1. Ryan Groom's Avatar
    Disclaimer one: I owned a Nokia 900, Nokia 920, and Lumia 1020
    Disclaimer Two: I am a dev so I own various Android, iOS and BlackBerry devices, so I have experience with them all.

    I have had my Lumia 950 XL for two weeks+ now and wanted to just throw out there my personal experiences with the phone so far. This is not focused on the OS, mainly the hardware.

    The first night I had the phone I was off to Scout Camp in eastern Canada. We stayed in tents for two nights and the weather was below freezing. I brought a few extra batteries to keep the phone charged. This is where Windows Hello really was great. It was raining or snowing and I could pull out the phone and look at it and presto. I did not have to take my gloves off for a finger print reader or PIN, I liked that.

    The camera was great on the camp as I could take pictures fast, even around the campfire.

    Most folks complain about the lack of apps, and sometimes being able to side load an Android APK would be fine but I use my phone more like a phone/email device. My core apps are Phone/Text/Email/Calendar/Facebook/Twitter/OnStar/Alarm.com/Camera/TimHortons/RBC are my main apps and the phone does that well. With an extra 128 MB SD card in it, lots of video and photos.

    During the summer I film for a local TV show which I used my 1020 a ton, video I took from the 1020 has ended up on broadcast TV, looking forward to getting 950 XL footage on TV as well.

    The three buttons on the side (volumes and power) I did not have an issue with and I like the virtual buttons at the bottom more than excepted. They disappear while in a full screen app and you can always slide up to get the menu, plus they still vibrate when tapped which I like the physical feedback. I know this feature is to make Windows 10 Mobile easier to port to an Android device, bonus.

    The XL fits ok in my pants pocket and the inside coat pocket better then expected, I thought the phone might be too big, especially with a case, but the Jack Spade case fits like my old Speck case on the 1020, so not bad.

    I do wish Windows Hello did not need a PIN at start-up, just a pet peeve.

    Overall glad I got it, now to write some apps for it!

    aximtreo and anon(5326758) like this.
    12-14-2015 07:09 AM
  2. Pete's Avatar
    Great write up Ryan, glad you gave it a real field test..!

    Yes, Windows Hello will ask for a PIN after a soft or hard reset, or after you've turned the phone off, but this is a security backup to double check you are who you say you are. Same thing happens with iPhones too.
    Ryan Groom and aximtreo like this.
    12-14-2015 07:20 AM
  3. Joe920's Avatar
    This is where Windows Hello really was great. It was raining or snowing and I could pull out the phone and look at it and presto. I did not have to take my gloves off for a finger print reader or PIN
    I never thought of that, nice example where Hello is better than a fingerprint reader. As for the 'pin on restart', I can't recall why that would be more secure. Maybe it's to make sure you don't forget your pin? :)
    12-14-2015 07:42 AM
  4. Pete's Avatar
    Maybe it's to make sure you don't forget your pin? :)
    It's a bit more complex than that. The PIN is basically your way in to the device, and Windows Hello can then access the cryptographic keys stored there to open the device after that.

    The PIN in Windows 8.1 was a convenient logon option for consumers that offered little security and has been replaced in Windows 10. The 'PIN' in Microsoft Passport is more secure than passwords because there is no shared secret that can be harvested from a stolen server. The PIN is the primary gesture that Windows Hello requires. The PIN allows the system to gain access to the private/public key or certificate that is attested as being bound to the hardware TPM. The private key never leaves the device and all the server has is a copy of the public key on the user account. This is two-factor authentication much like virtual smart card. The user must type the correct 'PIN' in order to gain access to the keys in TPM. Having the 'PIN' won't help unless the person also has access to the device.
    Source (down near the bottom of the thread): https://social.technet.microsoft.com...0itprosecurity
    12-14-2015 08:07 AM

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