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Reading between the lines: What Panos was telegraphing about those new Lumias

Panos Panay and Surface Pro 3
Panos Panay and Surface Pro 3 (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Microsoft's Windows 10 Devices event on Tuesday goes down as one of their best shows yet. The presentation was convincing, there were no real lags, and the products announced were all awe-inspiring. Well, almost.

One area though that was rather peculiar was in regards to Panos Panay's presentation on new Lumias. Specifically, the short duration and lack of enthusiasm were quite evident. It felt like he wanted to get through it get on to the real story, those new Surfaces. I even joked that Microsoft may squeeze in the Lumia 550 during the event, and sure enough it got about 15 seconds of stage time.

Not the Microsoft Lumias you were looking for?

I have been talking about these new Lumias for some time on our #AskDanWindows series specifically about the origins of the phones. It should be clear that these new Lumias are carryovers from the Nokia days and not "pure" Microsoft devices. That is not a slight against how good they are – something we still don't know much about but rather a clear observation about how Microsoft feels about these phones.

It should be obvious that Microsoft stands firmly behind these devices like any other Lumias. As they should, they pack more hardware and features into one device that many Android ones spread over a range. Expandable memory, Qi wireless, an iris scanner, Gorilla Glass 4, liquid cooling, Continuum, and a killer camera are all a big deal. Still, they feel like stopgaps a bit too.

Remember, these Lumias started at Nokia during a big transition time for the company. They were not designed from scratch by Microsoft something I expect to happen sometime in May 2016 with their long-gestating Intel-powered phone aka "Surface phone," which I mentioned back in July (see below).

Microsoft's Satya Nadella says if OEMs don't make Windows phones they will

What was on stage

When you take a look at the Band 2, Surface Pro 4, Surface Book and HoloLens, there is a clear cutting-edge design aesthetic running through those devices. The Band 2's fantastic display, which is much more touch-sensitive is a carry over from the Surface. Even the Lumia 950 XL's liquid cooling system is borrowed from the Surface.

Should we be surprised at any of that? Not at all. Panos Panay is in charge of all Microsoft hardware taking over the Lumia division in July. Panay even hedges at the beginning of his Lumia presentation saying he has only worked with that team for a "very short time." I read that – as did many others – as code for 'Hey, these are not my phones, and I would have done things differently.' It's distancing.

Thinking about it makes sense. The Microsoft hardware team clearly agonizes over minute details in their creations. When handling the Band 2 you can feel the engineering quality. And don't get me started on how radically insane the Surface Book is from a design perspective.

When you see all of Microsoft's new premium hardware and then glance over at the Lumias you cannot help but see something is, well, off.

Continuum is just the beginning

Microsoft Continuum for the phone is easily one of the most interesting aspects of the new Lumias. However, being able to run Universal Windows Apps on a large display means you are carrying a Windows RT device around with you. Granted, in Windows 10 the UWA model is much better, but you still cannot run x86 apps on your phone.

If I had to guess – and once again this should be evident – Microsoft keeps talking about "Windows 10 in your pocket" and that idea only really resonates if you can run full desktop apps.

I have reported before about a Microsoft-Intel phone, and my bet is Microsoft's goal is for you to be able to run x86 apps with Continuum from your phone. What we see with the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL is one step towards that goal. You can hear more about that in Episode 4 of #AskDanWindows from August, including some well-informed foreshadowing about this "Surface phone".

AskDanWindows Episode 4 - When can we expect Win10 Mobile with Intel?

This goal is not easy, but the technology to enable it to happen is finally within reach. Just listening to Microsoft's language about Continuum tells you that yeah, they want you to have a full PC in your pocket (yes, and we've come full circle with the PocketPC branding).

I still don't know if we will have a Surface phone per se, but you can bet that Microsoft is going to go for something crazy now that Panay and his group are heading things. Remember, Surface is more than just a name, it's an idea. These Lumias don't fit.

Takeaway

This situation is one of those "good news / bad news" moments. The bad news is what I have been saying for months: these are not pure Microsoft phones. But hey, new high-end phones with Nokia DNA is still a good problem to have. I have no concern about picking up a Lumia 950 for my usage (I worry more about the OS part).

The upshot is we have witnessed Microsoft being very serious about hardware, not just in attempts but delivering high-end, premium, hardware that leave people shocked. Is there any reason to believe Microsoft cannot do the same with phones? They can and I'm sure they will.

Just ask yourself: Would the same group who made Band, Surface, now Xbox and even HoloLens make the Lumia 950? Probably not. So, if those phones feel out of place, well, it's because they are.

Panos Panay only took on the phone development team in late July. That should tell you something about whatever comes next. Does that mean you should skip the Lumia 950 and 950 XL? Ultimately, that depends on your wallet. If you don't mind getting a phone a year – which is where things are going now – then I'd grab a new Lumia and use it until Microsoft's next big thing. I am and have no qualms about it.

I think the important message after Tuesday's event is that Microsoft is very serious about hardware – all hardware – and we still have to see their full effort in every category. It doesn't even matter how well these new Lumias do, to be honest. If Microsoft can build a killer product like the Surface Pro 3 / 4 and Surface Book they can also drive demand for a world-class phone in 2016. They are capable.

Apple did it, and Microsoft proved Tuesday they can do it too. Doing yet another high-end phone won't save Windows 10 Mobile, but Microsoft has shown they can go beyond just specs and I think they will.

Buckle in, folks, we're in for a very exciting Microsoft lead future. You should be convinced that Microsoft and phones are here to stay. We haven't seen everything yet.

Daniel Rubino
Daniel Rubino

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.

