This morning Apple began selling the enormously anticipated iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Microsoft, makers of Lumia smartphones and Surface tablets, doesn’t have anything to say about its rumored iPhone 6s rivals officially. That isn’t stopping us from learning all there is to really know about the Lumia 950, Lumia 950 XL and Lumia 550.
Just hours ago, Nokia Forever, a Latin American Facebook group posted pictures of slides reportedly shown at an event that Microsoft held for its Mexico employees. Those slides reveal everything, from the Iris Scanner that’ll allow Lumia users to skip passcodes like the iPhone 6s’ TouchID finger print readers, to color choice and accessories.
Microsoft hasn’t confirmed that these devices are coming explicitly, but has talked up new flagship running Windows Phone arriving sometime this year at other events. Last week the company sent out invitations to a Windows 10 related devices event on October 6th. The Lumia 950 XL, Lumia 950 and Lumia 550 are expected to be announced there. Rumor is that a Surface Pro 4 announcement is coming too.
The Microsoft Lumia 950 is the direct iPhone 6s alternative the company needs in its arsenal. Pictures of the slideshow Microsoft showed to its own employees indicate that the Lumia 950 will have a 5.2-inch QuadHD display and a hexa-core Snapdragon. A rear-facing camera built into the back of the device will have a 20 megapixel sensor and optical image stabilization. The Lumia 950 has 32GB of storage, 3GB of RAM and a 5 megapixel front-facing camera that can capture images at a wide-angle.
Coming to compete with the iPhone 6s Plus is the Lumia 950 XL . This device has an even more robust Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor. The display measures 5.7-inchdes diagonally and there’s a 20 megapixel camera with optical image stabilization and triple flash instead of the dual flash found on the Lumia 950. This device also has 32GB of storage and a 5 megapixel wide-angle front-facing camera.
Other slides breakdown the features that Microsoft hopes will differentiate the Lumia 950 XL and Lumia 950 from Apple’s devices. Microsoft is abandoning microUSB ports and replacing them with USB Type C ports. These ports will let the Lumia 950 XL and Lumia 950 connect to a separate dock plus a keyboard and mouse for a more desktop PC-like experience. The company is calling this accessory the Microsoft Display Dock, and it’s unclear how much it will cost. Another slide breaks down the iris scanners that’ll let users login to their notebook with their face instead of putting in a passcode.
The Lumia 550, is Microsoft’s regular-size iPhone 6s alternative. This device has a 5-inch display, a quad-core Snapdragon processor, a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera with flash and a front-facing 2 megapixel front facing camera. 8GB of storage and 1GB of RAM are included.
Microsoft seems to be building a stable feature identify with these devices. Each has the iris scanner and a new rapid charge system that’ll let buyers charge it in less time than what is typical for smartphones. For now, it appears that all three devices will come in white or black and have removable shells so that users can mix and match their color. The pictures also reveal that Microsoft is mostly abandoning the design language of Windows phones made by Nokia Devices & Services before the company purchased them. These devices have fully polycarbonate-polycarbonate shells. There’s no metal frame like there was for the Lumia 925 and Lumia 930.
Microsoft’s Windows 10 devices event starts at 10AM Eastern Standard Time on October 6th. GottaBeMobile will be there with reactions to whatever Microsoft announces. The company is also expected to announce the Surface Pro 4, a follow-up to its Surface Pro 3 and a new competitor for the iPad Pro.
Lumia 650 Leaks Tease Last Lumia Windows Phone
Usually, teasing any new Lumia Windows Phone is enough to stir joy in those dedicated to using the company’s Windows 10 operating system with a matching companion that they can take in their pocket. Today’s leaks of the rumored Lumia 650, complete with the iPhone’s good looks, isn’t exactly having that same reaction. That’s because the Lumia 650 is rumored to be Microsoft’s last Lumia Windows Phone ever.
Unconfirmed leaks of the Microsoft Lumia 650 have trickled out in recent weeks. The device is said to be smaller than the Lumia 950 XL and Lumia 950 iPhone rivals that Microsoft revealed back in October at its Windows 10 Devices Event. Those devices were the fastest, most powerful Lumia Windows Phones the world had ever seen. Unfortunately, a high price tag and plastic design, didn’t impress many at all.
