These very well might be the greatest mobile devices of their size that Microsoft has ever created. Not only do they contain a powerhouse of technology inside, but they stand out as a landmark in the history and world of smartphones, now extending themselves to become a true mobile PC.
The upcoming Windows Phones will support connecting to a Microsoft Continuum Hub, allowing you to connect them to any HDMI or DisplayPort driven monitor or TV. Along with a mouse and a keyboard, the phone now acts as a Windows 10 desktop experience. That’s right, a desktop that you can not only carry around in your pocket, but one that can be used as your smartphone.
A phone that has a built in desktop, or a mobile desktop that functions as a phone? Maybe we should begin referring to them as PC-Phones instead of Smartphones (SuperSmartPhones?). Smartphones are so yesterday as the new user experience allows you to bring so much more with you as you travel, in a smaller bit of space.
This is actually all thanks to the new Windows 10 operating system, it just happens to be that the Lumia 950 series phones will be the first to make it all possible. There will be additional models in the future that will roll out that support Microsoft Continuum.
Sending the focus back to the phones, the new Lumia 950 phones will feature a long list of features including:
- Rear-side 20MP camera with triple LED flash, great low-light capabilities and 5th gen image stabilizer
- OLED Screen
- The new USB Type-C connector including fast charge capabilities
- Windows Hello (in beta at the moment) which allows you to unlock your phone with your fingerprint or facial and iris recognition
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core (950) or 810 (950XL) octa-core processor
- 3GB of RAM
- 32GB of internal storage
- MicroSD slot for expandable storage, currently up to 256GB+ (up to 2TB as new MicroSD cards develop)
- Gorilla Glass 3 (950) or Gorilla Glass 4 (950XL)
- Glance Screen now consumes little to zero of your battery life when using the function as they can now control the individual pixels used to light the information you need when you first remove the phone from your pocket.
To make things better, the 810 processor is a beast that heats up like a pocket warmer gone wild. So far, devices that have made use of the new processor have to throttle down to shed the heat before they can resume using the processor at its peak capabilities. This takes away from the experience as it doesn’t seem much faster. The Lumia 950XL gets around this trouble by featuring a tiny water cooling system inside of the phone. You have heard of water cooling solutions for PCs, but shoved into something the size of…well, a phone?
A phone that can function as a desktop computer and feature water cooling? Along with a crazy fast octa-core processor, this leaves you with one word: “landmark”. The Lumia 950XL deserves it’s own spot in the Smartphone timeline, marking the beginning of an all new world of pocket technology. Now all it has to do is detect infections and monitor the vitals in a person or environment and Star Trek has just been shown up.
Both phones will go on sale in November, the 950 for $549 and the 950XL for $649 (pre-order will begin soon)–both prices are unlocked and without contract. No information has been released by Microsoft or the various carriers on specific carrier dates or prices. For now, we do know for sure that they will be coming to AT&T.