Microsoft has officially introduced its new flagship-class smartphones. The Lumia 950 is a 5.2 inch smartphone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor, while the Lumia 950 XL has a 5.7 inch screen and a Snapdragon 810 octa-core CPU.

Both phones ship with Windows 10 software, support Microsoft’s Continuum for Phone software that lets you treat the phone like a desktop when you connect an external display, mouse, and keyboard, and a 20MP camera with optical image stabilization.

They’ll be available in November with the Lumia 950 starting at $549, and the Lumia 950 XL starting at $649.

lumia 950 family

Both phones have 2560 x 1440 pixel OLED displays, support for 4K video recording, and support for firing up the camera with the press of a button, even when the screen is off.

The phones feature adaptive dual antenna systems, which allows the phone to automatically switch antennas to get the best performance, even if you’re holding your phone in a way that would mess with the reception of one antenna.

Worried that the Snapdragon processor in your new phone might overheat? Microsoft says the new phones feature tablet-class liquid-cooling technology.

The Lumia 950 and 950 XL have microSD card slots that support up to 2TB of storage.

The phones have USB Type-C connectors, which Microsoft says supports fast charging: you can get a 50 percent charge by plugging in your phone for 30 minutes.

Continuum for phone might not let you run classic Win32 apps on your smartphone, but the new Universal Windows App platform allows many apps to run across both phones and desktops. Out of the box, these phones will support Microsoft Office, the Edge web browser, and Outlook apps, all of which look like desktop apps when you connect an external display.

lumia display dock

How do you do that? The Microsoft Display Dock is an accessory that connects to the USB Type-C port on your phone and has 3 USB ports, HDMI, and DisplayPort connections that let you hook up a display, keyboard, and mouse.

The dock measures 2.5″ x 2.5″ x 1″ and weighs 8 ounces. It supports external display with resolutions up to 1920 x 1080 pixels.

continuum dock

When your phone is connected, the Start Screen shows up on your external display as a Start Menu. There’s a taskbar, and support for running Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and other apps. They’re the same apps that you use on your phone, but they take advantage of the extra screen real estate.

Need to take a call or do something else on your phone? You can use it independently while the desktop experience continues to work on your external display.

Need to copy files to or from your phone? You can insert a USB flash drive to the Display Dock and access them in Continuum. For example, you can load photos from a flash drive and add them to a PowerPoint presentation.

The dock also lets you stream full HD video to an external display.

Aside from screen sizes and processors, there’s one more key difference between the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL. The larger model has a 3340 mAh battery, while the smaller phone has a 3000 mAh battery.

Interestingly, the Microsoft website also says the Lumia 950XL supports FM Radio, while the Lumia 950 does not.

lumia 550_001

Want a more affordable phone? Microsoft also revealed that the Lumia 550 will be available in December for $139. That model has a quad-core processor a “great camera” and support for 4G LTE, but it won’t support Continuum for phone features.

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17 replies on “Microsoft Lumia 950 and 950 XL coming in November for $549 and up”

  1. That guy in the picture looks like he buys all of his clothes at Target

  2. best way to kill a phone is to have an exclusive contract with a carrier. Goodbye Lumia 950, we hardly knew you.

      1. there’s 2 reasons the iPhone didn’t flop when it was exclusive to AT&T.
        1) When the iPhone is the ONLY phone that runs the Apple iOS system, the chances of it flopping is less unlikely compared to other OSes that have more than 1 option.
        2) add in the rabid unreasonable Apple fans, and it makes it even less likely to flop.

        1. No… you’re forgetting that when the iPhone came out there wasn’t yet a cult following… They had to get hooked first and that took a few years… Especially, as they didn’t start out with a good app ecosystem, among other limitations when they first started…

          And second, there’s no guarantee for either exclusive or multiple products succeeding or failing… There’s examples of both in the market history… and that’s kind of what differentiates the Android and iOS markets as well, with one providing a single device platform and the other providing choices… Both can work as is obvious by now…

          Besides, the iPhone isn’t the only carrier exclusive example that succeeded… The Droid franchise, for example, worked for many years on Verizon… among yet other examples…

          1. not a cult following for the iPhone, but a cult following for Apple products in general. I know because I knew several who bought it because it was an Apple product.

