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New Flagship Time: Microsoft Unveils The Lumia 950 And 950XL (Updated)

As expected, Microsoft showed off its latest Lumia devices, the 950 and 950XL. However, there were a few surprises in terms of what's inside Microsoft's latest smartphones.

At the top of the list is the processors. The 950 comes with a Qualcomm 808 processor, and the 950 XL has a Qualcomm 810 processor. However, the more interesting point is that both phones claim to be liquid-cooled. We're not exactly sure how that works inside such a small device, but we'll get to see it up close later today.

Lumia 950Lumia 950 XL
SoCQualcomm Snapdragon 808 (hexacore)Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 (octacore)
Display-5.2-inch Quad HD AMOLED Corning Gorilla Glass 3-2650x1440 (564 ppi)-5.7-inch Quad HD AMOLED Corning Gorilla Glass 4-2650x1440 (518 ppi)
Storage-32 GB-expandable storage up to 200 GB microSD-OneDrive storage
Cameras-20MP PureView with Zeiss optics, OIS, triple LED flash, supports 4K-5MP front camera, wide-angle, 1080p HD
Wireless-Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac with MIMO-BT 4.1-4G LTE-Single- or dual-SIM available
Battery3000 mAh3340 mAh (removable)
Sensors, Etc.-Accelerometer-Ambient light sensor-Barometer-Gyroscope-Magnetometer-Proximity sensor-A-GLONASS-A-GPS-Wi-Fi network positioning
Misc.-USB Type-C port with “fast charging”-Physical power, volume and camera buttons
Software-Creative Studio-Gadgets-Lumia Help+Tips-MixRadio-Photos plug-ins-Transfer my Data
Warranty1-year
OS“Windows 10”
Price$549$649

Both phones use an AMOLED screen measuring 5.2 inches for the 950 and 5.7 inches for the 950XL. Both have a resolution of 2560 x 1440. The camera itself is impressive with a 20 megapixel sensor (the iPhone 6s has 12 megapixels), triple LED RGB flash (which means better color accuracy), fifth generation image stabilization technology, and a dedicated camera button. On the video side, the camera can shoot in 4K, although that will probably drain the battery life faster than you would like.

However, the battery recharge should be quick, as it uses a USB Type-C connector. Microsoft's Panos Panay said that the phones should recharge to 50 percent power within 30 minutes. Other features include 32 GB of internal storage and support for Continuum, which allows users to turn their Windows smartphone into a mobile PC by connecting the Type-C connector to the Microsoft Display Dock. The dock itself has three USB ports as well as support for HDMI and DisplayPort.

All that's left is release date and price. Microsoft plans to have both phones out in November, with the 950 at $549 and the 950XL at $649. In addition, its budget-focused Lumia 550 will come out in December with a price of $139.

Update, 10/6/15, 11:30am PT: Added spec table.

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  • SteveRNG
    I thought we've all agreed that more megapixels does not actually indicate better camera quality in and of itself.
    Also, I don't believe the type C physical connection has any relation to charge rate. It's up to the phone and the charger to figure that out. The USB-Type C is just the physical plug.
    Reply
  • canadianvice
    I'd love this with android. So nice, definitely would have a place in my pocket.
    Reply
  • RedJaron
    Hallelujah! An OLED screen! It'd be really hard for me to go back to LCD after two years with the OLED on the Lumia 925.

    16739464 said:
    I thought we've all agreed that more megapixels does not actually indicate better camera quality in and of itself.
    It doesn't, but the average phone user doesn't know that. If MS doesn't up the pixel count, a lot of Joe Schmoes would ignore the Lumia just because they think the camera is weak, even if the sensor itself was better.

    16739464 said:
    Also, I don't believe the type C physical connection has any relation to charge rate. It's up to the phone and the charger to figure that out. The USB-Type C is just the physical plug.
    Possibly, but I wonder if "Fast Charge" is a feature of 3.1. If you're going with 3.1, then a C connector makes sense.
    Reply
  • DelightfulDucklings
    Looks good, glad to see more flagships finally, really interested in a tear down to see how the liquid cooling works
    Reply
  • mpdahaxing
    You guys think this will take better pictures than my 808 Pureview?
    Reply
  • DelightfulDucklings
    16739939 said:
    You guys think this will take better pictures than my 808 Pureview?

    I would say yes it most likely will but definitely wait for reviews on the camera to verify that.
    Reply
  • RedJaron
    16739874 said:
    really interested in a tear down to see how the liquid cooling works
    They say "liquid cooling" but judging from the exploded views in the presentation, it looks like a normal heat pipe / vapor chamber. Technically that is liquid cooling, but not in the way most computer people think of it.
    Reply
  • g-unit1111
    1440P? 16:9? Premium materials? 128GB micro SD? I'm in! This looks like a pretty awesome phone and it's good to see Microsoft get serious about WP10, which I would like to see make a dent in the lions' share of Android and iOS phones. If this phone were to come to Sprint I'd get one in half a second.
    Reply
  • alextheblue
    There's a typo in the spec column. Lists both phones as 5.7".

    "On the video side, the camera can shoot in 4K, although that will probably drain the battery life faster than you would like."

    The 810 supports hardware HEVC encoding as well as decoding. Not sure about the 808. But that means at least on the 950 XL 4K recording shouldn't be significantly worse. So if 4K video recording is something you plan to do a lot of, get the XL for certain and the biggest fastest UHS-I microSD card you can get.

    I'm crossing my fingers and praying Verizon will will get the 950 this year. Wish me luck.
    Reply
  • alextheblue
    Also I think that microSD support should read 256GB, not 200GB. Every source I come across says 256, not 128, not 200. :D

    Standout features I like: Dedicated shutter button (which is awesome on a Windows phone, unlock and shoot in a flash), large removable battery, great camera, best-in-class microSD support, Continuum, and Glance.
    Reply