1. EFats's Avatar
    I decided to take the 950 XL as my one and only driver for a week long trip. No backup, no dual carry.
    On the one hand, it's not as big a risk as for most people since I'm not a big apps guy & my normal daily driver is a BlackBerry 10 device. On the other hand, with BB10, I already know all the workarounds and can fall back on some Android apps if necessary. With Windows 10 mobile and specifically the Lumia 950 XL, it's really just been a toy and I've not had to use it as my main device and there is no backup if a native app or functionality is not available. This phone would have to deal with any travel tickets, hotel reservations, health/vaccination proof, etc. Not just email and voice calling!

    The reason I'm taking the XL isn't just for a challenge, I simply wanted to minimize the number of devices I carried for this trip.
    • The camera is still outstanding and a dedicated camera button makes a huge difference. I did a quick comparison vs my real cameras and the XL did exceedingly well. That's one camera I don't have to carry.
    • I wanted a bigger screen for media consumption, so the usual tablet no longer has to come along
    • The XL has significantly longer battery life than the regular 950.

    The Good
    • That dedicated camera is fantastic. Makes a nice streetshooter. Not perfect, it really needs some kind of larger grip or a lanyard to fully exploit it and really replace a dedicated camera. (e.g. Lumia 1020?)
    • Battery life is fantastic. Streaming videos really kills it, but on a trip, this is not an issue as the only time I'm doing this is back in the hotel near a wall plug.
    • Maps app still works very well.

    The Bad
    • Stupid web sites which check user agent strings and block mobile Edge. It's not Microsoft's fault, but there are no alternative browsers and no way to over-ride the user agent string
    • Minor bugs! The list of 'bugs' I hit:
    ○ Camera shutter button stopped working, I had to reboot to fix.
    ○ Enabling mobile data fails. Says it's on, but can't reach Internet. Rebooting fixes issue. Happens every time for me.
    ○ Sometimes issues searching in Maps, especially while offline. Either doesn't find something really obvious or picks the wrong location. (It will list as being in one city, but when it tries to navigate, it jumps to a completely different city nearby)
    • It's just big. This thing is tough to fit in most pants/shorts pockets. Yeah, sure, this seems to be the average size of phones nowadays, but pockets haven't grown so this is still a pain.
    • Keyboard accuracy. If I was hammering away quick notes, I'd just wait till I get back to hotel to fix it, way too many errors. Not sure if Windows is better or worse than Swiftkey on Android or iPhone keyboard, but for me BlackBerry physical and virtual keyboards still king by far. In fact, I typed this up mostly on the phone and it was a bit painful

    Summary is ... success I guess? It certainly worked, I never feel like I lacked any features and I really, realy enjoyed using it. It was let down, as it has always been since the beginning, by these minor little bugs. I've never experienced this sort of stuff with either BB7, BB10, Symbian or iOS even in the earlier days. With Windows 10 mobile, I think it took until the last year of its life before it became bearable.
    Some of these things seem oddly device specific. For example, my 950 always takes forever to lock on to GPS and get my location, no problem with 950 XL. I also don't seem to have the cellular data issue with my 950 though, I turn it on and it just seems to work.

    However, it is good to know that I can still count on this thing as my daily. It's a lovely, lovely device and I much prefer it over my 'droid or even my iOS 15 device.
    aximtreo likes this.
    10-06-2021 11:42 PM
  2. Renoktation's Avatar
    I also own a L950, and it is very limiting. I only use it for taking pictures, scanning documents, checking mails and calendar. There is no WhatsApp, 4G doesn't support VoLTE, so no calls, battery runs down quickly, perhaps it was damaged due to heating, thanks to it's Snapdragon 808 processor.

