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Lumia 950 official: The flagship Windows 10 phone is here

by Brandon Russell | October 6, 2015October 6, 2015 7:55 am PDT

Microsoft’s Lumia 950 is finally official. The company’s first flagship Windows 10 phone was unveiled at a press event on Tuesday. Excited to use Windows 10 Mobile? This is the device you’ll want to get. (Or, if you prefer, you can get the 950’s bigger brother, which is the beefier of the two).

While the specs of the device are similar to some of today’s top Android phones, Microsoft focused more on what sets the Lumia 950 apart. For one, the device features “tablet class” liquid cooling, which sounds to us like a slight jab at the Qualcomm hubbub from earlier this year. “We wanted to push these machines as hard as we possibly could,” Microsoft’s Panos Panay said.

The 950’s 5.2-inch OLED screen has 518ppi, and features something called “Glance screen,” which is a lot like Ambient display or Moto Display, allowing fans to get a peek at features without having to touch any buttons on their phone. And all without sacrificing battery, Microsoft said. It’s been available on Lumia for a while, but it should be much improved in Windows 10 Mobile.

On the back there’s a 20-megapixel sensor, with triple LED RGB natural flash, and 5th generation optical image stabilization. Oh, and there’s a dedicated camera button, which fans at the events got a kick out of. Microsoft said the camera should perform well in lowlight, which is pretty much what every company says when a new phone is announced.

You can also record in 4K, something that we expected. Add all that up and we should get a pretty incredible camera experience, though that’s something we’ve come to expect from Lumia phones. The mobile camera market has become very competitive over the past few years, so the camera is one area where the new Lumias need to excel.

Some of the other specs include 32GB of expandable storage, USB-C, and the ability to get 50 percent of charge within 30 minutes. No mention of wireless charging, but when you can quick charge like that, it’s not such a big deal.

Of course, you’ll be able to also take advantage of things like Office, Cortana, Skype, OneDrive and more. Microsoft has some of the best mobile and desktop service, so they will be pushed as differentiators in the Lumia 950, especially with features like Continuum and universal apps between Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 10.

“This is supposed to be the most productive phone you’ve ever picked up,” Microsoft said.

To get that point across, Microsoft demoed Continuum once again, showing how universal apps work and how the UI scales to different size screens. The company also briefly gave a demo of Windows Hello, which allows users to login to their device with biometrics; the feature will recognize you, say your name and log you in instantly. This is, after all, Windows 10 on your phone.

The Lumia 950 will retail for $549, and launch in November.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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