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The Microsoft Lumia 950's Super sensitive touch screen – neither super, nor that sensitive?

Posted: , by Paul K.


The Microsoft Lumia 950's Super sensitive touch screen – neither super, nor that sensitive?

Back in 2012, Nokia introduced a tech it called Super sensitive touch – a way of constructing a smartphone's display panel so that it would be able to pick up user input, even if it's done with hands covered behind thick gloves. The tech then launched with the Lumia flagship of the time — the Lumia 920 — and continued on to the Lumia 930. And, according to some Microsoft promotional materials, it is also present on its latest top-shelf smartphones – the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL.

Well, since winter hit, users have noticed that their Lumias don't seem to work so well with gloves as they were supposed to. French media theWINdose heard those complaints and dug through the official Lumia spec sheets, found on Microsoft's web site, only to discover that, while older Lumias have the “Super sensitive touch” technology advertised right there, the Lumia 950 and 950 XL do not. Instead, their line reads “Touch screen technology: Capacitive multipoint-touch".

The Microsoft Lumia 950's Super sensitive touch screen – neither super, nor that sensitive?
Of course, we had to confirm, so we took a piece of cloth and tried to unlock our in-office Lumia 950 with it. It was pretty unresponsive, especially when compared to the Galaxy S6 that we grabbed at random – the latter phone was able to read user input, albeit with a bit of effort. The Windows 10 flagship barely reacted to our attempts to get through the lock screen.

Some are speculating that the feature has been software-disabled in order to lessen battery drain in Windows 10, however, Lumia 930 owners argue that Super sensitive touch still works on their handsets, despite the fact they have upgraded to Windows 10. And, as we said earlier, Super sensitive touch is a feature achieved by the hardware construction of the display panel, not some software wizardry. It was developed by Synaptics and basically merges the screen's capacitive layer with the actual display unit, creating a number of benefits – a thinner overall display panel, more brightness for less battery power, and, of course, superior sensitivity, which can discern weaker input signals.

OK, so some tech may have been omitted from the construction of the new Lumia flagships in favor of something else – while a sad point, that's not something rare in the world consumer products. However, what's pretty bad here is that Microsoft's own Store page does list the Lumia 950 and 950 XL as having Super sensitive touch.

Lumia 950, Microsoft's Store page

Lumia 950, Microsoft's Store page

Lumia 950, Microsoft's Specs page

Lumia 950, Microsoft's Specs page

So, is this a case of copy-pasting on the official website, without much attention to detail? Or did Microsoft truly intend on having Super sensitive touch on the Lumia 950, but something happened at the last minute and it was omitted from the production (and, since it was last minute, someone forgot to delete the spec in the store page)? Or, does it just mean that Super sensitive touch is on the new Lumias, but does not work as well as we've heard it should?

We've asked Microsoft to clear this up for us and will update this as we get a reply.

source: Microsoft (Store, Specs) via theWINdose (translated)

  • Options

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 04:12 4

1. lukkiristi (Posts: 68; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)

Not NOKIA Lumia 950...

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 04:37 2

3. paul.k (Posts: 146; Member since: 17 Jul 2014)

Oops, brain wandered off for a minute there. Thanks

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 07:45 3

13. megaangelic (Posts: 1; Member since: 19 Jan 2016)

This may sound stupid, but you know it isn't turned on by default right? You have tried turning it on?

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 08:58 1

14. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 2193; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)

With The Display They Are Talking About It Doesn't Have To Be Turned On.

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 09:01 3

15. paul.k (Posts: 146; Member since: 17 Jul 2014)

There doesn't seem to be a software setting for it, at least not in the current Windows 10 build. If you know of a hidden one, by all means - let us know

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 11:24 1

24. elitewolverine (Posts: 5111; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)

if it is...its under settings - extras - touch

1520 has 3

Gestures, wake up on double tap


Use screen with gloves
vibrate when nav keys are touched

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 17:54 1

25. tigermcm (Posts: 851; Member since: 02 Sep 2009)

I have the 950, thats not an option

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 04:24 2

2. Sidewinder (Posts: 411; Member since: 15 Jan 2015)

Without that Nokia touch it ain't a lumia..

