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Lumia 950 and 950 XL: What’s new with the first ever Windows 10 flagship phones?

October 08, 2015 · 3 min read
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Microsoft has finally announced the heavily rumoured Windows 10 flagship phones; the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL, both coming after the Lumia 930. Ever since this announcement was made, the question on everyone’s lips has been, “how are these phones different from the usual Microsoft devices?”

We have taken a look at the specifications and have come up with comparisons on some of the most important parameters;

Design

The Lumia 950 measures 145 x 73.2 x 8.2mm while the Lumia 950XL comes in at a 151.9 x 78.4 x 8.1mm. This means that both phones are larger than the Lumia 930 which measures 137 x 71 x 9.8mm. However, they have also proven to be slimmer.

All three devices come with the same metal frame and polycarbonate back but the 950 and 950XL have exchangeable back covers, while that of the 930 is non-removable.

The 950 and 950XL come with the USB type-C for faster charging and data transfer as well as wireless charging capabilities, and while the930 also has wireless charging, it still features the older Micro-USB.

Display

The Lumia 950 has a 5.2-inch display while the Lumia 950XL has a 5.7-inch display. The older Lumia 930 has a 5-inch display.

The Windows 10 flagships have Quad-HD resolution displays, which makes their pixel densities 565ppi and 515ppi respectively. This means that the 950 has the sharpest display of the two. The 930 has a Full HD resolution, making its pixel density 441ppi.

All three devices have AMOLED displays, but the new handsets have a feature called the Glance Screen. This feature allows users to view certain information without waking up the main screen and Microsoft says the feature uses no battery power to run.

Camera

All three devices have 20-megapixel rear cameras, although Microsoft has updated the sensors on the latest devices. There is also a new flash on the latest devices; they feature what Microsoft calls natural light, in comparison to the dual -LED flash found on the Lumia 930. This natural light is said to reduce red-eye and not make subjects turn into “ghosts”. Fast focus has also been added to the new devices and Microsoft has updated the front cameras from 720p 1.2-megapixel cameras to 1080p 5-megapixel snappers.

Hardware

The Microsoft Lumia comes with the hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, with microSD support of up to 200GB. The Lumia 950XL is very much the same, but with the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor. Both devices are preferred over the Lumia 930. Although the latter has the same 32GB internal storage, it supports the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor and there is no microSD.

In terms of battery, the 950 XL’s 3340mAh capacity is the highest, followed by the 950 with 3000mAh and the 930 with 2420mAh.

The Lumia 930 wins in one department, though. Microsoft claims that it has a maximum standby time of 16 days, compared to the 12 days clocked by the new devices. Maximum talk time is not of much difference, with the 950 XL sitting at 19 hours,the 950 at 18 hours and the 930 at 17.9 hours.

Software

The Microsoft Lumia 950 and 959 XL run on Windows’ latest installment; Windows 10, while the Lumia 930 runs on Windows 8.1, although it ill eventually get an update.

The new software has several exciting new features, with a more seamless experience across mobile, tablet, Xbox and PC. The Lumia 950 and 959 XL are able to be connected to a Microsoft Display Dock and as such, it can be used with an external keyboard, monitor or mouse, for example.

The Office and Outlook apps will also scale-up on the big screen, providing a PC-like experience, powered by the phone.

Conclusions

As one might expect, the Microsoft Lumia 950 and 950 XL are more advanced in terms of specifications when compared to their predecessor, the Microsoft Lumia 930.

The 950 XL is the most powerful of all devices, with the largest display and biggest battery capacity.However, it is also the largest in terms of size.

The 950 is a lower instalment but nevertheless, is manageable. It has a sharper display, but it takes a hit in terms of processor and battery.

The 930 has been dethroned by its successors. However, it comes in more colours and has a smaller display and size. Overall, it is still a viable option, considering it will soon get a software update.

Dahunsi Oyedele

Dahunsi Oyedele

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