Alleged first photo of prototype Nokia Lumia 950 revealed

We have a fairly strict policy here at Windows Phone Central when it comes to rumors (believe it or not). For the ones we stand behind or sound confident in, it’s because we know the source and can vouch for their access. Other times though, we can’t and we won’t. This is the latter case, so be forewarned.

This image above of an alleged Nokia Lumia 950 prototype landed in our email box a little while ago and included some interesting details about the supposed forthcoming device.

From our initial assessment, the phone itself looks legitimate but there are some questionable discrepancies like the Windows Phone logo/button area (more on that below), odd aliasing that's either a sign of compositing or over sharpening. And as iMore’s Rene Ritchie told us, this could be a 3D model photographed from a screen (which are notoriously hard to prove false).

Indeed, without varying angles from multiple photos, it’s hard to prove (or disprove) a digital image is authentic. Because of that, we have to cast doubt.

RUM: 5

Alleged details of the Lumia 950

The phone we’re told is called the Lumia 950 to harken back to Nokia’s N95 days—part of a nostalgia/”getting back to roots” campaign that is planned. So far, it has only been seen in black though when it comes to production we’re sure that will change.

Resolution, we’re told, is 1280x768 and there is no planned 1080P support for Windows Phone 8 in the immediate future. Our tipster notes that this is actually a good thing as the main thrust of this device is battery life, something that is backed up the usage of an AMOLED variant of the PureMotion HD panel found in the Lumia 920.

We recently saw Nokia make some advances in battery saving, specifically in the Asha 3310 revealed at Mobile World Congress. That feature phone has a standby time of 30 days, which is quite remarkable. In that sense, it makes sense that Nokia would expand that technology to its Lumia line, though that does not guarantee its truth of this device.

The camera won’t feature a 41MP sensor but it will be larger than current devices, delivering “lossless zoom”, oversampling, low-light performance and video stabilization with a Xenon flash.

It will also have 2GB of RAM and some other internals that will help “future proof” it for some time.

True or not?

It’s always hard for us tell the accuracy on these stories as we don’t have someone at Nokia that we can just call and verify (they’ll remain mum).

Indeed, the photo if fake looks quite real except for the Windows Phone Logo. But then again that is clearly a sticker, which is something we’ve seen in the past with pre-Lumia 800 prototypes. So if anything it lends a bit of credence to the image, not disproves it.

The details and specifications are evolutionary and not revolutionary (as far as we know) and that makes believing the story a lot easier than if we mentioned “holograms” or something. That of course does not guarantee its authenticity, but it is certainly a bit more likely.

We’re sure to learn more in the coming weeks as to whether or not this is accurate. For now, we caution as to its authenticity and we're giving it a "5" on our Rum'o'meter though if a few more images comes forth, we'll be sure to bump that up.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