    I don't think that this device can be used today as a primary device.
    10-07-2021 07:38 AM
  3. aximtreo's Avatar
    I decided to take the 950 XL as my one and only driver for a week long trip. No backup, no dual carry.
    On the one hand, it's not as big a risk as for most people since I'm not a big apps guy & my normal daily driver is a BlackBerry 10 device. On the other hand, with BB10, I already know all the workarounds and can fall back on some Android apps if necessary. With Windows 10 mobile and specifically the Lumia 950 XL, it's really just been a toy and I've not had to use it as my main device and there is no backup if a native app or functionality is not available. This phone would have to deal with any travel tickets, hotel reservations, health/vaccination proof, etc. Not just email and voice calling!

    The reason I'm taking the XL isn't just for a challenge, I simply wanted to minimize the number of devices I carried for this trip.
    • The camera is still outstanding and a dedicated camera button makes a huge difference. I did a quick comparison vs my real cameras and the XL did exceedingly well. That's one camera I don't have to carry.
    • I wanted a bigger screen for media consumption, so the usual tablet no longer has to come along
    • The XL has significantly longer battery life than the regular 950.

    The Good
    • That dedicated camera is fantastic. Makes a nice streetshooter. Not perfect, it really needs some kind of larger grip or a lanyard to fully exploit it and really replace a dedicated camera. (e.g. Lumia 1020?)
    • Battery life is fantastic. Streaming videos really kills it, but on a trip, this is not an issue as the only time I'm doing this is back in the hotel near a wall plug.
    • Maps app still works very well.

    The Bad
    • Stupid web sites which check user agent strings and block mobile Edge. It's not Microsoft's fault, but there are no alternative browsers and no way to over-ride the user agent string
    • Minor bugs! The list of 'bugs' I hit:
    ○ Camera shutter button stopped working, I had to reboot to fix.
    ○ Enabling mobile data fails. Says it's on, but can't reach Internet. Rebooting fixes issue. Happens every time for me.
    ○ Sometimes issues searching in Maps, especially while offline. Either doesn't find something really obvious or picks the wrong location. (It will list as being in one city, but when it tries to navigate, it jumps to a completely different city nearby)
    • It's just big. This thing is tough to fit in most pants/shorts pockets. Yeah, sure, this seems to be the average size of phones nowadays, but pockets haven't grown so this is still a pain.
    • Keyboard accuracy. If I was hammering away quick notes, I'd just wait till I get back to hotel to fix it, way too many errors. Not sure if Windows is better or worse than Swiftkey on Android or iPhone keyboard, but for me BlackBerry physical and virtual keyboards still king by far. In fact, I typed this up mostly on the phone and it was a bit painful

    Summary is ... success I guess? It certainly worked, I never feel like I lacked any features and I really, realy enjoyed using it. It was let down, as it has always been since the beginning, by these minor little bugs. I've never experienced this sort of stuff with either BB7, BB10, Symbian or iOS even in the earlier days. With Windows 10 mobile, I think it took until the last year of its life before it became bearable.
    Some of these things seem oddly device specific. For example, my 950 always takes forever to lock on to GPS and get my location, no problem with 950 XL. I also don't seem to have the cellular data issue with my 950 though, I turn it on and it just seems to work.

    However, it is good to know that I can still count on this thing as my daily. It's a lovely, lovely device and I much prefer it over my 'droid or even my iOS 15 device.


    Thanks for your post. I still have my 929. I take it out every few months, charge it and get updates. Believe it or not, MS office apps are still updated. Enjoyed the trip down memory lane.
    10-07-2021 10:22 AM
  4. EFats's Avatar
    I also own a L950, and it is very limiting. I only use it for taking pictures, scanning documents, checking mails and calendar. There is no WhatsApp, 4G doesn't support VoLTE, so no calls, battery runs down quickly, perhaps it was damaged due to heating, thanks to it's Snapdragon 808 processor.

    I don't think that this device can be used today as a primary device.
    Well maybe you can't, but as you might have read, I just did.
    I still can do voice calls, no problem. And if I ever have the battery life go down, you know, user replaceable battery? Takes less than a minute. You can still get a replacement battery for the 950 from Amazon for less than $20.

