Microsoft Lumia 950: The first 48-hours

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
Microsoft Lumia 950: The first 48-hours
Starting today, consumers can go to their local AT&T retail store and purchase the Microsoft Lumia 950 – powered by Windows 10. It’s the beginning of a journey for the Redmond based company, which has been investing a lot of time, resources, and development in its revamped platform. The Microsoft folks sent us a special package a few days ago, containing the new smartphone in question along with some extra goodies.

Having it for a couple days at this point, it’s not enough time to really get acquainted with all the ins and outs of what the phone has to offer. So instead, I'm just going to detail some of the things that I’ve come across in my short time using it, which I feel to be noteworthy – whether it’s good or bad even. I’m familiar with Windows Phone, but in all fairness, I haven’t made Windows Phone my daily driver since the HTC Arrive/Pro 7.

Much has changed since that handset, as the platform evolved to its most current iteration in Windows 10. The Microsoft Lumia 950 is one of two brand new handsets running the new platform, which hopes to reinvigorate interest in the platform. At the heart of it all, the identity of Windows is intact with this updated OS, so it’s a familiar scene for us catching up with the Lumia 950 once again. In my short time, here are some of the things I’ve come to realize:

  • Continuum is the platform’s coolest feature: Finally, we have the power of a PC in the palm of our hands with the Lumia 950. Using Continuum, we can experience a very desktop-like Windows 10 experience using the phone with the Display Dock. However, it seems that only the native apps, as well as those from Microsoft’s portfolio (Word, Excel, etc), are compatible using the feature. The vast majority of third party apps have not been optimized to support it.

  • You can use Continuum wirelessly, without the dock: We really thought that you needed the Display Dock to experience Continuum. Interestingly, though, we can get access to Continuum wirelessly by connecting the Lumia 950 to a Miracast enabled device (a dongle connected to our television in our case). Sure, there might be a little bit of latency issues, but it’s still usable.

  • Better apps ecosystem: Microsoft has been doing a better job of getting all the apps we actually use, so we’re happy how it’s competing against other mobile platforms. Although it would be unheard of for it to lack apps like Facebook or Twitter, but we do appreciate how the platform is greeted with other apps that would have otherwise been non-existent even a couple years ago – such as Swarm for example.

  • If you’re invested in Google’s ecosystem, you can forget about it: Unfortunately, the Windows Store is sorely lacking the many Google Apps we’re familiar with on Android or iOS. Yes, there’s the official Google app, but you’re pretty much out of luck if you happen to use Google Voice or Google+. They’re just not there.

  • Apps just have a habit of refreshing constantly: Who knows why, but the platform still has some issues when it comes to refreshing apps whenever we exit out of them. Pandora is a perfect example, as it never seems capable of staying in the same position in our station listing whenever we happen to exit the app and come back to it. Of course, it’s even more maddening having to constantly scroll through the listing whenever we come back to the app.

  • Windows Hello is pretty accurate: While it lacks a fingerprint sensor, the Lumia 950 has a killer feature in Windows Hello, which utilizes an iris scan to verify your identity to unlock the phone. After getting our eyes scanned a few times to improve its accuracy, it becomes pretty routine for Windows Hello to recognize us and unlock the phones. Even in dim conditions, it works rather well.

Related phones

Lumia 950
  • Display 5.2" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 20 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 808, Hexa-core, 1800 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(18h 3G talk time)



1. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

The first move

2. Plume-Veil

Posts: 174; Member since: Nov 19, 2015

The Nokia Lumia are much better and looks nicer in designs than MS Lumia.

15. jontaylor07

Posts: 169; Member since: Oct 12, 2015

This phone was designed by the Nokia team and follows the design language from 930 > 635 > 640 (and others) so it's just the logical next step of their design. That said, I think I like the older Nokia phone's designs better in terms of looks, but they wasted a lot of space. But I also like the iPhone 5 better than the iPhone 6s.

19. DoggyDangerous

Posts: 1028; Member since: Aug 28, 2015

All the early reviewers like CNET, pcworld, the verge, arstechnica and many more has given bad reviews about 950. Windows 10 is half baked os. Camera doesn't have big lead over competitors, like the case two years ago. Much hyped continuum is still half baked. Maps are bad like apple maps. Camera app is missing some important features of lumia camera app. There is nothing to waste 500$ on this phone. A lot of keys apps are still missing. Those who like to advocate windows should read early reviews. Then may be, they will come out of delusion or fake excitement. PA should include 950 in camera comparisons now

22. Pattyface

Posts: 1658; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

I have nothing to compare it to as far as previous experience but I'm quite enjoying this phone. The keyboard is amazing, the camera is as good or better than any that I've had, battery is Steller, love that edge has the URL bar on the bottom (makes way more sense than on top), screen is beautiful, awesome dedicated camera, live photos. The build quality is great but not near as premium feeling as my s6 edge plus, search button seems strange to me, hello seems to be a bit slower than I like but really say try it and form tour own opinion versus being a lemming and letting someone else form your own opinion

34. iusshpandeh

Posts: 250; Member since: Jul 23, 2014

I watched Verge review, and he missed so much. He said display was washed out, but he didn't know that there is setting to change the screen tempeature and saturation. He said camera was OK, but he missed the best Manual Controls, Rich Capture and Details that the camera captures. He also missed RAW format capture, Point-and -hold 4K shoot and later being able to grab 8 MP fotos out of it! He didn't talk about OIS or Low Light! And, he said Continuum was some how bad! But Michael Fisher said very different. Guys at Verge never talked about the bugs that came with iOS 7, 8 and 9 on brand new iPhone's but they are saying Windows 10 mobile is unstable after using a day. They are biased. They are iSheeps. Those tech channels are EXCLUSIVELY ''MADE FOR iSHEEPS"

37. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

It's the verge. You wrote that entire paragraph for no reason when all you had to say was. It's the Verge.....enough said.

