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Newer photo of Microsoft Lumia 950 XL reveals front display, smaller bezel

Earlier this morning, images of the Lumia 950 (or 950 XL, hard to tell) were revealed on the forum WPXAP. Now, a new picture posted on Weibo shows the phone without the protective case meant to disguise its shape and size.

The image makes it look like that this is the Lumia 950 aka Talkman due to the hand in the photo for reference. This picture looks more like the 5.2-inch WQHD variant rather than the 5.7-inch Cityman. However, we cannot be certain at this time.

Note: The original photo is on the right; the one to the left is Photoshopped to "virtually" remove the case.

Without the protective shell, we can see that the front of the device is very narrow, including a very slim bezel near the bottom. Indeed, except for the top bezel the phone is very slick looking and appears quite small considering the 5.2-inch (1440x2560) OLED display.

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
  • Aluminum side buttons
  • 5MP Wide-angle front facing camera
  • 3300 mAh removable battery
  • Qi wireless charging integrated
  • USB Type-C

From this perspective and without the shell this upcoming Lumia looks quite nice. We'll, of course, have to wait until Microsoft announces the phones, likely in October, to make a final judgement.

For now, what do you think?

Source: Weibo 1, Weibo2

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.

582 Comments
  • Looks like the 640/XL.
    Translation: I like
  • I don't like on screen buttons
  • Agree, first thing i noticed as i dont like them.
  • me too...I dont really care for the design either...plus with hw keys the bottom bezel doesnt look so odd
  • It looks cheap.
  • Look at how much real estate the software button bar takes up.  Imagine that as physical wasted space with hardware.  I've used family member phones with the software button bar (640 and One M8).  You get used to it and even appreciate the Windows experience better while browsing, using reading apps, etc.  I hope people go into the store and get a hands on with these larger devices and software button for like 15 minutes minimum.   It seems weird to use at first, but it actually makes a lot of sense.   It's kind of nifty and it brings a kind of screen placement symmetry that you can't get with physical button bar.  IMO.
  • @RayWP7
    15 minutes... I did.  Yes, it feels weird.  No there's no getting use to it.  Just my opinion.  But, glad you liked it.
    ---------------
    What's the phone in the background? That looks stylish. :)
  • Well, that's true... We need to try it first..
    The thing is that it'll never has as much premium look, and feel... I think that's what makes us not like it.
  • Agreed. I spent some time playing with a 640 I recommended to my brother in law. He was using my old 920, moved to his new 640 (with softkeys), and was having trouble understanding how to do a few things (he is a little tech challenged). I played and found the softkeys (of the 640), hide and you need to swipe up to unhide the keys giving that real estate to you for watching slides, movies or easy navigation. Once he understood how to find the softkeys he was wrapped. I don't mind them one bit.
  • I'm wondering if there are better reasons to explain the MS' choice of using the on-screen softkeys.  Since those vritual keys are programmable, you can do more tricks with them.  May be for the sake of Project Astoria, the Android app developers can re-program the keys to support their apps.  Or may be for the experiment MS is doing with Xiaomi to turn their Mi4 into W10M phone by downloading the W10M firmware onto their Android ROM.  To remove the dependancy on the hard keys could facilitate the programming changes needed to adapt to different phone models.  Xiaomi probably doesn't use hard keys on their phones.  So MS can re-program their softkeys to support WP.  MS could expand this experiment to other vendors or models if the Mi4 experiment is successful.  These are just my speculations.  I'm just curious about the real purpose behind the design changes they have made.
  • @RayWP7:
    I am using a on-screen button device for more than half a year now and still can not get past the disadvantages: The on-screen buttons often block content (even in Microsoft's own sh*t) and if you're looking at screenshots in the photo gallery you can not discern between the buttons being the "real", functional ones or just depicted in the picture.
    Stop the more screen real estate lie: A display that's (for example) five inches will always be five inches. But with hardware buttons you NEVER have to sacrifice a fraction of this screen REAL ESTATE (mind the difference here: I'm not talking resolution but space), while with on-screen buttons you have to do that quite often.
    And concerning the balance thing. Look at the picture. It's out of balance, because the bezel under the screen is slimmer than the one above.
  • Block content? You can hide the onscreen buttons.
  • @yasfer21:
    I know that. But I don't want to do two ducking extra swipes (the first to see content, the second to be able to get out of the app) all the time, when there's a better way.
  • Saw an S6 Edge. That thing is beautiful. This looks like another black slab.
  • I would LOVE to have that device with Windows 10 Mobile on it.
