Continuum is a feature on the Lumia 950 and 950 XL that you might think is useless, but you'll probably change your mind after actually using it. Continuum lets you connect your Lumia 950 or 950 XL with a monitor, mouse and keyboard. You can then have a desktop-like app experience using the apps on your phone.
The big screen-optimized environment can make you more productive or simply let you enjoy videos and the web on a much bigger display. You can also keep using your phone at the same time. You can answer phone calls and send text messages without interrupting what's on the big screen.
We'll recommend some accessories to get you started with Continuum.
1. Microsoft Display Dock
The Display Dock is the easiest way to get started with Continuum on your Lumia 950 or 950 XL. It has DisplayPort and HDMI connectors for your display, and three USB 2.0 ports to connect other things like a keyboard, mouse, or USB thumb drive. You connect the Display Dock with the Lumia 950 or 950 XL with a USB Type-C to USB Type-C cable that's included with the Dock. The Display Docks also charges your Lumia your phone while it's connected.
The Display Dock has a 1080P HD output with a 60 FPS refresh rate.
The Microsoft Display Dock costs $99, but look out for promotions that offer it for free with a purchase a Lumia 950 or 950 XL.
2. ScreenBeam Mini2
If you want to use Continuum wirelessly, Microsoft recommends the ScreenBeam Mini2 Continuum Edition by Actiontec. You connect it via HDMI to your monitor or display, connect your keyboard or mouse to the USB input, and then plug in the power. It outputs at 1080P with 30 FPS, which is slower than the Display Dock. Keep in mind that your phone will not be charging like if it was connected to the Display Dock.
Other Micracast adapters work, but keep in mind, they still won't be as fast as the Display Dock. You may also want to consider the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter.
3. Xbox One
If you already have an Xbox One in the living room, you do not need to get any other accessory. You can use the Wireless Display app from the Xbox One to use Continuum with the Lumia 950 or 950 XL. It's like turning your Xbox One into a PC! Unfortunately, the app is currently only available for those in the Xbox One preview program. Ask a friend to invite you in or wait until Microsoft releases the Wireless Display app for everyone.
4. USB Type-C to HDMI
A low-cost way to get Continuum working is via a USB Type-C to HDMI adapter. Connect the adapter to the Lumia 950, and then use an HDMI cable from your monitor to the adapter. You'll get 60 FPS output which is just as fast as using the Microsoft Display Dock. Hook up a wireless mouse and keyboard and you're good to go!
The downside to using this adapter is that you won't be able to charge your phone via the USB Type-C port while using Continuum. The good news is that the Lumia 950 and 950 XL support wireless charging. Place the phone on a wireless charger while using Continuum.
5. Foldable Keyboard
There are plenty of options for wired or wireless keyboards, but the Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard stands out. It's thin, light, and compact. It's is great to use with Continuum. You can also simultaneously pair it with any two mobile devices—an iPad, iPhone, Android devices, Windows tablets, and Windows Phone—and then instantly switch between them with a single touch. It automatically turns off when you close it. You pair the foldable keyboard directly with your phone.
6. Bluetooth mouse
There are plenty of wired and wireless mice available, but let's keep it portable. The Microsoft Arc Touch Bluetooth Mouse can be used on a surface, even on a rough wood or carpet, thanks to Microsoft BlueTrack Technology. Curve it up to turn it on, and flatten it to turn it off. You'll need to pair it with your Lumia 950 or 950 XL via Bluetooth.
7. Try Continuum
Don't knock Continuum until you try it! You'll get the best results when using the Microsoft Display Dock, however you have other options available to try it out first. Have you tried Continuum on the Lumia 950 or 950 XL? How was your experience? Sound off in the comments!
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