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Sources say AT&T is set to release the Lumia 950 on Friday, November 20

As Microsoft is getting ready to ship Windows 10 Fall Refresh and Windows 10 Mobile the big question is when the AT&T Lumia 950 is going to hit store shelves. We have seen some early in-store signage advertising the phone for AT&T hinting that the release is near.

In an article early last week, we noted that Friday, November 20 was shaping up to be the launch day. Since that time, we have had further confirmation that this is the target date for the only carrier-release version of the Lumia 950 in the U.S.

The day comes across as a rather logical one. AT&T always releases on Friday and this Friday (the 13th) is too soon, whereas Black Friday, which falls on the 27th, is too hectic. The timing puts the phone in a good spot for the so-called Holiday Season in the States, which lasts through New Year's Day.

Part of the launch delay we are told was to enable Windows Hello's iris scanner and to reach the TH2 marker for the OS. AT&T has yet to confirm Windows Hello will be available on day one. However, we know it is testing and likely to be available.

There is no word yet on pricing, although the $99 mark for on-contract sales sounds reasonable. Off-contract the Lumia 950 should retail for $549.

Lumia 950 specifications

CategorySpecification
Operating SystemWindows 10 Mobile
Display5.2 inches (1440x2560)
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 808
MaterialsPolycarbonate
Qi WirelessYes
ConnectorType C
Fast ChargeYes
RAM3GB
Rear Camera20MP
Front Camera5MP
Internal Storage32GB
External Storagemicro SD
Battery3000mAh removable
ChargingQi wireless, USB Type-C, Quick Charge
Height145mm
Width73.2mm
Thickness8.2mm
Weight150 grams
Price$549

AT&T is unfortunately not expected to carry the Lumia 950 XL, something we noted way back in July. Microsoft, however, should be offering the unlocked Lumia 950 XL through its stores. There is also no word on any tie-in promotions, although something with the Microsoft Band 2 or new Display Dock for Continuum could happen.

AT&T has not yet announced pre-orders for the Lumia 950 but if may start this Friday or even Thursday, when Microsoft is expected to announce Windows 10 Mobile is shipping. AT&T announced the Lumia 950 back on October 6 when they also put up their 'coming soon' page.

Update: The Verge has now chimed in with Tom Warren confirming the November 20 launch date as well.

Stay tuned to Windows Central for any more news on this and other Windows 10 Mobile devices.