“Microsoft Lumia 650 – the last Lumia, it’s been said press shot,” is about all the context leaker Evan Blass provides with his new picture of the Lumia 650. In the picture you can clearly see the front edges of the device and where its cameras are placed.
Microsoft Lumia 650 — the last Lumia, it's been said — press shot. pic.twitter.com/n4HdOAYOMK
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) February 3, 2016
There are no built-in buttons for Back, Start and Search because Microsoft switched to on-screen navigation some time ago. A web camera sits in the top-right corner of the device, just above the screen. What can barely be seen in this leaked Lumia 960 Windows Phone picture is the device’s rumored metal edges. That being said, the color changes along the bezel match with other pictures and renders of the Lumia 650 that have made it out of Microsoft’s headquarters.
Windows Central, a fan site that’s provided accurate information about Windows Phones in the past, believes that the Lumia 650 will get announced sometime this month, before going on sale directly through Microsoft’s website. The outlet also says that the Lumia 650 will have a 5-inch 720P display, Snapdragon 210 processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, 5 megapixel front-facing camera and a rear-facing 8 megapixel camera, in an older report.
Blass is describing the Lumia 650 as the last Lumia Windows Phone release because it seems to be true in more ways than one. First, Microsoft and all of its partners stopped releasing devices with the Windows Phone operating system on them last fall when Windows 10 debuted.
Though they share apps and features, Windows 10 Mobile is a huge departure from Windows Phone 8, Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows Phone 7. The designs of most apps have changed, features have were added and others others were dropped entirely – some of them iconic. For example, Windows 10 Mobile dumps the mostly black and text-heavy interface of Windows Phone for something that’s a lot closer to Android and just as palatable and bright as Windows 10 for notebooks, desktops and tablets. Windows 10 Mobile apps can double as Windows 10 apps too, when developers put in the necessary work.
Second, the Lumia 650 is said to be the last piece of hardware designed by the teams from Nokia Devices & Services. Microsoft purchased Nokia’s devices division a few years ago. Layoffs and release cutbacks have made what’s left of the team far less visible than they were before.
Last year CEO Satya Nadella handed over control to what remains of Nokia Devices to the same hardware team responsible for the Microsoft Surface. Rumor is that a Surface Phone is coming to take the place of the Lumia line in the not-too-distant future. When it’ll arrive is anyone’s guess, but Microsoft continues to develop Windows 10 Mobile. The company needs some hardware to sell the operating system on of its own just as it does with Surface tablets.
Acer and VIAO have new iPhone rivals running Windows 10 Mobile on the way. The Alcatel OneTouch Fierce is coming to T-Mobile USA soon. AT&T still carries the Lumia 950. Microsoft sells unlocked versions of the Lumia 950 XL and Lumia 950 on its website.
Microsoft Display Dock Review
Microsoft’s smartphone efforts are stuck in a rut. Five years after it first tried to take on Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android with a modern mobile operating system of its own, the company has relatively little to show for its efforts. Windows Phone is solidly in third place in mature markets. Around the world its in better shape, but still not the hit smartphone operating system that Microsoft hoped for in 2010 when it unveiled Windows Phone 7. The tiny Microsoft Display Dock is designed to help with Windows Phone’s struggle.
To be clear, the Microsoft Display Dock isn’t designed to fix Microsoft’s mobile woes on its own. It’s an accessory for Windows Phones running Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system for mobile devices. The company hopes to change the way people see phones themselves. As iPhones, Android devices and Windows phones get processor upgrades, there’s very little that sets them apart that Microsoft can point to as an easy advantage.
Connect a Microsoft Lumia 950 or any device with a USB Type-C port into the Microsoft Display Dock and you get a more PC-like experience. There’s support for keyboards, mice and other USB accessories. Early on, I thought this idea was pretty ridiculous. It wasn’t until I tried it in my own home instead of a reviewer’s workshop that I fully appreciated how the Microsoft Display Dock could have a profound effect on the smartphone space.
