First firmware update for Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL improves performance, stability and more

Over the last 24 hours, we have seen reports from many users that a new firmware update was going out. The update is under the guise MICROSOFTMDG update and while the OS remains the same the firmware does change from 01078.00017.15452.xxxx to 01078.00027.15506.xxxx.

Microsoft has now posted a changelog of this update, and it looks to a rather interesting one with many improvements.

New firmware update for Lumia 950/950 XL: 01078.00027.15506.020xx

  • Stability and performance improvements.
  • Improvements for SD memory card support.
  • Improvements for automatic display brightness settings.
  • Fix for a camera problem that was causing noisy images in low-light conditions for some users.
  • Fix for a 4K video problem that was causing stripes to show up while playing back recorded videos for some users.

We should caution that the update appears to be rolling out for those in Europe first with many getting the update starting yesterday. However, none of our phones here in the US, including our AT&T Lumia 950 and unlocked Lumia 950 XL are seeing the update just yet. Microsoft says the update is rolling out gradually:

"The update should be already available for many of the users and rollouts will continue gradually. Availability of the update may depend on your network service provider."

That last line is a little concerning for those on AT&T specifically. On the other hand, we are less than 24 hours into this process, and even our unlocked device is not seeing the update so no conclusions can yet be drawn.

Regardless, you can see if you phone has the update by going into Settings > Update & security > Phone update > Check for updates to see if it is live. If it is, you should see a MICROSOFTMDG update waiting.

We'll follow up this article with another when it hits the US and other territories.

Anyone already have the update? How has your experience been? Let us know in comments!

Source: Microsoft (opens in new tab); Thanks, Henning S, Pär P,. and Victor V., for the tips!

Daniel Rubino
Editor-in-chief

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.

