Microsoft Lumia 950 uncovered: the new top-tier Windows phone, comes with Continuum

The Lumia 950 is a premium phone made by Microsoft and running on Windows 10. It features a 5.2-inch display with a Quad HD resolution and is powered by the Snapdragon 808 system chip. On the back, it sports a powerful, 20 MP camera with a ZEISS lens and triple LED flash, while up front it has a 5-megapixel selfie cam. It's also got USB Type C with support for rapid charging and wireless charging

The two most imporant features of the Lumia 950 are the infra-red sensor that supports Windows Hello beta for securely unlocking the phone, and you can also use the phone to power up a monitor and run full blown Windows with Continuum and a separate docking station.

First, here is a quick list at the specs:

Platform: Windows 10
Dimensions: 82.1 x 145 x 73.2 mm
Screen: 5.2-inch AMOLED screen with a resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels (564ppi)
SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 @ 1.8GHz, liquid cooling
Internal Storage: 32GB, with microSD card slot
Main camera: 20 MP with triple LED flash and 4K video with 5th gen OIS
Front cam: 5MP selfie cam
Connectivity: 4G LTE, dual-band antenna, and USB Type C connector
Battery: 3000mAh, supports rapid charging and wireless charging

All in all, the Lumia 950 checks all the boxes with no immediate weaknesses in terms of pure specs: the battery is larger than average for its class, the storage starts at the rather plentiful 32GB, there is support for expandable storage, and you even get optical stabilization for the camera. The only thing obviously missing is a fingerprint scanner, but Microsoft has come up with a secure alternative with Hello.

There are quite a few nice touches as well: a dedicated camera shutter key that you can use to capture an image or a video without having to first go through the hassle of unlocking the phone.

Microsoft is the first phone maker that equips its phones with liquid cooling tech. You can joke all you want about Snapdragon processors overheating, but the likely reason for this is more likely to lie in the extremely taxing and extremely useful Continuum.

Speaking of it, it's not all about the specs this time around as Microsoft has a couple of aces up its sleeve.


Continuum is a hugely appealing new feature that comes with Windows 10. With it you can connect your phone to a monitor and have it work as a desktop computer, running desktop apps (likely, with some limitations, but we're yet to hear about them).

It all happens simply via a dedicated dock that you plug your phone into. While it is powering the monitor with a desktop Windows experience, you can still use your phone independently and fully: get phone calls, or just play around with it.

Windows Hello beta

Both new Lumia phones and the 950 in particular unlocks with an infra-red scanner located on the front. It allows you to use Windows Hello, a new and totally secure method for unlocking your phone. 

Neatly, the infra-red part means that the front facing infra-red camera tech will work even in low light, so you can unlock the phone in a variety of lighting conditions.

Price and release date

The Lumia 950 price is set at $550 and that's the full retail price. It's a sweet price point that's $100 below the cost of the top-tier smartphones from others like the Apple iPhone 6.

For those who are already sold on the idea, Microsoft said that the new Lumia 950 release date is pinned for November, so you'd need to wait at least a month until you're able to buy the handset.

This story is being developed as the news unfolds...



1. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Wow, their continuum demo was legend. May just be the game changer they need. I am going to get at least one of these on release.

19. Spedez

Posts: 542; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

No more docks and clutter on my desk thank you. I'm having my PC as a PC and a phone as a phone without messing around extra cables and boxes. The phone will be vastly slower than any average PC anyhow but nice gimmick with very little practical added value to average user.

24. AnTuTu

Posts: 1621; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

You haven't even tried and started making stuff. This is the future and will be a game changer.

2. greenelektron

Posts: 537; Member since: Sep 10, 2014


13. eanfoso

Posts: 9; Member since: Oct 01, 2015

PureView, expect Nothing less in quality compared to a DSLR.

16. microsoftnokiawin

Posts: 1268; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

I wouldn't call the 20mp Pureview comparable to DSLR but they're certainly light years ahead !

28. microsoftnokiawin

Posts: 1268; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

lightyears ahead of other phone camera btw not DSLR

21. boosook

Posts: 1442; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

the only phones with a true PureView camera were the 808 and the 1020. Anything that has been made after the 1020 has just used the PureView brand on normal sensors, which gave good results, but nothing that could be compared to the 1020, let alone the 808. Btw, are you serious about the DSLR thing? Do you really believe that this phone will deliver images with the same quality? If so, Microsoft's marketing has worked really well during the last three years.

3. redmd

Posts: 1947; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

They should also release a compact version. 4.5 inch Lumia 950c.

10. Chris_Bakke

Posts: 247; Member since: Jan 23, 2013

They will have the 8, 7, 6 series for anyone wanting a smaller phone.

4. Podrick

Posts: 1285; Member since: Aug 19, 2015


5. Shocky unregistered

Yay, another under-powered phone, raise your hands!! It's frustrating, they've not even attempting to compete with Samsung or Apple, they're just scrapping for that's left of the market share share with HTC and other that barely register.

8. benno

Posts: 94; Member since: Apr 17, 2015

Not a bad troll post I guess. A bit obvious and not funny, but at least you made yourself look stupid. That's something.

6. maddy996

Posts: 128; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

$550 is quite reasonable but it'll be great if they put the price tag between $450-499

12. DeusExCellula

Posts: 1390; Member since: Oct 05, 2014

I just spemt 550 on a galaxy s6... This should be cheaper

14. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

It'll drop fast. It's windows.

20. Spedez

Posts: 542; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

I'd rather get an iPhone with that price and I hate iPhones.

7. Pattyface

Posts: 1658; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

I'd rather go with the xl but why is it that the smaller of the two has a smaller camera back and the xl has the bigger camera area? What did they add that makes it larger or is this just a design decision?

9. benno

Posts: 94; Member since: Apr 17, 2015

Did they say duAL sim

11. Bernoulli

Posts: 4362; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

I'd definitely take some continuum!

15. shinywindow unregistered

nice. hopefully I can pick one up on CL in January for 1/3 price.

17. shinywindow unregistered

will make a backup for sure to my S6

18. kaikuheadhunterz

Posts: 1157; Member since: Jul 18, 2013

Wait does the Snapdragon 808 still need extra cooling to perform well?

25. Hitokage

Posts: 103; Member since: Mar 01, 2015

It's probably a matter of them wanting to ensure it performs the best it can without throttling. Then again, I have heard people say the LG G4 gets uncomfortably warm, so you never know.

22. benno

Posts: 94; Member since: Apr 17, 2015

No ...

23. fahad_wajid

Posts: 13; Member since: Jul 30, 2015

why they didn't put slowmotion video option in lumia 950 ? they still do mistakes. otherwise the phone is good

26. FrankUnderwood2

Posts: 243; Member since: Oct 01, 2015

QHD was really required on a 5.2 inches display Lumia.

27. FrankUnderwood2

Posts: 243; Member since: Oct 01, 2015

I mean QHD was really NOT required on a 5.2" Lumia display.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.