579 Comments
  • That's why I am looking at a sweet new Lumia 550 ;)  
  • If the 550 has the iris scanner, I am in! ;)
  • It does not. It doesn't have Continuum, either.
  • Is that confirmed? I thought I saw something about it having it. If its not I will just stay with my 640. That will save $120 ish or so.
  • Ah that is definitely confirmed. It's been a sure thing for ages that only the latest Qualcomm processors would support Continuum. A Snapdragon 2xx series CPU can barely support a HD screen let alone powering two screens at once with good performance.
  • You also need USB-C to support power/data/video feed used in Continuum dock.
  • I know for sure that it doesn't have Continuum. The processor doesn't pack enough juice for that. 
  • It could have. It has an octa core processor!!
  • I love that article, I'll be waiting to see what Microsoft comes up with next year. Have to wait anyways since I can't afford these phones yet lol.
  • I picked up a Lumia 830 outright to get me through to fullwin10pocket, probably better than L550 in camera and classiness
  • D​itto, will wait for the next round in 6mths time (Satya said they'll do 6 phones a year). 830 is really nice in hand, surprisingly decent camera (coming from 1020), zippy enough and only cost me £170 in July.
  • A Surface Phone is likely going to fall into their Enterprise class mobile devices.  I would expect them to be very high end and rather pricey... But probably worth every single penny.
  • Pretty sure it won't fall under such category.
  • Eh, it'll be as enterprise class as the Surface Pro 4 or the Surface Book, which is to say, it is enough to be both a flagship and enterprise. The designs Panos' team has been coming up with is amazing in that the style is both suitable for enterprise and consumer. Maybe MS isn't just blurring the lines between different types of devices, but maybe even between classes of devices. Soon, maybe it'll just be affordable or cutting edge, not budget, enterprise, flagship, etc.
  • No argument with Dan, but these current phones are actually much better than I thought they would be. The camera looks superb. No missing features. They even look fantastic with the 3rd party backs. Liquid cooled! What's not to like?
  • Today I stopped by a Microsoft store just to remember how great those 640s are. They feel so good on my hand. 8.1 running smoothly and that sweetness we already know about Lumia and Microsoft marriage. I got 2 phones. One 925, which I love, and a 930, that I don't like just as the former only because of the design. I have never had balls to write this here, well, till today. I hate bricky phones. ~ 9mm and I'm done. Sorry 930 owners. Also, that screen... Having openned my consumerist life book to you guys, no big deal at all by the way (just my personal taste), I surely affirm I still haven't bought another phone because, as already read here written before, the 925 is one of the prettiest beasts of last Lumia liners. I'm not alone. And the 930 is NOT my daily driver! Yeah, maybe I'm alone. ; ) Funny is, as I have said on this space before, I'm not much into design. I'm a fan because of Msft... And, just as you mildmanner, I'm not here to argue with Dan, whose read I enjoy very much since 2012, but I have to disagree with one aspect of this piece today: maybe, just maybe, I could be wrong, but the stance adopted here could be a bit, just a bit, tarnished by something called "unsatiability". Dan could have shown an unsatiable side of his with this article today, meaning, yep, those are great phones, the new 950, and no one today, not even Panay, could maybe have ever done smth better with those hardwares. Cause they are premium. Next, will be other premium, and so on. Nadella called "premium" phones for fans! Just to be clear, what I mean is that any detail can disappoint a customer. Just as a phone above all suspicion like the 930 didn't make it IMHO. Where I'm looking at? Yeah, Surface phone. I know it is probably coming and if this is a brick and all that just for the intend of running desktop apps, I won't like it either. Said that, I'm probably buying a Surface tablet next week that will just do the phablet (ok, not a phone... but but) job fine. My opinion. - Mildmanner, I'm with you on this man. What is not to like? They are adorable in pics. Can't wait to leave my 925, just for HERE maps purposes, inside the car (joking). That 8.1mm thin beautiful thing is already mine. And again, lets wait and see what the Surface (if exists) brings to the table... Cheers!  
  • Well, W 10 M also gives great motivation to be waiting for a W 10 M phone like the 950. Not only design... Forgot this.
  • %3 market share with Msof phones, Panos looked bored maybe time to give it up with phones. I've gone back to google and loving the better apps snapchat amongst many others. More to a a phone than design, has to be useful. Lumias are only good at calls/texts forget the app side years away from being good . One day i might drag it back out the draw my Lumia maybe next July!! But loving google again! 
  • Usually a comment like this isn't worth responding to. Only calls and texts? Really? I do: * Banking with USAA
    * Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) Facebook by MS haters, please don't queue up your well rehearsed rants since they are on board with Win10 universal.
    * Online dating via OKCupid
    * Best photography experience
    * Video with awesome editing
    * Take payments with PayPal Here
    * Message with WhatsApp
    * Fitness with MyFitnessPal and also my Microsoft Band powered by Microsoft Health app
    * Light reading with Kindle
    * Some video watching with Netflix
    * Stay organized with Wunderlist
    * Keep stuff with Evernote
    * Review stuff with Office
    * Scan stuff with Office Lens
    * Do Craigslist with CPlus
    * Language training with DuoLingo
    * Keep up with sports scores with ESPN
    * Find and track stuff with Cortana Oh, and Google rumored to start supporting Windows 10 on all screens. So I find a bit more to do than just call/text. Hyperbole isn't productive. Posted from this here device.
  • yeah except with windows phone.  you can't use: chase banking app Amex banking app BoA banking app tdamertrade trading app Everything on your list has no value to me, not saying it has no value to you or anyone else but I need to hit up chase to do my banking and I trade stocks so I need my hit of td's TOS platform!  
  • I would counter that your list has no value to me.  The conclusion is that in YOUR specific use scenario with regards to banking apps is that there are apps missing.   To say that one can only use a Windows device to text and make calls, is exaggerating.  TD has an app, but it is VERY low rated.  I'd concede that if you have the need to constantly trade stocks w/ TD, that a Windows mobile device is not for you.  
  • More like 13%
  • Windows 10 is all about Windows Mobile. There's no point in making a universal app if you intend to just let phones die. They're not going to give up with phones. That'd be ridiculous on their point with how much they've invested in Windows 10 universal app model. All they've invested in making it easier to port apps from iOS and Android to Windows. They've basically just set the stage to have a giant platform with very low cost of entry and now they're just waiting for the developers. Once W10M is released, I have a feeling we'll see some of those banking apps come back. All they have to do is write an app for the tablet/desktop and they'll already have one for the phone. So, why not? Also, if you're going to complain about someone not supporting a phone, let that company know. Let them know there is an audience for it.
  • You lost me at SnapChat.  DrivelWare.
  • I would argue that as of right now, MS has no great experience in phones as Nokia does, they had pocket PCs back then, but it all change too fast for MS to keep up, MS lost their way completely in this area, even Black Berry did, or the same Nokia was at it, hard to keep up with fast change! Still Nokia had been the top phone brand for many years, so this Nokia heritage phones are still the best WM, and I would say they are better than most phones out there, let's be honest; iPhones? come on, it's just marketing! I would say Samsung's S6 Edge+ and Note 5 are the only real top of the line compared to 950XL...
  • "No missing features"   Actually there are 2 missing quite surprising features in camera software. Slo-mo video recording and panorama mode   I know it's not a deal breaker but from this killer camera I expect to have the average software one would find in the competiton out there
  • Won't Panorama just end up being a Lens within Camera, though, or at worst an app? There's no way the ability is going to get left out with Windows Phone. We had it before and we'll have it again.
  • 'Surface Phone' ??.. Then what about the Band? ... Well, if the product line should sound similar, then MS should rename the Band as well ... So I can be the guy with Surface Band on my hand, Surface Phone inside my pocket, Surface pro 4 as my tablet and finally Surface Book as my laptop ...
    ..
    ..
    But that's not likely though.. MS Band has it's own reputation so far.. So they don't have to rename it.. But Lumia doesn't have a Surface like reputation so far ... So MS should keep Lumia naming for cheap phones and for their high end devices it should be Surface... But that gets me confused about the Lumia 950/XL.. If they rename the high-end phone to Surface.. Those L950/XL owners would be complaining like they did with WP7.5 to WP7.8 transition.. It's gonna be a tough choice..
  • Well if Surface Phones only run with Intel chips then there will be a clear differentiator IMHO. 
  • Yes I'd rather they retain the Lumia brand for the phones. After this event you think Lumia still means buffet phone? Carrier exclusivity, will be is only Franck not because is seen as cheap.
  • I won't worry about the naming just yet. Surface phone has to prove itself worthy.  It has been overblown based on a lot of unknowns.  Surface phone has to prove it is more capable than Lumia phones.  If you think that Surface phone can run x86 desktop apps unmodified, you are wrong.  The Win32 apps would have to be converted to Universal before they can support Continuum and run as a desktop.  The Continuum only does the display scaling work.  The Surface phone just started from the scratch and it has a long journey ahead of it.  Lumia will be around for a long time to come.  Just get your L950, L960 ....
  • I have never gotten why people cares about naming? If I could buy a smartphone with 256Gb internal storage, 4Gb Ram, 8 Cores, 41Mb camera, 2K 6" screen in a 5" size phone, light, strong, beatiful and at the best price possible, I could not care less if they named it 1050 XL + version 7.02435 Lumina by Microsoft, or whatever could be the name... Cero confusion with those specs!
  • I create the Surface phone, then sell the Lumia brand to an OEM. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I really don't see them using the Surface brand for a phone. It wouldn't make sense at all and it would just add confusion to the Lumia brand in general, and make people think the Lumia brand's worth is much less than Surface. Now that Panos is in charge of all Microsoft devices, I feel like they'll simply have the "Surface team" help create the next phone and put Surface design elements in it. The 2015 Band has Surface design elements--doesn't make it a Surface Band... The new Lumias may not look like phones inspired by Surface, but they did bring things over like liquid cooling and the attention to detail in the screen and cameras. I really like the design of the 950 XL and I hope they only improve them slightly in terms of usability, ergonomics and materials, although we know that NFC and Qi don't work too well with metal or magnesium.
  • Have you ever heard of the term "matchy-matchy"? Had Apple gone with "iWatch" and "iTouch" to go along with the iPhone and iPad, iPod, etc, it would begin to look a little ridiculous. Lumia is doing it right. Sounds good, looks good.
  • Yes agreed on that 550. Seems like it will be great for what it offers.
  • This is a non-story. He was telegraphing nothing. Just watch the presentation again and you'll see Panos has nothing but enthusiasm and respect for the Lumia team and the 950/XL. Are they making a "Surface" phone under his leadership. Of course. Nothing is more obvious than that. Other than perhaps that the Lumias are somewhat different in design (and perhaps even philosophy and execution) from the Surfaces. As are the X Box, Band, Hololens etc. :) Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • This is also how I see it.  People are reading too much into between the lines.  Some actually got excited based on the unknowns. There are many questions about the so-called Surface phone need to be answered. - Which Intel processor will be useed?  Is it comparable or better than SD810, SD820 in specs?  - Does it support all the features on Luima L950/L950XL?  The latest Intel z-3790, for instance, only supports 13MP camera. - Will it support Continuum?  So far, all the Intel mobile processors are either dual-core or quad-core. - What apps the Surface phone will support?  It certainly can't run Win32 apps unmodified.  They would have to be converted to UW apps via Project Centennial bridge.  So it would run Windows store apps just like Lumia's do.  Then what are the benefits that Surface phone can provide? - I doubt that Surface team can do any better than the Lumia(Nokia) design team.  Phone and tablet/PC are two different beasts.  Panos has no track record for phone design.  He even got excited about the camera button which we have been using for years. I won't get excited about the Surface phone until I see one and see the real benefits of it.  For now, I would be looking forward to the SD820 based L960(?) or SD830 based L970(?).  I doubt that Surface phones can ever catch up.    
  • Thanks, good to see some sensibility. :) Some of the rumors indeed indicate that e.g. the camera will be somewhat lower MP count. Obviously, that is just one camera spec and does not necessarily mean any worse pics. It would make Pureview (i.e. pixel  binning, lossles zooming and cropping into larger images) impossible/less effective. I am sure it will support Continuum. As for design: yes, phone design hopefully want be just a mini-sized surface tablet; a phone is held in hand for long perios of time, has to take a lot more abuse and banding, etc. etc. At the same time, a machined magnesium body could work; Nokia and others have experience with such approach. ps. You should go for the 950/XL,. 960 and 970 will be a long way out, and may never come.
