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Try the tech - Lumia 950

Level 1: Joiner
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Evolution rather than revolution
I was lucky enough to be able to trial a Lumia 950 for around 3 weeks thanks to the O2 try the tech programme.
In the box comes all the basics, the phone (off to a good start), a wired charger and data cable.
The 950 uses a USB type C connection so immediately every accessory I use with my current 930 is redundant, but as this is going to be the new standard I guess we're all going to have to change at some point. It does however utilise wireless charging.
My initial impression is the plastic look is a step back from the metal body I am used to. Microsoft have managed to make it feel more premium than many other plastic body phones.
Switching on brings the familiar Windows set up procedure and it takes next to no time, assuming you set up as a new phone rather than from a back up.
Once everything is set up the first thing you notice is the more grown up feel when switching from Windows Phone 8.1 to Windows 10 mobile, that you get with the new tile interface.
Go in to the settings menu and it instantly feels like Windows 10 on a phone. All the usual settings are in here, and from here I set about trying Windows Hello.
Windows Hello is probably the biggest disappointment with the whole phone. If you wear glasses then it's not even worth trying as the iris scanner can't read your iris. In the set up it does say if you wear glasses to remove them. However I persevered and decided to try it. How bad could it be? Well as it turns out awful is probably the best way to describe it, every time I wanted to unlock my phone I had to remove my glasses, shine a red light in my eye and then put my PIN code in as about 70% of the time it couldn’t read me. I put up with this for a couple of days before deciding enough was enough and switched it off. I guess with time and some more tweaking this could turn in to a unique feature. For now it is something that is definitely not needed and to even describe it as beta software (which it is labelled as) is maybe pushing it.
Day to day use of the phone is what you'd expect from a flagship. Everything works quickly and they seem to of sorted the heating issues 930’s seem to suffer from. It does still get warm but not to the extent where you can't hold the phone, whether this is down to a different processor or the plastic body I don’t know but I could play games without fear of burning my hand.
The Windows store also seems to be a work in progress. This has always been a bit of an Achilles heel, even forgetting ‘the app gap’ it just doesn't feel finished. Updates hit random errors and it would take several attempts to download some of them (mainly the core apps). The picks for you seems to be based on plucking random apps from the store.

All the mainstream apps I use are there (I'm not 12 so do I really need Snapchat?). Some have been updated for Windows 10. Facebook and Fitbit have had overhauls, in fact Fitbit is probably the best mobile app they do on any platform. Others are just carry overs from Windows Phone 8.1 (Twitter I'm looking at you and don’t even get me started on Instagram STILL being in beta and missing several major features).
It would be nice to get all the high street banks on board, although some don’t even make that much effort on Android so I don’t hold out much hope. In the meantime I just have to make use of using the mobile site on Edge.
Whilst we're on the subject of Edge this works in pretty much the same way the desktop version does. I didn't come across any issues with any sites I use, just the layout needs some tweaking, things like favourites are hidden.
The camera is still up there as one of the best. I didn’t notice any difference in quality between the 950 & the 930 although the shot to shot time seems to be much improved and the HDR processing is many times quicker (on occasion my 930 just gave up and lost the photo).
Overall the 950 provides a pleasant enough experience and if you were given one you wouldn't be disappointed. However I won't be rushing out to take it as an early upgrade, I've now got my 930 on the insiders programme and it is more than adequate.
I think Windows 10 mobile is still a work in progress and maybe things were rushed out, but hats off to Microsoft for trying to get the phone OS on par with the desktop equivalent in the time they did. Given another 12 months it could be a very different story once more users get it and you never know with greater exposure to Windows 10 in the workplace more Windows 10 mobile handsets will find their way in to the enterprise world, which will have the knock on effect of getting more handset manufacturers on board (take HPs new phone as an example) and push the standards of a flagship even higher.
Now when's that Surface phone coming?

Message 1 of 9

Level 26: Upbeat
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Good review. I found the iris scanner works better with the .107 update and will unlock while I have my glasses on. But over all, I find putting the pin in quicker. I would rather have had a figure print reader. I agree, in day to day usage it's not that much of an upgrade. I was going to see my 930, but started having bother with my 950 restarting so it's keep as a back up.
Current Phone: Sony Xperia XZ Premium
Message 2 of 9

Level 94: Supreme
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Thanks for your thoughts of the 950. Very honest review  I could tell you were less than impressed with the iris scanner and it appears the apps left a lot to be desired. That aside, it made for an interesting read from your personal perspective...:smileyhappy:

*The Game Is On*

Girl in a jacket
Message 3 of 9

Level 94: Supreme
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Nice personal review slight_smile


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Message 4 of 9

Level 94: Supreme
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Splendid job. Well done mate.
I have no affiliation whatsoever with O2 or any subsidiary companies. Comments posted are entirely of my own opinion. This is not Customer Service so we are unable to help with account specific issues.

Currently using:
OnePlus 6 (O2 & Sfr), Z3 Tablet (Three UK), iPhone 8+ (EE)
Message 5 of 9

Community Manager
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Fantastic review @Mattb76 Thanks for posting! 

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Message 6 of 9

Level 25: Hard Hitter
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Thanks for that, I've never used a Windows OS so it's interesting to see what you think.

I've kind of avoided them due to not so great reviews from friends, though my sister in law absolutely loves her Windows phone..!

Tbqh I'm really liking my new iOS experience so I'll not be changing anytime soon.
Message 7 of 9

Not applicable

My husband likes windows phones but he was put off by the price for what felt very a plastic phone, the one he tried was in the 3 shop and he found it quite slow and was unimpressed for the money, he doesnt use many apps ( hes not 12 either) but he does get frustrated that apps on the iphones and andoids we have are often not on his lumia I think theres a lot more to be done before he opens his wallet. Though I have to say hes been tempted by my Cubot H1.

Message 8 of 9

Former Staff
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Lovely job here @Mattb76! A fantastic first review from you. I wear glasses too, so the iris scanner info is useful. Well done!

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