Microsoft Display Dock Review: Design & Internals
An exquisitely designed metal box. That’s the best way to describe the Microsoft Display Dock. It’s a tiny, nearly square object, measuring 2.52 inches from left edge to right. A matte black Microsoft logo sits at the top of the Microsoft Display Dock, reminding you who created the device and why its useful.
On the front there’s a single USB Type-C port. Microsoft is just the latest device maker to introduce USB Type-C ports for its devices. The ports are interchangeable and capable of sending and receiving data faster than MicroUSB, the standard port on all smartphones not made by Apple until very recently. This port acts as bridge between the powerful internals of Windows phones that support the Continuum feature and the ports that are built into this dock.
To connect to televisions and monitors there’s Display Port and an HDMI port, instantly making this dock compatible with every modern display that a user might have at their disposable. Two USB 2.0 ports provide places to attach a mouse, keyboard or other accessory. My favorite accessory of choice was an external hard drive with all my files on it.
What surprised me most about the Microsoft Display Dock was its weight and build quality. The device weighs 8 ounces. Tension from the cables that you plugin or the displays the phone that you connect aren’t a problem. The dock never moves or shifts when connecting or disconnecting.
Microsoft Display Dock Review: Experience
Except for the required phone, Microsoft includes everything that users need to get going. A power supply and USB Type-C cable are included. Those that assumed the Microsoft Display Dock is just a ploy to get Windows phone on to televisions to watch video are mistaken. Microsoft hopes to change the conversation in mobile. “What if your smartphone could be a PC,” the company is asking.
The first couple of days I had the Microsoft Display Dock and a matching Lumia 950 were disappointing to say the least. The dock itself relies on the processors and hardware of the phone it’s connected to for everything. The Lumia 950 I had was bug ridden for weeks. Watching video on the Microsoft Display Dock through the Edge web browser was painful. Other apps would crash for no reason. It was unfortunate, given that setting up the Lumia 950 and the Microsoft Display Dock was pretty easy. I went back to using a Surface Pro 4 while Microsoft got its software in order.
When I returned, the Microsoft Display Dock and Lumia 950 both had software updates to address the issues I’d experienced. That allowed me to substitute them both for the device that I normally used to get through the work day.
When you’re connected to the dock, an on-screen Start Menu surfaces from the left corner of your display with your Start Screen layout from your phone. The same apps downloaded from the Windows Store scale up, better taking advantage of the available space of a larger screen. Mail looks Mail from regular Windows, for example. “Cool,” I thought every morning as I set about my daily routine of browsing websites and checking email before getting down to work.
Even after work started, I stuck with the Microsoft Display Dock and the Lumia 950. I wrote articles and searched for new topics using the apps that were installed on my phone. I did have to switch to Microsoft’s Edge browser to get through the day since Windows 10 doesn’t let users install programs like Chrome. I wish I could say that I didn’t feel limited with this setup, but I did. The Windows Store has a growing number of essential apps, but even those that are already available aren’t necessarily compatible with Continuum and the Microsoft Display Dock.
iHeartRadio and TuneIn weren’t early on. Microsoft’s own Xbox app still isn’t available in this mode. To use those apps I had to return to my phone’s Start Screen, which still works as you’d expect, even while in Continuum. Compatible will always remain my biggest concern with this feature. Windows has a growing stable of apps, but I’m not sure anyone is ready to give up every program they use.
A few times I received a call. When this happens, the phone itself rings. The device’s screen also doubles as a touchpad if you want it to. I’m not sure if it’s a bug, but audio would always play out of the phone’s speakers, even when I had a display attached with speakers of its own. This is also clearly not real Windows. It’s missing some features everyone depends on like Titlebars for apps, resizable windows and other must-have things. It’s close, but not close enough.
Microsoft Display Dock Review: Should You Buy?
I can’t say that you should purchase a Microsoft Display Dock and Lumia 950 for Continuum alone. There are other things that should factor into a decision like that, price and your attitude towards Windows phone mainly.
