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".

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.


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)

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)
Lumia 950 XL
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 20 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, Octa-core, 2000 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3340 mAh(19h 3G talk time)

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24 Comments

1. lukkiristi unregistered

Not NOKIA Lumia 950...

3. paul.k

Posts: 294; Member since: Jul 17, 2014

Oops, brain wandered off for a minute there. Thanks

13. megaangelic

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 19, 2016

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

14. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

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

15. paul.k

Posts: 294; Member since: Jul 17, 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

24. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

if it is...its under settings - extras - touch 1520 has 3 Gestures, wake up on double tap Touch Use screen with gloves vibrate when nav keys are touched

25. tigermcm

Posts: 861; Member since: Sep 02, 2009

I have the 950, thats not an option

2. Sidewinder

Posts: 515; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

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

4. iusshpandeh

Posts: 250; Member since: Jul 23, 2014

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

5. Charlie2k

Posts: 128; Member since: Jan 11, 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 ;-)

28. SemperFiV12

Posts: 949; Member since: Nov 09, 2010

LOLLLLL... This comment is MONEY.

6. SIGPRO

Posts: 2817; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

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

10. jojon

Posts: 433; Member since: Feb 11, 2014

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

7. LAFN

Posts: 61; Member since: Jul 19, 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?

8. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

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

9. Mikele

Posts: 151; Member since: Nov 19, 2013

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

11. david_zaqariashvili

Posts: 4; Member since: Jan 18, 2014

super-sensitive touch has gone. microsoft ,why?

12. nenadmitrovic

Posts: 64; Member since: Aug 01, 2014

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

16. Gemmol

Posts: 793; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

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

23. xnga123

Posts: 51; Member since: Dec 05, 2014

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

26. iamashpatel

Posts: 10; Member since: Jan 20, 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).

27. isprobi

Posts: 797; Member since: May 30, 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.

29. sebi123

Posts: 2; Member since: Jul 26, 2016

If the touch setting is not available, under extras, use SYSTEM APP PUSHER, from the Windows store, to download the setting, and please do the test again!!!

30. sebi123

Posts: 2; Member since: Jul 26, 2016

(SysApp Pusher) is the name of the app in the store!

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