23. Paximos

Posts: 282; Member since: Jul 26, 2012

Here we go again

31. gazmatic

Posts: 808; Member since: Sep 06, 2012


3. slannmage

Posts: 289; Member since: Mar 26, 2013

I'll wait for the Surface Phone, until then I'm sticking to my iPhone.

4. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

I really do like Nokia/Microsoft but I don't see them going much farther then they are now. Unless, they improve their ecosystem.

16. jontaylor07

Posts: 169; Member since: Oct 12, 2015

Windows 10 is a big improvement. As long as there is Windows on the desktop, they will put Windows on phones, even if it isn't hugely successful.

5. maikyvenger

Posts: 17; Member since: Jan 08, 2013

I'll receive it today :-)

13. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

don't make us jealous

36. Plume-Veil

Posts: 174; Member since: Nov 19, 2015

"Don't make us jealous".

6. 7thspaceman

Posts: 1597; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Folks the Microsoft 950 and the 950XL are the first in the class of super MS universal apps Arms CPU smartphones however Microsoft has to make a cheaper models of that has the Windows 10 "Continuum" feature so more People can afford to buy Windows 10 smart phones that have it. The Rumored Microsoft "Surface Brand" smart phones are said to be able to run a special version of FULL WINDOWS 10 OS and run desktop Windows 32 programs as well as run the new MS Universal Apps and Windows 10 store apps. This can be achieved by Microsoft Surface smartphones using Intel Atom x3 C3440 or x3 C3445 CPU's which are used in some Android smart phones today. These Atom smart phone/ tablet CPU'S can run full Windows 10 which means they can run full Windows 32 desktop programs. That means the eco system of full desktop Windows 32 programs and touch screen Windows 10 apps for a Surface smart could run is in the Millions. WOW this means a "Surface smartphone with the new Intel Mobile Atom CPU's will be a true Smart phone pocket PC Hybrid. The Surface smart phones with full Windows 10 would be awesome running in Windows 10 "Continuum Mode" and probably the only Windows smart phone that would dramatically increase needed windows smart phones sales.

7. iusshpandeh

Posts: 250; Member since: Jul 23, 2014

I love this phone! Polycarbonate is AWESOME! And, this phone feels amazing in hand, much better than my pointy edged Lumia 930. If you are comparing it to older Lumia just cause of pics, you're missing one of the best in hand feeling. I used it for quite bit of time, my friend got one, and I'm surely going to get Lumia 950xl instead of Priv what I was thinking to get! And, CAMERA!!!!! OH MAN! THIS THING IS GONNA BLOW YOU AWAY; GO AHEAD AND CHECK IT OUT!

9. Pattyface

Posts: 1658; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

My priv went back due to hardware issues and I decided to pick the l950 up as my first windows phone and I have to say I'm impressed so far. Will it replace my s6 edge plus? Nope but it's a great little phone so far. My battery life has been amazing right off the first full charge somehow

17. jontaylor07

Posts: 169; Member since: Oct 12, 2015

Yeah, battery life is surprisingly good if you're coming from Android. If you're coming from iOS, it's better life and bigger batteries. As the owner of an L 640, I can confirm that although it has unassuming looks, it feels great to hold.

8. Spedez

Posts: 542; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

WP global marketshare has dropped to 1,7% last quarter. Good luck with that ecosystem.

18. jontaylor07

Posts: 169; Member since: Oct 12, 2015

And yet there are more Windows 10 devices than Mac OS devices, just a few months after launch. We already know of several major apps coming, and there are new apps launching all the time. I think it'll probably be just fine.

42. oldhamletman

Posts: 72; Member since: Sep 03, 2011

outright lie

10. isprobi

Posts: 797; Member since: May 30, 2011

I was considering the 950XL but the lack of front facing stereo speakers and app choice made me decide to go with the Sony Z5 Premium (which I really like).

28. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

How crazy is the display? I am display w***e and if this can beat the Note 5 and GS6 displays I might pick it up eventually. I loved the Xperia Z3 display.

11. senseiJ

Posts: 172; Member since: May 02, 2015

Id grab a lumia if it weren't for the lack of quality apps :/

12. cornerofthemoon

Posts: 620; Member since: Apr 20, 2010

News of the near future: Microsoft abandons its OS entirely.

14. Gemmol

Posts: 793; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

Had mines for a few days, I made a early review video but never posted it on youtube, it's a very good phone, battery life is great, well that's windows phone for you, it never had bad battery life. The camera is so beautiful, oh my, oh my, I have the white and it is so pretty, I decided to use a clear case, with a temper glass so people can see all of its beauty

20. isprobi

Posts: 797; Member since: May 30, 2011

"all of its beauty" how ugly was your previous phone? I guess beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. I think my Sony Xperia Z5 Premium in Chrome finish is beautiful.

38. Gemmol

Posts: 793; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

definitely eye of the beholder, I just look up pictures of yours, I do not like it much, but maybe in person I would feel different, cause thats how I felt about the 950, I did not like the pictures so much but when I open the box and seen the white on the back I love how smooth and clean it looks and the AT&T logo is perfect on maybe I would feel different if I seen yours up close.........I learn not to trust pics since the phone came out

33. gazmatic

Posts: 808; Member since: Sep 06, 2012

post it. I wanna watch it. I am still waiting on mine

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