I can say that if you have an AT&T Lumia 950 already or plan to purchase one, this accessory is an absolutely must buy. It completes any compatible Windows phone. I’d argue that’s it’s one of the few reasons to be interested in Windows for phones right now.
Gotta Be Mobile has an in-depth review of Continuum and the Lumia 950, it’s definitely worth a read for anyone considering purchasing the Microsoft Display Dock.
Microsoft Lumia 950 Review: The Phone That Can Be a PC
We’ve never expected more from our smartphones than we do today. Smartphones are truly pocket computers now: tiny tablets with fast processors that happen to also make phone calls. Microsoft lost the battle for top smartphone. Years of dithering and revamping their platforms have left them in a very, very distant third place. Some have said that the Microsoft Lumia 950 is the company trying to establish itself as a legitimate rival to Apple and Google’s partners have to offer, but the Lumia 950 isn’t Microsoft’s take on the iPhone. I’d even argue it’s not an example of Microsoft trying to revitalize is dwindling fortunes in the mobile phone space. The $149 Lumia 950 is a test bed for a new type of device, a device that can be your pocket PC and your regular PC, with the right equipment. Also, it’s an amazing camera.
Microsoft Lumia 950 Review: Design & Internals
Encased in white or black plastic, the Lumia 950 isn’t one of the best looking smartphones to ever run Microsoft’s Windows mobile operating system. Its rear shell is a removable plastic cover that’s dominated by a reflective Microsoft logo. A triple LED flash and 20 megapixel camera sensor act as the rear’s only true flourishes. On the right edge of the Lumia 950 XL are volume buttons, a shutter button and the power button. On the bottom edge is the USB Type C port that allows for speedy data transfers and fast charging. A headphone jack is the only thing that sits at the top. An earpiece and a high-definition 5.2-inch display dominate the front of the Lumia 950.
If this all sounds very pedestrian to you, that’s because it is. The Lumia 950 isn’t that attractive and isn’t that well designed. You can change out the covers from third-party accessory makers and add some flourish, but what shoppers get straight from their local AT&T Wireless Store or the Microsoft Store is a black or white uninteresting slab running Windows 10.
Inside there are some really nice things present. The device has NFC so that it can communicate with other devices wirelessly. There’s support for faster LTE data networks and the latest Wi-Fi standard. A Snapdragon 808 processor with 6 cores and 3GB of RAM powers the Lumia 950.
There’s wireless charging and support for Microsoft Windows Hello login system so that owners can unlock their phones by just looking at them. The Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 both have the same feature, though it’s better implemented on those devices. With the Lumia 950, you have to hold the device about a foot away from your face before it unlocks.
Even if the Lumia 950 is ugly, it has the right internals. Apps open quickly. Video on the AMOLED 2560 x 1440 display looks great thanks to bright colors and deep blacks. You can load tons of video to try out the screen; 32GB of storage comes standard and there’s a slot to add more. Call quality and reception are great, with no obvious issues as you move your hand around the device.
Microsoft Lumia 950 Review: Continuum
Surface has taught Microsoft to disrupt markets by focusing on a few key scenarios. The Surface created a niche for itself around being able to replace two devices.
Continuum and the Microsoft Display Dock are the beginnings of that same strategy in smartphones. With the Display Dock plugged into a monitor or television, the Lumia 950 can operate almost like a full-size Windows desktop. Apps installed on the phone from the Windows Store supersize themselves and the phone’s Start Screen becomes a Start Menu on the external display. External storage, a mouse and keyboard can all be added. The Lumia itself can double as a touchpad.
This and the software that powers it are the true reasons to own a Lumia 950. Microsoft is betting that it can change the expectations of millions. It’s hoping that everyday users will realize there’s no need to have a desktop PC when they have a phone in their pockets that’s often times just as capable.
That’s the promise anyway. In practice, there’s some nuance. Plugging the Lumia 950 into the Display Dock went fine every time, but the relatively buggy state of Windows 10 mobile makes everything a chore. App windows sometime take longer than they should to adjust after you’ve resized them. Apps downloaded from the Windows Store do perform well, but more often than not, don’t work with Continuum. To work with Continuum apps need to be what Microsoft calls Universal Apps. Otherwise, they’re stuck on the phone.