  • What an ugly device. :|
  • Exactly what I was thinking, but then again most prototypes are ugly
  • Indeed, 90% of the prototype images that we have run (and that have turned out to be accurate), the majority of our readers slam as being ugly. They then fall in love with the finished product, colors and marketing. Lesson? I don't judge these devices on their current development status.Neither should anyone else.
  • ^^^
    This!! Exact thing happened with the 822...
  • I still find the 822 to be ugly, and I'm sure that I'm not the only one :P It seems like everything Verizon touches get's ruined. Hopefully that doesn't happen to the 928 ;)
  • i agree 822 is ugly, and this prototype is super ugly if you ask me. even 820 (yes i dont like how it looks like) looks better than this
  • Have to be that guy and disagree with you all, I find the device very "professional" and attractive. Same goes for the 822.
    Actually if you look closely you can see a resemblance to Surface devices. Note the borders.
  • I have the 822 and I love it. The size is just right. The screen is excellent. One of the coolest things about it is that you can have the wireless charging cover installed and still use standard case covers without having to remove them.
  • Have you played around with 822 in person? It's really quiet stylish.
  • @jcagga
    The 822 is hardly stylish and yes I own one. It is a basic and boring slab which would actually be fine if it wasn't also a useless piece of garbage.
  • If it's "a useless piece of garbage", you should return or sell it or something. Can't see why you continue to hold on to it.
  • exactly what I thought. If I had red 822,I would've got it over my red 8x when I bought it last December.
  • I have a 920 and love it but a friend of mine has the 822. I've played around with it and its a pretty good phone and looks much better in person.
  • I have, I don't agree that it's stylish though (far from stylish, but definitely not a bad thing), but it is good looking.
  • yea I was surprised how good looking it is compared to the pictures I see.
  • I'm going to take this, if real, as being synonymous with those spy shots of upcoming cars/trucks. Usually the cars are camouflaged with some kind of seriously butt-ugly exterior. Lets hope and pray (hard) this shot is a case in point.
  • oh, and I don't know about the whole "getting back to roots campaign". Nokia needs to take from the past what worked and leave the rest behind. They were able to throw a lot of crap up on the wall and see if it stuck when they were king of the hill. Truly some design and ergonomic fails. They now seem to have a design team with a critical eye towards style so I say leave. The N95 was nice for what it was, but that design philosophy, IMO, won't fly today. Samsung has the market cornered on crap (crap seems to sell) and Apple has their design philosophy. Nokia has been taking steps forward in the right design direction, so I really hope we don't see them "going back to their roots"
  • In addition, you've got to be a really die-hard Nokia fan to catch that the Nokia Lumia 950 somehow is a nod to the N95.
  • I loved being able to throw my nokia against the wall back in the day. And have it run all week in one go. Im sporting a lumia 820 now, which is actually quite resilient. It has survived multiple drops and crashes. Will hold out with this one for the 8.1 update. 
  • It looks like the 810/820, both of which are ugly. The 810 is by far the uglier and boxier of the two, probably the ugliest Nokia phone around. I don't know if there is more than one prototype stage, but judging from the countless prototypes I've seen from other manufacturers, clearly the overall design has already been decided for this phone and the 810/820 already makes a strong case that Nokia is willing to use prototype looking hardware as their final design. I was in utter disbelief when they first trotted out the 810/820 and now Nokia has gone even bolder by allowing this prototype design to invade the 9xx series. Lets just hope this design language does not affect the 928 or the future Lumia 920 successor or 1000 EOS. God hope, if this really is the 950, its not the true successor to the 920...
  • My question, is why would the 9xx series, the flagship series, move towards the design of the new budget nokia phones? That is why would they move to a flat display, when a major design point of the 800 and 920 is a curved glass display? I'm not doubting that this may be a prototype, but possibly for a mid to high end replacement for the 820. Looks very similar to 520 as well.
  • Looks surfacesk??
  • It looks like the original Zune