  • I would definitely get a L950XL which is for the enthusiasts who want everything topline.  For L960, MS only needs to replace SD810 with a SD820 and leave everything else on L950 intact.  :-)  The Surface phone is more likely a upper mid-range business phone with beefy security features required by the enterprises.
  • Daniel isn't the only one that picked up on it. What stood out to me was the same "for a very short time" statement. They are great devices and I want one, but he definitely flew right through the presentation. They didn't even really demo anything they talked about other than Continuum.
  • And I am telling you that you are, IMO, wrong. :P Or at least, IMO, reading too much into it. 1) The full statement he made that altough he has only been leading the Lumia team for a short time, he is already super impresssed. I don't know how that can be interpreted to say the Lumias are not impressive or "stop gap". For a fact, he stated the exact opposite several times in different words. 2) Sure, the presentation was fast. May have been in part as a) it was his first segment and he was rushing it a bit and relaxed more later b) he obviously does not know the Lumias as intimately as he does the Surfaces. As for the contenct of the Lumia segment - I thought it was excellent and talked about things that matter to consumers and differentiate Lumias from the rest. Sure, the antenna bit was a bit overdone. And, they could have spent 30s more on the camera which, as it turns out, is absolutely stunning! Continuum and Hello are THE new features and its to me logical they spent a lot of time on it. The idea was to put Lumias into the context of the MS bigger picture, W10, and devices portfolio. Furthermore, this was primarily a hardware event and W10M is not out yet - they will probably get into the details of W10M in other events.  
  • Seems....
  • Rubino-er.
  • Ahhhh, makes sense. So this next batch be on the look out for and could swing into Verizon....*holds breath*.
  • Short of the Lumia 950/950XL selling like gangbusters and Verizon crawling to Microsoft to beg them to let them have a CDMA version with all kinds of promises that they'll actually sell them, Microsoft is DONE with Verizon. And I don't blame them. It sucks, since that's my current carrier, but that will be changing as soon as I get a 950XL from the MS store.
  • I will be moving my 16 lines from Verizon.
  • Don't think that would happen if the Surface Phone launches in 6 months - would anyone keep buying 950 if they can get a Surface Phone (hope for vapormag anyone)? But if the Surface Phone kicks butt then Verizon might crawl back, would be the day hehe. 
  • Why do you assume they'd name the phones surface phones. It will just confuse surface brand.
  • you guys can thank CrApple, the world's most EVIL comp that has these comp by the balls. CrApple makes these Carriers pay them so much money, and if they don't they will pull the overrated iJUNK from them, and God for heaven sake we don't want them not be able to sell iJUNK to iSHEEP. OH NO. I say screw any carrier that has their head so far in CrApple's ASS, and refuse to sell Windows phone, cuz they are scared of CrApple. excuse me but F*** them. I just don't understand how CrApple gets away with monopolizing the market like that, and NO ONE says anything. If that was MS, OMGosh the world would end and they would get sued by government for doing that, but NOT CrApple.   
  • I absolutely despise Apple, but it looks like you have me beat. Your hate level is over 9000, which is pretty impressive.
  • Wish more were like him!  my hate level is at 20000 for them.   I am ordering a 950 for my wife and a 950xl for myself.  Cannt wait to get them.   As soon as they are available,  we are in like flynn!
  • Vzw Canadian carriers in same boat.
  • Unlocked Lumias will work on Canadian carriers, but Verizon is a different story.
  • "It felt like he wanted to get through it get on to the real story, those new Surfaces."   Ok, so I wasn't the only one who got that impression. Good.   I'm very curious to see what Panos does in charge of the phone division. I still think Windows 10 Mobile has no future, but I'm sure he'll manage to put out some interesting phone hardware running full blown Windows 10. I'm thinking something like the Asus Padfone on the Surface line. That kind of "Suface PadFone" may actually resonate well, specially with enterprise customers. It kills the need to provide employees with a phone and a tablet and a laptop and smashes all into one device.
  • "Ok, so I wasn't the only one who got that impression. Good."
    Definitely not. A bunch of us Microsofties (Thurrott, MJF, Brad Sams, Brett Howse) all noticed the same thing. It was quite obvious.
  • One of the features of the surface brand has been the keyboard cover.
    Would a Lumia Surface not fit in with the brand without a keyboard cover? Should we be getting excited at the prospect of a physical keyboard? Or is or is a surface phone something else?
    Watching the livestream, regardless of Panos Panay's indifference I didn't feel like the 950 was targetting me the consumer but at businesses as a work phone, and a device I can be proud of and get excited about is still to come.
  • I'm also happy I'm not as dumb as other people made me out to be for pointing out that the new Lumias (known already from the leaks) were very much out of place of the designs that we've become familiar with from Microsoft (and the disappointment that grew out of that). I would recognise blunt fanboyism even from my own technology circles. I'm a big fan of Microsoft, but I'm no apologist. I will point out things I don't like or feel are out of place.
  • While it did indeed feel that way, I also feel he could have just been excited to get to the Surface Book announcement, which was understandable, as well as the fact that there wasnt much to talk about considering the Mobile OS is still incomplete.
  • Sigh. I think this article is extremely unfair to Microsoft. You are making a lot of assumptions and jumping to unfounded conclusions. I get that they are your opinions but the unfortunate effect of that are two-fold; It causes the few fans of WIndows Phones that were looking to buy this new iteration of phones, to pause. And for what? A pie in the sky dream that might not come to fruition? Microsoft needs to see movement on the phones or they would start thinking this is a waste of time and resources.  It puts unnecessary pressure on the Surface team to release a phone that will "wow" everybody. Let's not forget, we are talking about a phone. There are only so many ways you can redesign a phone. Radical phone designs are generally not appreciated by the masses. Case in point, the Blackberry Passport. Radical design. Beautiful phone. I love it to death. DOA.  When we start putting unrealistic expectations out there, the Surface team would be tee'd up to fail. They would never meet the lofty expectations of people that are going to pass on the 950 now for an expected Surface Phone that can be split in two, has a kick stand, and used as a holographic projector.   Do not get me wrong, I get where you're coming from. I felt the same way, watching it live. There was just no excitement in Panay's voice. However, I saw it as someone that wanted to finish up with his "adopted" kid and introduce the love child that has given him notoriety and oh, by the way, now includes a stunning Book that nobody has leaked.  I am going to get the 950 because I am a fan of technology. I am also not a fan of chasing the next "big thing". Those who do that never enjoy the present. Do yourselves a favor people, if you can afford it buy the 950. Leave the Surface team to do what they do; release a phone at their own time without any outside pressure. They put out their best when nobody is looking over their shoulders asking, "is it ready yet?". Don't believe me? I give you the Surface Book.  
  • "I am also not a fan of chasing the next "big thing". "... "I am going to get the 950 "   Huh? 
  • Possibly but on the other hand, would you be excited if you knew that almost everything about the product you are pressenting is already leadked? Also he didn't help make the phone so obviously he want to talk about the Surface. Yes I am getting a L950XL, a band 2 and a Surface Book if they ever come here. I thought my country was a Surface country as I can buy a Surface 3 Pro down town and on MS online store but can't preorder the Surface Book?
  • @jbestman. I agree, and this article have put some weird thoughts to me. Should I buy a 950XL because it might be short lived and I don't have a ton of cash to throw around. This article is making me unsure wether to buy or not.
  • The lack of excitement around the 950/950XL phones is less about the phone hardware than really about the total phone.  The new OS is incomplete and the app environment is underwhelming.  For all of those that want a Surface Phone, would presenting it in place of the 950 have made a difference if no one will sell it and there are no apps to support the OS?  Let's face it, the hardware can only carry the phone so far.  Smartphones are 4 things: hardware, OS, apps, carrier (at least for the US market). The hardware for Lumias hasn't been cutting edge, but not bad.  They have been more known for the camera hardware than any other feature. However, the phone cannot be a brick when the competition keeps coming out with lighter/thinner phones.  What compelling hardware reason has there been to switch from an iPhone or high end Android? The OS - Nokia (and maybe HTC) made the OS work on the hardware, but the OS lagged behind in features out of the gate.  Different didn't equate to better and live tiles didn't carry a "cool" factor like an iPhone.  The everchanging OS kept taking away features that people identified with and were promoted as the reason for buying a WP.   And, while most of the OS updates made sense, the explanation wasn't sold as better and why. Personally, I like the OS, it just seems to work together better than a bunch of apps strung together.  However, ... It is about Apps - Core Apps have to be the best  in the market, not just on the phone.  Xbox Music was not better than Zune or according to many better than the alternatives (which weren't developed for WP). Here Drive is definitely not better than Google Maps.  While I don't use many Apps (even on my Android phone), the apps for your phone just have to be available.  When you walk up to a product and the company doesn't provide an App for a Windows Phone to support features of the product, it is no wonder that WP becomes a third tier option with the fans apologizing to themselves for carrying one.  When you see an advertisement for a service that you use and the app isn't available except on iPhone or Android, it is no wonder that people pick an iPhone or Android.  I don't care one moment about Snapchat (and hope they fold), but it is still important that your OS be supported by a popular service.  In my case, an app for work is necessary for our BYOD policy and there is no reason with so few WP users to support a WP version  And, using a pinned website doesn't equal features that an app can bring.   Android and iOS depend upon their apps to support the OS, but at least they have them.  MS can push for UWA to support the app problem, but Windows itself has never needed a store to deliver programs/apps (keep in mind the argument against the RT OS on the original surface).  Mobile dominates the discussion now, and project astoria has to come along a lot faster or developers must be given a reason to develop for 3% of the US market. Which brings us to the Carriers - Exclusivity with AT&T worked for the iPhone, but that was too many years ago.  Sales Reps won't sell a phone that doesn't make them the most commission, which means anything but Windows phones.  AT&T reps are no different.  Unless MS and AT&T have agreed to do something innovative this time around, the 950 will still sit somewhere in the back of their stores untouched and undiscussed.  Selling the phone in an MS store is great, but if it won't work on Verizon's network and Verizon won't allow for it to be brought to the network, what is the point?  I personally saw a HTC M8 with Windows in a Verizon Store sitting under a sign that said "powered by Android".  And then, a sales rep who was "helping" a customer new to smarthphones walked right past the HTC (the only Windows phone displayed) without stopping, and the customer didn't ask either.  Hardware is only part of the problem for Windows phones.  There just isn't much time left for MS to get W10M solving the other 3 points.  Using W10 to solve the problems for W10M seems to me to be only part of the solution.  And MS can't stop working on Mobile to meet their goals.  I get why Daniel and others are dismayed by the presentation for the Windows phones, nothing presented will substantially change the market share, not even Continuum.       
  • Yes, these are the last of the Nokia days, but I would take one of these over my current phones in my pockets right now. When MS gets Intel chips going, that's when it will get interesting. Just like Dan, I plan on getting a new phone, mine will be the 950 proper. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I think half the reason for the reduced time is that right now Win10Mobile isn't ready enough for everything they wanted to show. That and we're probably looking at six weeks at the earliest before any of the masses will have one of these in hand. You can preorder just about every announced product, but once again we are watching the same old phone announcement followed by weeks of waiting scheme play out. Microsoft needs to fix that.
  • "once again we are watching the same old phone announcement followed by weeks of waiting" it used to be followed by months of waiting, so it's a progress of sorts.
  • Its weeks rather than months because MS "claims" to be able to push updated without carriers getting in the way... That means they can push unfinished & buggy products and keep throwing updated every week/month trying to fix it... Not a fan, but better than waiting for carriers to approve them...
  • Has there been any response from MS to these impressions? 550 I can understand, it doesn't really fit in "Microsoft leading the way" vision (but that hideous Surface Book hinge...).
    950 is pretty high-end (and costs more than I'm willing to invest in a phone to be honest) - possibly the best camera in a phone, continuum, heatpipe (no reason to buy it but it's cool ;) ). Nothing to be ashamed of. "Not invented here"?
  • Was he more passionate about his projects? Yes... Knowing designers as I do they have certain narcistic tendencies. I dont know if reading anything into his behaviour says anything about the products other than a bias to his own designs. Nokias engineering chops are all still there ... The replaceable backs are a excellent choice and having that gets rid of the 99% ugly add-on covers that plague all phones today..      