530 Comments
  • Nothing here on my UK 950XL. Now if I could just get a damned screen protector that didn't mess with the proximity sensor. Oddly, the cover does not even seem to cover the proximity sensor. Also, be nice to fix the volume buttons, had to restart to get them to work.
  • i hear you brother.  after sampling just about all of them, i found one that does not obstruct any sensors.  go on amazon and search for "mr shield for microsoft lumia 950 xl" and select the tempered glass offering.  This version originally had 2 issues:  not adherring at corners and messing with proximity sensors.  The revisions they made fixed both issues.  I'd recommend it as i haven't found anything else to be even remotely usable
  • @Andreas Lagos, cheers for the info.
  • ArmorSuit just sent me an email after I asked about XL screen protectors, they JUST put the up, and don't cover any sensors.
    Self healing non glass, best ones I've ever used on my 920. Wet application means no bubbles or buckling.
    http://www.armorsuit.com/cell-phones/microsoft/microsoft-lumia-950-xl-sc... Edit: Page says it's down, but you can easily find the page from the nav menu.
  • I have had the Mr Sheild and the Sparin, and I like the Sparin better. It doesn't interfere with any sensors on my 950, and the adhesive is better than the Mr Sheild.
  • The Fosman screen protectors on amazon also have cut outs for every sensor and the little mic hole in the glass. I think I paid $8 CDN
  • I've been using an icarez tempered glass protector for about a week and I'm not having any problems.
  • It would be nice if my UK 950 could even update to .29 lol...
  • Unlocked L950XL still waiting for .36 after getting .29 4 days ago.  MS should publsh the update release schedule by the region, so we don't have wait and check all the time.
  • Same for me with my 950XL in the UK. Also if your looking for a screen protector, try the techgear lumia 950XL on amazon(note it refers to the device as Nokia Lumia) but aside from that blip the screen protector works well and has cut outs for the sensors except the iris scanner but I doubt that would cause an issue.
  • Uhm, just don't use screen protectors? They make your phone god **** ugly protecting your phone from getting ugly. It's hypocrite. I've not used a case nor screen protector in my whole life and my phones never broke. I've even dropped them tons of times. I often wonder what the **** it is you people do to your phones or what you are protecting it for? You put them in the same pocket as where you keep your nails?
  • I never use them either. Seems counter productive. Perhaps it's for people who intend to some day sell them or eventually give them to someone else and they want it to stay looking nice for another person?
  • Accidents happen, you have simply been lucky. I dropped my week old 950XL screen down and it landed on the edge of my dinner plate. The plate won and I've spent the last few days without success trying to find somewhere close enough to me in Glasgow UK to get it repaired.
  • My ten year old just replaced the screen on a Lumia 640. Check around, you should be able to replace yourself with a few dollars for a toolset and glue. I think the screen was$22
  • Ha more like $222+ for a 950.. My 1020 cost me $180 to replace the screen.
  • The problem is that no-one has the parts yet or I would replace it myself.
  • http://stellatech.com/microsoft-lumia-950-xl-komplett-display-lcd-touchscreen,a,de,822732.html   try this
  • Thanks but even there they won't have stock for 2 to 3 weeks.
  •  my 950xl screen cracked in my front pants pocket. since my phone came from overseas it wasnt covered in the states. I paid total 205 from palco. its been three weeks no phone. Getting it back hopefully this sat or next mon. ebay has some screens over 150. you either need glassglue or those industrial grade double sided tape. I leave it for the pros. its palcotech
  • How tge hack that happened. This device is supposed to have gorilla glass 4. Highly bendable material.... When i hear this kind of storys i start to get sick off this manufacturers.....!
  • Knock on wood here. I've dropped it a few times including once it landed on its back but camera and screen intact.
  • I doubt that a sticker on your screen would have made any difference
  • I have not used a screen protector since I left Apple 4 years ago. I do have my 950 in a flip case, but that is more so I can use the stand for watching videos while I cook. The 950 is nicely slim and I actually am enjoying the sleeker profile and the lighter weight.     As for those iPhones. Ther are shops here dedicated to replacing screens on Apple phones. I rarely see phones, particularly iPhone 4-5 that don't have shattered screens. Is it maybe a badge of courage?
  • I've seen a 950xl with a banged up bezel (as it'S plastic and scratched screen (despite being gorilla glass 4)
  • I do not understand why people use screen protectors, the company spends millions of dollars to research and develop a scratchproof glass which is now in its third generation. Mircosoft must be paying a good amount of money to buy the glass and yet someone wants to put a 8$ tempered glass on top of it , come on!!! I had a galaxy s3 with gorilla glass 1 on it and I used to scratch it with a key just to show my friends how good it was just to dissuade them from putting on an ugly looking plastic on top of it. 
  • Just in case...
  • Yeah whatever. I prefer no glass on top but it does help and it is way better than plastic. Saying gorilla glas can't get scrat it plain stupid. My LG G2, Sony z 3 compact shattered after a 30cm drop indoor! My 1520 got scratched and I NEVER put anything in the same pocket as my phone. My L950xl got 2 scratches possibly from my zipper I my jacket so yeah they scratch. Ridiculous say they are scratch proof cause you are lucky. I too never used to have problems but I guess I ran out of luck.
  • To break from a 30cm drop means either your screen has been fragilized from previous impact(s)/fall(s) or it's felt flat on the screen encountering some hard stuff (e.g., grain of sand) on the floor in the process.