  • Actually, WPCentral posted an article about the 520 a little bit ago - and they're like twins separated at birth. No way I can imagine that Nokia would create a 9xx series phone that looks like a 5xx series phone. That would devalue their premium offering.
  • It looks like that proto device that Joe belfiore had awhile ago when they first introduced wp8 last year...
  • I think so. Here's soembody else who noticed the similaraties.
  • When pictures of 920 prototype leaked, people hated the guts of it. And now look at it.. It's officially the most desirable phone of the year.
  • Really? I don't recall that, but then I liked it since it looked to be a big L800/N9 with the curved screen. That colour it was in wasn't too crash hot though.
  • Ugly as shit 920 4 life lol
  • this is not Nokia design!!
    I say fake.
    if you said Samsung, maybe..
  • Looks like my 810.
  • looks almost identicle to my old omnia 7 ignoring the nokia branding of course.
  • Yes it's the same like my Omnia7. Unfortunately I'm still using but soon I will pick something from Lumia range.
  • I still have fond memories of my omnia as it was my first windows phone, but the build quality of the lumia is something else.
  • I am sold!!
  • I don't like the physcial home button :/
  • It's a sticker - as noted in the article.
  • I hope it does have a physical button....  just so it can act as a defacto power button.  I hate how most phones power button is on the side or top and then you have to move your finger to swipe up to unlock.
  • "dubble tap to unlock" is coming for Lumia 820 and 920..
  • I'm hoping proper spelling and grammar will also make a =P
  •  Don't Nokia prototypes usually have the web address on them?
  • That's for when they are being tested, not developed.
  • This reminds me of the Samsung Focus Flash and Ativ S combined.
  • No
  • Hope this is not true...
  • Why? Prototypes, especially early ones, usually have only the internals of the finished product. Appearance would change later.
  • looks fake
  • Dat button.
  • So ugly! Ewww!!
  • You know what ELSE is ugly..? =P
  • it has the 820's more rectangular corners
  • Sony xperia??
  • Hmm homes screen button has diff logo and looks somewhat ugly. Also it should be having quad core.
  • Epicness....Cyan and I'll take it.
  • Looks more like a variant of L820
  • this is so ugly ... and i dont like the physical home button :/
  • Read the article. That's not a physical button but a sticker.
  • Why would they have a sticker with a Microsoft logo on it rather than a Windows logo? Is that what they have done in the past?
  • because if real its meant to be a prototype handset nothing like a retail release.
  • we know its rectangular btw why 950 not 930 or thus their naming cycle will end in 2 years around when their contract ends with MS.....interesting bwahahaha
  • It looks like the Samsung Omnia W because of the physical Home button.
  • Once again as I point out in the article, that's not a physical button but a sticker/placeholder. See the Lumia Stingray aka 800 for reference.
  • Hey is that a sticker? It looks like a sticker.
  • It looks like a Samsung Omnia 7 with a big sticker covering the physical Windows button present on the aforementioned device.
  • I bet it's a sticker. I wish Dan would clear that up. I've seen stickers before, and that looks like one of them stickers. Dan any word on the massive sticker controversy?
  • Yeah, that a sticker? #MASSIVEsarcasm =P
  • Did you mean SeaRay?
  • How uglyyy
  • It looks like my Lumia 810. Hopefully this is a midrage device and the Lumia 1000 will be the flagship.
  • Those specs are pretty much what anyone would expect MS to do. But here's a question that would tell you if they really knew any of the true details. What kind of processor will it come with. Will Nokia/MS use the S4 Pro of this generation until next year, the 600 or the 800. Nokia could roll out a 3X lossless zoom before they combine it with low light OIS, but basically we all expect them to have an 808 replacement and a smaller 20MP sensor High end phone to combat the S4 and iPhone 5S next anyway
  • Hopefully they reduce the bezel.  Waste of space
  • I hope this is not the final product but as it states its a prototype so its not finnished if this is a true im guessing its the windows 9 upgrade Samdung prepare to get your arse kicked yet again!
  • I love the physical button.  Find that the capacitive ones are far too easy to touch.  It could act as the power button too.. iPhone like.
    Looks like a mix of phones, but that's not suprising given that phones are basically all rectangular with screen on the front and buttons below.
  • Like Dani pointed out many times, not a physical button but a sticker.
  • I absolutely love your original, someone should give you a sticker! =P
  • count me interested in this device!
