Which phone is best for you will depend partly on your budget (there is £100 separating these two Lumias) and partly on your desired screen size. The phablet-class 5.7in panel on the Lumia 950 XL will be too large for some users, yet welcome if you do intend to use your phone as a proper PC. The Lumia 950 XL has the faster processor, too, although we expect both Lumias to be plenty fast for your everyday computing tasks.
Microsoft announced three new Windows 10 smartphones earlier this week, two of which are the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL. We look at the differences between the two new Windows phone flagships to see which is best for you. It’s Lumia 950 vs Lumia 950 XL. Also see: Best Windows phones 2015.
What’s the difference between Lumia 950 & Lumia 950 XL? Price
As you might expect, when these two new Windows phones go on sale in November the XL version will be more expensive than the standard Lumia 950. MobileFun is already taking pre-orders ar £450 for the Lumia 950 and £550 for the Lumia 950 XL.
What’s the difference between Lumia 950 & Lumia 950 XL? Size & weight
Despite its larger screen (which we’ll get on to next), the Lumia 950 XL isn’t actually that much bigger than the Lumia 950. In fact, it’s thinner, at 8.1mm against the Lumia 950’s 8.25mm. Necessarily a little wider and taller, at 152×78.4mm against the 950’s 145×73.2mm, the XL is only 15g heavier at 165g.
Both phones are available in black or white and, aside from the differing dimensions, follow the same design. (See all Windows phone reviews.)
What’s the difference between Lumia 950 & Lumia 950 XL? Screen
Both new Lumia’s are fitted with Quad-HD (2560×1440) AMOLED ClearBlack displays, but the Lumia 950 XL’s larger screen size of 5.7in (the Lumia 950 is 5.2in) means it has a lower pixel density of 518ppi against the 950’s 568ppi. Don’t get caught up on that difference – after all the iPhone still has only 326ppi, so these are both incredibly high in resolution and will appear crystal clear.
The Lumia 950 XL is a little tougher than the Lumia 950, with Gorilla Glass 4 in place of its Gorilla Glass 3.
What’s the difference between Lumia 950 & Lumia 950 XL? Processor
The Lumia 950 XL should be the faster performer of these two Windows phones, with an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chip clocked at 2GHz; the Lumia 950 has a hexacore Snapdragon 808 clocked at 1.8GHz. Both are paired with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, which is expandable via microSD up to 200GB. Also see: Lumia 950 & 950 XL launch as it happened.
What’s the difference between Lumia 950 & Lumia 950 XL? Battery
Given the larger screen, faster processor and more room available inside the case, it’s no surprise to see the Lumia 950 XL fitted with a higher-capacity battery – there’s 3340mAh in the 950 XL and 3000mAh in the Lumia 950. Don’t expect a massive jump up in runtime, though – Microsoft says both phones last 12 days on standby, and the XL offers just one extra hour of 3G talktime over the Lumia 950 (19 hours against its 18 hours).
Both have built-in wireless charging and support fast charging over a USB-C connection, with up to 50 percent possible in just 30 minutes.
What’s the difference between Lumia 950 & Lumia 950 XL? Audio
While both Lumias support MixRadio and Groove Music, only the 950 XL has an FM radio.
Lumia 950 & Lumia 950 XL – what’s the same?
Well, everything else. That means you get Windows 10 with Office apps, Cortana, Glance Screen and Windows Hello – iris-scanning tech lets you simply look at the phone to unlock it. Continuum is also possible via the optional Microsoft Display Dock, which lets you use the Lumia 950 or 950 XL as you would a full Windows 10 PC.
Two other cool features include dual-antennae that ensure you get the best signal no matter how you hold the phone, plus ‘tablet-class’ liquid cooling to keep down internal temperatures.
Cameras are the same, which means 5Mp at the front and a 20Mp PureView camera with Zeiss optics at the back, plus a dedicated shutter button and a triple-LED flash.
Both phones support 4G LTE, dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, GPS and the aforementioned USB-C, wireless- and fast charging. And both come with 32GB of storage (expandable via microSD up to 200GB) and 3GB of RAM.
Read next: Best new phones coming in 2015/2016.
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Microsoft Lumia 950: Specs
- Dimensions: 145 x 73.2 x 8.25mm Weight: 150g Display: 5.2in 2560×1440 pixels (568ppi pixel density) Storage: 32GB (expandable up to 200GB) RAM: 3GB OS: Microsoft Windows 10 mobile Processor: Hexa-core 1.8GHz Snapdragon 808 Connectivity: Wi-Fi (dual-band 802.11ac), Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, GPS Front facing camera: 5MP Rear facing camera: 20MP (PureView with Zeiss optics) Battery: Li-Ion 3000mAh battery