Microsoft Lumia 950 is fast, sharp and full of features. But there are a few drawbacks.
Is that a Nexus 5x? It’s easy to think that when looking at the Microsoft Lumia 950. It's almost exactly the same size and has the same matte plastic shell. The latter really isn’t nice to look at, but more on that shortly.
Neat inside, ugly outside
10 Windows Mobile is designed to work in harmony with the real Windows, and it does. It’s easy to use, apps open seemingly instantaneously and the camera starts and takes pictures very quickly. Which is nice and refreshing, especially for someone who owned the flagship Lumia 1020th.
But, while we like what’s going on inside, the outside is a big disappointment. The matte black plastic shell feels very cheap indeed and really doesn’t do the phone, which performance-wise is brilliant, any favours whatsoever. On top of the cheap feel, features like the side buttons feel flimsy and poorly made. It’s really surprising that the design of this phone has taken such a back seat given some of the sleek-looking mobiles Microsoft (and Nokia) have spoilt us with previously.
The camera, however, is exceptionally good. Pictures are consistently sharp and well-exposed, with accurate colours and plenty of detail in the darker areas of the images. HDR is a welcome feature, and the entire camera app itself is intuitive and well-designed, just as we have come to expect from Microsoft.
Connects to the monitor and TV
There is also an interesting new feature called Continuum. It lets you wirelessly connect or dock your phone to an external monitor, allowing you to use it as a kind of desktop computer.
Continuum seems to work OK - the main drawback we encountered was that the browser become slow. We’d say it’s good for things like showing PowerPoint presentations, but not so good if you actually intend to do work using a keyboard and mouse.
Still app scant
With Windows 10, Microsoft has made efforts to improve their app offering, but it is still lacking compared to competitors, with several major services we can’t really live with unavailable.
The other disappointing thing is that many apps still have issues with Windows Mobile. Facebook is one example, where we are very often diverted away from the app and to the mobile version. Microsoft Lumia 950 is a high performance mobile with awesome camera and some exciting features, but an uninspiring exterior leaves us a litttle disappointed.