    every prototype looks ugly until we see their official pictures
  • looks like the prototype Joe Belfiore used to demo WP8. Don't you think so? Boxy,sharp and ugly.
  • Love the physical home button
  • I agree. I wish it wasn't just a sticker. I think it looks great
  • looks like the nokia 810 aka "The Sandwich".. lol i'm sure this design will go through various different stages before it's released. that is, if it's real.
  • It doesn't look like a sandwich...even though I *would* eat it if possible lol =P
  • The home button at the bottom looks horrible. How could this be legit, at least from Nokia? The physical button looks more like something Samsung would do, but not Nokia. Nokia is known for building quality.
    EDIT -- Whoops, now I see that Daniel said it was just a sticker. It looks nice other than that.
  • I would love to have physical home button so badly to wake the phone instead of the power button!, or if they going to implements double-tap to wake up :D then no thx :p
  • As long as it's available for T-Mobile Tired of waiting for a flagship Nokia device or at least the unlock codes officially from AT&T. I'm fine if we never get a flagship but at least make it unlockable so we can enjoy it too. Thanks.
  • The features sound nice. Adding a Xenon flash seems like a serious improvement from what I've seen. I don't care about most of the other features - my 900 does the job fine on those, but photography improvements are at the top of my list. I'd prefer they stick with the 800/900/920 design. Let's hope whatever they offer in November is available in red.
  • Looks like a faux Surface Phone
  • Why would they put a sticker over the "home" button but have "back" and "search" buttons on the device already? Used the WP7 'flag'?  Something else?  Odd. But... overall, looks 'okay', but not as striking right now.  But as mentioned, it's a prototype (if legit).
  • I think it looks nice. Just slightly round out the corners of the button and we are talking.
  • I actually like it.  I love my 920 but I would be a little disappointed if they made exactly the same shell in a new device.  I like to see the progression.  Though this isn't a final, obviously, i'd be ok if it was. I have to agree on the reduction of the bezel however.  Huge bezels are completely pointless.
  • Why the hell is the bezel at the bottom so fat? Why can't they make the bezel to be the same size as the one on top?
  • Giggity
  • The Nokia branding going back to the middle?  I figured they were moviing to the top right from now on
  • That's an ugly ass phone
  • the one thing I know is that if its real it's not being developed for verizon. They like more rounded corners so I dont think this would be the rumored 928
  • Wouldn't it be "Rumorometer" rather than "Rum'o'meter"?
  • Sigh... =P
  • Am I the only one that likes a real home button? Granted not like the 950 or ATIV S but it's nice to be able to use it without using the sleep button.
  • Me too .. Love the physical button
  • It definitely has a Nokia/Samsung look to it in my opinion.
  • as long as it beats the Samsung galaxy s4 and the isheep, that's all right for me
  • Fake.
    Why a sticker on the Start button? Is the device turned on or off? What does the screen show? A boot screen? Without Nokia logo? Or is it just an image? Well either way the soft keys lights should be on if the device is on. And the Nokia logo is not in the middle and the perspective is wrong.
    Oh an this design! Just terrible.
  • Nothing wrong with it, but the 920 is nicer looking, so I don't see this being real. Maybe an early protype, but most likely fake. And would it really say "LUMIA 950" when booting? More fakery I feel.
  • Don't know about anyone else but kind of looks like the old Zune Player device.
  • Daniel, Did they say anything about screen size, pixel density, or mm thickness? Sorry if I missed this info somewhere in the article.
  • i want this to be fake because i love 920 and i love it more because its a flagship and all the attention goes to the flagship and it feels good to own a i didnt want this to be true
  • This will not be it because it looks worse then 920, HTC make best designed phones, Nokia will do better then this I am sure. But this image also sucks
  • It's fake. Looks like a 720 without the shell. If you look closely you can see the round buttons for the volume, lock and camera buttons..
  • Agreed.
    Not only that, but the volume buttons on current Nokia phones are unibody rocker switches... there are not two distinct buttons.  So that reinforces your comment that those reddish bumps on the right side are actually the pickups from beneath the case.
    Probably why the photographer softened the image some...
  • Looks like My Omnia 7
  • Looks more like a reference device for internal testing.
