Microsoft Lumia 950 review: Legendary Edition

Legendary edition

GSMArena team, 02 December, 2015.


Microsoft Lumia 950 is the firstborn of the new Lumia series, following the company's strategy shift. It's a precisely designed smartphone with clear ideas for its future, sharp hardware choices and groundbreaking software innovations. It's an epic device based on Nokia's legacy and reborn under Microsoft's custody.

The Lumia 950 bets on business looks, powerful hardware, jaw-dropping screen quality, and innovative software approach. It's able to offer one of a kind software features such as Windows Hello iris authentication and also Windows Continuum, which allows the phone to offer PC-grade experience when hooked to a TV screen.

The Lumia 950 also brings back a few iconic Nokia features, part of the fans' checklist - an iconic PureView camera with optical stabilization and enviable quality and four-mic recording in its 4K videos, user-replaceable beefy 3,000 mAh battery, and a microSD card slot.

Windows OS for Phones also leveled up with a brand new system core, universally shared across all Windows 10 versions - Mobile, Desktop and Xbox. It supports a plethora of new functions, it refines the interface and brings improved multimedia and office apps.

There are so many things to cover, but before that here is what you can expect.

Key features

  • Windows 10 Mobile with Continuum support (via dock), Display Dock included in some markets
  • 5.2" Quad HD AMOLED display of 564ppi, ClearBlack technology, Glance Screen; Gorilla Glass 3
  • Snapdragon 808: hexa-core processor with 2x 1.82GHz Cortex-A57 and 4x 1.44GHz Cortex -A53, Adreno 418 GPU, 3GB of RAM
  • 20MP BSI PureView camera sensor, ZEISS optics, optical image stabilization, tri-LED RGB flash, Rich Capture, RAW capture, Dynamic Flash, lossless zoom in the 8MP snaps, 50MP panoramic shots
  • 2160p video recording @30, 25 and 24 fps, 1080p video recording @ 60, 30, 25 and 24 fps; slow-mo capturing; Rich Audio Recording with four-directional microphones, lossless zoom in 1080p (3x) and 720p (4x) videos.
  • 5MP front-facing camera with 1080p@30fps video recording
  • 32GB of built-in storage; expandable via a microSD slot
  • Cat. 6 LTE (300/50Mbps); Dual SIM; Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac; Bluetooth 4.1; GPS/GLONASS/Beidou; FM radio; USB Type-C port
  • Windows Hello user recognition with iris scanner
  • Active noise cancellation via dedicated mics
  • 3,000mAh battery with wireless charging (market-dependent)

Main disadvantages

  • No liquid cooling as initially advertised
  • Expensive at launch
  • No fingerprint reader (the lack is offset by the iris recognition)

The future of the entire Lumia series and Windows 10 Mobile hangs in the balance and it depends on the success of the new Lumia trio - Lumia 950 and 950 XL, plus the budget Lumia 550. And even before we get started exploring the Lumia 950 and all of its new features, Microsoft seems to be on the right track with this one. The Lumia 950 lacks nothing we can think of, Microsoft literally thought of everything.

Microsoft Lumia 950 review

Are those carefully chosen features going to be enough for the Lumia 950 to make it through the overcrowded market out there? Let's find out.

Reader comments

  • Sudharsan

Where did you manage to buy for 20 dollars

  • dosdoktor

Bought one for $20 a pop, gonna install desktop version of Win10 21296 on it and test that x86 on ARM64 emulation...

48hr endurance rating is awful? Sony Xperia Z5 says hi to you.