Two of the first ever Windows 10 smartphones were announced by Microsoft earlier on this year, finally giving us a glimpse of the new software that’s promising to revolutionise the way we use our handsets.
But seeing as we’ve got two of the new devices to choose from, which one would be better off in your pocket? Here’s our take on both of Microsoft’s new smartphones, which should give you more than enough insight into which one suits you more!
So with no further ado, let’s get started!
This is where the money is made, with smartphone manufacturers pouring millions of pounds into the specs which eventually find their way into the backs of our handsets. Microsoft has been criticised before for not putting the best specs it can into its devices, but this year there will be no such complaints, with both phones rocking powerful internals throughout.
There’s an obvious difference between both handsets right from the off, and that’s the size of the screen you’ll be playing with. The Lumia 950 is the smaller of the duo, with a 5.2” screen, but if you’re after some added real estate in this area, then the 950 XL’s 5.7” offering might be more tempting. Both pack a QHD resolution, so you won’t be struggling to see things clearly regardless of which one you opt for.
Elsewhere there are a couple more changes that are worth noting, with the main change being in the processing department. The 950 sports a very admirable Snapdragon 808 chipset and hexa-core processor, but the 950 XL takes things up a notch with its more powerful 810 chipset and octa-core offering.
3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage comes as standard in both versions of the Windows 10 device, whilst the same can also be said of the camera offerings. If you’re after a bigger battery then the 950 XL and its 3340mAh power packer outweighs the 3000mAh battery of the Lumia 950, although you won’t see much difference in lifespan due to the more power intensive screen.
Microsoft has long been a bit of a spearhead when it comes to smartphone design, bringing bright colours, intuitive looks and practical builds onto the market regularly. Both the 950 and 950 XL continue this trend without a hitch, with each of them coming in with their own style – although both look incredibly similar as you might expect.
The 950 XL, thanks to its bigger screen, is also the larger and heftier phone to manage (165g), so if you’re after a lightweight experience then you can save yourself some energy with the 150g 950. The 950 XL however is a fraction slimmer, with an 8.1mm profile compared to the 8.2mm waistline of the smaller handset.
Currently, both phones are only available to pre-order in black or white, which is an odd change of style from Microsoft’s normal trend of bright and striking colours. This isn’t to say that we won’t see some more imaginative designs pop up later on, but for now you’ve got a minimal selection regardless of which one you opt for.
Both handsets also sport a similar look about them on either side as well, with the same buttons gracing the bottom of the display; Back, Home and Search if you were curious.
The back of each phone looks near identical, but for the camera module, which for some reason looks to have a more silvery polished effect on the 950 than it does on the 950 XL. This has no bearing on the actual quality of the camera’s performance, but at least makes it easy to separate the two handsets side by side.
The final, and sometimes most decisive factor that comes when choosing a smartphone is cost. Whilst you might want to have the most powerful and feature-filled device on the market, if you’re struggling to stump up the cash, you may well have to opt for something else, see all the latest Windows Phones.
Both versions of the Microsoft Lumia aren’t exactly what you’d call cheap, with the 950 XL pricing up at a wallet scaring £530 sim-free. If you decide to go for the smaller phone, then you’ll make a bit of a saving, with the 950 costing £450 direct from Microsoft.
Of course, monthly contract deals will be available on launch, but until the time comes we won’t be privy to those prices. Either way, with a pre-Christmas release date on the cards we needn’t worry about waiting too long!
Written by Luke Hatfield