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

427 Comments
  • Woot! Excited! Now bring on the XL this Friday at MS stores! :D
  • If that occurs, hope there's a finance plan
  • There are a couple financing plans out there already. One is called "save up" in which you pay yourself a monthly amount and keep from spending it until you have enough to purchase the product outright. The other is called "consumer credt" which usually comes in the form of plastic cards that let you charge something to your credit and then you can pay it off over time.
  • LOL nice one
  • Hah.
  • @Musicman247. This^, $10 to $20 a week is not much, heck even $5 saved a week will go a long way.
  • And they still offer contracts and Next payment plans which are interest free.
  • Or you could apply for an interest free credit card AND own the device and have a lower plan price.
  • Interest free credit card?  I have not seen this before without it being an acutal timed promotion.  I.E. Interest free on all purchases for the first month...
  • The Chase Slate card is interest free for 15 months.  You have to have pretty decent to higher credit to qualify, but I have it and still have another 9 months to pay off a vacation I bought on a cash back card this summer (then transferred the balance to the Slate card).  I will have it paid in 4 months and do it all completely free of interest.  Course after that 15 months expires the rate goes up to like 26%.  That is the downside though.  The card is free too, no yearly/monthly charges for having it.   All you really have to do is google "interest free" credit card offers and you can find a number of cards that offer 6-24 months at 0%.  
  • when the carriers have contracts .. the price you pay over time has interest in the calculation ...... so using a CC is no different.
  • You guys are so bound on pushing everyone to buy unlocked.lol One picture at a time -- LG V10
  • I did some maths a few weeks ago and saw that at least on AT&T, it will be $175 cheaper over 2 years to buy the XL than get it through contract (assuming AT&T charges $200 under contract pricing for the XL) and cheaper than Next plans (obviously).
  • Brutal honesty. Wouldn't expect anything less from Musicman....
  • Sure. I will put aside the same amount as I would for at&t's plan. Will only take me about two years to save it up.
  • Funniest response I've seen in a while.
  • Lol nice!!!
  • Here comes the phone police telling people how to purchase their devices. :) One picture at a time -- LG V10
  • Well please, suggest a different way for someone to get a 950XL, which is what the OP was talking about.
  • Save, wait a little bit while they work out all the bugs and buy one off ebay later. I'm going to wait and see if apps like bank of america come back etc. I'd love to come back to the Lumia 950, but without the apps I need and constantly use I just can't.
  • 950XL now listed on Microsoft website for $649
    UPDATE: still listed as "coming soon" ugh!!
  • It's been listed since October 6th. There is no way to purchase one yet. Still just an "Email me when available" button.
  • Just noticed
  • If there is a MS store in your area you can pre order the 950 and XL in store. I did that with my XL last month.
  • is it the dual sim ver?
  • msft rep said that it is NOT being released on nov 20th... "maybe in other countries, but not the US"
  • So what happened to the tweet article "Windows 10 Mobile is done"?
  • They deleted it. It wasn't a dream, it actually happened. The forum post is proof: http://forums.windowscentral.com/windows-central-news-discussion/393071-...
  • Wonder why...??
  • There are a couple theories in the forum thread. One is that they were asked to take it down because there would be an even bigger story later today! :D
  • Without the XL not being sold through AT&T from the beginning, and without other carriers on board at all (especially Verizon), I see this as DOA.  I doubt many people will buy the XL at cost, which will give false data showing that "Nobody wants the bigger phone", thus AT&T and other carriers won't sell it.  Microsoft's half-arsed efforts at mobile these days is killing me.  If the RTM of Windows 10 for phones is anything like the current fast ring build, we're in serious trouble.  I never want to go back to Lagdroid or Google in general.  I want to keep my soul, so that means no iPhone, either.  That leaves me hanging on to a broken and app-less environment.  :(  I must like pain.
  • Lumia 1520 users will get their phone lost frequently if that buy 950...
  • You're assuming that everyone is on ATT and that we want a phone that's carrier locked or on a payment plan.  Funny you should talk about wanting to keep your soul...  I'd rather pay the same amount for a unlocked carrier free phone.
