MICROSOFT HAS ANNOUNCED its first high-end Windows 10 smartphones, the Lumia 950 and 950 XL.
Unveiled during perhaps the most insane press conference we've ever witnessed, the Lumia 950 and 950 XL are the first to run Windows 10 Mobile out of the box.
The devices have 5.2in and 5.7in 2560x1440 QHD displays, respectively, and thanks to the built-in Windows Hello authentication, you can unlock the devices using your face.
Under the hood, the Lumia 950 packs Qualcomm's 64-bit hexa-core Snapdragon 808 chip, while the Lumia 950 XL uses the octa-core Snapdragon 810 despite reports that it has been overheating. However, the smartphones come with what Microsoft calls "tablet-class liquid cooling," so this shouldn't be an issue.
Naturally, the Lumia 950 and 950 XL run Windows 10, equipping them with features including Microsoft Office, Universal Apps and Continuum, allowing the handsets to transform into a full PC. They offer support for a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard, and the ability to connect wirelessly to a monitor.
Both smartphones have 20MP rear-facing cameras, and the 950 XL comes with optical image stabilisation, triple LED flash, support for 4K video capture and a dedicated camera button.
They will also feature 5MP front-facing cameras, 32GB of internal storage expandable up to 2TB, 3GB RAM, wireless charging support and a USB Type-C port, which Microsoft promises will provide a 50 percent charge in 30 minutes.
The Microsoft Lumia 950 and 950 XL will be available in November starting at $549 in the UK and, unlike Nokia-branded Lumia phones of old, will be available in black and white versions. There's no word on prices just yet.
O2 has been quick to announce that it will stock the smaller Lumia 950 in the UK.
Microsoft will no doubt hope that the two handsets will boost the company's share of the smartphone market, which stood at 11.3 percent in the second quarter in the UK. Android and iOS claimed 53.2 percent and 34.1 percent respectively.
Microsoft on Tuesday also unveiled the Surface Pro 4, it's latest laptop/tablet hybrid which it claims to be 50 percent faster than the MacBook Air, along with the Surface Book laptop convertible. µ
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