  • Does that matter? If a "grain of sand" is all it takes, than taking some extra precaution would be wise. Like, oh, I don't know, maybe a screen protector.
  • Gorilla Glass 4, which is on the 950xl was designed to withstand basic falls. This means it is a more flexible glass, and they have admitted that this resulted in a screen that can scratch easier. I already have scratches on my screen. If the screen was gorilla glass 3, I would say don't bother with a screen protector, because the only way the screen will get damaged is from a fall on its side, which a case will protect and not a screen protector. As for gorilla glass 4, if you get a screen protector, you get the best of both worlds. The screen wont scratch as easily, and if the phone falls, the screen protector may break, but that can be replaced.
  • I've got a phone with Gorilla Glass 3 and there's a fine scratch on it. You can't see it when the screen is on anyway, but it is there. I am very careful with my phones so I have no idea how it got there, but it is there. It does no harm to use a screen protector because it will make a difference to the price you get if you sell your phone on when you have done with it, e.g. on ebay. The decent tempered glass ones are fine, you don't know they are there and there is nothing wrong with people using them if they want to. GG is good and improves with every incarnation but it's not perfect. It's primary function is to prevent against accidental breakage rather than scratches, and accidents do happen.
  • Always used a case and cover.  I'd prefer to protect my investment than be superficial. No-one cares what your phone looks like. No-one.
  • Mobiles phones are rarely an "investment"
  • Unless you have to buy another one....
  • Sounds like another update I'll get 5 weeks after they say it's available.
  • Sounds like you are in Europe but the glass-screen protector sold by AT&T in the states had all the required cut outs. Because it's made of glass itself it looks and feels like you don't have a protector on at all.
  • I've heard mixed results in terms of screen sensitivity when using tempered glass protectors...thats why I opted for a traditional style protector. That said, they've come up in quality. Fosman for example has been good for me...super clear, good fit and pretty smooth/frictionless to the touch
  • I use glass SP's on both my Surface Pro 3 and my 950. No sensitivity issues. Might be a case of 'getting what you paid for' as both of these were quite pricy, but I love the feel of glass vs plastic.
  • Bodyguardz, only brand I use.
  • All updated on my UK 950. I had loads of problems when received it but a hard reset jas solved that. Battery life is good, it doesn't get overly hot during heavy use and the updates come through fine. Only problem I have occasionally is my emails say settings are out of date even thou they still work.
  • Really I'm in the UK and didn't get the update for my 950! Mine gets hot and the battery doesn't last 7h with really light use, and I have two languages keyboards and the ENG(US) keeps coming back after deleting.
  • Did you do the hard reset. I had all those problems for a day. Did the reset and it was solved. Been a great phone since then
  • You don't really need a screen protector of you have GG4. Even my 1020 had 0 scratches /marks with over 2 years of use
  • People, for cry eye, it all depends on what the screen comes in contact with! Try rubbing sand on it and see how far gorilla glass gets you. One trip to the beach and you can get scratches very easily. Those who complain about screen protectors don't seem to have tried tempered glass... basically feels just like the glass underneath. I buy the generic ones off eBay for about five bucks and have had very few problems... they work GREAT as long as the screen is flat ( and 950/xls are). Also, many drops that would break the screen will actually only break the protector. Peace of mind.
  • why would you take your shiny new 950 to the beach! if you do put it in one of those bags. enjoy yhe beach, leave your phone in your car
  • Beach photos perhaps. Seems like a good reason to me.
  • yes and no, just dont mix sand with phones, BTW the camera on the 950s its AWESOME! perfect for beach photos... lol
  • Yeah I bought my 1020 at launch and used it since I recently purchased my 950. Its been to S Africa, a week in the Grand Gulch Canyon in Utah, numerous hikes and trips, thrown in various bike bags on trips, plus regular daily use. I've dropped it a few times and been lucky, but never babied it. You can see faint scratches if you hold it up to the light right now, but I'm not bothered by that. I might try one of the tempered glass protectors if there's a chance it could actually help in a drop scenario, but I generally hate the feel of the film type screen protectors. I'm not worried about scratches. The only time I scratched a screen badly was when I had a previous phone with a case that had a flap that covered the screen. Apparently some sand got inbedded in the soft flap and the thing that was designed to protect the glass did some serious damage.
  • I recieved my 950 yesterday and not big improvement of nightmode on 920. Hope this update will fix it. Video night mode, its even better on 920, better colors.
  • I purchased the cheapest crappy cover, from Amazon, which hasn't caused any issues.
  • i used Mr Shield For Microsoft Lumia 950 XL Anti-Glare [Matte] and have had no issues w anything not working right. got it off amazon for like 6 bucks
  • Does this finally fix the annoying brightness bug where adjusting brightness will cause the device to freeze for a period of time? Microsoft mentions improvements for auto brightness, but doesn't do much to elaborate.
  • Yes. Or no. But I definitely think one of them.
  • The auto brightness on my 950 has a mind I'd it's own. Perhaps this will take it away
  • 100% brightness all the time for me.
  • My 950 always seems to be at 100% after startup regardless of what it says. If I then toggle through the levels, they kick in and it works. This is without the new update.
