Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Bucket Tech: Microsoft Lumia 950XL - First Impressions


Since Microsofts take over of Nokia, the Lumia brand has been kind of quiet but that's not to say the technology giant has been slacking. They've been working hard on making a smart phone to rival the giants in the mobile industry that is Samsung and Apple. The biggest challenge for Microsoft is trying to get mobile phone users to adapt to their Windows platform as many are used to Android OS systems or iOS. 


Research has shown that 90% of computer uses have Microsoft Windows as their primary OS and many are comfortable with it, hence the company felt that their mobile OS had to be more streamlined and similar to that used on the bigger machines. Hence Windows 10 was released with much hoo-ha in the industry as many wondered what happened to Windows 9? 


The beauty of Windows 10 is that it's pretty much the same on your phone as it is on your personal computer, so this is provides the uses almost seamless symmetry with devices and one such device is The Lumia 950XL. The XL is not just a bigger version of the 950 but practically a PC in the palm of your hand. It's large 5.7" Quad HD LCD screen is perfect for ease of use for office work. The device comes with a years subscription to Microsoft Office 365 with rich formatting Word and Excel, so you can edit or create complex spreadsheets from your phone!


The phone has a lightning fast Qualcomm Snapdragon, Octa-Core processor which ensures the device runs smoothly with almost zero lag when running memory intensive applications. Speaking of apps, the Windows Store has everything in one convenient place, be it apps, music or games. Need a personal assistant? No problem, say hello to Cortana, think of it as Siri on steroids. While many would copy a competitors idea, what Microsoft have done here is quite brilliant, they made it much better and customized it to suit every ones needs. Whether it's to remember your appointments to track your morning run, Cortana can do it all. Cortana isn't available yet in South Africa but here's hoping it arrives soon.


The device comes with a 20 megapixel ZEISS optics lens, with a triple LED natural flash, ensuring you capture the perfect picture every time. With the various options on the camera, one can manipulate the settings to suit or if you're not a pro, just leave it on auto and it would do a pretty good job. The camera also has 4K video recording capabilities for ultra clear videos. The phone also features USB-C fast charging with an extra large battery, which I would love to put to the test. 


Like other Lumia's, the phone is made in an enclosed aluminum case with a non-removable battery with a single sim and memory card slot capable of housing a maximum 200Gig microSD card. Overall the phone looks like a good competitor to the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Note and Apple's iPhone 6+. It would just be a matter of swaying the consumer to go for a device with a Windows based OS, but like I said with seamless integration with Windows for PC, it shouldn't be that hard. 


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