Panos Panay took to the stage today to announce a bevy of new devices including the Microsoft Lumia 950 & 950XL, the company’s new flagship Windows Phone devices. Panay has been working with the Lumia team for a short amount of time but says he has a passion and drive to bring the best devices Lumia has seen. He emphasized the fact that Windows on Lumia is the same OS you’ll find on your PC and Surface with settings carrying across devices for a seamless experience. The new Lumia will also have full Office and Panay calls Outlook the best email client on the planet.
The 950 family consists of the Lumia 950 with its 5.2″2560×1440 display and packing a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 1.8GHz hexacore processor under the hood with 3GB of RAM. Its big brother is the 950XL which bumps up to a 5.7″ 2560×1440 display and packing a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 2.0 GHz octacore processor under the hood, also with 3GB of RAM. Both phones cooling systems are what’s part of the bigger story though, as both phones will have liquid cooling systems derived from the technology used in the Surface Pro that should keep your cores humming along nicely. Both devices also feature adaptive antenna technology with two antennas which switch out depending on how you are currently holding your phone so you are always connected.
The 950 family also introduces Glance Technology on its displays. Now you can pull your phone out and without turning on the power, see important info on the OLED display at a glance. Notifications like email, texts, calendar, photos and other information is easily accessed and without using any battery from your device.
The Lumia cameras are 20mp Zeiss shooters and have a triple LED RGB flash which Microsoft says won’t cause red eye or ghost your images. Also included, which every flagship should have, is Optical Image Stabilization. You’ll also get a dedicated camera button, which Lumia has usually done in the past, with hold for video and press for photo. Microsoft has also programmed the camera to auto upload your photos to the cloud (there is likely a setting to turn that off for you tinfoils).
Both Lumias come in one storage configuration and that is 32GB, but they are both expandable to 256GB via microSD slot. As predicted from rumors both phones take advantage of the new USB Type C connection which can get you to 50% charge in less than 30 minutes. Lumia says all your app settings carry over from PC/Surface to the phone and claims this will be the most productive smartphone on the market.
The Lumia 950 will retail for $549USD, while the 950 XL will set you back $649USD. The company didn’t announce a release date, and just noted that they are coming soon. Microsoft also announced the more affordable Lumia 550 which will retail for $139USD and be available in December.
The one thing lacking from today’s Lumia announcement was cooperation with Google and bringing Google Apps or Google Play Services to the platform. We had expected this to happen but the rumors either turned out to be false or the partnership has not been solidified. We will be keeping our ears to the ground on that one.
What do you think of the new Lumias? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.