  • My 1520 is like 100% brightness in auto, high, medium and 99% in low.... Unusable in the dark.... What really happened to this brightness
  • I much prefer the 25-50-75-100 toggle. Fast and gives ME control on screen and battery load.
  • Merry Christmas , everyone
  • Same to you and yours buddy! Merry Christmas
  • Merry Christmas martinsesezobor. No update for my AT&T 950 yet but I cannot wait for stability and performance improvements along with any camera improvements.
  • We have three 950s from AT&T and the only way I was able to get any update on one of them was to put it on "Fast" today. It now has the .36 OS update but no firmware yet. The other two are still on .29.
  • Selamat hari natal
  • Eyy org malaysia
  • Felix Navidad a todos!
  • Nothing here in sweden
  • Got it yesterday on my 950 xl. I have Telia in Sweden. Haven't really noticed any difference from before.
  • I'm on Tele2 in Sweden with an unlocked Lumia 950 and I got this update last evening Swedish time. I can't say I have seen much difference from before the update, yet... I still have issues with random restarts! Random restarts seems to appear when I have wifi active and there are a lot of free wifi zones advertised. It seems as the phone screen constantly wakes up, looks for my iris and then goes to sleep after some time. Then it repeats. I think it finds and tries to connect to various wifi zones. After some time it reboots. Never happens at home where there is only my private wifi, but as soon as I'm in the office or downtown I have found a work around to switch of wifi. This wifi reboot issue appear both before and after MICROSOFTMDG-update. /p
  • I can add that I have not yet used the phone with a microSD-card. Buid is 10.0.10586.29. Firmware 01078.00027.15506.02014
  • I get random restarts when accessing the SD card. I took it out and no problems. Hopefully this update fixes it. Id like to put my card back in.
  • No problem with my 128GB SD Card actually the phone seem to work 100% for me I am having no problems at all even Windows Hello works great for me.
  • I'm having exactly the same problem. ATT/US. I noticed it more these last few days.
  • Hey guys I can 100%say this is hardware, I work in the technical Industry tried everything from previews to hard resets with original software to new sims to playing with how sim is seated to using no sim. Never used an SD card, also played around with contacts on back case used backup from previous no backup. Finally gave up and exchange it used backup from broken one phone runs perfect. Not only does it not reset it's 10x faster and 100%less heat faster recharging I believe it's actually related to the display hardware or gpu. I'm using exact same sim battery and back and the backup from other phone. Unfortunately Microsoft has some hardware issues doesn't seem widespread but it's hardware replace it before you can't. Anybody with restart issues that can't get rid of them I would replace it. Windows 10 is really stable.
  • I think I read somewhere that these random reboots have something to do with Bluetooth which should be turned off when using wi-fi
  • That's not good. I often use both at the same time on my 930, Wi-Fi for streaming music to the phone and Bluetooth for streaming it to a wireless speaker. Just a word about memory cards. If you are using a "fake" card - and there are a lot about, even Carphone Warehouse got fined for unwittingly selling fake SanDisk cards a few years ago - that could be the problem. I seem to remember Motorola had the same issue with fake cards with one of their models a couple of years ago. Try a known genuine card and it may solve the problem.  
  • i never have this type of issues, you should hard reset your phone 
  • I found the auto connect to open wifi too aggressive so I actually turned it off.
  • Or the random restarts on my unlocked 950 xl? I'm almost done with the window that I can return my phone. If the restarts keep up, I'm tempted to return it.
  • I must be lucky, no restarts (that I didn't cause). Ok battery. My only regret is the red screen tint, but easy not to notice it, and vice versa.
  • Try the screen color calibrator. My 950 is calibrated perfectly. This phone has the best screen in the world.
  • All restarts are related to how important the task at hand. I believe it is an app or Windows 10 Mobile problem. Why? Because my 930 does the same thing. Usually when I am trying to take a special once in a lifetime photo. Get everyone in place. Big smiles. Others waiting. Click. Processing. Crap. Phone just vibrated. Unwanted restart. No photo. Too bad. So sad.
  • Odd, I've taken literally thousands of photos with my 930 and never had a single problem.
  • Do you have a SD card installed? That may be the culprit. I have one too, but see no restarts on my XL. Seems to be certain brands. Then gain, this firmware seems to address that.
  • Yes I do have a SD card installed. Guess I should try removing that to see if the random restarts stop. It is getting a tad frustrating. 3-4 random restarts/day. 
  • dang that sucks. for what it's worth, I too have never seen any random restarts. The only restarts are when I force it to.
  • It could just be a faulty phone. Take it in and get a new one under warranty
  • I have had a number of random restarts in my unlocked 950. I have a PNY 64GB microSD card installed...
  • I have an AT&T 950. I use a SanDisk Ultra Plus 128GB microSDXCI and haven't had any random reboots using this card. Good SD card and worth looking into.
  • Yes I mentioned above that the problem could be fake cards. Many of us have them even if we don't realise it. Motorola had a similar problem with fake cards causing problems a couple of years ago.
  • Called the windows store, I have until Jan 31st to exchange/return it since it's the holiday season. He also mentioned he's currently out of 950xls since they're a pretty popular phone. Which, honestly, is a good thing. I'm glad to hear that these phones are selling like hotcakes. I can wait.  He was super cool and said, just give us a call, and we'll trade you a new unit. 
