5 things that would have made the Microsoft Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL even better phones

5 things that would have made the Microsoft Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL even better phones
You know what they say – better late than never. The Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL are finally official and are the Lumia flagships we've been expecting for so long. And the wait may have been worth it, or at least that's what our readers would say. Seven out of ten participants in our recent poll were impressed by Microsoft's newest handsets. 

We think we can see why one might be excited about Microsoft's new phones: the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL pack fast, liquid-cooled processors, come with great screens and promising cameras, and have the differentiating ability to act as a desktop PC when paired with the Microsoft Display Dock gizmo.

But perfect they're not. Here are several things that would have made the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL even better phones than they are. Do you agree with our picks? Is there something you would add to the list? Let us know in the comments!

Related phones

Lumia 950
  • Display 5.2" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 20 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 808, Hexa-core, 1800 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(18h 3G talk time)
Lumia 950 XL
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 20 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, Octa-core, 2000 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3340 mAh(19h 3G talk time)

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57 Comments

1. der_damo

Posts: 213; Member since: Sep 16, 2014

It's sad that the Marketplace is so "empty" but that's something Microsoft can't fix on their own imo.

9. yann

Posts: 614; Member since: Jul 15, 2010

Agree, but all the rest are true. Design is far from WOW. You must buy third party back cover to change with metal frame and leather!?! No headphones? Why even Apple include it in the set and at least they look great as design for me. No water protection... Disappointed as current windows phone user.

25. rjmlive

Posts: 74; Member since: Apr 07, 2012

Yeah well they are also half the price of iPhones so for the extra $400 for similar tech, it should include a second iPhone or at least $3 earbuds

33. Ashoaib

Posts: 3296; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

other things are not that important... apps and games support is the most important which would have made this lumia a formidable phone... without apps and games, it is useless to spend $600 and $500

44. hulk_14

Posts: 72; Member since: Dec 14, 2013

Who the f**k needs some s**ty headphone included? Those who can afford buying top smartphones also can afford buying GOOD headphones.

34. ethicaltec

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 09, 2015

The marketplace for Windows 10 phones? In any case, I think this is a heaping technology stack that isn't answering the market for smartphones. I think somewhere between the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium (4K display, waterpoof, 23MP camera, etc.) and the Google 6P (latest Android M-for-Martian-Food) QHD, you've got a most of the non-iPhone market. So I couldn't care less about a phone from $MSFT, but the Surface Book, I think that might be an extinction event for $AAPL MacBook Pro -- it's just too long overdue for a touch solution and the expensive iPad Pro is great, but it's not running a full OS or laptop-equivalent hardware. I think the quiet market reception to the iPhone 6S and the Apple Watch and Apple Pencil all surface (sorry) as symptomatic of an engineering and design team at Apple that aren't keeping up with the expectations of their loyal customer base and certainly aren't delivering the impactful product features and design. Now, I just wish the necessary "stuff" to wire together a loaded Surface Book to a 4K external monitor didn't all add up to such a big ticket.

2. CX3NT3_713

Posts: 2359; Member since: Apr 18, 2011

You can't have it all...

19. SamsungPhanboy

Posts: 765; Member since: Mar 31, 2015

But these days with other manufacturers, you can have close to it all. In 2015, crappy designs do not cut it anymore. Look at the gorgeous Note 5 or nexus 6P....even the iPhone 6s. All showcase original, sexy designs that provides added value. For how high these Lumia phones are priced, it's ridiculous they don't have flagship like designs. Even worse, they HAD excellent designs in Lumia phones. Lumia 920/30 was gorgeous. They actually managed to make the design worse and look completely unrelated to the legacy Lumia family.

28. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

The iPhone 6s is missing a lot and a new polycarbonate design should trump a reused metal design in reviews but apparently it doesn't.

41. Penny

Posts: 1859; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

Good luck with your glass-backed Note 5. I am sure you are one of the people that bashed the iPhone 4's use of shatter-prone glass on the back as well. MKBHD, a pretty objective mobile reviewer on YouTube, called the Note 5 one of the most slippery phones. Design is about more than aesthetics. Where's your hardware camera shutter button? Where's your ability to grip the damn thing? How is the durability? Those are important aspects of design to me. The aesthetic aspect of design is also subjective. I think it looks reasonably good, though not their best designs ever. The design is also greatly aided by the fact that you can change the sides/back with a cover of your choice, effectively changing just about everything about the design other than the rear camera and speaker placement. This is a terrible complaint from you and PA as it disappears with a simple changing of the cover. Finally, I love the aesthetics of the Note 5 personally. That does not absolve it of its functional design mistakes, in which regard the 950/950XL are clearly better. The iPhone doesn't handle well at all, and those giant bezels are very unattractive in my opinion.

48. DoggyDangerous

Posts: 1028; Member since: Aug 28, 2015

yeah, I have seen s6 getting break on a single fall. replacement of glass cost 150$

45. Fellwalker

Posts: 538; Member since: Apr 04, 2014

I don't find those designs sexy; not even especially attractive. Nor do I have any issue at all with the design per se of the 950. Anyway, I want a smartphone to make calls, and texts and other messages, keep up with others and with news.