  • I think you are basically right.  MS recognizes that WP is dead.  It's hard to be enthusiastic when the product you are pitching has no hope of ever getting used by any meaningful number of people. Surface, on the other hand, is on the rise.  It's much easier to be excited about things that are going well. In the end, though, a Surface phone could be a hit.  Or, it could fail as miserably as all the phones before it and tarnish the Surface name. I think the risk of the latter will keep MS from ever releasing one.  But I'd love to be wrong.
  • No wonder WP is dead with that ugly-as* interface. Only in W10 does it start to look a bit better but is still ugly and extremely constraining. Very little customisation, it's no wonder young people walk away. Windows Mobile used to be 'bleeding edge' in terms of design and it is still looking much better than any WP that came from MS. They had a trump up their sleeve and they didn't understand that and replaced it with a thumb up their as*. Microsoft were the leading horse in the mobile game. How could they f&ck it up and go to 3% is well beyond me and I am waiting for a good management book that would study their case and explain it to me. Although I have some thoughts of what happened. 
  • Not sure who's interface you'd prefer.  iOS looks like it fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.  Android, since Lollipop, looks pretty good but can't match WP. That said, I agree with everything else you say.  The fact that WM6 is still in many ways a more capable OS than WM10 is really kind of sad.
  • Opinions vary.  I personally love the live-tile interface on the phone.  I'd put Android's configurable setup second, and iOS with its "wall of icons" a boring, distant third.  What I don't like about Win or iOS is not exposing the file system.  Of course, I'm not advocating for the ability to add/change/delete any and all files.  Rather, the ability to see the directory structure and, where applicable, the ability to manipulate said system. 
  • There is file explorer app in store now.
  • I like the Asus Padfone idea. But Asus pulled it off horribly with the Design. The phone sticks out of the tablet/screen like it doesn't belong there. If Microsoft can come up with a design that lets the phone integrate elegantly with the tablet/screen, I'm all for it.
  • I don't understand why people think of device with 3% has no future. Hell Mac had that market share for 3 decades. The only thing Microsoft has to do is to make it profitable with that share, which isn't impossible. If Microsoft playing on its strength captures 3% of mobile device profits, it would be as good as Samsung, or better than anyone except Apple. Do you find that's bad?
  • Lol if you look at it bb has even less but will gain because of carriers
  • Maybe because it's already at 2.5%? Also, yes, they can try to make a profit out of those 2.5%. Here's the problem: the WP devices that dominate are the cheap versions like the 530 etc. And those are NOT the phones what bring profits. Apple does what they do because they overcharge for every single piece of hardware they produce and they created a cult around their brand. Microsoft can't do that. The little strength they have is in the segment of the market that doesn't generate profits.
  • Generally speaking in the long term there can't be the 'segments of the market that don't generate profits' even if it is possible at some short time periods. This current line is Nokia's line, and it is truth that it focuses on the low-end, but if you could learn anything from Microsoft's presenation, it doesn't even care about low-end now. They will be there as long as enough OEMs don't produce competing devices to keep that part of the market, but won't give them more than 15 sec.
  • A surface phone could do that, but unfortunately we don't have one! Surface has established itself as premium the comes at a price that people don't mind paying for. I for one will be getting the surface book and band 2 to go along with my Surface pro 3 and I will hold on to my 1520 until it dies at which point I hope have surface phone. It might happen or might not.
  • Well Apple only has iPhones really, iPad declining, MACs not gaining, and now cars? MS has 15 or more over a billion dollar businesses! So if they make some profits out of that small market, still good. Again if Apple looses market share with the iPhone it'll be a tought time for them!
  • Agree. At lower end at least 20-30% of users don't even know they are using WP. They tend to think they bought a 'smartphone' and that 'smartphone' is the name of the brand.
  • Please... 11% EU5 On the other hand the only market where lagdroid is not losing but growing is the US, not really a surprise lol
  • You're cherry picking the EU.  While I'm a Win fan, overall GLOBAL market share is at 2.6%, according to IDC (http://www.idc.com/prodserv/smartphone-os-market-share.jsp).  And they further indicate that Android has grown in 2015Q2 vs. 2015Q1. 
  • Well, it depends...which of them are you refering to? There were 3 generations of Padfones...=P At any rate, I'm sure the Surface Team could think of something stylish in the same format. Their work on the Surface line so far at least gives me trust in them. So...I'd say give it a try.
  • DJCBS, what would you think if the surface team milled a metal (vapor magnesium) replacement cover to replace the current polycarbonate one that's on the 950 series phones now? Do you think the internals are considered high spec'd enough? Could it be looked at as premium then?
  • No, such phone is not unique and has no specific advantages over the competition. Apple can do such a thing as it is a leader, Microsoft not really.
  • It doesn't need to have an advantage, at least not here in Americas as average consumers here purchase phones base on looks not functionality; they represent fashion here in America and believe it or not, it somehow make people in America feel like they've upped their financial status; makes them feel rich. You must not be American or don't know how people are hear.
  • No, I don't live in America, though I would write 'people are here' ;). But if I hurry I may write as you did :). Anyway, I do sell apps and probably 90% of my buyers are Americans, so I should have some idea aobut some of them. And some my friends live in America so I have some feedback from them. Anyway, I think it is not so much different in America than it is in the rest of the world. People will buy what is offered and what they can understand. Of course that all of them can understand looks, while most of them won't understand most of the features. However, there are some features that can be marketing material even if no one uses them, as one can hope of them to be important. But Lumia hardly have such thing.
  • It doesn't need to have an advantage, at least not here in Americas as average consumers here purchase phones base on looks not functionality; they represent fashion here in America and believe it or not, it somehow makes people in America feel like they've upped their financial status; makes them feel rich. You must not be American or don't know how people are here.
  • I'm not sure you can craft cases out of the Surface materials. If they could, yes it would be a far more premium option than the polycarbonate. The problem would again be the Snapdragon 810 (and to a far lesser degree the 808). Even with the heat pipes, the phones will get hot. And on metal it will be much more noticeable than polycarbonate.
    I think the best option for premium would have been either what Mozo did (metal & leather) or the Sony solution (now followed by Samsung) of metal and glass (though glass cases would probably be a problem in the long-run). Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • HTC One M9 is metal (aluminum) and runs the SD810. I tend to think you would feel heat less through magnesium; but comfort holding warm metal vs warm polycarbonate will depend on the user. "Canon’s new professional EOS D50 SLR digital camera is protected by a magnesium casing allowing the camera to resist moisture better than its competitors and it weighs just 25.7 ounces.  Not only is magnesium the best metal with the strength to weight ratio, but it is also 100 times better than plastic for heat dissipation. "  https://cdiichinadirect.wordpress.com/2012/04/04/magnesium-is-called-the...
  • Yeah, I just saw a YouTube video of someone who's only has his new Xperia for a week and the glass back is broken already because he dropped it, so he'll have to put it in a case which covers up it's beauty and almost will make it seem just like any other cell phone in a case. I'm assuming that even though the Mozo cases for the 950 series phones are actually replacements for the standard polycarbonate backs that provide some sort of protection while maintaining beauty. Should cell phone manufactures start going the route Microsoft chose to go with the 950's giving buyers customization or should I say a more open option?
  • With a week-old phone, I'd use the insurance if he had any.  I started using my HTC One M8 without a case-as someone in another forum mentioned, I try to be more aware-as I would when holding eggs or a bottle or other breakable item.  This is not for everyone, but I find I much prefer the ergonomics of the phone without a case.
  • In defense of Xperias though, I use a Z3C that has fallen more than half a dozen times and not a single scratch or crack.   As for the route Microsoft took with the 950's case...it's actually not new at all. It has been done on smartphones by Sony with their "made for Xperia" line, and it was something that was quite customary in feature phones. 15 year ago, when the Nokia 3310 came out, its shells were replaceable. And if you're old enough to remember, there was a frenzy of third party shells made for it that you could replace and combine at your will.   I personally quite like when phones have components that can be replaced by third party options like the 3310 had. Unfortunately not many phones these days are designed to allow that. From the current flagship line, apart from the 950's, only the LG G4 and V10 and the OnePlus Two would allow such a thing. All other phones have sealed backs.
  • 10% worldwide according to Whatsapp stats. 3% only in US & UK. MS can't drop WP now with that share.
  • 10% in UK according to everything I've read.
  • There are Youtube video showing how to run APK android apps using Microsoft Android developer kit for Windows Mobile (Project Astoria). The day this is easy for Instagram, Snapchat, and other popular app developers to put their apps on Windows Phone store without code changes, is the day we can see future for Windows Mobile. Universal apps look good for Microsoft services (Office, Skype, Outlook, Live Maps, Groove, etc) but I don't think other big app makers like Snapchat, Instagram, etc will build these apps since they are only available in smartphones. Thats a big sale point for smartphones, so that's all I think Windows Mobile needs to become as popular as Android and iOS. Universal apps, Surface Phone, and running x86 apps on Windows mobile phones is the future, but at present, Microsoft needs to get all these smartphone apps available in Windows Mobile so carriers and OEMs start to build phones with Windows OS.
  • I thought Instagram was going to release a Universal app soon. Eh? 
  • Yes, Universal Facebook apps are coming soon... "coming soon" Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Don't need 2 facebook apps, I guess they won't release it before windows10m goes rtm anyway. Nothing suspect here
  • "The day this is easy for Instagram, Snapchat, and other popular app developers to put their apps on Windows Phone store without code changes, is the day we can see future for Windows Mobile." I don't think it will make any difference. WP is perceived as "not stylish"/"not cool"/"lamo" by youth. Not have customizable themes is not helping either. Unfortunately fashionistas individuals (mindless bots) lead the crowds so no luck there. And the fact that WP is in the state it is as a product doesn't help it at all.
  • iPhone doesn't have themes. All MS needs is one big push. If they can bring the software, a device, marketing and branding all together for a few months, they could capture 10% or more of the market. Then the challenge would be holding onto it. Of course MS' biggest challenge has always been marketing, and so far they've been unable to launch a product and the corresponding software at the same time.
  • No, wp is not perceived as that, at all. The only fact it's it lacks top apps or they are junk, and this is not going to change until it gains market share
  • Windows 10 Mobile isn't exactly a stand-alone OS, so you saying it has no future is like saying Windows 10 IoT has no future. Microsoft made it clear that its goal is to tailor Windows to any form factor. Smartphones aren't going anywhere for awhile, so I think W10 for mobile will be around for awhile as well.
  • Nope, you definitely weren't the only one.  The way Panos presented the Lumias was with a "these are really cool, check'em out, you'll love'em but do you guys really want to talk about something cool?!" attitude. I won't lie and say his short speil wasn't effective, hell it even made me interested in an XL, but he definitely wanted to talk about Surface. A Surface Phone, that can run Win32 when in Continuum mode is the god damn holy grail. We know the specs would be up to date and we know the design would be something awesome since it would be built in-house. I wouldn't even care of the camera was spectacular, just give me something like you mentioned, it can turn into a full blown computer when I need it to.  
  • Well, the phones had been so badly outed that there really wasn't much fo say.
  • If they could pull something off like that and still make it look amazing then it would be an instant sell for high end businesses and us geeks :-)  I imagine Surface Book looking devices that you can pull a slim phone out of the display/tablet part. It wouls essentially be a x86 phone running continuum - awesome. Who else have anything that is remotely usefull!!!
  • In all fairness, I think half of the enthusiasm was taken away because of the leaks? Everything got leaked before the event for the phones. The looks, the presentation poster, specifications. There was nothing left to actually present which was why I think Panos even called out the leaks and how it ruins the moment for him. 
  • Good point!
  • if mobile has no future than MS has no future either unless Hololens takes off real quick.
  • Microsoft is a software company. Their presence on mobile doesn't need to happen through an operating system.
    If you still think that, you haven't been listening to Nadella ;) Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • MS has a future... They will keep developing software/services for iOS/Android that will work great and full featured unlike their own platform...