  • HTC M9 is closer to reality.
  • What's disappointing is nothing new for the start screen.... Yes, Samsung has came up... The new galaxy devices look great.. Especially the note 4..
  • Doesn't look half as good as that Lumia 925.
  • @RaRa85 Agreed!  I wish they had used the 925 concept/design! 
  • Thus far Lumia 925 design is the most widely accepted. Sleek, slim, sexy, premium. Suitable for men and women. The above prototype looks very dull and dead. Just my opinion.
  • Surface Phone might look like L925 since it will also use the metal casing.  For polycarbonate body, the phone would either look like this design or something like L830/L930 which I like better.  But MS could throw in some splendid color choices instead of black/white.
  • @Whodaboss:
    This! Can not agree more! And looking at the Lumia 830 I had enormously high hopes. But this one looks like a cheap entry level device. And Microsoft is emphasizing this impression with the on-screen buttons.
  • i used the 925 (until it stopped working - so sad), n yes, the 925, 830, n 930 designs were some of my favourites. the rest of the lumias,just meh.  
  • Totally.. The design doesn't look inspiring at all.. It just looks like some random manufacturer putting out a slab.. Not a flagship Lumia..I loved Lumia series because of the 920.. It had curved glass, Design was solid and looked really nice in all its colours.. Hell my old 520 seems better than this..
  • May be it's another affordable flagship :/
  • It may look cheap, but with those specs, looks will be very deceiving.  Also, poly-carbonate won't "bend" like some metal phone we all know about.
  • We may just have to focus on the inside beauty of these phones to feel a little upbeat.
  • and it looks like the Galaxy, I don't like it. Plus I think it will be thin so we're going more like iPhone 6 like, ahhh, MS what was wrong with 930 or even 920 design :/ I really really loved it
  • Yes.. It's a dumb move... They should've stuck with a revamped 930 design.... The 930 is the best looking, and feeling, WP device ever.. That, and the 920... Everything would be ok if MS wouldn't think.
  • I agree that 930 is one of the best looking Windows phones but the best one is definitely HTC 8X (or 8S). Don't know why does not Microsoft make those kinda look alike phones.
  • Yeah, those are beautiful devices.. The 8X could pass for a Lumia device... Love that soft touch finish.
  • @rodneyej:
    Which obviously was exactly Peter Chou's thinking, although he will never admit that. ^.^
  • Agree. My gold 930 feels and looks perfect. Beautiful material design.
  • Damn! You got the gold one??? Where'd you get that?
  • Yeah, 930 and 830 is bed looking Windows Phone so far. The combination of metal and polycarbonate easily screams premium. Hey, lets not forget 925 too which is the first Lumia have metal and polycarbonate design and still looks good. I hope that they incorporate 830 with a bit of 925 for rounded edges, less boxy feel. The issue I find on 930 is its quite boxy.
  • @BataBole. HTC 8x looks exactly like a lumia 520 but bigger and without soul!
  • Yeah because MS has sold so many devices keeping the phones heavy and thick. I have had a 900, 920, 830 and now 640XL. All of them being Nokia designs - the 640XL is supreme, and that's the one MS has had the most say in presumably. I for one am glad they are thinking - we need the user base to grow and to do that we need phones that appeal to the masses.
  • Nobody is talking about thickness.. Just the overall style... And, the 925 wasn't thick!!
    .......
    It's about digressing in design.. That's not what Lumia needs... Change things for the better, not just to be different.
  • I feel the L830 is the best looking windows phone currently.  The 930 is just too thick.  They should have followed the 830 design.
  • I agree! Not to reuse almost same design but at least it followed from 830 or 925 DNA (930 is quite thick and too blocky to hold). The circluar glass camera module of 830 at the back looks nice actually, then combine it with 925 rounded metal frame and small bezel almost all glass front.
  • Yeah, because the smart move of churning out the same style of phones has crushed the market.  The definition of insanity, is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. 
  • If i can make the button bar translucent like the Start Menu in Windows 10 I won't mind.
  • Why is that? I guess it could matter if the OS/software mess up, but its good for hiding those main buttons. Also, if you ever did have an issue with it, holding down volume down + power is the equivalent to taking out a battery.
  • Count me in
  • I didn't like the idea of them when first introduced, but with all the sensitivity issues of the capacitive buttons on my Lumia 830 and lack of issues with the actual touch screen, I kind of wish I had on-screen buttons on this phone.
  • Agreed, on screen buttons look cheap and they never seem to respond as precisely. I was hoping for a true 930 successor.
  • And, I was hoping for a true 1520 successor... But, MS can't make money pleasing their current fan base... Which is dumb, because that's all they got... And, unless they come up with some serious marketing scheme these devices are going to be no match for the Galaxy Note 5...
    .......
    Waiting patiently for what MS has planned for this alleged enterprise device (Surface Phone)
