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Microsoft Lumia 950 and 950XL: five things you need to know

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Microsoft Lumia 950 and 950XL: five things you need to know

Microsoft hasn’t released a top–end flagship smartphone for ages.

Its Lumia line has largely been restricted to uninspiring budget and mid–range efforts that have done little to boost Windows’ standing in the smartphone world. Until now.

The just-unveiled Lumia 950 and Lumia 950XL promise much and come with features that should give big players such as Apple and Samsung pause for the thought.

Want the inside line? Here are five things you need to know about the Microsoft Lumia 950 and 950XL.

1 Two sizes

As the names suggest, Microsoft has released two different sized smartphones.

The smaller Lumia 950 packs a 5.2–inch screen, the larger Lumia 950 XL uses a 5.7–inch effort.

Both come with Quad HD smarts. In fact, the only other major difference between the two is the chipset.

The smaller phone use a hexacore 1.8 GHz effort, the larger model a 2.0 GHz octacore number.

Only those who love to take their phones to the limit will really notice the difference.

2 Glance

microsoft lumia 950 glance

Microsoft has brought back one of Nokia’s killer smartphone features, Glance.

This clever tool allows you to see key information on your device’s lock screen without having to do as much as press a button.

It works when you pull the device out of your pocket and, claims Microsoft, won’t use up any battery. It means you can see messages, notifications and calendar nudges far quicker than on previous Lumia phones.

3 Camera smarts

microsoft lumia 950 side

Microsoft has at least released a phone that utilises the imaging skills which it bought from Nokia.

The camera on both the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950XL features a 20 megapixel sensor with Zeiss optics.

But the big draw here is the triple LED flash, which the Big M reckons will make your low light pics look a lot less naff.

There’s a dedicated camera button on each phone, as well as optical image stabilisation.

Basically, these phones should provide pics that are every bit as good as those delivered by the iPhone and Galaxy S6 Edge.

4 Windows 10 skills

windows 10 phones emails

Windows 10 is arguably the biggest deal here. Microsoft’s new operating system works across desktop and mobile, with the full suite of productivity apps included on both handsets.

That means Office, Skype, Outlook, OneDrive and Cortana are all on board. What’s more, you can even use the phone with a monitor, thanks to a dock accessory.

The Continuum feature, first seen earlier this year, allows you to run either phone as a small desktop computer, depending on whether you’ve connected a keyboard or mouse.

Throw in Microsoft’s new universal apps which work across platforms and promise to make it easy for developers to migratce iOS and Android creations, and you have two phones that promise plenty for power users.

5 USB–C

usb-c

As with Google’s new Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P, Microsoft has brought USB–C to its Lumia 950 and 950XL. E

ssentially, this means you’ll be able to power your phone up faster, with 30 minutes of juice giving you 50% battery life.

It should also help edge along the wider industry move towards this new standard.

Both phones are due for release later this year. UK prices are yet to be confirmed.

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