  • What an interesting take on Microsoft's strategy...and honestly, that makes a lot of sense. The Lumia DOES feel out of place...that's why I haven't had one since the Icon. And if this holds true, next year will bring forth some amazing phones that we can't even imagine. I won't lie though: I need to get a replacement phone for my HTC One pretty soon, as the battery is starting to fail. Maybe a 950XL is in the works now, and then awesomeness will follow into the future. I am optimistic as to where Windows 10 is going to lead the company after last Tuesday's event. Microsoft is ready for business; the Surface Book's "PR legs" and press alone should show that to anyone. People want the Surface line! And it's only a matter of time before the "Surface phone" (or whatever its name will be) will show up in the hardware line. ;)  
  • I would probably get a 950XL if ATT offered it (I need the subsidy), but since they aren't doing that, looks like I'll be holding on to my 920 until next year. I will have had this phone for 3 years by then!! I so badly want to upgrade!!!
  • I am doing the same thing here. I thought I was going to get the 950XL but I just don't know if I should wait. My biggest concern is that if I wait, it might be next October for the "surface phone" to finally be released knowing Microsoft's tendencies.
  • I would NOT wait. Get the 950XL and whenever Surface or,..........comes out, you can always trade it in at MS retail stores, or just sell it. trust me, I can guarantee you , surface phn will not be cheap when it comes out for it super high quality hardware, like Surface Book. So enjoy the 950XL till next year, since no new models will be out till then. That's what I'm doing. Cant wait to get my 950XL. its going to be AWESOME. Also keep inmind, these AWESOME phns are 1000000x more superior than iJUNK 6S/6S+ overrated junk with so many missing features, that these awesome Windows have in them. Just look at the specs and then look at Samsung, LG, Nexus, Sharp, Oppo, Sony........ and so forth(keep in mind CrApple iJUNK is not on the list, since its so far behind these brands), and you'll see what a GREAT devices 950/950XL really are, with the BEST camera, AWESOME battery and wireless Charging, 2+K screens, MicroSD slot, Iris Scanner, Continuum, Removable Battery so you can just buy a extra one and carry it in your pocket when you needed...............how many phns you can name that has all of these features right now on the market?????    
  • With Canadian carriers not carrying the 950 line, I'm finding myself in the same boat. I love my 920, but I've been wanting an upgrade for so long it hurts
  • My used my ativ for about a year & half got tired of the sluggishness that that a 1gb phone had with games like tetris blitz, aoe:cs so I imported a l929(wished I would've went with the ativ se instead as it took denim to partially fix cdn lte support) but switched back while I was testing wm10 & was hoping the suretap announcement for wp would be worth keeping this device
  • Don't blame MS for your Ativ, blame Samsung for their pathetic support. And don't buy a Samsung anymore, ever.
  • Same here, I bought my 920 at release so it is almost 3 years old now. I keep seeing new devices come and go - they are appealing, but just not enough to convince me to make the investment. The 950XL has captured my attention, but I would also want to get it through ATT, without that route, I have no options. And if I did get the 950XL, I would have to stick it it for a few years, it would eliminate any possibility of me getting any surface phone device that may show up next year. Oh well, I've lasted about 3 years with the 920, another year should be tolerable.
  • That thing won't die :-) Loved mine too but am waiting for the 950xl now. If indeed the Surface Phone lands next year well.. I guess I have to sell it hehe
  • I am in the same boat as you need a replacement now, My LG G4 is now ready for retirement after it fell of the side table and screen cracked. Really been missing windows and that camera on the 920. Unfortunately Thailand has no mention of the new surface book or phones on there web sight. while i am not blown away with the design the phone overall looks to be a great product, Hope the replacable back cover from mozo are as good as they look.      
  • I agree with you 100% and to think people were crying wolf when Microsoft said they would be phasing out the Nokia name. As much as I love and respect Nokia, their a thing of the past at least here in America. People know Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Surface gives the perception of something new as opposed to the usual old guard. I hate to sound cheesy, but Satya is correct when he says, "it breathes a breath of fresh air into Microsoft"! Even if it's not completely me Tech, it gives the appearance or feel of something new! If Apple doesn't do something in the next few years, they could find themselves on the outside looking in, because every good thing comes to an end. Both Microsoft and Google's portfolios are broader than Apple's; they don't just depend on hardware for their revenue, they have software as a service, hyper-v, azure, etc.
  • I'm predicting the 1st Surface phone will have similar specs to the current Surface 3 (non-pro).  Will it run traditional win32 programs from an .exe or will they have to be win32 programs from an app store. I think the current Lumia 950/XL line up seems like a great phone and eco-system aside are just as good as the competition.  It just really sucks us Verizon users are screwed.
  • I'm guessing the Atom fun will only run Win32 programs when docked. Continuum would boot you to the Modern UI environment and use a traditional W10 environment when docked
  • It better not require any "booting".
  • If there will be a Surface Phone (there will, no doubt), it will be a controlled envoirment. So Win32 Apps would come from the Store, which Microsoft is supporting very soon for devs and when you click them on your Phone it would probably tell you something like this "This requires a external screen" blah blah something like that as Desktop Apps were never made to scale nor work on such small screens. Importantly to note, Microsoft will also keep improving Continum, we may even be able to snap apps by the time it launches, maybe even have "windowed" Apps like on Desktop, i would imagine that a Surface Phone would launch with Redstone 1 or 2 depending on when they release it. They may even have some additional changes to the way the Startmenu is presented, and stuff like battery indicator etc moving into the Taskbar. Really it's early for Continuum.
  • If we step back and look at the big picture--not even "the big picture as it pertains to Windows Mobile/Phones," but to all phones, one thing is very clear: It is not a matter of if PC-class phones are coming, but when. Early phones were just phones, and nothing else. Cell phones added portability, and pager-like capabilities such as texting, and even simple alpha-numeric games with their LCD displays. The predecessors of the smartphone added memory for more than just phone numbers, effectively performing as a portable PDA. The original iPhone (arguably the first modern smartphone) added the capabilities of a tablet, and universal operating systems that could now support 3rd party apps beyond the proprietary, and short-lived offerings that came with earlier phones and PDAs. Today's phones are at the powerful tablet stage, but as computing power advances (and Moore's law dictates that it must), the next stage is surely the full computing experience. We have grown to a world where laptops are a perfectly acceptable alternative to a desktop, and cutting edge tablets like the Surface Pro 3 & 4 can go toe-to-toe with laptops. If everything moves up a rung, then phones that do what the Surface can, are just around the corner. If Microsoft can be the one to bring it to us first, more power to them.
  • Popped into the store earlier and the 950xl was a nice phone. Didn't like the power buttons which felt sharp and the camera didn't look as crisp as the online videos, but the phone was fast at everything. I will be getting it as my new phone and until they redefine the market as it is so much better than any other Windows phone device. It will be interesting to see if they do something revolutionary next year. Would love a Wow moment for Windows Mobile!
  • They do feel sharp, right? Thought I noticed that too.
  • Its because the bottons are flat and not rounded due to the volume being on either side of the power bottom... I love the idea just the execution is butt. I hope the 950 feels better.
  • Dan, pls keep in mind there will be aftermarket back cover, which will have different buttons coming soon for these AWESOME phns. I believe we will see some premium back covers really soon for sale everywhere. I have no doubt.  hint, hint........;-)
  • Surface team have done an amazing job, I'd be happy to Lumia replaced by Surface phones and it would make sense as the product line up so far is Luima Phone, Surface Tablet and then Surface Book.
  • That's exactly what's going to happen. Sucks for the people who actually like the Lumias though. The Surface line is just so completely different & I can't imagine their phone ever being a proper replacement for a lumia. They'll focus on productivity & premium enterprise design not cameras & colorful designs. The 950 & 950XL will probably be the last Lumia's we ever see.
  • Makes you wonder why Microsoft wanted to buy Nokia's hardware division if their intention all along was to make Surface in small.
  • No wondering here, they are just incompetent :) The marketshare is a reliable barometer.
  • Sataya was against the acquisition, but Balmer insisted to go ahead. It seems Sataya and top Microsoft CXOs believed in their capabilities to build their own phones based on their hardware team from the beginning and saw no need for that acquisition. 
  • Now an Intel powered surface phone that can be docked and turned into a full desktop computer than runs x86 apps.....
    That! That is what I will spend money on to buy! I've learned never to buy another rt device again after buying the first generation surface rt. I have no reason to switch from android but having a full windows os in my pocket would he pretty compelling. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android on my Oneplus One
  • would be insane, a gamechanger for sure. 
  • It looked like he didn't want to be directly associated with the weaker product line. Case in point: the back of the hand mention of the Lumia 550. Maybe the presentations will differ around the world. The Lumias may get more spin in those countries where Windows Phone actually has some market share, like Germany, France, Italy and the UK.
  • I know that they wouldn't want to undercut current Lumia sales by foreshadowing a Surface phone, but I'd still like to know with some certainty that it's in the works.  I might just crack and buy a cheap upgrade until next year rather than buying a 950XL.
  • There wasn't much that Panos could change since July, but the next phones will really show his team's influence. Everyone saw what he did with the Surface 4 and Surface book, so I'm eager to see the next phones
  • Given his presentation style, I expect an arc reactor in the flagships that he produces, possibly with maroon and gold colors. They may also change Cortana and switch in Jarvis. And if it isn't in the works, I'll build you one myself.
  • The new phones are still really nice though... ill be getting one.
  • Same!
  • Agreed! I was hell bent on finally combining my two Sim cards into one phone and hoped to get a dual Sim 950 XL if there is such thing. But with the Surface Phone surely being the next logical step and seeing what they did with the Book, I'll upgrade my 920 to a 950, keep my 1520 for my second line and replace that with the Surface phone next year.
  • I highly agree. Other than the fact that our modern consumer-focused society is looking purchase a religious experience with each new gadget, I find it hard to fault the new phones compared to anything else out there, at any price. It's not going to change your life. It's a phone. A very good couple of phones actually. I think that as soon as people acquiesce to that reality, they will get a lot more satisfaction from unveilings like this. As Daniel and others have said, most of what will make-or-break these phones comes down to the OS. This is the part I am going to wait on, and the part that most worries me. Microsoft's history of rushing things to a deadline, and then letting them languish, is not a good one. A recent example is Edge, which despite being released to the public 2.5 months ago, is still half-baked at best. I find it unusable and a black eye for MS to think that this is acceptable. I suspect it will never gain back the myriad functionality (not the legacy coding, but the options and capabilities of the interface) that was removed from Internet Explorer. I don't want to see MS rush out the Mobile OS for November, then brush off their hands of it with minor updates every 6 months or so. I'm not saying they will, but I hope they don't. I still have my Lumia 925, which I bought on the first day back in the middle of 2013, and for me, keeping a $500+ phone for 3 years seems like a reasonable life cycle. The phone is great, with the exception of the ever-present "Resuming..." lag since WP8.1. My plan is to wait until next Spring or Summer for the OS to mature a little, for the price to drop some, and to see about the rumored phone for May. I suspect that since they committed to a couple phones/year in each category, that these may indeed be the business phones, and not the flagships people are expecting. That may manifest as a "Surface phone" that is bulky by today's standards, in order to accommodate sufficient battery power for the cutting edge hardware. But we won't know for sure until next year. If it is, I will happily go for the 950XL (really looking forward to that sweet camera!). However, as I don't own a tablet or a laptop (only a beefy desktop powerhouse at home, and desktop Mac and PCs at work), having a phablet that can be my PC-on-the-go would be really convenient.
  • I like them a lot but they are too big. I would be happy with an 850 with a screen of max 4.7", or a 950S.
  • Also, hurry up and leak the May phone as my upgrade is due now.
  • I think the Surface Phone (or whatever it ends up being called) will be a closely held secret, much like the Surface Book and HoloLens were. Panos semms pretty good at keeping things under wraps.
  • Surface Phone will never leak. Almost nothing leaks from the Surface team. Panos hates leaks.
  • I'm glad Panos doesn't allow leaks.......I love the surface book and will be getting it.
