Microsoft's Cityman and Talkman flagship Lumia phones and what you need to know

Over the last few weeks, rumors of Microsoft's upcoming flagship Windows Phones have been circulating the internet. Obviously many of these rumors contain half-truths or are just plain false. The referenced phones are codenamed Cityman and Talkman, and it is time to set the record straight on their specifications and features.

The first accurate reporting of Cityman and Talkman go back to April 17 when Blog Jack published exact information about the two devices.

Since then, I have been able to fill in the gaps and will complete most of the picture. To be clear, the information contained below is confirmed with multiple sources and I have the highest confidence in its accuracy. However, like all leaks, some of this should be treated with caution as plans can change.


Below are the main hardware attributes of both phones with some added details.

Talkman (Lumia 950)

  • Matte White or black polycarbonate body
  • 5.2 inch WQHD (1440x2560) OLED display
  • Snapdragon 808, 64-bit Hexa core
  • Iris scanner (infrared) for Windows Hello
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB of internal storage with a microSD card slot
  • 20MP PureView rear camera
  • 5MP Wide-angle front facing camera
  • 3000 mAh removable battery
  • Qi wireless charging with flip cover
  • USB Type-C

Cityman (Lumia 950 XL)

  • Matte White or black polycarbonate body
  • 5.7 inch WQHD (1440x2560) OLED display
  • Snapdragon 810, 64-bit Octa core
  • Iris scanner (infrared) for Windows Hello
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB of internal storage with a microSD card slot
  • 20MP PureView rear camera with triple LED flash
  • 1mm silver ring inside the circumference of the black camera pod
  • Aluminum side buttons
  • 5MP Wide-angle front facing camera
  • 3300 mAh removable battery
  • Qi wireless charging integrated
  • USB Type-C

Naming – Lumia 940 or Lumia 950?

Although both phones go by the internal codename Talkman and Cityman these obviously won't be their marketing names. Many have referred to these devices as the Lumia 940 and Lumia 940 XL, however, Microsoft is considering jumping a model number and calling them the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL.

I have been unable to confirm just yet if that this naming scheme is finalized, but considering Microsoft skipped Windows 9 to go to Windows 10, there is a precedent for such a move. It would also imply a greater break from the x40 lineup, which began a year ago.

The name change will be decided by September.

Lumia 950 XL cover and pen

Accessories – Pen and Smart Cover

The Lumia Cityman aka Lumia 940/950 XL will optionally have a Surface Pen and smart cover. These will not be sold with the device but as extras. The Surface Pen looks exactly the same as the current silver Surface pen available for the Surface Pro 3.

The smart cover is very reminiscent of the one that came with the ASUS ZenFone 2. It has a large circular see-through area for calls and notifications to be viewed and the pen can clip to it. The case comes in black, silver/white or brown.

The photo above is a recreation of what this case and pen will look like with a Windows 10 Mobile device.

Iris scanner for Windows Hello

Both phones will have an iris scanner to unlock the devices. This hardware is part of the Windows Hello feature in Windows 10, and the experience should result in less than one second to unlock the device.

However, we have heard, and I have said before that this feature may not work when the devices are first released. Instead, both phones will need a software update that may come a month or two after release.

Continuum and 'Munchkin'

Another optional accessory is codenamed Munchkin as we revealed a few weeks ago. It is a docking station with USB and display ports that can connect to these phones via USB Type-C. This accessory will let the phone use the Continuum feature to project onto a computer display with mouse and keyboard support.

Reported price for this accessory is $99.

Interesting side trivia: Continuum for the phone was codenamed Wizard-tinman, obviously it and Munchkin are references to the Wizard of Oz.

Mockup of Lumia 950 XL

Hands-on experience

The above render made by Windows Central for Cityman (Lumia 950 XL) is a combination of eye-witness reports, sketches, and internal Microsoft documentation.

Although I have personally seen internal documentation about both these phones, including images and specifications, I have also spoken to sources who have seen and examined Cityman aka Lumia 940/950 XL in person. Here are their thoughts:

  • Very thin (7-8mm) and light
  • Massive, removable battery that is the thinnest they have ever seen
  • "Sexy as hell."
  • Looks like a combination of the Verizon Lumia 928 and Lumia 830 (camera housing)
  • Completely square handset
  • The front glass covers the entire front, non-curved display
  • Volume up and down keys separated by power button
  • Dedicated camera button

Release Dates

We continue to believe that both phones will be presented to the public at the IFA conference in Berlin in early September. Actual sales of the phones will likely begin in the October/November time-frame. However, Talkman (the non-XL version) will likely go on sale first with the XL variant coming a few weeks later.

Update:: Windows Central now believes these devices will be announced either in late September or in October at a larger, Microsoft-only event. The release to market timeframe of late October or early November remains, however.

As I have previously revealed, both phones should contain universal GSM radios letting Microsoft directly sell these devices unlocked to consumers including in the US.

In terms of which carriers in the US will sell which phones, it is not entirely clear. We have reports suggesting AT&T will sell only Talkman aka Lumia 940/950. Verizon may be one of those carrier relationships that are ending with Microsoft due to it not being beneficial according to our sources (see Bloomberg 7/8/2015 for original, non-specific reference).

Honjo, Saana, and Guilin – Cancelled

On June 20th, Evan Blass aka Evleaks tweeted about numerous other Lumias in the works by Microsoft. Although details were scarce, their codenames were revealed as Guilin, Honjo, Saana, and Saimaa.

The codenames are accurate and were planned devices but not soon after three out of four of those were cancelled by Microsoft, specifically Honjo, Saana, and Guilin. The cut was likely related to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's announcement about their restructuring and refocus on Windows Phone hardware.

Earlier today, WMPoweruser reported on alleged specifications for the Lumia 850, 750 and 550. Although I cannot verify their authenticity of those specs, these are the now cancelled Honjo, Saana, and Guilin phones.

However, this leaves the Lumia device codenamed Saimaa still planned. Although exact specifications are not yet known for this device by us, it is a Lumia 6xx successor and part of the continued budget device lineup. Release for this phone is not yet finalized although it is considered an FY16 project.

Update: Following this story, Windows Central learned that Saana has been un-cancelled likely due to a shift in strategy. The phone is not expected until early 2016, however:

Microsoft 'Saana' Lumia un-cancelled and an old Lumia 830 prototype leaks


People who have seen the Cityman/950 XL phone have had nothing but positive things to say and came away impressed. Specifically, this Lumia does not weigh much at all and is very compact considering it is packing a 5.7-inch display. In other words, this phone continues to buck the traditional Lumia stereotype of being cumbersome and bulky.

Both phones are likely to ditch 'Microsoft' lettered branding on the back and instead use a chrome Windows flag akin to the Surface 3. Microsoft will still be written on the front of the phone above the display and below the earpiece.

In terms of hardware and design, both phones are meant to show off and highlight everything in Windows 10. They do not veer too far from current Lumia designs, but they do improve upon many of the shortcomings of previous releases. For instance, the inclusion of 32 GB of internal storage and a micro SD card is something many users have asked for in the past. Likewise, with the inclusion of a Surface pen for the larger, XL version.

At the very least, both phones should temper concerns that Microsoft cannot make impressive Lumia Windows Phones. Of course, like all releases, the devil is in the user experience and that remains to be seen.

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.