Microsoft on Wednesday announced a trio of new Lumia smartphones during its Windows 10 hardware event, tackling the entry-level space with the new Lumia 550 and the high-end market with a pair of flagships. Most of what we learned today had already been leaked by Microsoft although there were a few surprises still in store.
The new Lumia 950 XL certainly earns its suffix with a large 5.7-inch 1440p OLED display (518 PPI) with Gorilla Glass 4 coating that's powered by Qualcomm's octa-core Snapdragon 810 SoC clocked at 2.0GHz alongside 3GB of RAM. There's also 32GB of internal storage that's expandable via microSD card slot, a 20-megapixel rear-facing PureView camera with triple-LED flash, f/1.9 aperture and optical image stabilization that can shoot 4K video, a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, MIMO, Bluetooth 4.1 and a large removable 3,300mAh battery.
UBS Type-C connectivity comes standard, as does Qi wireless capabilities. According to Microsoft, the USB Type-C connector can provide a 50 percent charge in just 30 minutes.
The regular Lumia 950, meanwhile, packs a smaller 5.2-inch 1440p OLED display (564 PPI) covered with Gorilla Glass 3 with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core SoC and 3GB of RAM under the hood. It also comes with 32GB of expandable local storage, the same 20-megapixel rear-camera, 5-megapixl selfie cam, USB Type-C connectivity, wireless charging and 3,000mAh battery.
Microsoft has developed a custom liquid cooling solution to ensure Qualcomm's notoriously warm-running SoC (mostly the 810) won't be an issue.
Naturally, both phones run Windows 10 and take advantage of Continuum, a powerful feature that leverages universal apps to transform mobile devices into Windows 10 PCs.
Using the optional Microsoft Display Dock, one can connect the phone to a display using HDMI or DisplayPort. The dock offers three USB ports that can accommodate a physical mouse and keyboard (or you can simply use the phone as an input device). The concept is somewhat similar to Motorola's Atrix albeit with hardware that's powerful enough to drive the experience and a proper desktop-class operating system.
Both the Lumia 950 and 950 XL will be offered in matte white and black color schemes priced at $549 and $649, respectively. It launches in select markets next month.
Microsoft spent mere seconds discussing its new entry-level phone, the Lumia 550.
It features a 4.7-inch display operating at a resolution of 1,280 x 720 (315 PPI) powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 SoC clocked at 1.1GHz. There's 8GB of local storage (expandable via microSD card slot), a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, a 2-megapixel selfie shooter and a 2,000mAh battery that's rated for 13.9 hours of 3G talk time.
The most impressive aspect of the Lumia 550 is its price - just $139 contract-free. Look for it to arrive in select European markets in December with additional markets to follow.