about the untold Android devices on the market that all look the same and are plastic, as if they are cut from the same cookie cutter, varying slightly on the amount of curve on the edges. This was never going to be a Surface phone, or anywhere near that level of quality.
If I were to compare it to my previous phone, a Lumia 930, I would say that yes, it doesn’t feel as solid, mainly due to its light weight and lack of metal frame, but it feels well build and of a high standard. I’ve had cheap phones in the past and this doesn’t feel like one to me. You may feel otherwise if you are an iPhone user, but then you should be comparing it to an iPhone 5 C, which feels much cheaper IMO. This phone costs £440 from Amazon, SIM free, and considering the spec, that’s pretty fucking cheap. Plus it can work as a desktop PC so suck my nuts.
The screen is fantastic, very bright and crisp, with an extremely responsive and smooth touch screen. Everything I’ve come to expect from Lumia devices.
Obviously this device is running Microsoft Windows 10 Mobile. But, with that said, you should bear in mind that the mobile variety of the operating system is still yet to go gold, it’s still in development. The first thing I done was to install the Windows Insider app and get the latest release. Although there are still bugs in the OS, it’s just as stable as previous iterations, if not more so. I was quite surprised how far the OS has come along since the last time I tried it, pleasantly surprised that is.
Now before you start screaming “App Gap” at me, please take a moment to consider what you want to use your Smartphone for. If you want to use it primarily for games, you might be disappointed, although there are plenty of games on the store with big titles coming out all the time. And what with developers only needing a single codebase to target Desktop, Phone, and X-Box, expect that gap to decrease in time. Besides, just get a tablet, who wants to play games on a tiny screen anyway?
If you want to use your smartphone to aid in productivity, social networking, casual photography and listening to music then you’ll be more than happy. I have it connected to my Microsoft Band 2 which I reviewed recently and it works great. Although I’m yet to try continuum, the device is already proving to be a great entrance for Windows 10 Mobile. I have all of my essential apps running, including,
- Converge (Tech news aggregator)
- Flipboard (News aggregator)
- Kindle (E-Book reader)
- Spotify (Streaming Music)
- Baconit (Reddit client)
- Dropbox (Cloud storage client)
- 7Pass (Password manager)
- Slack (Work chat client)
- Tubecast (Youtube client)
- Microsoft Office
In respect of Tubecast, a lot of people don’t know the background and why Microsoft haven’t made a great client themselves. The fact is, they did, Google didn’t like it (because they are cunts), they used some lame excuse about how Microsoft were displaying the advertisments incorrectly, Microsoft offered to work with them, Google declined and blocked the app, thus forcing Microsoft to use HTML-5, rather than a native client. Google suck.
Now even though the Lumia camera software is missing my favourite functionality from the 930, that being adjustable Rich Capture, it still takes great photos and the auto Rich Capture isn’t bad, adjustable would be better though. The photos are nice and crisp with great colour and likewise with the video. The video can be recorded in 4K at 30 fps or 1080p at 60 fps (with many other settings). Audio is captured in surround sound thanks to the 5 microphones dotted around the device (same as the 930).
I wont put any photos in this post, but may do in another post at some point. I suggest looking on youtube and google for comparrisons with other devices as I’m sure someone has done it more thoroughly than I would anyway.
So one cool feature of the device is the ability to unloock it using your eyes. It has an infrared camera that is capable of scanning your iris, it’s not just a simple facial recognition routine, it actually scans your iris, so is super secure. It took me a few attempts to set up, but once you’re done it’s pretty reliable, give or take a few errors when in harsh lighting conditions. I would say that it takes on average, 3 seconds to unlock using your eyes, but if you don’t want to do this, you can always use your pin code as normal.
This feature is still in development so may improve in future builds.
If your a fan of devices running Windows, I don’t think this will disapppoint. If you are an Android or iPhone user, you really need to understand what you’re getting. One thing not covered here is Continuum, that’s the ability to plug this baby into a Display Dock, with Monitor, keyboard and mouse and use it like a desktop PC, I will review that at a later date (when I get a Display Dock).
So anyway, I’m giving it top marks, great device at a great price, highly recommended. I can’t wait to see what Microsoft does with the Surface Phone, expected some time in 2016 allegedly.