  • I like leaks and I don't like leak if you get me :-D I loved all the leaks about the Lumias but then I was a little disappointed durring the event. With Surface I was meh only speculations and then BOOOM Surface Book - I liked getting blown away :-D 
  • OT: Daniel, you're not leaving any stories for Thurrott.com to cover. Everytime I go there to read a story, it's already been covered on Windows Central!
  • @Mark Morales That's because Windows Central is the bomb. Lol Thanks for the support of the site. You guys are great.
    Like Daniel, I'm going also going to grab one of the new Lumia's. But of course my eyes are on the horizon for the "Surface Phone".
    We do have some pretty powerful hardware in these devices and what looks like an awesome camera. These phone will be worth showing off to iPhone/Android toting friends and family. :-)
  • Thanks! Daniel's article made me second guess myself, but your response helped. First of all, Panos must NOT do that. I would like to believe that his distancing or whatever was like that for other reasons (had a bad breakfast, etc.) It is incredibly stupid for a company to launch new products and show lack of excitement about them. I have been on Android for 4 years with a Samsung Galaxy S2 and I think jumping on one of those Lumias is a huge noticeable jump for me. I don't think I should wait for a Surface phone. Even if some of Nokia is in these Lumias, Nokia makes good elegant hardware as well.
  • That's what makes this central a complete centre (i don't know what i wrote but anyway it is positive)
  • @vikas Dude I don't know what you wrote either...lol..but yeah it's positive. We'll take it. LOL
  • =D I am so excited! Great article and sharing your thinkings. I have been thinking about this as well. And I think they are working close with intel on phone stuff. So we will see what the future brings! =D
  • You are 'thinking' a lot :p
  • You arent? :)
  • I will be getting either the 950 or XL (likely the 950) to replace my 830. I don't think Intel is quite there yet - but 2017 might be the cross time to look for devices with Intel that are on par or better than Arm in power (battery life) and performance.... Atom or M series still not delivering on par with Arm for mobile solutions  
  • Still getting an XL. Will give it to the misses if the Surface phone becomes a thing.
  • I'm still hoping that if a Surface phone does happen, they figure out how to do it with a pen. I love always having a small sketchpad on me with my Note 4.
  • It's liquid cooling, not water cooling. Please fix.
  • Semantics...Microsoft has said at the post event discussions that the liquid is at least 50% water. =[
  • well.. it's water, antifreez and some thing that is good at transferring heat (like in refrigirators)
  • The funniest part of that is when they announced it and one of the snarky editors at the Verge (or wherever) mocked Microsoft on Twitter, saying that "if you need liquid cooling in your phone, you f*cked up". And then Joe Belfiore replied right away telling him why he was wrong. I love it when Microsoft executives call out ignorant tech journalists like that.
  • Man, you made my day. I hope so. Gonna go look.
  • Please show me that conversation:)
  • Off topic but the store today said preorders will ship on the 26th for the 950. Any other confirmation on this? Can't remember if that was an announced date.
  • On the Portugese site (shop in the link) it also says: will be delivered October 26th.
  • Microsoft must decide whether they want to become a hardware company and thus compete with and anger their own OEM partners or remain a software and services company and thus keep their partners and put up with their inferior hardware designs.
  • This is exactly the message Satya has for the OEMs: Make Windows phones or we will.
  • The hardware partners seem to be taking Microsoft's lead. Microsoft's hardware is out-of-the-box thinking and the hardware partners are stepping up their game. How many 2-in-1's are out there now? Would anyone have done it if Microsoft hadn't built their concept car, the Surface? Microsoft and the Windows OS (as licensed by OEMs) give us many choices at many price points. If you want the Mac/iOS, you have one option and you'll pay a premium for it. Microsoft is making best-in-class hardware that competes nose-to-nose with the fruity puter company, but for the world of users out there who can't afford either one, there are less expensive alternatives in the Windows world. I think Microsoft hardware partners know and understand their niche. HP, Dell, Asus, Lenovo, etc. are competing with each other, not Microsoft. 
  • They don't need to do anything, they've already shown that by presenting a challenging product, they can spur their partners to follow suit with their own products and the Surface has been the capstone for that...that's all they need to do for phones too. Tho, you can't help weak and feeble OEMs. =\
  • Not really MS is just showing them the way and even share tech with them. They save a lot of R&D and MS inspires new products and many price points win-win.  
  • Im still getting the 950XL, my 920 is dying on me. And thei guess i will get a 2nd gen Panay phone.  
  • If the 950xl comes to at&t and I can get it on a monthly plan. Thats my next phone. If not... I truly can't stomach paying $650 when I know a possible surface phone is around the corner. It truly is about price and availability this time around. Never had that dilemma...
  • A Surface phone will likely be around $1500 if they follow suit of the Surface lineup...
  • Surface 3 isn't anywhere near that
  • Guess you are stuck with the 950 then - though it is still an impressive phone.
  • Going to wait for the true MS device.  Surely, these devices may be nice, but i was never a big fan of the nokia windows phone devices.  Owning the 900, 920 and 1020.   My favorite wp device is still the samsung focus S
  • The 950 series will do for now. Looking forward to the next big thing!!
  • Hopefully this mythical Intel-powered phone will be the successor to the Lumia 1020.
  • That's not happening according to Daniel. He's spread said its not. The 1020 is too niche of a product. Its not cost effective.
  • Seeing how much he praised the graphics performance of the Surfaces, there could be a bit of hope. Also the work on the processing part of such a camera to be on 2016/2017 standards would be huge as well
  • Not a chance in hell. Fancy imaging tech is not what the Surface line is about. The new phones will be all about productivity & features that'll attract enterprise users. If you want a 1020 replacement get the 950s. There probably won't be another pureview phone after them.
  • Why in the world would they quit using Pureview?
  • So we're still dealing with the usual Windows Phone/Mobile way of 'it will get better'
    But seriously release a Surface grey coloured shell for the 950's with metal sides and BAM(ish) kind of, sort of Surface looking phone.
    Oh, and the funky blue from the earlier renders.
  • It's funny, as much as I like the new Lumias and support what is going on with the platform, I did think "wait for Continuum on an intel Phone."  That's when things will get interesting. If they happen at all.  I'm excited to replace my device, not because I need to but because I want to. Hell, even a 5 year old phone would work fine for my needs.
  • My iPhone 4 just had its 5th birthday.... I can tell you it is almost a paperweight. The only apps that are useable are for text messaging and (with some patience) whatsapp. Even making and receiveing phone calls almost kills it (somtimes being enough to crash it). I can't wait to replace it (with a WP of course!).
  • I expect they will release a new surface phone around november again next year to upgrade the 950 users. That should really deliver on the premium device with metal body. I think apple's new phone don't have the premium look and feel they had previously. I still think the iphone 4s was the best of the designs they had. Samsung on the other hand is now delivering premium phones instead of the previous cheap plastic phones. The 950 series look good but November 2016 should deliver the premium looking device as well as the hardware. The may 2016 phone won't be the 950 next device.
  • so no nokia left! fired everyone and now getting rid of lumia. sad days.   when they bought the phones division i was a quite upset that this would happen. im sure at the time everyone said it would all be as normal, they will still be the same nokia people, ms wont interfere... well 2 years on and here we are.   i'm happy to move forward and can except this had to happen but to go on stage and not back your own phones 100% even if just for the cameras is really bad!
  • Lumia branding doesnt bring much to the table for MS, the sooner the lumia brand goes away the better for MS.  These should be the last of the Lumias, hopefully. 
  • I read somewhere that in an interview after the event, Panay said something about not using the Surface brand for phoned at all for the sake of differentiation.
  • I hope M$ later brings kinda new innovations for them to the table, like ZERO side bezels. Design, not just gizmos.
  • Zero sidebezels would be nice to see, if chinese companies can already do it.. why can't anyone else? O_o
  • Indeed!
  • Thanks for talking about that 900 lb. gorilla in the room Daniel!
  • No problem. It's clear many of you were thinking the same thing, so, lol
  • Thanks Daniel...GREAT ARTICLE!!! I was about to leave the MS side of phones and go back to an iPhone or maybe try Andriod but this last MS event hooked me in for another ride. Then your article clears more of it up so I will definately be along for the MS ride of things to come. Looks promising!! MS just needs to throw out the next Windows 10 Mobile build to the fast ring now...
  • Me and my 930 are just fine
  • I'm holding on to my1520 until Panos releases a phone he and his team has designed from the ground up! My phone is going to have to die for me to get a 9xx series; now if Microsoft were to mill a vapor magnesium cover complete with the chrome Surface logo to replace the polycarbonate back that's currently on the 9xx series, I'd jump on it in a millisecond!
  • The problem there is that magnesium isn't exactly transparent to radio frequencies. Form doesn't have to follow function but it also can't negate function (as Apple keeps learning with Antennagate and Bendgate)  
  • If Panos makes a phone, I guarantee it will be made of vapor magnesium, not plastic and the antennas will not have issues.
  • antenna-gate nor bend-gate is stopping Apple from moving 13m units and it won't stop Microsoft if it functions and looks good. People buy iPhones as a fashion statement, not for function; they will do the same if the surface phone resonates with the public like sp3 & surface book. I will be sporting my surface book at every Starbucks I see an open Mac in.
  • Thanks Dan for essentially answering my question. Looks like I'll be holding onto my 920 for awhile longer after all.
    As much as I wanted a 950/950 XL, as you pointed out in a previous article these are the "enterprise" phones, so hopefully won't be too long til we see the "enthusiasts" phone! :) Edit: Glad to know that not buying these shouldn't have an effect on the future release of others.
  • "Microsoft lead future"... Yeh, coming soon, right?? Every year...
  • So lets call them transitional. But isnt every high end phone that? They seem pretty impressive in their own right. I'd love to have the 950. Maybe I'll win the lottery.
  • These are great phones, not saying that at all. Just connecting the dots here and saying these were carryover Lumias, not pure Microsoft phones. We have yet to see the latter, but we will.
  • Daniel ..u know what ..i got Goosebumps while reading the article ...m ardent follower of microsoft especially when it comes to phones. Reading something like this, it gives me an idea how powerful and capable "Microsoft" is.
  • I can see that :) excellent article!
  • If true. Microsoft must get a killer phone out by around about spring of 2016 during the next phone refresh, Galaxy devices, or they are going to have a crazy uphill battle to get traction. If it isn't until holiday 2016, it would have to blow away anything from Apple or Google, and work on all carriers, to get the masses to switch.
  • I agree that they need to release new models every 6 months. 
  • That's exactly how I felt in the store today. The Band 2 was the most impressive upgrade. I found the 950XL to just be ok. I picked up the big phone at the Band 2 display and thought it was the 950XL until I noticed the settings page looked like 8.1. It turned out to be a 640XL. When I finally found the 950XLs, it didn't look deserving of a $400 premium design-wise. I know all of the hardware is better, but it didn't excite me as much as the design improvements in the Band 2. I'll probably get the Band 2, skip the 950XL, and see what the next round of phones look like.
  • The Band 2 rocks so hard I can barely take it, lol. Love what they did there.
  • Yeah, can't wait till Oct 30th to get my band.
  • We got one in.  Sang Uptown Funk and lost my voice for a day.  Fun stuff.
  • Not surprising as to why there wasn't much ado about the Lumia 950/XL, the OS isn't finished!! Why talk about a new phone featuring a new OS and it isn't completed yet, what would he be showcasing? We the public would then be asking why isn't it released yet?. So after WP10 OS is completed and released then and only then could the hardware in any phone be showcased to its potential.
  • Even with premium phone it wont help with the app gap guess I will be holding on 1520 untill it dies.
    Continuum is not a strong enough feature for many buyers .
  • Ahh I was thinking along the same lines as Dan about the 950/950XL. Sure, they are great and what not, and sure, it packs the best specs as of now. I am in the market for a new phone, but the 950XL to me seems like a stopgap phone until they release their true flagship. Together with the uncertainty of the 810 inside (I don't want a repeat of my 920 overheating issues), I think I will stick around with my 1020 for abit longer until the next flagship. Great article Dan !
  • Yep.
    Stopgap is right. They kept saying "its for the fans". Like here, hold this while we prep the surface phone ;)
  • The problem isn't the hardware, the problem Is the software and apps(bank apps, social's apps)... I don't know what joe before is thinking....
  • Man, Joe isn't even IN this conversation, he's working on other things. Stay focused... =\
  • I have a Lumia 1520. Love it to death! It's getting old, though. The case is cracked at the thin areas above the volume buttons and the USB port. I have no doubt that Microsoft will announce a 'Surface' phone next year, and my 1520 would probably survive until one becomes available, but that won't stop me preordering the 950XL the second it becomes available! It may not be perfect, but it's an upgrade on the 1520 and I want one!
