Weekly discussions: More Lumia 950 opinions, interop unlocked Windows Phones and more

Reading time icon 5 min. read

Readers help support MSPoweruser. When you make a purchase using links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Tooltip Icon

Read the affiliate disclosure page to find out how can you help MSPoweruser effortlessly and without spending any money. Read more


Last week’s weekly discussion focused entirely on the first round of Lumia 950 reviews. As more time has passed, there have been a few more opinions on the Lumia 950, some more balanced than others. The general consensus on the device is, it’s a nice phone full of good ideas, but it is still very “new” and unpolished compared to the competition. If you’re a Windows Phone user, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t get one, if you’re a heavy iOS or Android user, there are few why you should.  I think that’s a fair assessment of both the 950, 950 XL and Windows 10 Mobile right now.

Engadget’s Lumia 950 review

Although Engadget rates the Lumia 950 very similarly to the Verge, they praise it for its good ideas like Continuum, Windows Hello and the refinements in Windows 10 Mobile. Yet they note that Microsoft still has a lot of work to do in that area. Windows 10 Mobile is still not as consistently stable and fluid as Windows Phone 8 and 8.1 were in their time, even on lower end hardware. There is more crashing, and overall instability. I agree with that and even extend that critique to the desktop version of Windows 10 which is less stable than Windows 8.1 on my Surface Pro 3. Microsoft makes good hardware now, their software just needs to catch up.

The Lumia 950 is the first phone to run Windows 10 Mobile, a revamped software platform that aims to make Windows Phones do more than ever before. Both have promise — the former with its great camera and super high-res screen, the latter with stand-out features like Continuum and Windows Hello. Ultimately, we’re left with a phone that doesn’t feel as expensive as it is, running software that still needs some polish and stronger app support.

TechRadar’s Thoughts on the Lumia 950 as a business device

Microsoft is positioning its new Lumia devices not just as consumer devices, but as enterprise workhorses as well. You can see this with initiatives like Continuum, the touting of Windows Hello’s security and the focus on being “productive like a boss”. The Lumia 950 has a lot of appeal all due to its sturdy not-so-flashy body and the association with Windows 10. Personally, I can see why an enterprise would want to roll out Lumia with Windows 10 devices as opposed to iPhones or Androids.

One of the big, hallmark features of Windows 10 was Continuum, allowing you to easily dip back and forth between tablet and desktop mode with a 2-in-1. That feature has also made its way to Windows 10 Mobile in a slightly more impressive manner, allowing you to turn your phone into a nearly full desktop machine on the fly.

Not only does this allow you to do a bit of extra multitasking, but it’s a boon if you frequently have to move around the office, travel, or give an impromptu presentation. There are some limitations as far as compatible apps are concerned (mainly that you’re currently restricted to universal apps), and there is a bit of hardware required, but the ability to carry around a desktop experience in your pocket is pretty impressive

Bootloader unlock for Windows Phone.

I flashed a ROM this week on an Android. It was a terribly tedious and time wasting exercise in my opinion, but I can see why other people may want the control over their own devices that custom ROMs allow. Given the smaller userbase of Windows phones,its likely that we won’t get as many tweaks as are possible on an Android device, but that’s fine. Custom theme, fonts and tile setting shsould just about satisfy the customisation urge of many people. Personally, I doubt much will be able to be done with the closed nature of Windows Mobile, but it would still be good to see exactly what can be done with the platform. Custom roms and tweaks have driven development of iOS and Android, and Microsoft should be able to benefit in the same way.

 Heathcliff, the developer behind www.wp7roottools.com has now started a new site to provide root tools for Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 10 Mobile devices. Windows Phone Internals is a new tool allows you to unlock the bootloader of select Lumia devices. After unlocking the bootloader, you can enable Root Access on the phone or create and flash Custom ROMs

Nokia might be making a new Windows Phone

I f find this incredibly unlikely, but strangely possible. Never the less, the real question remains. If Nokia were to make a new Windows Phone, would people buy it to over Microsoft’s one? Truth be told, the Microsoft brand is a much stronger one that the Nokia one, yet both are inextricably bound with the Lumia name. It would be interesting to see how they would play off each other if(and that’s a very large if smothered with some salt ) both were to make competing Windows Phones in 2016.

We are not sure how likely this rumour is and note that the device doesn’t appear to be 100% similar with other C1 renders (which aren’t consistent with themselves) in the first place) and the probability of Nokia turning back to Windows on mobile – albeit as a side OS as opposed to a main – seems quite low. Yet we can acknowledge (as HTC and Sony have found out) that Android isn’t exactly a magic bullet, so perhaps they plan to hedge their bets.