Yes you read that right. And yes, I do know they are Microsoft Lumia’s.
Look at them. Beautifully utilitarian designs. So much function and flexibility packed in to what are some of the thinnest and lightest Lumia’s ever. A tool that you can use day in, day out to help you achieve more.
This is the first example of, under universal Windows and the completion of the D&S acquisition, unto us a flagship is born. But when looking at the phone alone, away from the USP’s of a universal experience, Windows Hello and Continuum, it is the Nokia heritage that still shines through.
Everyone has been talking about the iris scanner, Continuum etc. so I thought I would highlight the other things. Things that we have all seen before in previous Lumia’s but have come together to provide you with the ultimate Nokia.
The Lumia 950 and 950 XL were codenamed Talkman and Cityman respectively; harking back to two of the first portable phones that Nokia launched under the Mobira brand. These phones are Nokia’s swan song. They both look forward to the future of mobile computing, and look back at the years of Nokia design and innovation.
The design language is familiar. Everything from the button layout, the mic grill, the speaker grill, to the camera design are consistent with Nokia’s of old. I think they are rather handsome. These phones are thin and light but they manage a Nokia-esque feeling of solidity to them that escapes most of the competition. And thanks to good screen to body ratios they are sleek. Look at Apple and HTC if bezel is your thing.
The removable back is a blessing. At last we have a flagship phone that provides us with choice. Leather and metal Mozo backs anyone? If someone gave us the dimensions, I’m sure we could even 3D print our own backs like on the coveted 820 circa 2012. Underneath we finally get expandable storage and a removable battery. Some have been banging on about this for years. In stores this has proven to be a strong USP where power users who would have once bought a Samsung have now been dumped thanks to the S6 being such a 6S copy that they’ve removed functionality.
We have Glance Screen back. YAY!! And it’s in all its AMOLED glory. A study by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers found that the average user checks their phone 150 times per day! Imagine how much time Glance Screen saves a user each and every day. Time that can be spent with your head up enjoying the real world.
Talking of the display, it is particularly beautiful, and not just because it is QHD, but also thanks to the CBD technology that adds a polarising light filter and means that blacks are very deep, colours are very vibrant, and outdoor visibility is market leading. And guess what? You can change the colour profile in the settings to your preference. And you can do all this right now in the cold thanks to the super sensitive touch screen that works with gloves.
You’ll notice the PureView and ZEISS branding on the back. That’s because the camera continues the fine pedigree that spawns from the ex-Nokia imaging team. Even the internet reviews that are biased against these phones have acknowledged that they have market leading cameras. Now that’s something! We get OIS, PureView lossless zooming, excellent low light photography, and ultimate creative control thanks to the evolution of the Nokia Camera app into the Windows Camera app. I’m not even mentioning all the new trickery that the 950 and 950 XL can pull off with the triple LED flash!
To go with the superb camera, we also get an often forgotten USP: 4 microphones. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but never has a device come close to the kind of quality of audio that these flagships can record. Thanks to Rich Recording and HAAC mics they can record up to 140 decibels without distortion and in full surround sound. That’s the sound of a small plane taking off. So at the next Deadmau5 or Rudimental concert you go to you’ll be dandy.
Finally, we do get wireless charging. Built in. Even in devices this thin. How did they do it? Don’t ask me 😉
TLDR: Bestowed upon us is the culmination of Nokia innovation. The ultimate Nokia’s. The ultimate Microsoft Lumia’s. The ultimate experience for Windows 10 Mobile.