Luckily, many of Microsoft’s own apps are Universal Apps. Groove Music, Microsoft Edge, Outlook Mail and Outlook Calendar all supersize themselves and work flawlessly, keeping the settings and options from their smartphone versions. This is by design, these aren’t different versions of apps already available on the phone. These are the same apps with all of your content already in them. Microsoft Edge, the company’s latest browser, hangs and breaks in Continuum. Some Microsoft-made apps are even missing features that their regular Windows counterparts offer. The Xbox app just doesn’t work in Continuum.
A Lumia 950 plugged into a Display Dock may give you the same sensations as using traditional Windows, but you don’t have to look too hard before you realize it isn’t. A status bar on the top of the screen provides battery life figures and there’s a rudimentary Taskbar at the bottom of the desktop. Show Windows users a Desktop and they assume that apps from the internet, like iTunes, can be installed. The Lumia 950 won’t install anything that’s not from the Windows Store.
Not being able to install Desktop apps derailed Microsoft’s first Surface. Certainly, not being able to do that here hurts too. The Windows Store is filling out nicely with big name apps, but not enough to bridge a few obvious gaps. You’ll have to turn to the Edge browser to fill these in. Banking apps, for example, are still missing.
Continuum on the Lumia 950 feels ripped from the future, but Microsoft really does need to get its phones running on Intel processors for that future to be fully realized. If it does, the Lumia 950 could actually act as both your desktop PC and phone.
Microsoft Lumia 950 Review: Camera
Continuum misses the mark ever so slightly, but Microsoft nails the camera experience. Great sensors, optical image stabilization technology and a physical camera button have always made the higher-end Lumia smartphones winners where photography is concerned. The Lumia 950 is no different.
The Lumia takes great pictures in every kind of light, whether it be in a darkened room or a cloudy day outside. Holding the shutter button down instantly takes you to the Camera app which is responsive and fully featured. Bite-size video, called Living Images can be captured automatically. White Balance, ISO Level, Exposure and Bracketing are all available.
The time it takes for a picture to save from when you capture it has improved a great deal. The camera experience is spectacular.
Microsoft Lumia 950 Review: Windows Phone 10
The Lumia 950 is one of only two phones available in the United States and abroad that comes with Windows 10 Mobile. It’s the only device with the operating system available on AT&T or any American carrier. The phone can also be purchased off contract from the Microsoft Store.
In the past, it was always hard to recommend a Windows Phone because of missing apps or rough hardware. I’d say that Windows 10 itself is the major problem for this device. Microsoft is positioning all Windows 10 devices as brothers, a cohesive experience that spans devices. Apps that you download from the Windows Store can work on your Windows 10 PC and the Lumia 950. Contacts, browsing history, passwords and favorites all sync between the two. Cortana, the Windows personal assistant, can reach you on Windows 10 phones for a reminder like she can on a Surface. Xbox games that you buy for your notebook or tablet, unlock for mobile if there’s a compatible version.
To build this utopia Microsoft left some serious stuff on the cutting room floor. Playbook controls on the lock screen for easily changing between songs are gone. Rewriting many of the apps again killed some good ideas that were unique to Windows Phone. The People app, which was very good at sharing messages across platforms, is now a glorified contact finder. Outlook Mail doesn’t allow you to link multiple email inboxes into one view for easier browsing.
There are some big improvements though. Microsoft has moved most of its apps to a design that mimics iOS and Android, meaning they’re more familiar to people even if they aren’t as attractive as they once were. Companies like TuneIn, iHeartradio, Audible and more are already embracing the new design in earnest. There are more Start Screen customization options than ever. Skype is built-in again. Work and personal accounts can be synced to a single device, something that really wasn’t possible before.
Microsoft Lumia 950 Review: Should You Buy
Windows Phone owners on AT&T don’t have much choice. This is the only Windows Phone the carrier has going into the holiday season. The Lumia 950 can’t replace your PC, but is a perfectly capable phone despite it being the ugliest direct competition for the iPhone 6s there is right now. I firmly believe that Continuum can be a game-changer. For $149 with a two-year contract, you’re getting an “I Owe You” from Microsoft though.