          2. Back then they were a very small minority… So no, can’t blame it on that and besides, again, there were other such exclusives that also succeeded…

  3. So essentially this does not let you install any regular programs but only apps. The future would be when you can install legacy programs.

    1. Maybe if they come out with an Atom based phone. If they’re willing to have the cheap tier of devices not support Continuum then they should be open to another tier of Windows Mobile 10 supporting legacy programs via x86 chipset in the smartphone.

    2. Then you’re going to have to wait a long time. Microsoft isn’t going to allow legacy apps to run on their mobile platform unless they’re forced to out of sheer desperation. The Windows 10 app ecosystem is the most important aspect of MS’s dive into mobile. It’s what will allow them to continue competing with Apple and Google. The hardware is almost incidental.

      1. I see where you going with this, you mean paid apps but still if they want the window store to be taken seriously then MS need to allow their phone to run legacy apps and then channel or encourage one way or another for all legacy programs dev. to sell new or existing legacy programs via MS store.

        If you can use legacy on mobile people will be lining to buy their phones.

        1. Paid, or shareware, or freemium — MS wants its cut. MS will also argue that the number of legacy applications that run well on phones and are suited to touch screens of that size are pretty small (and do people below a certain age even care?). If MS had the selection of apps that Apple has (and perhaps even Google) then (almost) nobody would be arguing that legacy support was necessary.

          Legacy apps won’t save MS’s mobile platform. They might even hinder it, in the long run.

          1. I disagree, I like my surface Pro or eyeing the new Surface book for a reason. And its not because of Window Mobile Platform apps. Just like I said MS will make money if they can convince developer and programer to sell their apps or programs via MS store. A truly Window 10 mobile that can work as a desktop with all legacy apps/programs will disrupt Laptop and desktop just like how Tablet are eating into Laptop sales. Imagine all you carry is your phone, dock it with any monitor wireless or wired and start using it as your main and only pc (personal computer). You serious don’t think there a market for that? Or that it will hurt MS mobile platform? Seriously?

  4. Wonder if the support for up to 2 TB SD or microSD cards
    will get to x86 Windows 10 anytime soon.

    How many “Universal Windows app”(s) are there? Will
    this platform be abandoned just like Windows RT (which can’t
    run the Universal Windows apps)?

    1. Abandoned?… No, as it’s basically running Core Windows 10… What they’ve done is turn Windows 10 into a scalable OS that can be optimized for a given platform form factor and usage model. So they would have to give up the entire Windows platform from top to bottom to Abandon it this time and that’s not likely to happen…

      While multiple companies have announced they are already developing Universal apps and the phones will launch with MS Mobile Office universal apps… along with the platform not being locked down like RT was, as anyone can develop Universal apps and not just MS, which was one of the problems with the locked down desktop on RT. So, at the very least it’s more promising than RT ever was…

      They’re also including translation layers to support easy porting of Android and iOS apps, similar to how devices like BB phones can run Android apps. So developers don’t have to start from scratch to support the new platform, unless they want to develop a Universal app to reach more user types and not just provide the same phone/tablet only apps as they do on other platforms… which also means they can reach desktop users too because Universal apps will run on all Windows 10 platforms…

      The only issue will be with apps that are highly integrated with Android OS, like messaging apps, etc. that will have to be made to work with Windows alternatives to those system resources… While it is technically possible to run Android OS on W10 Mobile but MS will likely prevent that to prevent conflicting with Google, who they’re finally not constantly battling with these days… So, only app compatibility but we may be able to side load quite a few apps…

      For the 2TB… that’s just the theoretical max for SDXC/microSDXC cards but you can get up to 128GB already, if you can afford the highest capacity cards they can offer right now.

      It’s more a question of whether your device will support the highest speeds as not all readers that support the format also support the high speed configuration that requires a extra pin in the pinout… and really high capacity is best coupled with high speed performance…

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