  • This is so not true. They respond better than capacitive buttons. Capacitive buttons are either over sensitive resulting in accidental taps, or less sensitive making you tap harder and harder. And all that different experience on a single phone.
  • You have to understand a simple fact; most of the people whining here have NEVER used a WP device with on screen buttons.  I have used it. I didn't think I would love it as much as I have.  WP fans, especially the ones here, are a bunch of complainers. Always looking for something to complain about. And when the stuff they are complaining about gets implemented, they love it and move on to something else to complain about. 
  • I actually prefer the on screen buttons. I was still using the 1020 when I bought the 635 for my daughter and when I was done playing with it I wish I had them, but now I do on the M8. No more accidental button presses.
  • To be fair, many WP fans have an inferiority complex, and lash out at anything that hints at being taken from iOS or Android.  Letting them vent, no matter how silly it may seem, is preferrable to them channeling that energy in a more negative way in the "real" world, so it's all good. 
  • That's true... I've made that point before... But, besides that...
  • Dude, if you say someone is whining because they express their opinion, and you don't agree with it, then you're really the only one whining.. Your tine suggest that you can't deal with conversation.
  • i have. it feels slower to me when using on screen buttons. (when i hides i mean) u have to swip up to reveal it then press. as for the hardware buttons, u just need to, tap.tap.tap.tap.tap.done =) but thats just me.  
  • You can set onscreen buttons to fixed. So stil tap.tap.tap.tap.done
  • @jbestman:
    Using a device with on-screen buttons for half a year now and it gets me mad almost daily. When I try to go back into an app I used before with the task manager using a long press on the back button I get accidental force closings of apps all the time because of the display being too sensitive for that.
  • My sentiments exactly. I currently use a htc m8 and quite frankly I would never buy another device with hardware keys. I stopped using hardware keys when I was still using android os. All people ever do on windows central is whine. Whine about this whine about that, well enough is enough! Give me a release date And I'm buying. If you don't like it don't buy it, just that simple.
  • I agree. Just the weirdest bugs on that phone. Constantly tapping the back button and it turns into a long press into the task switcher just for... you guessed it -- "...Resuming..." on the way back. Or worse, if the app is coded like shite, then you lose your place. Games like "Make it Rain: For the love of Money" have the bottom UI parts as unuseable except for the top quarter of the virtual buttons that werne't covered up by the virttual on screen Nav buttons
  • On screen buttons can be changed any time. But they are close together because it's easier for one thumb use. I wouldn't be surprised if the distance was customizable.
  • I don't know why but top and bottom bezels are approximately same as that of 1520 though it has capacitives.
  • Exactly!
  • Same, tried them on another phone and hate them. Personally, I won't ever buy a phone with only on screen buttons.
  • Looks like Microsoft is ruining the Lumia brand.
  • Looks like they dissapointed you and some others here.  And yet others on here like the new design, including the on screen buttons. Hard to tell who is 'right' in this situation. Its got to be hard for companies like MS to createa  next gen phone design when you have such differences of opinion.  
  • It's not a bad phone.. We're not saying that it's a bad phone, or that they shouldn't put it out.. It's a terrific device...
    .......
    It's just when current Lumia fans have been using 930's, Icons', and 1520's for two years they are just were expecting something more than just an upgraded processor, ram, and screen.. Which is fine, but doesn't really please when there's a few things that seem to have digressed.. With those "digressions" these new devices just don't seem like "true successors".... IOW, these are great devices for someone who doesn't know any better, or is maybe upgrading from a midrange Lumia.... But, there's gotta be something wrong when so many people are willing to keep there two year old high end Lumia's over these devices... If MS can't convince it's hardest core Lumia fans to give up their current high end Lumia devices for new ones, then can we seriously say that MS did enough, or did the right things, with these new devices? And, if they can't convince us how can they convince anyone else???
    .......
    There's something wrong here.... But, that's just my unbiased opinion as a Windows fan... Hate it, or love it, it is what it is.... Lol.
  • There were only few photos of a device, you don't know its features and yet you are saying you don't like it. How can you form opinions on it without at least seeing good quality photos.
  • Dude, we're forming opinions on confirmed specifications, and what we see SO FAR!!!
    .....
    Nobody ever said they didn't like the devices, or that MS shouldn't make them... We're just saying that IN OUR OPINIONS they don't seem like the best MS could do for a worthy successor to current high end Lumia's on the market... What's wrong with that????