Windows Phone user or not, I simply can’t recommend that anyone, anyone at all, purchase the $550 Unlocked Lumia 950 without a two-year contract. Google and Motorola make cheaper smartphones that are just as capable. The Motorola Moto X with 64GB of storage is $499, $150 cheaper than the Lumia 950. Worse, the Moto X is customizable and doesn’t feel like a throwaway phone in your hand. Continuum, a great camera and useful integration with Windows 10 simply don’t make up for this device’s lofty price tag.
Microsoft Lumia 950: Early Impressions
“The Microsoft Lumia 950 is the company’s new self-made flagship with the best internals that money can buy.” A year ago I’d hoped to use that as an introduction for a review on any new smartphone from the company that was capable of competing with the iPhone and devices running Google’s Android operating system. Theoretically speaking, Microsoft did give me one chance to use that as an introduction to a piece. Last year it delivered the Lumia 830, a Windows Phone 8.1 device with a high-end rear-facing camera and good looks. Billed as the “Affordable Flagship,” the Lumia 830 wasn’t a bad device. It just wasn’t high-end enough to compete with the iPhone 6.
Context is key if you’re considering the Microsoft Lumia 950 to replace an aging Windows Phone or even an iPhone. Historically speaking, it’s the most forward thinking, powerful mainstream Windows Phone device Microsoft Devices or Nokia has ever released – excluding its bigger brother, the Lumia 950 XL.
We’re still waiting on some crucial details to fall into place before we release a Lumia 950 Review. I have spent the last three days using the Lumia 950 as a secondary device, taking pictures, listening to music and checking email around the house.
Microsoft Lumia 950 Hardware
On the inside at least, the Lumia 950 fits the bill of a high-end Lumia smartphone. There’s a Snapdragon 808 processor with six cores and 3GB of RAM. Windows 10 Mobile, which isn’t to be confused with Windows 10 on notebooks and desktops, just sings. Every swipe is fluid and rendered correctly. Apps don’t feel like they’re taking too much time to load. More importantly, you don’t get those loading screens that happen way too often when you’re using Windows 10 Mobile on older Lumia smartphones.
There are lots of little extras in the Lumia 950. I’ll have more on performance and some of those smaller features that make up the entire experience next week. For now, I want to provide some insight on what Microsoft considers the Lumia 950’s highlights.
Microsoft Lumia 950 Continuum
Continuum for phones is a new feature only available in the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL, its bigger screened brethren with an even beefier processor. On its own, you’d never know that it was more than just a smartphone. Plug it into Microsoft’s optional $99 Microsoft Display Dock and it becomes something akin to a PC.
By far, this is one of the biggest reason users are excited for these new devices. Microsoft could have something revolutionary here. In fact, it would definitely have something revolutionary, but it is not as seamless as Microsoft teased in briefings.
The phone does pair with a keyboard. You can use its screen as a touchpad replacement, just like Microsoft promised. Every time that we’ve seen this feature in public Microsoft has been careful to note that Universal Apps from its Windows Store are behind the magic, that any Windows 10 app downloaded from there will work in Continuum.
It’s more nuanced than that. Turns out you can’t use every app that’s on your phone with Continuum, many of my third-party favorites don’t work. What’s more, some of Microsoft’s own apps – like Xbox – don’t either.
Microsoft Lumia 950 Windows Hello
Windows Hello is said to have been a late addition to Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 10 in general. The Lumia 950 has an optical sensor that sits near its speaker. After scanning your face twice, the device recognizes you, logging you in the same way the Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Book do.
I’m happy to report that the feature works reliably, even though Microsoft considers it to be in a beta. I’m not thrilled to say that you have to hold the device about a foot away from your face for this to happen automatically. Otherwise you end up with a lock screen advising you to move closer.
Microsoft Lumia 950 Cameras
I’ll have camera samples and video samples with the full review, but I couldn’t let anything about this device go out without noting how terrific the rear-facing 20 megapixel camera is. The device performs much better in low-light situations, like this picture in my office for example. All I had on was a lamp roughly 8 feed away from that picture frame. Microsoft seems to be doing a better job at post-processing too. The amount of time it takes from pushing the dedicated shutter button to getting a decent image feels so fast.
