Cheap Continuum with an HDMI adapter for the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL

If you are considering picking up a new Lumia 950 or Lumia 950 XL (or already have one) you may have a few questions regarding that USB Type-C and OTG connector on the bottom of your phone.

If you caught our earlier video, we showed you how you can connect USB thumb drives and other peripherals like a mouse to your phone. Today, we'll show you a $25 HDMI adapter works and answer if you can use a Type-C Ethernet cable!

Ethernet is a no-go

If you ever wanted to plug your new Lumia directly up to a network through a Cat-5 cable, it looks like you cannot yet do that on Windows 10 Mobile.

We picked up two USB 3.1 Type C to Ethernet Adapters, and neither would let us get blazing fast Verizon FiOS internet directly to our phones. Sad trombone.

HDMI does work

It is likely not a surprise that a Type C to HDMI connector, however, does work. After all, the $99 Display Dock is the same device but with added USB ports.

For this test, we used a Cable Matters USB 3.1 Type C to HDMI Adapter Supporting 4K Resolution, which retails for $25. That is not cheap, but it is cheaper than the $99 display dock and significantly lighter.

Using the HDMI adapter to a monitor enables Continuum for phone turning your Lumia into a semi-PC. You can then use the phone as a trackpad, which is still super clever. You can also still connect a mouse and keyboard up through Bluetooth and have yourself a full Continuum experience at about a ¼ the cost of the Display Dock.

You can buy the one we used in the video below, however other options are likely to work as well.

Buy Cable Matters USB 3.1 Type C to HDMI Adapter at for $24.99

Using the HDMI-only option is ideal for presentations or just showing off photos and videos. Remember, even though our adapter and monitor were both 4K ready devices Continuum can only max out at 1080P at 60FPS.

Wrap up

Overall, Continuum and USB Type C OTG continues to surprise us with what these new Lumias can do. Easily the USB thumb drive and HDMI adapters are our favorite as those are some real-world problem solvers.

Finally, although we do not have a portable digital-to-analog converter (DAC) a few users in our forums, have had success in using those too. The one caveat is if it has to install a driver then it will not work, but if it is plug and play it should be just fine to output amplified and HQ audio to headphone or speakers.

We're still investing the USB Printer situation, so stay tuned.


Want all the latest news on these phones? Hit these topic pages for all that we got.

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Want to chat about the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL? Jump into our forums and ask others what they think or get help and advice on your new phone!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.