  • Yep, we are not critiquing the functions, we are just giving opinion on the design. At the end of day, having a final and 360 degree look on the actual phone may change our opinion.
  • Couldnt disagree with you more. :)
  • I have HTC 8x, had Lumia 925, 521 and HTC m8, and currently using 640 while waiting for a flagship, but IMHO on screen buttons are now user friendly. It just requires time to get used to it.
  • @Atlic:
    Nope. Using on-screen buttons for more than half a year now and can't hate them more.
  • Yay......It has a camera button.
  • That's exactly how I was feeling when I saw the picture.
  • It is supposed to based on rumors, but this photo is no indication since the cover of the phone was photoshopped to remove it. The buttons were added when the case was photoshopped. So it is not an indication of the phone actually having a camera button or the side button placement as shown in the photo.
  • Unfortunately, you kind of have to read the whole article to realize it's actually a photoshop. If you just skimmed the beginning, you'd think this was a real picture. Very click-baity, and I'm a bit disappointed in Daniel.  The confusion, by some, is understandable, imo. 
  • So long as it has a camera button I don't care about soft keys for the front.
  • Lol!
  • Me to.. virtual screen buttons dont belong to flagship lumias..
  • Agreed
  • I like on screen buttons (and you can make them look like you want to)
  • Totally agree. On screen buttons is the most unbelievable epic fail for a high end device. WTF were they thinking?
  • Nonsense on screen buttons work fantastic on the Lumia 730, And I doubt it will be any different here. Once you actually try it, you'll see. It works very well and gives you the advantage of being able to turn the phone sideways and having the buttons turn with it. as well as the obvious fact that this will get you bigger screen real estate when you don't need the buttons.
  • I have a 630. The only time my buttons go away, is when something is crashing and burning, or the phone is powered down. So how does that help real estate?
  • The buttons can be hidden.
  • @WPenvy Because the on screen buttons on a Lumia 735 can be hidden. On a Lumia 630 you can't.
  • but with physical buttons, the screen real estate remains constant (depending on the actualy screen size, of course). with software buttons, u r esentially taking up space within your given screen, even more so when it turns together with the screen. and on a side note, the physical buttons lights up. i personally like that feature.  it would have been cool if they maybe made it in a way that alowed the physical buttons to light up with different colors to indicate different things (e.g.the l.e.d.noticication lights on android phone) just thinking =)  
  • On screen buttons are OK.  But I don't like the new position of Power button.  It is harder to locate.  It needs to locate seperately from the volume buttons.
  • "I don't like on screen buttons" I LOVE anything that gets the phone size closer to the screen size.
  • It does not provide any more screen real estate. Compare the screen/phone ratio to the 1520 and you'll see on screen buttons make no difference.
  • Actually you can hide the on-screen buttons, to give you more screen. Can't do that with capacitive.
  • I'm in agreement!
  • huge fail w the on screen buttons. what's the rationale?
  • They're going full Android wannabe.
  • SMDH..
  • On screen buttons are horrible, and I can't believe they are using them on these phones.
  • I thought NokiaSoft said OSB's were for low/Mid devices only... ❔❔❔
  • Confused as fuck too. How does this help brand identity or even product recognition? Same shit apple and Samsung were fighting over years ago
  • Your boys, Microsoft.
  • Originally,I hated on screen buttons but I.... Sorry I just accidentally launched Cortana on my capacitive button 920. I could see the ergonomic sense in on screen buttons.
  • Totally agree.  The buttons on the 920 are the only thing I REALLY hate about my phone.  I am constantly closing the search screen all day because I accidentally touch it because it is too close to the edge.  What were they thinking when they designed those buttons?  I am VERY happy to see on-screen buttons.  Those are MUCH better because they are further from the corner.  Anyone who does not like on-screen buttons hasn't had to live 2 1/2 years with a search button too close to the corner. Ugh! I swear, I can just look at it and it activates the search!
  • If after 2.5 years your still making mistakes hitting that button you either have fat fingers or haven't adjusted your muscle memory to reach further-in
  • Lol.
  • You took the words right out of my mouth!
  • @kesken:
    And you're unbelievably naïve if you think on-screen buttons prevent these accidental presses.
    After I changed to a device with on-screen buttons accidental presses surged to countless times.
    And trying to go back with the back button accidentally force closes apps all the time.
  • Fool. You're doing it wrong. I had NO issues with my 920. And that was jumping from a Focus with the Samsung branding below the screen!
  • @Dire Straits:
    I don't know how people can prefer on-screen buttons to hardware buttons. People say on-screen buttons prevent accidental button presses. With my old phone with hardware buttons I had almost no accidental presses, but when I changed to a device with on-screen buttons accidental button presses multiplied by infinite times.