  • I get random reboots all the time. I am kinda numb to it now. However, last week,my XL rebooted more than 10 times in less than 2hrs. I almost returned the phone. However, I went to app updates and found a few apps that failed to complete their updates. I restarted the updates. Once the updates completed, the phone stopped rebooting.  Now, it just reboots once in a while. 
  • do you remember the apps? maybe one of them is the problem for Ben. Ben Schmidt 
  • Apps aren't an issue. It wasn't doing the random restarts when I first bought it... maybe when I inserted the SD card, that might be the issue. When I called the MS Store, they mentioned that a couple others were having restart issues but it wasn't a common problem.
  • I have no SD card in my 950XL but I get the random reboots.  I also get the camera locking up sometimes.  The most frustrating thing is the fact that OneDrive doesn't reliably upload pictures on this thing.
  • YES! The onedrive syncing issue is also another frustrating issue that needs resolving. 
  • It seems better to me after the last OneDrive app update...
  • I hear you about the syncing issues! I knew OneDrive in W10 was weak, but not this weak. Combined with reboots now and then and extremely poor battery performance, I wonder what is going on with W10M. Does Microsoft do any testing before releasing stuff anymore, or are they all busy honing their iOS/Android apps? Unreliable Camera Roll sync and OneDrive/Photos integration Lumia 950 battery drains rapidly (I got the firmware update - nothing is different, of course.)
  • Weak how? I've been using OneDrive daily on my PC, laptop, and my Lumia 930 and tablet since W10 came out, and have no problems at all with syncing. In fact I've been so impressed with it I have almost everything stored in OneDrive now, I can't recommend it highly enough!
  • I'm also having issues with my blutooth connecting and disconnecting periodically. 
  • Well, i don't use a card, cause people say it reboots the device like crazy.. But sadly i also don't get the 10 hours battery backup while browsing, how gsmarena was braging. More like five, if i am lucky. I am tempted to send it back also. My screen having a wierd slight visible tint on the left side also...
  • I'm quite pleased with the battery life compared to my Icon... felt like I needed to recharge that thing every couple hours. This, I'm glad it lasts me all day.
  • Im actually glad to see others having the restarts with the sd card. I was having them all the time until I removed the card. Since so many are having the problem, it tells me it should be something that gets some attention. Im hopeful for this update.
  • I had the same problem with battery life. Wouldn't last the length of a freaking meeting! I was also about to send it back, but the last upgrade fixed it. I can now get a full 8 hours! Still crappy, but feels like a lifetime compared to before the update.
  • Exchange it... I get 48+ hours easily.
  • You own the XL or the normal version? My xl should be browsing for ten hours. Well, as long as i don't use the phone, the battery is ok, while i'm using it, their starts the battery go. Every 3 minutes 1% of battery sais goodbye, sometimes 2%. So in generaly i see a 10% drop in 20 minutes of use. Toooo much! I just don't get how can that lumia 640 have such a good battery. Cause in comparison side by side. Web Browsing: 950XL vs 640 dual sim. 20 min. From 100%. They open the pages almost at the same time. 640 is at 97% thr 950 is at 88%.... Well. I still consider the 640. I am really considering that device (i bought one for my mother and another for somebody else, hence was i able to do the comparison).
  • that tint is just on the lock screen and wallpaper? that happen when you change your lockscreen or wallpaper from the photos app, try to do it from the settings. Hope it solves it ;) 
  • Do you see crashes even if all tabs are closed in Edge?
  • Have the lumia 950 xl for 14 days, no restarts (I don't have an sd card)
  • Some random restarts can be linked to the use af a bad SD-Card. Do u use an SD-card and have you tried a different one?
  • SD card is fine. Was using it in my Surface for awhile before switching it to my phone. 
  • I would try it without the SD Card ;) A Lumia is more picky for SD Cards.
  • No Dice in the Uk...
  • The old phones need firmware updates asap.. When w10M arrives better bring them too xD especialy 830/930.
  • You are right,  my 930 still haven't audio on video recording. 
  • Nothing here in ATTAmerica
  • Good luck there. Just when we thought they could no longer delay updates. Although thinking about it the firmware may have to be validated where the OS doesn't.
  • My unlocked Lumia 950 XL doesn't have anything either. Hasn't hit the US yet, it seems. Don't pull out your pitchforks just yet.
  • Ditto here on T-Mobile with unlocked 950xl
  • But, man, if AT&T does hold this firmware up???  So angry.
  • It is a very bad week to expect anyting to come out. It's xmas week...
  • Its still early to be readying the torches and pitchforks. This is firmware, so its different from the regular Windows Updates MS can push at will. If ATT delivers within 48hrs, that will be a major change in how things have been done in the past.
  • Clock's a-ticking.  
  • I have three complaints with my 950xl.
    1. Video recording stops automatically after just five minutes 4k video due to the phone heating up.
    2. Lock screen does not have the never option for the screen lock option.
    3. Double tap to wake not there.
    I hope none of these issues are hardware related & can be solved with a software or firmware update.
  • 1 and 3 can be fixed by software or firmware updates whereas the 2 cannot.
    It's an AMOLED limitation that can be found on any AMOLED screen Lumia.
    The first time I noticed this was when I changed my 920 to 1020.
    Its there in my 1520 (the "never" option) but its due to being an LCD as OLED can cause burn
  • Nope, this is not a hardware problem, Lumis 730 with OLED screen has "never" option, people should be allowed to have that opt