  • Why do you lose your soul if you get an iphone?
  • ITunes steals your soul, your music, your video, your children, your cat, etc...
  • That's funny shit!
  • Lol at punishing yourself
  • Just come on over to Android until the app ecosystem is saturated with the bridge apps and more carriers jump on board. It's gonna happen. But until then enjoy some of the Android goodness. Very flexible OS and the camera capabilities have far surpassed Windows Phone in the arena of manual controls. I left Windows Phone a year ago after seeing how much my 1020 was being left behind in the camera software department by the newer phones and the cancellation of the McLaren. Had the Sony Xperia Z3 for a year and just got the LG V10. And I drive for Uber part time so I wouldn't even realistically be able to switch back to WP full time.(I still have a very good working L920). Windows Phone will continue on and I'll jump back in when the time is right. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Android stopped lag with 5.0 unless you buy a cheap, crap phone. My Note 5 has no lag whatsoever.
    I may pick up a 950 as a play toy. It can't replace android or iOS unless you don't need any apps outside what comes on the phone. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Go kid play with your android toys. this is for adults.
  • Spoken like a child...
  • that goes for you too.
  • Yes your attack at my phone choice shows how "grown up" you are.... 
  • So it is alright for you to bash on lumia 950 isn't it?.I didn't attack at your phone choice. i just said the truth. android is still a total mess nothing innovative just boring old symbian phones compared to unique,secured and advanced w10m. just cos some kids games that you use  are missing doesn't mean windows store doesn't have enough apps for advanced users. and compared to lumia 950(min-pc) your note 5 is just a toy. that is the truth and if you have problem with that then you have problem with reality.and what with all the security flaws in galaxy notes I bet you guys would be even scared to open the browser.lol. wanna see how galaxy note fails terribly in smachdown with similar hardware lumia? checkout this video(by an android user)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GicxcPe_PzA
  • I'm getting 2 XL's as soon as I can possible get my hands on them.  
  • @Matt-WP. "That leaves me hanging on to a broken and app-less enviroment"... just set live tiles to the mobile web page of any app and leave it logged in, done! Any Banking, go to their we page, loggin and make the browser remmember, then set a live tile! You even get more functions than a crippled phone app!
  • That is all well and good, but can you deposit a check on the web page from your phone?  That is the single biggest frustration with the loss of a lot of banking apps on WM.  
  • Sorry mate, I have not used a phisical 'check' for at least 10 years! Everything I need and more can be done from my web browser both the laptop (W10 + tile) and the mobile web version (Android + widget)! For example, Pinterest did not have an Android app at first, my duaghter wanted it, so I logged her acount in a mobile web version and set a widget, this also help by not having so many apps (which most leave crapp and adds even unistalled) by simply closing the browser. So I basically install only the trully mostly needed apps on my house smartphones, other than that, I set widgets and tiles to web pages and keep them optimised.
  • I seldom write checks, but I do recieve checks thas I need ot deposit. B of A web site does not allow depositing checks. THe Androis and iOs appd. The Windows phoen and Widows desktop apps did untill they were dicontinued. I'm glad you have no need for this.
  • Anyone know if there's going to be any protective cases?
  • There are plenty designed specifically for the 950/XL. Have a search on Amazon.
  • Sounds Legit ;)
  • worst launch in history .. announce it ages ago - dont give clear dates when to get it.. no clear add on information like dock.. did they hire some marketing people from one plus one?
  • Since when is a month "ages"? These were announced LITERALLY 34 days ago. Patience is a virtue, my friend.
  • it may be a virtue - but it doesnt make it any easier :)
  • If it was easy, it wouldn't be a virtue.
  • true, very true...
  • Yep, I'm sure nothing is preventing them from announcing the date. They just decided not to do it, for fun. /s
  • For the lulz
  • Ages? Really?
  • Worst launch in history?
    You must've missed the times when HTCs were held by US customs, or Samsung selling region-locked phones or OnePlus requiring a frickin invitation to buy their phones or the Motorola Bionic...
  • Lol
  • Android can afford to misshit like that on occasion, Windows/MS cannot...
     
