Why I'm Kepping my 950 XL Pre-order Open


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Sep 30, 2012
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So, I finally decided to pull the trigger and buy the 950 XL earlier this week. While I love my 1520, there are things that kinda irritate me. I both love and hate the size. I love the size for just being able to see more, but I also hate the size because it's next to impossible to use with one hand. And the size is almost too big for my pocket, and those sharp corners do dig in to my leg, and have really done a number on my pockets. I had a 920 since launch, and I really loved that phone to, but I had to let it go when the battery stopped holding a charge. So my game plan was to get the 1520 until the next flagship came out -- which it has now.

The 950 XL really impresses me. Like the Hello feature, not sure how well it will work for me, but I'll give it a try. I like the size, it's just a little smaller then the 1520, and has rounded corners. I'm not sure if I will us Continuum but might be fun to play around with a bit. I love the specs, the liquid cooling, the fast processor, and the expandable storage (I should be able to move my sd card right over). Qi is back! I hated how AT&T removed it from the 1520. And there is now access to the battery again!

What bothers me is W10. I have the latest build on my 1520, and it's just not ready for production yet. I have a message indicator and I have no unread messages. I hate the hamburger icons. It's a big drain on the battery. I don't like grouping on subject titles in Outlook, and I wish they'd bring back combined in boxes. There is a definite lag on my 1520, but it's not too irritating. The xbox ap is great. But like all other versions, I have problems reconnecting to Wi-Fi. Especially Xfinity hotspots even more so with W10. OneDrive has issues with uploading and synching more so then ever. I hate the new messaging ap, it's not always clear or easy to actually send the message. Same with FB. But that is ok, there are things I like about the changes also, like the xbox ap. And we finally got gapless playback in groove. The notification center is excellent.

I was also concerned about reports of having problems activating the 950 XL on AT&T. I have a micro sim on my 1520, so I shouldn't have a problem getting LTE, but I am concerned about visual VM working on dual sim phones on AT&T. But despite all that, I decided to order one. Sadly, I went to Microsoft's website on sunday to buy one, and found out it was on back order. So, I got an idea, why not hit up a UK site? These phones are unlocked and should work on AT&T. I went to one, and it showed first orders were shipping on 2-12. I hit the trigger. Even with shipping, it wasn't that much more, and a bonus, it's a single sim phone. So hopefully visual VM will work on AT&T. Unfortunately on 2-12, I got an email saying dispatch was delayed until next week :(

Fine, I get it, there are issues with both supply and software. I'm ok with waiting. My 1520 is still a great phone and is serving me well. But now that I have to wait, I thought I'd take a look on the forums here to see what everyone else was saying with their units that they got here in the US. I read the thread http://forums.windowscentral.com/microsoft-lumia-950-xl/397647-getting-rid-my-950xl-anyone-else.html

I got to say, it really got me thinking. Not just about the phone itself, but about W10 and microsoft's dedication to the mobile space. I'm totally in on Microsoft. I got PC's, Laptop's, Tablets, Phones, and Xbox's all running W10. I love the inter-connectedness with OneDrive, Outlook, Xbox, Office, Cortana. But I'm irritated that everything that made WM unique is being abandoned (They did the same with the XBox One). Pivots are gone, we now have hamburger menus. Unique things like Office and Cortana are now available on the other 2 OS's and in some cases even better then what we get on WM. As a shareholder in Microsoft, I love how they are opening up their services. As a WM lover, I hate it. And then there is release of the OS itself, with it being so buggy and all. The execution of the 950 XL seems to be poor from what others have been saying (creaky case, poor battery life, AT&T setup). They couldn't get even get a carrier to pick up the 950 XL, and the 950 is exclusive to AT&T. I read through the whole chain on preference...and I have only to say, if it works for you, then it works and anything less is a downgrade. Many of us love the live tiles, and we also appreciate the inclusion of folders on the home screen. We also like to hide an ap from our start screen while keeping it installed. But I also agree, we are paying a premium to be a beta tester.

I could cancel my order. It hasn't shipped and won't until next week. But I'm not. I do like the 950 XL. There is enough about W10 to like, and as an insider I can affect future development. Qi will be back and I can use my charging plates again. It will have a better camera. And if the battery does die, I can finally replace it again. I think with the UK version I will be able to avoid the VM problem, and since I have my 1520 activated on AT&T, the 950 XL should activate with the same SIM with no problem.

I do like Microsoft, and I like where they are heading with W10. I already stream to my PC from the Xbox. I like receiving notifications form XBL on my phone. And I have never been truly unhappy with a Lumia phone. I loved the 920, and 1520. Most of the problems I've read about seem to be more about the software and not the hardware. Software is fixable -- hardware is not.

But more importantly, I'm willing to give Microsoft the time to develop W10. I don't agree with everything they are doing on it, but I like the general direction they are heading in. My dream is to some day be able to start something on my pc, pick up exactly where I left off on my laptop, then walk in to a meeting and show the presentation directly off my phone. I'd like to have an ap available on all my devices and work the same way regardless of what device I am using. I like following my XBL friends and what they are doing on games they are playing. If I buy an ap for the phone, I should be able to install it on my desktop for free and the data should be available across all my devices. The experience should be seamless and just work. I love getting Cortana notifications for missed calls (and hopefully missed messages) on my desktop and I'd love to see that on my Xbox. They are heading there, but it's not going to happen completely in the 1st generation.

MS has been great at making promises in the past, and falling way short. Metro was great, and can be a unifying experience, but they executed it poorly. Azure was launched to early, they didn't have enough MS clients to consume the data. Cortana is great but it launched on too few devices in not enough regions. Bing was way before it's time, only the browser used it and it didn't power any of the other services that weren't installed on a broad base of devices. Xbox One would have been revolutionary, but it was so poorly executed and communicated even worst, that the vision was abandoned. MS has the vision, but they just can't pull it all together. And when they do, the execute it poorly. Bad marketing, conflicting even condescending messaging, and the constant reverse courses. I'll hang in for a bit longer, especially since MS is now more open to feedback and engaging with their users. This is why I'm keeping my 950 XL pre-order open. And that is why I'll continue to support the entire eco-system.


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Jan 9, 2013
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I made the "upgrade" to the 950xl from my 1520 2 days ago and, I must say, I absolutely hate this phone. It's true what they say, it just feels cheap. Sure it's a beast in paper but honestly I never picked up my 1520 and said ' wow this is slow ', in fact just holding the two devices side by side I felt like I knew this would be a downgrade and I was right. First what turned me off was the body itself. The screen didn't melt off to the sides like on the old 920. And speaking of the screen, I have to say that's what killed it for me. All those things you've come to know and love about a Lumia phone are gone, such as sunlight readability (I couldn't see anything on the screen even on a cloudy overcast day), brightness, (it's just dim, I know it's an amoled panel but it's dull), and viewing angles( move this thing a fraction of a hair in any direction and it washes out). The OS is also unstable in many ways, I can't seem to change certain setting that were in Windows 8.1. I could justify this as a nice phone for $249 or $299 but for $649 plus tax I would consider going with another platform but I only got it for a $49 deductable. I honestly called the Microsoft store to see if they could give me my 1520 back but that was a no go. Also the camera is just awful. The pictures are grainy and the ffc is the worst I've seen any device in a while. Just keep the 1520, I'm trying to get another 1520 of eBay then I'm selling my 950xl for $350

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