    And they often cover vital navigation elements even in Microsoft's own stuff.
    I can think of NOTHING worse than on-screen buttons.
    And Microsoft is sacrificing reliable usage of the device for what? For smaller bezels?! I couldn't care less about the size of the bezels above and under the screen.
    And by the way: Without the prototype cover this thing looks like a cheap Lumia 535 and not a highend flagship.
    So far I couldn't be more disappointed.
  • I don't care for the on screen buttons either...
    .....
    IDK... Just seems like MS took over, and jacked up any possibility of having a Lumia 1520 replacement..
    1. They made it smaller
    2. Those pesky OSB..
    3. Those stupid cheep looking rounded corners (although they could look different)
    4. Slightly lower capacity battery... SMDH.
    5. Chepo low end chassis using back covers. (No solid polycarbonate design)
    6. So far a lack of color choice..
    The ONLY advantage I see here, over the current 1520 is Continuum.... How is a true 1520 fan supposed to be excited for this after waiting two years for a new device???????
  • @rodneyej:
    I couldn't be more disappointed so far. Why did they depart from the gorgeous Lumia 920/1020/1520 design?
    I'm thinking more and more that Lumia 950/950 XL aren't for me, which is awful, since we shouldn't expect any other highend Microsoft phones soon, if any.
    I expect Nadella to pull the plug on the Lumia line within two years, if marketshare doesn't improve (and seeing what we know so far, I don't know what these devices could do to improve the marketshare).
    Considering Microsoft's current speed of development these could be the last highend Lumias.
  • There could be a lot of truth in what you're saying.. It is kinda disappointing, although nothing has been officially unveiled yet...
    .......
    But, we know how Lumia marketing goes.. Practically nowhere...
    .......
    Nevertheless, these are great devices. Powerful devices... But, everyone knows that Lumia fans demand more than just the latest processor, and tons of ram... We're used to elegance...
    These devices aren't for us, and MS knows it.
    I hope the final product proves me wrong.
  • @rodneyej:
    Exactly. The design of the Lumia 925 could rival the iPhone's (which is often cited as the gold standard in smartphone design).
    Yes, I'm trying to stay hopeful a little bit. If Samsung provides choice with S6 and S6 edge, Microsoft could make users choose between 950/950XL variants with and without hardware buttons. ;-)
  • 800/735 design ;)
  • @windowsphoenix:
    I was truly looking forward to these phones.  I have the funds to purchase 3!  However, it looks like I might completely pass.  Now that I know this device isn't as beautiful as the mock-ups and with these on screen buttons I think it has really killed my enthusiasm.  Shame... :(
  • I kinda feel the same way too... Let's hope that it's just this black device that's hiding the beauty of the finalized design.
  • @Whodaboss:
    Yes. Squashing my hopes too and a little more so every day.
    One of these should have been my relief from the cheapo replacement phone I got when I lost my phone last year. But right now I can't think of getting one of these. It looks like I have to reserve my hopes for the Surface of phones.
  • this is more my style.... http://1drv.ms/1P57slK Style, elegance and oozing uniqueness imo.
  • I wish Microsoft would make you and only you a 1520 followup just so you could finally STFU! Dude, I rather enjoy your comments in most situations but for once just please stop the whining. When the 950XL drops, you know damn well you are going to pick it up. Posted via.........deez nutz!!!!!!
  • Lol.. Chill out, man.. It's not that big a deal..
    We're just voicing our opinions here..
    ....
    Nevertheless, if you can't deal with it, and it makes you that upset, then I advise you log out. It's not worth you getting committed over a damn phone... Lol!!!!
  • No. You were voicing your opinion 12 posts ago. Now, you're just whining. 
  • Looks like you got a problem then... Because, as long as MS keeps dropping the ball I'm gonna call it out.. So, you can count on it for some time to see... Translation (don't be surprised, don't let it hurt your feelings, be a man, and either deal with it, log out, or ignore it)..... Seriously, it all comes down to this.. I get your point. You don't agree, or like what I have to say... Thanks noted. Now, you can be at peace, and not waste anymore time telling me something I could give a damn about... Thank me.
  • @rodneyej:
    Take it as a compliment.  They see your handle and yet they still read your post.  You got fans!  Lol!  :)
  • Yep!
  • if they can make it transparent like they are in newer versions of Android, im fine with it.  Allow me to swipe to show, and hide like the charm bar in W8.1, and ill be a happy camper.
  • @nasellok:
    On-screen buttons can auto-hide or be swiped away. That doesn't change anything about their downsides (like robbing screen real estate in the first place).
  • Yeah, but swiping and waiting for things to auto hide, to be out of the way definitely slows down the experience.. That's my problem with them.