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 04:52 1

4. iusshpandeh (Posts: 250; Member since: 23 Jul 2014)

I have Lumia 950 and it works with my gloves on! I tried with tip of pencil and pen too, it also worked!

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 05:15 8

5. Charlie2k (Posts: 28; Member since: 11 Jan 2016)

When Nokia and Microsoft had this feature NO journalist would ever comment on it or how well it functioned. And it was strictly forbiden to compare the amount of features on Lumias to the ones that could be found at iPhones. Then when Microsoft have disabled the function by software journalist make a big deal out of it. Ooooonly at iphonearena :)

So... prove me wrong. I've been looking at Phonearena for the article that inspect Apples claims from their marketingmaterial on their homepage.

"iPhone 6s also introduces groundbreaking new technologies, including 3D Touch and Live Photos."

"The A9 chip is capable of gaming console–class graphics performance"

"iPhone 6s is powered by the custom-designed 64-bit A9 chip. It delivers performance once found only in desktop computers. "

"The world’s strongest smartphone glass. "

"You can easily activate Siri by saying “Hey Siri” whenever your iPhone 6s is nearby."
YES... it works that good... aaaahahaha.

And so on... well.. I might be bad at searching for articles on Phonearena - or Alan havent written it yet ;-)

posted on 21 Jan 2016, 01:22

28. SemperFiV12 (Posts: 944; Member since: 09 Nov 2010)

LOLLLLL... This comment is MONEY.

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 05:26 2

6. SIGPRO (Posts: 1385; Member since: 03 Oct 2012)

This is BS, it works just tested it several times on my 950XL!

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 07:23 1

10. jojon (Posts: 332; Member since: 11 Feb 2014)

yeah, you right, they just love to put the boots into MS/Lumia

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 06:17 2

7. LAFN (Posts: 56; Member since: 19 Jul 2009)

I have noticed with my wife's 950 that sometimes the screen doesnt respond well when the phone is sitting on a table but if you are holding it the screen responds very well. Some safety feature for preventing but dialing?

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 06:40

8. elitewolverine (Posts: 5111; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)

I remember them reporting that too. They might want to hold it and retry.

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 06:51

9. Mikele (Posts: 43; Member since: 19 Nov 2013)

How could a glove touch the screen of Lumia 950 and it went blank? We should review the reviewers!

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 07:25 1

11. david_zaqariashvili (Posts: 2; Member since: 18 Jan 2014)

super-sensitive touch has gone. microsoft ,why?

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 07:37 1

12. nenadmitrovic (Posts: 58; Member since: 01 Aug 2014)

My lumia 925 works with everything, thick gloves, cloth... Just when it's setting set for high, but that is standard setting

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 09:06 2

16. Gemmol (Posts: 788; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)

It works, they just wanted to put false news, plus its windows they hate windows, great post guys

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 10:41 1

23. xnga123 (Posts: 51; Member since: 05 Dec 2014)

buy a pair of special winter gloves for touchscreens from china for less than a $

posted on 20 Jan 2016, 02:11

26. iamashpatel (Posts: 9; Member since: 20 Jan 2016)

Tried it. Works perfectly well in hand, but doesn't on surface. I think it's a safety feature. Stop hating Windows. It can turn as good as iOS if you can use it ( works for me at least).

posted on 20 Jan 2016, 10:31

27. isprobi (Posts: 635; Member since: 30 May 2011)

When I first tried WP back on 7.x I thought it showed promise. But now I see the OS is not bad but Microsoft has totally missed on hardware. First an iris scanner that cannot handle people who wear glasses. Now this. They should farm the hardware design out to someone who knows what they are doing or just sell of the cellphone business.

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