Microsoft Lumia 950, Enter the WP Dragon!

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I used to be a big fan of Nokia, since like forever. You know, back in the day, 20 years ago when I first got my cellphone and up until 2007-2008, there was Nokia and the rest of the crowd.

Nowadays, Nokia is an illustrious nobody, they sold to Microsoft everything and Bill Gates’s brain-child took over.

Today is a great day brothers and sisters, because today we will take a look at the first true flagship smartphone released under the Microsoft logo since Nokia kicked the bucket.

Enter Microsoft Lumia 950, a high-end smart phone running on Windows Phone OS and the reason for which you should say good-bye to your Android or your iPhone. Or, maybe not, who knows, let’s find out what’s up with Lumia 950, shall we?

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The Microsoft Lumia 950 can be described as a legendary edition, but the true problem is, will anyone care about Microsoft’s swan song?

The first generation of Windows Phones was released almost three years ago and back in the day, the Nokia Lumia 920 was the flagship, running on WP 7. And it was a failure of an SO, truth be told. Time passed by, WP 8 then 8.1 came in and they were pretty cool, WP began to look like a true mobile OS, and today we have Windows 10, to rule them all, mobile and desktop operating systems.

Now, there are two new flagships in the WP universe, the Lumia 950 and 950 XL, with the Nokia out of the picture and Microsoft dominating the game.

So, what’s all the fuss with the 950? Well, to begin with, the smart phone is long overdue, and that translates into not so great news for the platform. The 950 series were so late, that lots of mobile developers jumped ship for other platforms, for lack of hardware to work with.

What’s cool and new about the Microsoft Lumia 950? Well, every time you power it on, the smartphone scans your retina, it winks and displays a friendly message after it recognizes you as its master.

So, the first thing that drew my attention is that Microsoft bets all-in on bio-metrics, and I find that lack of faith in humans very disturbing.

What else? Well, it also looks like the Lumia 950 is all about powerful hardware, business looks,a stunning image quality on the 5.2 inches wide display and innovation in the software department.

The iris authentication 1984 gizmo is called Windows Hello and is as creepy as it gets, being maybe the most innovative thing in the Lumia 950, along with the Windows Continuum, a feature which allows the smartphone to act like a true PC when connected to an external display or TV screen.

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Basically, the fine line between computers and smartphones starts to get blurry, as these little devices become more and more powerful. That’s a good thing, in this writer’s opinion.

What else is remarkable in the Microsoft flagship? Well, the same things we’re used to in high end Nokias, such as an excellent PureView shooter with OIS (optical image stabilization), a 3000 mAh battery (user replaceable, yes yes!) and a micro SD card slot for expanding the phone’s internal memory. Sounds great, right?

The 5.2 inches wide display is a Quad HD AMOLED variety, featuring Nokia’s proprietary ClearBlack technology , protected by Gorilla Glass 3 and benefiting from Glance Screen.

The hardware is very potent, i.e. the phone runs on a Snapdragon 808 system on chip, which translates into 6 CPUs: two of them being Cortex A-57 clocked at 1.82 GHz, while the other four being Cortex A-53@1.44 GHz, working together with an Adreno 418 GPU and an impressive 3 GB of RAM.

All these hardware features are outstanding for a device running on WP 10, which is very light on resources when compared to Android.

The camera is a 20 MP shooter with Carl Zeiss optics, PureView technology, optical image stabilization and 3-LED RGB flash, Dynamic Flash, loss-less zoom, RAW capture and RICH capture, plus  50 MP panoramic shots.
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Video recording capabilities are top notch, the Microsoft Lumia 950 being able to capture clips in 2160p at 30 frames per second, along with 1080p@60 FPS maximum, slow motion capturing and Rich Audio via four directional mics. Again, we have loss-less zoom and an additional 5 MP shooter for selfies.

The internal storage is 32 GB, easily expandable via micro SD slots, connectivity is top notch, with cat. 6 LTE, dual SIM, Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi abgn, GPS/Glonass/Beidou and even USB type-C is there.

As you can see, the smartphone doesn’t lack a thing, Microsoft were thorough and thought at basically everything.

Just like with the traditional flagship Lumias, the camera is absolutely awesome, taking great pics in both low light and daylight conditions  and it’s fast and responsive, being capable of quick shots.

The display is glorious, with its almost ridiculous high resolution and I must tell you that I love AMOLEDs.

I must tell you the Lumia 950 is a pretty cool smart phone, but not the ground breaking device the WP 10 OS really needed.

The screen and the camera are outstanding, the design is sober and it feels rock-solid and I bet that WP 10 will get better in time (now it’s flawed with bugs and a chronic lack of apps).

The iris scanner is a mistake in my opinion, it doesn’t work with glasses on and it’s as creepy as it gets.

The Continuum function, that transforms your smartphone into a PC it’s fascinating and appealing, and it’s the future of the industry.

What’s not so great is that the OS is flawed, the phone is pretty expensive and the design is bland.  Battery life is decent, the phone lasts for about two days on one charge, the hardware is strong and overall, Microsoft did an amazing job with this baby.

Only time will tell if their fortunes will turn around.

 

 

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