I am not sure if I mentioned it before but about two months ago I upgraded my trusty never-fail 640XL Windows Phone to the 950XL. I had been thinking about making this change for about six months or more but the latest offer from Microsoft was just too hard to resist.
When the 950XL was released late last year the cost in Australia was $1,199; basically $1,200. Over six months or so I watched it come down to $899 at Harvey Norman. And then a pal at work said "I see Microsoft are selling that phone you like for $499 on their site".
Initially I thought that he must have been talking about the 640XL or the 650. But, just out of curiosity,I went to the Microsoft Australia site. He was right. Microsoft were selling the 950XL for $499.
I tried to order one right then. But for some reason the Microsoft site would not accepted my order. So I rang them. They were aware of the issue with the 'shopping trolley' on that page and advised it should be fixed within 24 hours.
Seriously. I mean! Seriously. A company the size of Microsoft put up a special on their flagship phone on their own site and the page doesn't work? Plus, it is going to take 24 hours to resolved the problem.
So I had to wait until the next day to order the phone.
I love it. LOVE IT! The super hi-res AMOLED display is amazing and the colours are very close to correct—which is a big plus for a photographer type who doesn't want his pictures (taken with a real camera but transferred to the phone to show to people) showing on the screen as over-saturated; I really appreciate the colours to be close to correct.
As you might expect, the CPU performance compared to the 640XL is blindingly fast. I realise that the 950XL is not quite as fast as the latest iOS or Android phones but for someone coming from the 640XL I can assure you that the 950XL works like it is turbo-charged.
I really like the fast-charge technology in this phone. While I manage to easily get two full days of life out of the huge battery in the 950XL there are those rare occasions when you find yourself facing the "Charge me now or I am going to die" screen. About 20 minutes on the charger will get the gauge close to 50% (about 44%).
As much as I like it not everything is better on the 950XL. I am finding that the reception antenna is not as good as the 640XL. I realise that the 640XL was the best in the world for antenna reception. It was a freak. But I kind of expected the antenna in the 950XL to be as good. Sadly this is not the case.
Whereas I could confidently make and take phones calls on my 640XL from the office in my house with no fear of the calls dropping out I am sad to report that I have had a couple of instances with the 950XL where calls have dropped out due to fringe reception problems. This is a disappointment. I have also had a call drop out while in the lifts at work—again, this NEVER happened with the 640XL.
In my next post I plan to review the in-phone camera. While the camera in the 640XL was 'just okay' I rarely used it. I am hoping that the 20MP camera in the 950XL is better than 'just okay' to the point where I might be able to use it to take serious pictures with.