  • Since when is "ages" = a month.
  • If you were a gnat.
  • ...or a Millenial. :)
  • +1
  • No, the worst "Launch" was the 640 on T-Mobile. That was the "Hide and Seek" Marketing plan. I hope that guy got a raise.
  • Haha, I actually had fun Walmart hopping!
  • Ah, the real fun was the WalMart website search. "Available for store pickup today......we think......what was your Zip Code again?....is that near Miami or Jacksonville?.....yes we think we have one but we can't find it....a what?"
  • The 830 was a bad launch too. Supposed to come with Denim and didn't fully come out until almost a year later.
  • I did and a year end bonus...thanks!!!
  • it's not the "worst launch in history" since it's just the same as previous Lumia launches and actually a little better since we will get unlocked versions in stores
  • Since the 920 all release dates are about 45 days later from there announcement.
  • "ages ago" equals a month and a half apparently.
  • yes, I grew 1 month and half older.
  • Microsoft has absolutely zero follow through on their phone hardware.  I'd really like to hear why the only carrier willing to put the new phone on the shelf is ATT.  In addition why has ATT always handicapped the device or chosen the lesser version?  I've had the Samsung Focus, Lumia 900, Lumia 920 and Lumia 1520.  I really wanted to move to the 950 XL but the lack of enthusiam from the manufacturer is really disheartening.  
  • My guess would be that the 950 is a cheaper device.  It would be easier to sell a cheaper unpopular phone, rather than a more expensive unpopular phablet.
  • What phone have they gimped besides the 1520?  I've had the same ones as you on them, along with a Focus S mixed in there, and they've all been flagship-specced phones at the time.  Heck, you could even argue that they enhanced the 830, by offering it with both PMA and Qi charging backs out of the box. I've always been thankful that ATT carries the top WP phones, and that it's not someone like Sprint as the lone supporter of WP.  Imagine having to be stuck on Sprint's tin can and string network to be a WP user...
  • Worst launch in history has to be the iPhone 4. You know the phone that didn't make calls and where the CEO blamed the customers for wanting new technology to work.
  • iphone 4,  your holding it wrong.   Nope,  apple your designing it wrong!
  • But it had the pretty "fruit" thing on it. And my friends were impressed!.....how come mine has a bite out of it?
  • I think this one still wins *shrug* The HP Pre 3 was *announced* on February 9, 2011, at the HP webOS "Think Beyond" event held at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco alongside the Veer and TouchPad. The Pre 3 was *released* on August 17, 2011, in the United Kingdom. The *next day,* August 18, HP announced that it would be discontinuing all webOS devices, including the Pre 3. The phone was never officially released in the United States, although models eventually were sold through the HP employee store in California, and many of those phones ended up on eBay auctions.
  • That sounds good! Now, what reason would someone get the XL besides screen size and GG4?
  • You just named the two defining features of the XL compared to the regular 950, so I guess...no reason?
  • Just want to doublecheck if you meant gorilla glass 4, because the 950 also uses the 4th iteration according to the product pages. http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/AT-T--Microsoft-Lumia-950/productID.328011000 AT&T version http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/Microsoft-Lumia-950--Unlocked/productID.326602600 Unlocked version
  • That info has bounced around so much, I'm not sure if it is 4, 3, 5, or 43! I guess we'll have to wait to be 100% sure.
  • And a Microsoft page saying it has Gorilla Glass 3: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/mobile/phone/lumia950/features/ MS probably doesn't know what it's going to come with at this point, and Corning's GG web site doesn't list the 950s yet.  At least we're going to have an exciting few weeks as things get finalized and actually start happening!
  • Truth is screen size is the major reason for many people! A lot of people also don't like the camera design in the back of the 950
  • Yup the camera design. Im just gonna suck it up tho since they're playing games with XL availability
  • Give it a couple of days. I'm sure we'll learn more about the XL soon
  • Yes indeed...as 'Microsoft Lumia Help' via twitter has confirmed multiple times that  the L-950XL will be carried by AT&T (my carrier)....the question is when!....lol
  • Yeah...I was one until I saw the actual phone. I find that I like the 950 styling better than the 950xl. The ring in the back is actually very stylish. I really haven't seen a picture that does the phone justice.
  • seems like they might be doing some A/B testing on us  :)
  • To my knowledge the only noticeable differences are screen size (5.2" vs 5.7"), CPU (SD808 vs SD810), battery (3000mAh vs 3340mAh), and the esthetics (personally, I prefer the look of the 950XL). There's also a difference in the PPI, but with both above 500PPI, I get the feeling you probably wont notice it too much (not an expert on this area, that's just my understanding). The 950XL also offers a liquid-cooling like setup, most likely to compensate for heating issues with the SD810. 
  • Both have liquid cooling to my knowledge
  • Interesting, I thought it was just the 950XL. 
  • It should be just the XL, the SD808 isn't a hot running chop.
  • The XL has the 8-core processor, whereas the 950 has the 6-core.
  • Both has GG4. Look at MS Store page.
  • Octo core processor
  • 8 cores instead of 6
  • The main differences between the 950 and 950 XL are the size of course and the XL having the 8 core SD810 vs 6 core 808 in the 950.
  • Don't forget the price difference.
  • The processor difference won't matter though since it's just slightly better to offset the more pixels it will push. So in reality it just comes down to screen size and camera design. Also the 810 has had a lot of problems so it's something to consider.
  • The processor doesn't handle pushing the pixels. That's on the gpu, and the gpu in the 810 is significantly better.
  • The 810 processor?
  • I've been a loyal Windows Phone user since the 920 came out day 1, got a 1020 too.. But if ATT doesn't carry the XL then I'm going Android. Microsoft just fucked up BIG time. I'm so frustrated because I was waiting for the XL to release! I'm honestly pissed.
  • I used to read comments like yours a year or two ago and just think, "well go to lamedroid then impatient complainer!".  But now I'm all, "I don't blame you"...  Still love Windows Phones over competition but the longer I'm with them the more I see how half-arsed MS is being about mobile.  Truly is a dying horse but I'll probably stick it out to the (my opinion inevitable) bitter end.
