Microsoft Lumia 950 Review: Spearheading Windows 10 Mobile

Lumia 950 Introduction and Specifications

The Lumia 950 and 950 XL are important products for Microsoft, but not for the reasons you may expect. Microsoft isn’t trying to set the mobile market ablaze with these two smartphones. They are not necessarily meant to be explosive sales successes that take significant market share from Android and iOS. If they were, Microsoft would have thrown huge amounts of marketing muscle and dollars behind them, launched a massive advertising campaign, and worked deals with every major wireless carrier it could. But Microsoft didn't.  The Lumia 950 and 950 XL are more about laying a foundation and setting the direction and course for Windows 10 Mobile as well as Microsoft’s latest mobile strategy.

Of course, Microsoft wants to sell as many of these devices as it can, but the Lumia 950 and 950 XL are being billed as the "ultimate phones for productivity." Microsoft has targeted these phones at current fans of the platform, professionals, and road warriors that may benefit from the software and unique features available with the latest Lumias. If the company wins over some converts, that's gravy for Microsoft. But, for now, it’s more about tempting professionals and the enterprise with killer productivity devices that also happen to be pretty nice everyday smartphones.

We’ve had the Lumia 950 in house for a couple of weeks and think we’ve gotten a good feel for the device, its capabilities, and its pros and cons. Take a look at the specifications below and then we’ll dig in a little deeper to see if Microsoft can achieve with the Lumia line what it was able to with Surface...
microsoft lumia 950
Microsoft Lumia 950
Specifications & Features
  • Operating System
Software release: Windows 10

  • Processor
CPU name: Qualcomm Snapdragon 808
Number of cores: Hexa core
Clock rate: 1800 MHz

  • Memory
Mass memory: 32 GB
RAM: 3 GB 
Expandable memory card type: MicroSD 
User data storage: In device, OneDrive cloud storage, App and data storage on memory card

  • Cellular connectivity
GSM: 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 1900 MHz
GSM max data speed DL: EGPRS 236.8 kbps
GSM max data speed UL: EGPRS 118.4 kbps
WCDMA network: Band 1 (2100 MHz), Band 2 (1900 MHz), Band 4 (1700/2100 MHz), Band 5 (850 MHz), Band 8 (900 MHz)
WCDMA max data speed DL: 42.2 Mbps (Cat 24)
WCDMA max data speed UL: 5.76 Mbps (Cat 6)
LTE FDD network: Band 1 (2100 MHz), Band 2 (1900 MHz), Band 3 (1800 MHz), Band 4 (1700/2100 MHz), Band 5 (850MHz), Band 7 (2600 MHz), Band 8 (900MHz), Band 12 (700 MHz), Band 13 (700MHz), Band 20 (800MHz), Band 28 (700 MHz)
LTE max data speed DL: 450 Mbps (Cat 9)
LTE max data speed UL: 50 Mbps (Cat 6)

  • Size & weight
Height: 145 mm
Width: 73.2 mm
Thickness4: 8.2 mm
Weight: 150 g

  • Display
Display size: 5.2"
Display resolution: WQHD (2560 x 1440)
Display colors: TrueColor (24-bit/16M)
Display technology: AMOLED, ClearBlack
Pixel density: 564 ppi
Display features: Orientation sensor, Sunlight readability enhancements, Corning Gorilla Glass 3, Easy to clean, High brightness mode, Lumia Color profile, Wide viewing angle, Automatic brightness control
  • Battery
Replaceable battery: Yes
Battery capacity: 3000 mAh
Battery voltage: 3.85 V
Charging3: Built-in wireless charging, Fast charging
Wireless charging standard: Qi, PMA
Maximum standby time: 11 days
Maximum talk time (3G): 13 h
Maximum music playback time: 67 h
Maximum Wi-Fi network browsing time: 8.1 h
Maximum video playback time: 6.3 h

  • Design
Design details: Exchangeable back cover
Other user interface features6: Glance screen, Tactile feedback, Voice commands, Voice dictation in edit fields

  • Keys and Input Methods
User Input: Touch
Operating keys: Volume keys, Camera key, Power/Lock key

  • Sensors
Sensors: Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Barometer, Gyroscope, Magnetometer, SensorCore

  • Connectivity basics
SIM card type: Nano SIM
AV connectors: 3.5 mm stereo headset connector, DisplayPort over USB-C
Charging connectors: USB-C
System connectors: USB-C
USB: USB 3.1, USB Dual Role Port (Gen1)
Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.1
Bluetooth profiles: Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) 1.2, Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP) 1.3, Generic Attribute Profile (GATT), Hands-free profile (HFP) 1.6, Human Interface Device Profile (HID), Object Push profile (OPP) 1.1, Personal Area Network Profile (PAN) 1.0, Phone Book Access Profile (PBAP) 1.1, HID over GATT profile (HOGP) 1.0, Message Access Profile (MAP) 1.1
NFC: Pairing, Secure NFC for payment, Sharing, Tagging
Wi-Fi: WLAN IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, MIMO, Wi-Fi call
Wi-Fi hotspot: Up to 8 Wi-Fi-enabled devices
Other wireless connectivity: Screen projection

Price: $649 unlocked, $149 on contract

The Lumia 950’s specifications read like many of today’s higher-end smartphones. There’s a 1.8GHz hexa-core Snapdragon 808 SoC at the heart of the device paired to 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. There’s a wide-angle 5MP front-facing camera, along with an excellent 20MP rear-facing camera with a triple-LED natural flash. The Lumia 950 also has built-in wireless charging and fast charging support through its USB-C connector. The 5.2” AMOLED screen in the Lumia 950 packs in 2560x1440 pixels (564ppi), and unlike most other recently released smartphones, the Lumia 950 has a removable back so users can swap batteries and expand storage.
lumia 950 1
The Microsoft Lumia 950 Has a 5.2" AMOLED ClearBlack Display
Included with the phone itself, Microsoft bundles just the basics: a Quick Start Guide, a battery, a charger (with hard-wired cable), and a USB-C cable. There are multiple accessories available for the latest Lumias, however, including a dock with gives users the ability to leverage Windows 10 Mobile’s Continuum feature – more on that later.

There’s a lot more to talk about over and above the phone’s specifications and features. Let’s dig in and take a closer look.

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