Announced in November 2015, the Lumia 950 XL was the final masterpiece from the original Pureview team that kickstarted the Pureview branding with the Nokia 808.
This is also the most feature packed Lumia device back then, and promised a glimpse into what the future might have been. It was among the very few mainstream device to support USB C charging, introduced an Iris scanner and also the Microsoft Continuum Support.
The Lumia 950 XL
A true flagship, the Lumia 950 XL has a large 5.7in AMOLED protected with Gorilla Glass 4 with Clear Black Display with a crisp 518ppi density. The SD810 that powered the device had a bad start , but the future versions of the processor was able to rectify its heating issue and poor battery performance and on the Lumia, other than the occasional heating up, it did well overall.
The most interesting aspect of the Lumia 950 XL has to be its Pureview experience. A 20MP ,f 1.9 with OIS with triple LED RGB flash and 4K recoding with surround sound capture made the Lumia 950 XL king of imaging for years to come. Back then, it was a real treat for Nokia fans to see the detailed comparisons made at the AAWP site where the Lumia solidified itself as the King in countless battle across the time.
One thing that Microsoft got it right from the beginning is the experience. Regardless the hardware, the experience was always smooth. The 3GB RAM was more than adequate to run the tasks with ease thanks to the optimization.
I am baffled that the quality of the battery on the Lumia 950 series is no where near the other Lumia devices that I have. The batteries easily gets bloated for a new device as compared to the much older ones with intact battery integrity. Luckily, the back cover was removable , hence changing the battery is easy and that means you get to enjoy the Lumia longer either for imaging on running a full fledged Windows on it.
But, getting a high quality battery has been the most tricky part with the Lumia 950 XL. While many cheaper third party alternative gets the device running with ease, I noticed the battery could not support the imaging system causing the device to crash or reboot when taking shots. It was with this device that I suspected that capacity alone is not sufficient, rather , the power to deliver the capacity is important. The Lumia Pureview algorithm may require an instantaneous boost in power when firing up, and as much of the third party batteries could not deliver it, the device just reboots.
In my journey of searching for the best replacement, I previously stumbled upon Polarcell batteries which are made in German. This are among the highest quality third party batteries that you could get, but it comes at a high cost with high shipping price. This battery gave me probably the same experience as the original one in terms of its endurance, and had no issues with the camera performance. Unfortunately in less than a year, the battery also failed and become bloated, and despite given a 2 year warranty, PolarCell refused to honor them.
While I would still recommend PolarCell for those in western hemisphere, the alternatives in this side of the world are not many ,that actually delivers the performance expected. In my search for a replacement battery for my aging Nokia 9 Pureview, I came across a Chinese company , promising a high quality battery experience and so, I decided to gamble one more time and got one for my Lumia.
The most interesting part here is, while retaining the same dimension, this replacement battery is listed to have higher capacity at 5100mAh compared to the 3340mAh that came with the original. This is my experience with this new battery that costs a fraction of PolarCell and supposedly having a larger capacity.
In my next project, I will be sharing my experience of replacing the camera module and the battery for the Nokia 9 Pureview, so do stay tuned. Follow me on X at https://twitter.com/theoriginal086