  • I was the same exact way a year ago but after hearing the one phone I thought would change it all for the better(XL) won't be releasing on ATT, I'm done with MS. I wanted to voice my anger to MS last night when I read this news but they obviously don't care seeing how they thought it was a good idea to begin with..
  • On AT&T, I did the math and found that buying the 950XL from MS and then bringing that phone over to AT&T should be cheaper by $175 over 2 years.  When you bring your own phone to AT&T, the plan cost is reduced by $25.  They also charge you $25 less for the one-time phone access charge.  So that's $625 savings over 2 years.  AT&T will likely charge a one-time $200 fee to purchase the 950 XL on contract.  So, that means you have $825 to spend on buying a new phone.  I believe the 950 XL will cost $649 from MS.  So you will end up saving $175 over 2 years (if I did the math right). Believe me, I was upset when I heard that AT&T might not carry the 950XL.  But now, I really don't care because I think I will just plan on buying it from MS and then bringing it over to AT&T and save that $175.  I don't plan on replacing my phone for 2 years anyhow...
  • I have a corporate account so my upgrade price is just the tax $50-$100 and then I get full credit back for my 920 $100 then pay off the remainder so I would save $200-$300 compared to a regular ATT account
  • Yes, but you're talking about the price "on contract." If you purchase the phone on the "AT&T Next" plan, then the plan is also reduced by $25. The cost of the phone is divided by the length of the plan. Example: Lumia 950 is $550, you choose AT&T Next 24 months, then you're montly payment would be $22.92 (ontop of data plan and phone service cost). TLDR: Don't buy phones "On contract" anymore.
  • I'm hoping this gives us a fair indicator as to when Microsoft will sell their models in-store. Seems plausible, since of course you don't want to miss Black Friday U.S. sales.
  • I'm not purchasing this till its able to run on Verizon's network...
  • Complain to Verizon about it then.
  • I'm not switching to Verizon until they completely ditch CDMA...
  • It's only a few years away.
  • Meanwhile at T-Mobile: *crickets*
  • The unlocked versions work on T-mobile.   Edit: Sorry that stating the truth was down-vote-worthy. Buying unlocked is better in the long run, as you can sell your device for real money later instead of trading it in to wipe away debt.
  • I do not think Wi-Fi calling will work. I do  not know if there are other unavailable features. Not eligible for the Jump program. There are areadvantages to buying unlocked, but Jumo and similar programs do give a defined future value. If these are lemons or MS drops W10M, future sale fro "real money" will be a dream.
  • I am on Verizon for a few more days. The way Tmo WiFi calling works is built into the 950xl and I had a 3h phone call with Microsoft to confirm this is accurate info.
  • Only phones should by T-Mobile will have wifi calling. If it is anything like Lumia 1520, att will probably lock out tmo bands as well.
  • The unlocked versions have Tmo bands. ATT has no control over that.
  • No need to down vote.  But some people have the JUMP program on TMobile.  It would be nice for them to get the phone they want for something they are paying for. 
  • T-mobile said they approached Microsoft about carrying the phone, but Microsoft decided to go the exclusive carrier route again which John Lagere lambasted on Twitter. He said that they are open to carrying it if Microsoft changes their mind. I'm hoping they do, but it works on their network so I'm probably just going to pick up an unlocked version. I've found that wi-fi calling is pretty terrible so it's not much of a concern that it wouldn't work.
  • To be clear, it's not actually an exclusive. Exclusives in the US mean zero unlocked varriants. What Microsoft said was that they chose AT&T as the launch partner, without forming any exclusivity. This means that Microsoft can sell unlocked varriants without any issues, and could release it on T-Mobile at a later point, if thy wanted to, without having to wait for the "carrier exclusivity" to end first.  
  • Going by what Legere said, Microsoft told him it was an exclusive: http://www.tmonews.com/2015/10/john-legere-says-t-mobile-didnt-turn-down....
  • I'm basing it off of what was said on Windows Central, and by Microsoft's press release. I think John Legere consideres it an exclusive because it's only aailable on one carrier. Real exclusives are usually more like the HTC One M8 WP, which wwas only available on Verizon at first, and was never available unlocked (at least not in the US). 
  • Ah, I see what you're saying. Like my phone, the 925, was an exlusive 920 variant for certain carriers. In this case the exlusivity is just that it can't be sold through any other carrier contracts.
  • Exactly. And in this case it could be sold by T-Mobile if Microsoft wanted to. But for whatever reason they decided to limit this. I almost wonder if this is to limit carrier intervention, and push users towards using clean/unlocked devices, which can be directly updated by Microsoft (carries still have some say, especially with Firmware, on Windows 10 Mobile). Not the best idea, but I could definitely see that being what Microsoft is doing. 
  • That's actually a good question. If I buy an unlocked device, can Microsoft push out most updates, including firmware, without having to go through the carrier?
  • Carriers have zero control over the software and firmware for unlocked devices. Responsibility for these devices (even the warranty) is put on the OEM. So yes, Microsoft will be able to push out updates (both Firmware and Software) whenever they want, without waiting for Carrier approval. That's why I want an unlocked device.
  • If you're buying unlocked, then the only one MS has to answer to is MS. So yes, you'll get updates day and date they release, and continued support even if AT&T EOL the device.
  • That makes perfect sense, never really thought about that aspect of it. Even more reason to go with an unlocked device!
  • Yes, that's one of several advantages of an unlocked phone. The updates come straight from the manufacturer.
  • Well T-Mobile has done such a bang up job with Windows Phones. I don't think Microsoft wants to see T-Mobile 950's at WalMart.
  • quote: I don't think Microsoft wants to see T-Mobile 950's at WalMart. I don't know if they don't want that but they should want them in Wal-Mart. I'd prefer picking up a phone the same time I'm getting jugs of Mobile1 or something else. Of course if the MS store or carriers started carying motor oil, etc., that would work too. I don't use carrier phones but I give them as gifts to people who don't care. I've lost count of how many T-Mobile and AT&T L640s I've bought at WalMart.  
  • Why not? I can get an iPhone 6 at Walmart. Microsoft needs th