Mobile Technology

New Lumia 950 and 950 XL push multitasking to the max

It's been a while since we've seen any flagship phones for Microsoft's platform, but the Lumia 950 and 950 XL will soon remedy that
It's been a while since we've seen any flagship phones for Microsoft's platform, but the Lumia 950 and 950 XL will soon remedy that
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The Lumia 950XL running Windows 10
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The Lumia 950XL running Windows 10
The new Lumias have 5 MP selfie cameras
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The new Lumias have 5 MP selfie cameras
It's been a while since we've seen any flagship phones for Microsoft's platform, but the Lumia 950 and 950 XL will soon remedy that
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It's been a while since we've seen any flagship phones for Microsoft's platform, but the Lumia 950 and 950 XL will soon remedy that
The rear shooter is a 20 MP camera with triple RGB flash
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The rear shooter is a 20 MP camera with triple RGB flash
The Windows 10 lock screen
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The Windows 10 lock screen
The backside of the 950XL
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The backside of the 950XL
The rear shooter is a 20 MP camera with triple RGB flash
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The rear shooter is a 20 MP camera with triple RGB flash
Charging is via a USB-C connection or wireless charging
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Charging is via a USB-C connection or wireless charging
The new display dock allows multitasking via Windows in a second screen
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The new display dock allows multitasking via Windows in a second screen
The phone can still be used independently when connected to the display dock
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The phone can still be used independently when connected to the display dock

At its big event on Tuesday Microsoft introduced the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book convertible tablets, overshadowing a pair of powerful new Lumia smartphones also designed with productivity in mind.

Panos Panay, Microsoft's VP recently promoted to head of devices including the Lumia and Surface lines, showed off the new Lumia 950 and 950 XL on stage at the New York event.

"This is the most productive phone you've ever picked up," he told the crowd of journalists and employees while holding up a 950 XL.

The claim isn't just hot air, thanks to the Windows 10 mobile operating system running on both. Unlike previous versions of Windows Phone and Windows Mobile that were more like shadows of the real deal, Windows 10 on these Lumias isn't just a mobile OS. Using Microsoft's Continuum feature and a new display dock, you can hook up a monitor, keyboard and mouse to your phone and run full-blown apps like Office, Edge or media players -- all while being able to still operate your phone completely independently.

Beyond the new spin on mobile multitasking, these Lumias offer pretty top notch hardware with the quality cameras we've come to expect from this line.

Microsoft has added multiple antennas to these phones for stronger, more consistent connections, a removable battery and a USB-C connection with quick charging capability, as well as wireless charging. Both also have a 20 megapixel PureView camera with a dedicated external camera button, Zeiss optics, triple RGB flash and image stabilization. The camera can shoot 4K video and automatically back it up to the cloud.

The rear shooter is a 20 MP camera with triple RGB flash
The rear shooter is a 20 MP camera with triple RGB flash

Microsoft is also introducing "glance screen technology" that gives you a quick look at your notifications when you hold your phone up without turning it on, a feature that phones like the Moto X have had for a couple years now.

As for the nitty gritty details, the Lumia 950 rocks a 5.2-inch 2,560 x 1,440 AMOLED screen, a Snapdragon 808 Hexa-core processor, 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB storage expandable to 200 GB via a microSD slot.

The phone can still be used independently when connected to the display dock
The phone can still be used independently when connected to the display dock

Storage and RAM are the same on the Lumia 950 XL, but as the name suggests, this is a bigger phone with a 5.7-inch display and an 810 Octa-core CPU.

The Lumia 950 starts at $549 and the 950 XL will be $649, with availability set for November. Presumably we'll see the display dock available at the same time, but there's been no official word on price for that one.

You can get a little taste of how Continuum for Windows 10 Mobile it works in the promotional video below:

Source: Microsoft

2 comments
zr2s10
I think these look great, and I've had a WP device before, the OS was pretty smooth. Now that they've fixed my issues with it (lack of customization, alert tones, etc), I'm looking to go back from Android. But I'm hoping the come up with a Surface Phone (think Note series competitor) before my contract is up!
socalboomer
Glance has been around for quite a while. I use it a lot - it's convenient during the day (just pick it up and time and a couple of alerts pop up) and I have it configured so that when it's plugged in, glance is always on so it's my clock at night. Very convenient and something that's been on since the end of WP7 beginning of WP8