22. McLTE

Posts: 922; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

The phone comes with a USB-C cable. what more do you want? Did the Iphone come with adapters for non-lightning connectors when it switched? NO. If I'm making a phone.. I am going to give you enough to charge the phone IN the box. I wouldn't even consider adding adapters which just increase cost. Also, I KNEW you'd bag on the design as the first thing. I'd like to know what PA would consider good enough to not rip on. Made of metal for sure!

30. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Double standards in favour of Apple again.

50. nlbates66

Posts: 328; Member since: Aug 15, 2012

the USB-C cable has a USB-A (rectangular one, standard USB size) connector at the other end, ya know phonearena? The one on the OTHER end of all our MICROUSB cables that plugs into the wall adaptor?

3. skips

Posts: 481; Member since: Oct 04, 2015

I don't get these articles. All they have is, "oh this flagship is nice and all, but it would be better with more this and more that and plus some obvious things" clickbait or what

4. iusshpandeh

Posts: 250; Member since: Jul 23, 2014

I preety much reject the design thing. This thing is quite beautiful and there are third party back panels to change the look and feel from Metal to real leather. Anyway, these are personal. Good list PA.

11. Extraneus

Posts: 121; Member since: Jun 02, 2012

The design, while pleasingly minimalistic, seems to mirror that of the previous MS Lumias (630 and both 640's), all of which feel terrible in the hand. Taking the cue from the 1520, 720 or even the metal 930 and 830 would have been preferable. The lack of rounded displays, a hallmark of Nokia which has only recently been adopted by the competition, is shamefully lacking. Instead they've opted for the horrible rubber lining of the infamous Lumia 900. Heads ought to roll on this account!!! Those custom rear panels look really good, though...

26. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

640 feels amazing in the hand. So far anyone that holds it is surprised it cost me 100 bucks. 930 was great but heavy. 1520 was great too. I like the design and back cover options. And since the backcovers are wrap arounds the buttons and sides are also changed.

5. Jason2k13

Posts: 1466; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

The design especially the back camera module looks so ugly on both phones, everything else is fine. I think most people are excited about surface book and surface pro 4, than the phones.

6. IAMBLCKJ3ZUS

Posts: 417; Member since: Sep 29, 2015

This is crap in my opinion. The designs are from what Nokia had left over and everyone was crying that Microsoft would ruin Nokia with these design when in fact these are Lumia devices. Microsoft is taken a bold step with continuum picture of you could do the say with a iPhone the reviewers would nut themselves. These phones are the step the industry needs picture not needed a computer because your phone runs like one. Next think what if you could in the FUTURE run Xbox one games off your phone hook up to any monitor or tv. Pocket pc/console the future. The Messiah has spoken.

7. LordCaedus

Posts: 85; Member since: Nov 01, 2013

You do realize that the USB Type C cable has a standard end on it for putting into a standard USB port on a charger and computer right?

23. McLTE

Posts: 922; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

PA is whining that it doesn't have an adapter to go from micro USB to type-C for using your own cables. While it would be nice.. it's ridiculous to expect the phone to come with one.

38. DoggyDangerous

Posts: 1028; Member since: Aug 28, 2015

why its ridiculous to expect one? it is more ridiculous not to expect 650$ phone to come with it

40. Penny

Posts: 1859; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

Pretty much all phones have cables that are detachable from the charger and normal USB on that end, so that you can plug your phone into your computer using the same cable. My understanding from PA's complaint is that is not the case with these. That's a valid complaint in my opinion.

8. rishav20193

Posts: 242; Member since: Jul 18, 2015

umm.....higher internal storage options too (64 & 128) or may be 64 & 128 gb options.......leaving 32 gb for good. they should raise the standards now.....n should have seriously done this to attract more customers

27. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

sd card, and their OS isn't crippled by non sd installs (very few restrict it). Even pre-installed apps can be moved over. I have a 40 buck high speed 128gb card in my phone...no need to increase my phone by 200 bucks to get 128gb

36. rishav20193

Posts: 242; Member since: Jul 18, 2015

i understand your point of phone being pricey for 64 gb model....but what i said is they should have the base model of 64 gb (priced at 32gb base model) & 128 gb (priced at 64 gb base model) what i mean to say is....if they can increase the storage in base model, the price may be same only or may be increase lil bit....but not that much yess....32 gb is sufficient but u never know when u may need more internal storage.....so just in case !! :) :)

47. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

I am wanting the SOC and Memory to be all on the same die. And give me Emedded static ram too... Or go all out and give me a discreet GPU There should be 3 lines Gaming/Media line name it the Lumia Xseries for their xbox like branding, offer discreet gpu, 6in device Consumer/Business device, like the 950 etc are right now Photo device, a DSLR replacement, yes this means actual inter changeable lens' and adapter for canon/Nikon lens' to boot.

10. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

Anyone else disappointed they wanted to talk more about the phones?

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