    I don't count WhatsApp as a requirement. None of my family or friends that I need to contact use it. You might be surprised to learn that SMS is still a thing and it works. Unbelievably, any active phone (smart or not) can handle SMS. Isn't that amazing?
    And if I want some more "sophisticated" messaging, you know, one of the originals, Skype? Has end-end encrypted messaging? Can handle voice & audio calls? Works on many more platforms than just Android & iOS?
    If I didn't want real-time messaging, there is still email.

    I don't see any limitation for my daily, I don't really feel like I'm compromising.
    This isn't a nostalgic trip back in history. This is a real life test drive for now. In case they shut down service on my other device, BlackBerry 10. (The servers are due to go down in January. Nobody is sure what will happen when they turn off). I just proved I was able to run my life with this phone, including all necessary government & public services.

    I do have Android & iOS available to me, but it's no fun to use and I choose not to use it. I know exactly what is on those platforms and I'm not missing anything by not using them.
    aximtreo likes this.
    10-07-2021 11:01 PM
  5. Adventurer64's Avatar
    Still using my 950xl in my car as a iheart radio and podcast player. Occasional pictures. Works on TMo network, however, I've noticed recently coverage is not as good.
    10-08-2021 05:23 PM
  6. RTGent's Avatar
    Nice report, EFats. Still using a 950 daily, and I just don't need most apps, including watsapp. Whatsapp users know they can call, text, or email me if they need to reach me, and that email arrives as quickly on my 950 as any text by any means. I do miss out on their group messaging, but I manage without these treats as well as with other app deprivations. Went internationally a few weeks ago, but did and do take an angroid device for back-up duty on trips (I have 2 angroid backups, each with a dated version that also work sufficiently well. I've had angroid just-in-case and for-when-the-day-comes backups for about three years now). I rarely had to use the backup on my trip, but of course certain things definitely work better. For instance, a Delta time-to-check-in Outlook message took me to the Delta website on the 950; whereas, the same message on my angroid's Outlook app had a second colored line on the inbox which allowed me to single-click and check in automatically, post-haste. That's just an example, but another one that I simply do without whenever: No big thing. I am a music maniac, so Spotify, especially, and Soundhound are the only apps that I do use with any regularity on angroid, and occasionally I find that HereWeGo gets me to a location better than my 950. Still happy and thankful that my 950 keeps on rockin'. Haven't experienced the "bads" above on it, including GPS (-though I've never downloaded maps on any device). BTW, I've used T-Mobile very satisfactorily for several years now, after starting out with att on my original day-one 950.

    FWIW to others, on another thread, I recommended a Taeozi battery that I picked up on Amazon that works as well as any original I've had on the 950: don't know if one's available for the XL.
    aximtreo likes this.
    10-11-2021 11:22 AM
  7. aximtreo's Avatar
    I just acquired a 950 xl for the fun of it. Charged, updated OS and available apps. Works beautifully.

    It's the Dual Sim Model. I've searched all the US GSM carriers but none show the ability to activate.

    Anyone have any suggestions. Just want Talk & Text ability.
    11-19-2021 11:03 AM
  8. Adventurer64's Avatar
    I just acquired a 950 xl for the fun of it. Charged, updated OS and available apps. Works beautifully.

    It's the Dual Sim Model. I've searched all the US GSM carriers but none show the ability to activate.

    Anyone have any suggestions. Just want Talk & Text ability.
    Mine still works on TMobile. Use it everyday in my car for iheart radio and podcasts. Drop in a sim card and see what happens.
    aximtreo likes this.
    11-20-2021 10:08 AM
  9. aximtreo's Avatar
    Mine still works on TMobile. Use it everyday in my car for iheart radio and podcasts. Drop in a sim card and see what happens.
    Will do, thanks.
    11-21-2021 11:31 AM

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