  • I noticed something which in my eyes shows this is a fake. 
    The reflection in the screen. If you look carefully, you can see that at the very bottom of the device, below the home button/sticker, the reflection (of whatever it's supposed to be, a window?) goes past the edge of the device. The shadow under the edge shouldn't reflect anything, should it? 
  • I thought the same thing, until I realized that it was the corner of the "WPCentral" watermark that was superimposed on top. It also was fishy because it was sharper than most of the rest of the image, but then I caught on. :)
  • Oh gosh, I think I'm one of the few who like this phone  It reminds me of Zune
  • The reflection is way too pronounced in general.
    Definitely a fake.
  • No 1080p? Give the option MS so OEMs have some interest. Otherwise WP is all Nokia and flooded Androids. Remember the movie 300? Yeah they were all tough. At though end, they all died! Got no backup.
  • Hopefully this is far from the final. I really dig the rounded sides on the 920 and what really makes it stand out from other devices. Would hate to see that detail lost
  • If this is real, is it too much to hope that Nokia will not do more ATT exclusives? Put your flagship device on every carrier or I can't continue to be a WP customer.  
    My 7.5 GB sitting in Other while Lumia's have an app to fix it is proof that HTC's WP devices are not supported and I'm not paying money to ATT. 
  • smart phones should never get the "getting back to roots" treatment. If this ends up being close to a finished product then it looks like most phones out there. if Nokia is looking back for inspiration that tells me they have no real vision for the next lumina phones.
  • Well said.
  • I am about a micron away from dumping my hopes for a competent Windows phone.  It is driving me insane that Microsoft, a company whose head is so far up their butt that they arrive embarrasingly late to the mobile phone game, shaft their followers by putting out a non-upgradeable WP version (7), then embarrass themselves by Windows RT, and now demonstrate to the world that they LOVE being viewed as SFBs by this:
    "Resolution, we’re told, is 1280x768 and there is no planned 1080P support for Windows Phone 8 in the immediate future."
    That's what I like in my phone, to be so far behind as to be a laughing stock, and then when you do show up, you only do 768.  Yeah, I like getting behind that.  Stick it to me some more MicroShaft....
    You would think that a company as big as Microsoft would be ahead of the resolution game, would be ahead of the size game but nope, you'd be WRONG.
    Samsung is looking better and bettter every day.  I'm really really tired of waiting for Microsoft to pull it's head out.
  • Out of curiosity, where do you need 1080p in a 4.5 inch screen? Do you always watch it under a magnifier?
  • There is a difference 1080p vs 720p. Can't deny that.
  • Negligible on a screen that small
  • I also wanted a larger screen. But never-the-less, I need a larger screen as I do a lot of text work (for more text on the page/screen not for larger text - I hate constantly flipping back and for when I'm trying to read in context). And since I need a larger screen I want higher resolution. Besides, whats wrong with wanting the best for my phone and phone company? If I get a phone with a higher resolution I at least have the option of that resolution. As it is, I'm stuck with 768.
  • What a funny statement... can't tell if you meant to do that.
    Yes, 1080P and 720P are different... yes, that statement is undeniable.
    But if the common person can't tell the difference on 20 - 30 inch televisions, how are they seeing the difference on 4 - 5 inch smartphone screens?   Even with your eyeball pressed up against the display, you wouldn't notice.
  • It's just the modern day, high tech version of penis envy
  • What "common" people are you hangin with? It is EASY to tell the difference between 1080 and 720 on a 30" screen....and people can tell the difference on smart phones too.
  • I'm going to kindly disagree. You believe what you want man. No one here is trying to hurt you or lead you wrong.
  • wellll I use a 24 inch monitor and it's really easy to tell apart 720p from 1080p. But then, chances are I'm probably closer to it than if I were watching TV. On the other hand with phones, I can't say. But from my limited experience from handling phones at Verizon and AT&T stores, it's hard for me to tell a difference between SD and 720p screens.
  • Dude, I have 3 tvs at home right this very minute.  One an old tube tv.  The other two: 1080p and a 720.  I can stand 60 feet away and tell the difference between the two.  You can't argue with a guy who's got the two resolutions right in f