  • Yep, I too believe these are hold overs until next year. Did pre-order the 950XL, the dual-sim sold me along with everything else. However, I know that in 6+ months I'll be giving it to my son and getting an x86 version, because we all know that needs to happen for Enterprise penetration and that is MS goal. Consumer market is not what they are after.
  • That's why I'll possibly buy a 640/XL to hold me over. Not going to drop $500+ bills for a stopgap.
  • I totally had to get one...it's SIIIIIIICK. Runs 10 very nicely actually... =]~)
  • IMO 950/XL are world class phones. Whatever he was trying to message (if he was) between or on the lines, if he really wanted to say the new Lumias are not that great, then that - I am sorry - is just pretty stupid. Don't go on stage in any way or manner to hint that your own products are not really the best you can do. :D We'll see how the Surface phone turns out. I am hoping it will be great _too_.  
  • I don't think it's "They're not that great" just "They're not the phones we would have created". That's a difference. Ferraris and Lambo's are both great, but stylistically very different.
  • Sure. IMO MS did create them though. The phone division is them (the should be no more us vs. them) and in my opinion MS would have had time to e.g. change the design if they wanted to (and they may have). The Intel phone obviously is taking time to develop and may indeed be the first one developed under MS ownership completely from scratch. Sure, maybe the Lumias are not "his" but they are MS and, again just IMO, he shouldn't be hinting they somehow are not. And he probably wasn't anyway. :) Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Shoulda put Juha up there to show them off
  • That 950xl camera damn im buying one
  • Interesting theory Daniel, I hope you're right because it is disturbing how conservative and bland these devices are for flagships. It is like going back to the pre-Nokia days when no one was putting much effort into to making Windows Phones.
  • All it's missing is a pen. The rest is apps and OS. Hardware wise, what more is there to ask for? These phones are very close to perfect. If looking to go way out of the box like Surface Book, add an additional flagship.
  • NPU claims the pen is coming. For what it's worth. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Spot on Daniel. Smiles were all gone from PP's face when he presented Lumias. Step dad of Lumia.Excitement was back in his body when he introduced SurfaceBook. 950s are there just to avoid stagnation which was building up for the lack of flagship phones. This also explains why Microsoft did not waste time and money by not copperating with willing Telcos. On the other hand, now I am expecting a Surface phone (Intel based with metal body, CDMA and Wireless charging ready) to be announced at MWC 2016.   ​
  • IMO, they know nothing they put out there as a phone is going to sell until there are apps in the store. The current strategy to get apps in the store is to sell Surfaces and push Windows 10. So yeah, this is a placeholder to satisfy us out here with a 920 or 1020 in our pocket waiting and waiting. Its also a chance to showcase some Windows features like Continuum and Hello. They know these wont sell well, so why dump a lot of money into them? Build the ecosystem and them come out with a killer WP that really has a chance.
  • While I normally agree with you Dan, this article kind of seems unfair putting too much emphasis on it not being a 100% Microsoft device.  I visited the local Microsoft Store to try it out, and even with the buggy Insider Build, these are beautiful, solid made phones.  Yes, they were a bit different than the rest of Microsoft's devices... but they are pretty amazing phones that known the competition away and it shouldn't matter if it's a 100% Microsoft phone yet.  I'm definitely getting a 950 XL.   Also - It was obvious they didn't show much Lumia on the stage because simply Windows 10 Mobile wasn't ready to be shown to the masses yet.  The event was a hardware-focused event, and they focused on the hardware-related topics for the phones (such as 4k video capture, continuum, specs, etc.).  The event has a whole was Microsoft's best and people are still talking about it today at how epic it was, if they showed a buggy OS, it would fun tainted the event, even in the slightest.  I hope when the Mobile OS goes RTM, that they do a Windows 10 event showcasing TH2 and Windows 10 Mobile to show the masses, which truly showcase these beautiful phones.
  • Can't agree more
  • " Yes, they were a bit different than the rest of Microsoft's devices... but they are pretty amazing phones that known the competition away and it shouldn't matter if it's a 100% Microsoft phone yet. I'm definitely getting a 950 XL."
    I'm not contradicting any of that and I agree. My point is, if Panos and his team had designed a phone, would the 950 be it? I think the answer is an obvious no. So the question is, now that he's in charge, what comes next? I'm just connecting the dots here.
  • That, or they desigmed this, but decided to hold off really going all the way with it in order to focus on building the ecosystem first via Surface and promoting W10
  • So, a chassis made of recycled coke boxes and they are there?
    Really don't get the idea of aluminum/whatever should define premium design or not. Find metal phones slippery, cold and hard.
    Prefer polycarbonate.
  • Panos or not Panos, you cannot get better hardware that is released (SD810/SD808).
    Todays surface phone would be exactly the same inside.
    Stop this nonsense.
  • Connecting the dots and throwing a little inside info in as well. Daniel, you rock man. I will get an XL, but man do I want a Surface phone bad.
  • I'm not sure why people are hyping about this Panos guy but making a better looking phone than 950 is not that hard. As a matter of fact all the previous flagships were better looking but that's because they were all designed by Nokia while no one was sticking the nose into what they do best and thats designing hardware.
  • Agree. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Daniel, dam you, I was drooling over the 950xl, hell I still am hoping to grab the thing BUT after reading this article I left with a huge conundrum. Wait it out with my 1020 or jump in for 950xl. Before this article I was all about jumping in even if I had to buy it outright, now, I'm more let's see. Today has been a bittersweet day.
  • Lol! Exactly what I wrote below - then I see this.
  • I feel you man. I was so convinced that I'd be buying a 950 for sure but now I am having second thoughts. I'm thinking of switching over to android or iPhone but the thing is I hate both of them. I really need an upgrade. Don't know what to do now. :l
    This sucks.
  • The decision should be to get the 950 /950 XL or wait for the mythical Surface Phone. That might come, but it might be a year out. Why would you go get an Android or iPhone?!!!
  • Get a 950, better than iOS and android for sure. Also, it is way better than any existing lumias.
  • Buy it. There is no knowing when the Intel chip phone will come and how it will perform and be positioned. E.g. the camera may be not this high end. Who knows. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Get one, it will only be roughly 6-7 months old when the Surface phone is said to be coming out. Sell it for 3-350 and get the Surface Phone. Tis my plan.
  • The Lumia's 950 and 950XL are two of the best phones on the market when the will get released in about a month. I'll definitly buy me a white L950. If in about a year the first Surface phone will be released, maybe I'll buy that one too...
  • I am on Verizon, so I can't use the new Lumias anyways, but my Icon is still a great phone 18 months after launch.  It's still every bit a flagship from the camera to the screen to the processor.  Even if these Lumias were on Verizon, I don't know if I'd buy one since my Icon is still so good.  I can definitlely hold out for a mid 2016 surface phone if that comes to Verizon.  I worry, though, that the surface phone is going to be marketed as a good business phone, and becuase of this, use a mediocre camera and not one of the same quality as the 950 series.  The 950s definitley check all the boxes for me though, great screen, great camera, expandable storage, glance screen (something I really miss from my old 822), they just don't have that lust worthy design.  Hopefully a surface phone can bring all of those attributes plus killer industrial design.
  • It was mistake by Microsoft. Joe Belfiori was THE guy.
  • They should also consider dropping the Lumia name since that is associated with Nokia...
  • Is this the reason why Microsoft is making limited carrier availability of these devices ?
  • No. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Smells like another "brighter future coming soon" situation. Unfortunately I'm waiting for that bright future since 2011 and I'm almost done waiting.
  • Indeed, the last thing Windows 10 Mobile needs is all their potential customers waving off the 950 / 950 XL because a Surface phone may be coming a 1/2 a year later.
  • Choices: Wait for a true Microsoft flagship in the vein of Surface and skip a stopgap high-end phone? You think making Windows Phone customers wait 24+ months is smart? They had to do something. It is what it is, I'm just telling you what is happening.
  • You don't know what is happening.
    You don't know timeframes.
    "Reading between lines" is a slippery way.
  • Dos phones are the brighter future alot of Android users would kill for those hardware.
  • Don't care.  Will use my 950 for 2 years! EDIT:  Until the Surface Phone arrives...lol.
  • I mentioned this in another article, but i think one of these will be mine.  sadly, It will be which ever one ATT brings. i am still hopeful for the XL coming.  even if they released in Nov and ATT said we will get the XL in Dec, i would hold out. Dec21 is my 3rd year with the L920.  great phone to be sure, but its time for a new phone for me.  I thought about the 640XL or maybe even the 550, but lets be honests, I want the new 950 family. if they bring a surface phone next year, i will be upset that i got a phone 4-6 months from that release, but I just cant wait. its a dilemma to be sure.     time will tell, but one of the 950 family devices will be mine. 
  • Man, this article just sounds like, "prepare to be disappointed by these phones." It's almost a hedge against them. We're seriously not even to the release of these things (nor do we have a release date), and the frontman of the biggest Windows news site is already saying, "just wait until the next thing." We're SICK of being told to wait, it's asinine now. Microsoft's into its second year in charge of hardware, and 18 months for their first device is bad enough. That's it's not even 100% their device is almost pitiful, but it's hard to have pity for a company that so blatantly shuns its own fans. Also, on this: "there were no real lags"... We didn't get any phone carrier info during the even. We didn't get any firm release date for the phones. We weren't told from the onset that the two entry models of the Surface Book don't include the GPU, and that you actually have to spend $1,900 to get it. We got no OS/app news on-stage. Partners of Windows 10 as a whole were almost entirely ignored, which is really bad. We didn't get pricing on the Continuum dock, nor were we told that the fingerprint scanner-inclusive Type Cover is actually $30 more ($16) and only comes in black. They didn't bother to mention that the SP4's Type Cover comes in a nice teal, and they left that color out for the Surface Pen, for whatever reason. I was impressed with the hardware like most others, Lumias included. However, I think there were a LOT of holes in the presentation, the more I think about it. On top of it, that the site that's often criticized for loving Microsoft too much is already ragging on their new device before they launch, to a degree. That has me VERY wary of what's going on. Lastly, didn't it start that the "Surface Phone" was going to happen in February, then first quarter, and now we're to May? It's not even announced, and we've already seen it backed up into the second quarter. I can't help but think it'll just do like every Lumia and get delayed back into the fall.
  • I've been saying May since I confirmed an Intel phone was in the works. It's not about being disappointed, but c'mon, the things I write here are pretty obvious. The Lumia 950 does not fit in the current hardware. I'm just explaining why that is.
  • The timing thing, I don't mean from you. I mean on a general level, where we started having various folks (one forum user specifically) started the rumors with February. May would make sense for a release, but I think it would be a bad reveal time. I'd think they would want something to be following IFA (where we often see nwe devices from major Android OEMs), but taking into June or July for a street date would suck. I guess I just don't get why they don't fit in. They seem to have fit in pretty well, in my book. Consider where Lumias were before--rather heavy, sort of thick (especially the 920), and they were very colorful devices. Microsoft does seem to have a couple of devices that follow the popular iPhone format of being simple, streamlined, and muted in their visuals (camera ring aside). The only place I'd say you could consider them out of sync with the rest of the devices is that they're polycarbonate, not metal. I really would have liked color options (and without having some third-party branding), but I think the devices look reasonably good, the hardware's sound (particularly on the camera front), and only the logistical stuff seems to be in total disarray. This is as someone who has probably been Microsoft's harshest dritic with taking too long, being so-so with hardware, and generally disappointing us every step of the way. I like the phones. They look good, they seem to run well, and the pricing ended up better than we feared (when initial leaks had the conversaion rate at about $750 and $850). I just wish AT&T would pick up the XL because I don't know that I'll be able to toss out $650 (plus tax) in a month or so. By the way, are all Microsoft Stores showing off demos of the new hardware now? I've seen people on the forums saying they saw the Band 2 and 950 devices at their stores. Given I'm more than 90 minutes from one, I was curious about that.
  • The MS Stores only have the 950 XL demos, not the regular 950, and the one by me also didn't have a Surface Book demo unit yet, though the one across town does have it.  I'd suggest calling to check first before driving 90 minutes.
  • Oh, I'm not driving 90 minutes myself to look at a phone either way. However, just keeping it in-mind, in case I happen to have the chance to be in the area.