Microsoft Lumia 950: Should You Buy?
I know that the launch of the AT&T Lumia 950 is today. Naturally, I’d have loved to provide some guidance for shoppers on launch morning. But with the small amount of time I’ve spent with the device so far, plus some unforeseen issues, I don’t feel comfortable providing guidance on whether you should or shouldn’t buy.
What I can say today is that the Lumia 950 should be on the list of new devices you take a look at before deciding which to purchase. The AT&T Lumia 950 is $150 with a two-year contract.
AT&T Lumia 950 iPhone 6S Rival Release Date Set
With an early October reveal date behind them and the holiday shopping season due to kick into high-gear next weekend, Microsoft is finally ready to share crucial Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL release details including final pricing and a in-store date for AT&T Wireless Customers. The company hopes that the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus rivals will act as standards barer for a new generation of Windows Phones.
The AT&T Lumia 950 launches officially on November 20th, this coming Friday, AT&T Wireless confirmed in a press release this morning. On that day, shoppers can pick up the Lumia 950 in all of AT&T’s retail stores. Lumia 950 pre-orders are set to arrive on the AT&T Wireless website and the Microsoft Store tomorrow, November 17th.
Microsoft announced the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL on October 6th at an event focused on Windows 10, its operating system for smartphones, 2-in-1s, notebooks and desktops. AT&T plans to offer the Microsoft Lumia 950 in a few different ways to satisfy potential buyers. Users who sign up for its Next 24 program will pay $19.97 in monthly installments over 30 months. The Next 18 plan features payments of $24.96 over 24 months. Next 12, AT&T’s shortest installment plan gets buyers Microsoft’s regular-sized iPhone 6s rival for $29.95 a month. Shoppers who sign a two-year contract can expect a purchase price of $149.99. All of these AT&T Next offerings don’t include any money down at time of purchase.
AT&T Wireless says that it won’t selling the Microsoft Lumia 950 with the dock that users need to take advantage of its Continuum feature. Earlier this year Microsoft revealed that connecting the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL to a dock allows it to be used like a portable computer, just without the ability to add programs outside of the Windows Store.
The Nokia Lumia 950 is one of the fastest, most powerful Windows Phones ever created by any device maker. It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor inside with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. The rear of the Lumia 950 is dominated by an upgraded PureView camera with triple flash. Microsoft is hoping that this camera, a 5.2-inch Quad HD OLED display and Continuum will help this device standout from all the other phones shoppers can choose from this holiday season.
The missing Display Dock is notable because the Microsoft Store is giving the accessory away with the iPhone 6s rival when users buy there. What’s more, users have the option of picking up the Lumia 950 XL completely unlocked there.
The $649.99 Lumia 950 XL has a quad-core Snapdragon 810 processor and a 5.7-inch display. It’s aimed at users who want the same features as the Lumia 950, but in a size that mirrors the iPhone 6s Plus’ girth. Pre-orders for the device are open now, and anyone that logs into their device after release will get a code that they can redeem for their free Display Dock. The Lumia 950 XL won’t actually arrive on door steps for more than a week on November 25th. Why the delay in between the time the Lumia 950 ships and the Lumia 950 XL arrives is unclear at this point.
Chances are that we won’t hear any other Lumia 950 release date details arrive anytime soon besides AT&T’s plans. Microsoft confirmed shortly after it announced the devices that it was scaling back its involvement with carriers in the United States. Users took this to mean that going forward it would work in a limited fashion with carriers while making all of its devices available online without a two-year contract. In European countries that may be true, but Microsoft has remained very quiet about a potential release date for the unlocked Lumia 950 in the United States.
Some speculate that the company is keeping quiet because it once again signed a deal that limits the Lumia 950 to AT&T in the United States. If that’s true, Microsoft will have no mainstream Windows phone for the growing number of users who prefer to buy phones at full price and take them to whatever carrier they have service with.
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