After a long period of absence, the high-end is back in force. With the Lumia 950, but especially with the Lumia 950 XL. The latter is indeed the quintessence of such a smartphone, with the best components of the moment and a brand new OS to rotate them. Let us see what it is worth in use.


Few prolific on the high-end segment since it “swallowed” Nokia last year, Microsoft took advantage of the launch of Windows 10 Mobile to flank the new OS of two “showcase” models, the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL.

As its name suggests, this is a larger version of the 950, with a screen whose diagonal changes to 5.7 “(Gorilla Glass 4), compared with 5.2” (Gorilla Glass 3). On the other hand, it offers the same QHD definition (2560 x 1440 px) and the same AMOLED technology. The mobile chip is also upgraded as the bowels of the Lumia 950 XL beat to the rhythm of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 Octoccer SoC and an Adreno 430 graphics chip.

Against a Snapdragon 808 (hexacore) / Adreno 418 torque for the Lumia 950. RAM also varies, not in quantity, since there are 3 GB of RAM in both models. But this is LPDDR4 in the one we are testing here, against the LPDDR3 in the previous one. The last notable difference between them is to go for the side of the battery, 3340 mAh for the largest, and 3000 mAh for the other.


As evoked in the preamble, the Lumia 950 XL takes again identically the design of the 950. One thus finds the lines very purified … and the plastic shell.

The Lumia 950 XL has a fairly large gauge with dimensions of 151.9 x 78.4 x 8.1 mm (165 g). Nevertheless, the smartphone is quite compact and light for its category, thanks in particular to an occupancy rate of 75% of the surface of the front face by the screen. All the more so that to facilitate the use with one hand, Microsoft has implemented a function quite practical: just pressing the Home button to see the upper part of the display go down in half.

Finally, let’s finish with one of the points that did not fail to irritate us with the Lumia 950: its propensity to heat. The presence of the Snapdragon 810 and its reputation “all fire all flame” did not augur the best. Nevertheless, Microsoft has widely communicated on the incorporation of a liquid cooling system in the Lumia 950 XL. In practice, this system is moderately effective. The XL rises less quickly in temperature than its recent predecessor.


The Lumia 950’s screen was already excellent. It’s deltaE of only 1.8 and its color temperature of 6611 kelvins close to perfection.

The colorimetric is thus irreproachable. Especially since it is based on AMOLED technology and its infinite contrast. As for the maximum brightness of 303 cd / m², it is certainly not impressive, but enough to offer a correct legibility outside the device.

Interface and navigation

One word anyway to tell you that the new OS appeared to us from the start globally more reactive than on the 950. The small bugs and latencies perceived when we tested the latter have disappeared so that we find with pleasure the usual fluid experience of Windows Phone.



With its cheerful display, the Lumia 950 XL is obviously particularly impressive to watch videos. With the Windows Store not crumbling under the third-party video playback applications, Microsoft had a good idea to natively parry her baby for this use.

The device is indeed able to play almost all the most popular formats of the moment. Only the AC3 resists it, as it is the case for almost all the readers’ native of smartphones.


Intrinsically, the Lumia 950 already had a very good photophone. Its XL version has the same characteristics in this field, with a Pureview sensor of 20 Mpx capable of filming in UHD-4K, at 30 i / s. On the other hand, the photo function of the 950 has been shown as a whole burdened by some annoying defects. Good news, the XL does not display the same gaps. Indeed, the autofocus here is clearly less capricious than that of the Lumia 950.



Like the Lumia 950, this 950 XL has excellent audio quality in conversation, with perfect sound reproduction to the key. The GPS fix is of the same caliber since it has always been able to find satellites very quickly.

Note that two versions of the device are marketed. For operators, it is the mono-SIM model that prevails for their part double-SIM. There is still a small subtlety between the two: only the mono-SIM versions are compatible with the 4G + LTE Cat 6 (up to 300 Mbps downhill). Dual-SIMs are LTE Cat 4 compatible (up to 150 Mbps).