  • Proof please Daniel.  These are mere assumptions and opinions and not an analytical article as analysis has hard evidence
  • Daniel is just dreaming and theoretising, while having iPhone 6 or S6 in his pocket. No surface phone on the horizon, this article is completely out of place.
  • That's ridiculous, if you think it's something where Daniel's some iPhone-loving defector who hates the new phones. That just makes no sense.
  • New phones just announced, not even released yet and already the stories start. Not quite there yet but maybe the next phone.
  • Do you really think they'll be rolling out a "Surface" phone in 2016? I remember when the Surface 2 was introduced. Panay said the original Surface had been years in the making, but secrecy prevented them from getting user feedback. I've no doubt they've got the next big thing in the works (because Christmas comes every year), but I suspect it will be at least next October before we see a pure Microsoft phone creation.
  • I had this impression too during the presentation. But as you said Daniel Hey, they are still Nokia Lumia 'very' high-end phones. And I really hope Panos will not get rid of all the Nokia know how. These phones are great and, at the end, the decision on the removable back cover is indeed really good for the durability and good for the personalization.
    Yes, maybe this is not what Panos would have done but I hope his thoughts were just about the design because the rest seems to be truly awesome.
    Maybe he came on stage with all the bad feedbacks received from WP fans having seen those leaks images, and he hurry remarked that these are not his creations.
  • Nice article.
  • Dan. What is it about the 950 that you like it over the 950xl?
  • Just the size. The XL isn't big enough to warrant a noticeable difference, imo. 5-inch to 6 inch like 930/1520? Huge. Half an inch? Eh. Plus, not sure I like those buttons on the XL.
  • I really thought the button location was going to end up being related to continuum in some way. Was thinking they would be used as mouse buttons or something. Guess I was wrong.
  • I've been considering skipping the 950 XL and waiting for the rumored Surface Phone because I agree these Lumias are somewhat out of place, and not completely revolutionary like the Surface line-up (Continuum looks awesome, but I'm not sure how much I would actually use it since I have a Surface Pro 3). However, I've decided I'm going to upgrade anyways, because I've had the 1020 since launch day, and my god it's showing its age. It's desperately in need of upgrade, and the Surface Phone isn't even rumored to show up until May. I can't wait that long, my 1020 really needs upgrade ASAP. The 950 family is here now, and the Surface Phone is just wisps and rumors. The 950 packs all of the latest specs and technology, and while I might not be able to zoom in as much: The 950 XL looks like it'll have a fantastic camera when it launches. Removable battery with quick charge? Sweet. Qi wireless and SD expansion? Awesome. Triple-LED flash and latest camera tech? Sign me up. The hardware, again, isn't revolutionary. The only truly new feature I'd say is Continuum, and that's rather limited in terms of use. But it's here, and it definitely seems like a worth upgrade. If anything, I'd say the 950 XL is the Lumia 1520S (albeit, a year overdue...), and just like Apple: We've gotta wait another year for the truly new next-gen stuff, which will be the Surface Phone. So will I drool and then feel a sharp stab of pain when I see the Surface Phone and realize my wallet is empty? Probably. Will I regret buying a 950 XL? Probably not, since it still will have made a meaningful difference during the 6 months I had it.
  • The new Lumia devices are out of place because they depart too much from the most stunning designs from the Lumia line.  I do not believe phones in a "Surface line" will ever be attractive.  I am convinced they will look as utilitarian as the iPhone or many Android devices.  They are clearly catering to business-types.  STUFFY, BORING, business types. 
  • So the question is, when will we see the first phone built under his watch?
  • Are you getting one for your daily driver, Dan?
  • Oh of course. The specs are amazing on these new Lumias and I want that new camera. Could be another 7 months before we get that next phone.
  • Well ... don't wanna say it, but the xbox is a shame not only design wise but also when it comes to it's technical execution. I mean ... look at the surface. It is slim and small. The xbox on the other hand is bigger than the PS4 and has its powerbrick not integrated into its chassis. So they do not match at all, imo.
  • They aren't really intended to be the same things, their feature sets just happen overlap.
  • I think the phones are a great stop gap. I believe the other thing going on here is a challenge to OEM partners. Look at how many PC/Laptop makers are stepping up the game because of the Surface family. Microsoft has positioned, with Windows 10, a revolution of a whole new generation of hardware. I think the latest Lumia devices are a way of telling the OEM vendors to step out of the box.
  • Damn it, Dan! I was all fat, dumb, and happy getting the 950XL. Now? NO. Now I have to decide; get something I know I will like, wait until I get something that fits all me needs (x86), or worry that Microsoft's 1st non-Nokia phone is a 1st edition (think Surface 1) and missing those items that make it perfect (think Surface Pro 4). Mark me confused. Great insight, though. Thanks.  
  • Thank you for explain my feelings now.
  • Still go with the 950XL and support the OS. We don't know when they'll release the Surface Phone, it could be a year from now. And we have no idea how it'll be, maybe it's like the Surface 1 and still a work in progress. So then it's another year before you get a Surface Phone. So it's suddenly 2 years with your current phone if you didn't upgrade. Also maybe Panos was bummed about all the leaks of the current Lumias and didn't feel like he needed to spend much time talking about it. If he spent a bunch of the talking about devices everyone already knew about then he'd lose the audience.
  • There is no, and probably won't be any, real advantage having an x86 CPU on a phone.
  • Were the 950XL pen support rumours wrong, was it mentioned and I didn't catch, or was it just skipped?
  • I just wrote that article. Refresh the front page ;)
  • Hey Dan.. I saw one Hands-on review by Carphone Warehouse of Microsoft Continuum.. And I found something which was never mentioned here in WC ( or may be I missed it when you guys wrote about it )
    ..
    In that video about Continuum, they are using the phone screen as a trackpad.. I hope you have seen it.. I thought that's gonna be awesome ,because that feature can get rid of the mouse.. :)
  • The Lumia 950(xl) talk on Windows central has been a big buzz kill. 920 is dying out and I may be wasting my money on a950? Jeez
  • The time with the Lumias was shorter, but keep in mind these things. Almost everything about the Lumias was leaked.  Nothing about the Surface Pro 4 or Surface Book were leaked. The Surface Pro is what has all the buzz right now.  MS clearly wants to keep that momentum going. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVBWCPas9Nc @ 42:53  Yeah, the thunder was taken already   I still like the time with the Lumia, particularly when Panos said "If you haven't thought about these phones, Wake up! Spend a minute."
  • Well with Qi announcing tech that enables wireless charging in metal and Continuum refine with 10nm Atom I can definitely see the VaporMg Surface phone appearing.
  • Been saying that for a while. Microsoft needs to become a hardware company.
  • Actually, what I heard was commitment, regardless of being stopgap, not 100% MS or whatever...the TEAM are stewards of hardware for MS and they still are dedicated despite what the rabble will say (plebians). Despite his short tenure and involvement with Lumia, he did say they are hungry to make sure they are best in class. So maybe these are only best in class former-Nokia, they still presented them forth and dedicated to releasing them, also despite the logistics in sales, that is beside their point. They're here, embrace them and as with all families, show the love when the next generation arrives...I was inspired, and not swayed by whatever subtext everyone else must read. Gimmegimmegimme 950!
  • A new 950 with one of the funky replacement covers for me - them you have something to tide over until next fall - sheeet! I cant wait til the 26th never mind waiting for another phone
  • "It should be clear that these new Lumias are carryovers from the Nokia days and not "pure" Microsoft devices" But they aren't really Nokia devices as well. They are just more of Microsoft's mediocre Lumia attempts (design wise) just if they want to degrade the Lumia brand as much as possible to increase demand for surface phones. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I'm guessing the Redstone release of Windows 10 will bring the first truly Microsoft phone to market.  Of course that's slated for summer 2016 for x86, likely fall for ARM.
  • And some people, Nokia die-hard fans at most, still says Stephen Elop was a MS trojan horse. This guy should get a statue in Finland as he just managed to sell basically nothing for $8 billion+. [sarcasm]What a hell of MS trojan horse [/sarcasm]
  • How do these Lumia not fit? They don't use magnesium cases but, come on, they have Continuum, an Iris scanner for Windows Hello and they are the result of a collaboration between Microsoft teams and the old Nokia design team now part of MS. Even the hybrid cooling system comes from the MS Hardware team, isn't it?!   And I don't heard Panay's words as you do, Dan. To me it's not a denial and a I-would-have-done-things-differently distanciation but more like "I intend to push the envelop further now that I'm in charge".
    Also, I do not share your interpretation about the supposed lack of motivation and all. It's because you guys have had it all leaked weeks ago and there were no reason to bore you all with it all over again; they know you need to write new stuff and journalists find delight in crusty things only.   Sure, These Lumia aren't as jaw-dropping as would have been an Intel-based Lumia but they got to sell them too and since manufacturers haven't started to sell high-end Windows phones yet, they better have these handy because, let's face it, a single aspirational $1000+ smartphone is not just what Windows phone needs right now even to please a few fans. Anyway, ​ I sure hope they aren't going to fire the old Nokians in the MS Hardware team just to keep the MS blood "pure"! They are now part of the family you know...
  • Microsoft keeps kicking that phone can down the road.  It's the same old story we've been hearing since 2010: "Just wait until next year..." Tiring.
  • But think about what's taken place in the background these last few years. MS built a brand called Surface that people want, trust and are associate with quality. That's a huge achievement! Sure, people could care less about Lumias but think about what happens when they finally launch a phone under that brand with the same level of quality as their bands, tablets and laptops. It will get the media talking and it receive a ton of hype on iPhone level. It will be a true game changer. Not just another Lumia. Now, once they get the attention they want and need, they have to deliver the product properly. Not choose one carrier to offer it, and do a tiny bit of marketing here and there. They need to go as big as they have with all their other products. In my opinion, the wait will be very worthwhile.
  • This. It's not about just launching a "cool" phone. Surface ain't cool. It's useful. It solves problems. It created a new category. Apply that to phone now and let's see what Microsoft will do.
  • It's worth it for them to launch a phone with the Surface name just for the buzz and media attention it would generate alone. Buzz leads to interest, interest leads to sales and sales lead to more buzz. It is exactly what has happened to the Surface line of tablets.
  • Surface phone, yet another coming soon from Microsoft. Can't they get their acts together? He didn't have enough time / influence yet? Buhuu... Who the f*** cares? It's always like that regarding Microsoft and WP. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Great article. My views, but written much better than I could have myself.
  • Just wait till next year and MS will plan to exit phones like blackberry
  • I sure don't need an article or that dude to decide for me that I am buying the Lumia 950 XL and you better remember that th
  • The think about a "Surface Phone" is that since windows phones have never sold well, it could hurt the Surface branding, people may think "Surface phone never gets any sales so I'm not going to buy a Surface tablet/laptop." On the other hand because Surface has been very well received, creating a Surface phone could be a good way to get more popular in the phone market.
  • THANK you!  Put in this light, the laughable carrier support for these phones seems understandable, and even bordering on OK.  If (please oh please "when") we get a "pure" phone that does absolutely everything, I bet they'll clean house.  Unless they don't...but a fanboy can hope :-)
  • I think all the negativity and apathy is finally getting into their heads. They get it and I think the surface phone will be special. I hope ;)
  • I think you lost ms a lot of sales with that article Dan. We can't wait forever!
  • Ms lost their own sales with this strategy. When they don't look enthusiastic about their own products you think others will be?
  • The second I saw they present the Surface Book, which is totale awesome and a killer, I told myself the Surface Phone is coming next year. No Doubt about that. For now I'll sticking with my L930.
    Start saving folks.. ;-)
  • Not sure if flagship-bashing or just unintentionally negative speculation which will feed those "waiting" on the "surface phone" and so look down on these godsend flagships.
  • Agree with this article and its conclusion. It's plainly apparent a surface device will be the real draw for the next iteration of windows mobile and these phones are just down range Nokia throw backs. Personally, I can afford it but I worry about the os also - I'm going to wait and see what the finished product is like before committing because I think by mid 2016 they'll have something considerably better out!
  • If the suface book is the ultimate laptop, then the surface phone will be the ultimate phone....
  • Make a 5.7 inch Zune HD style phone and take my money. #theend 
  • The biggest concern about this, will Intel be ready with a mobile x86 SoC that can handle Continuum and all of its requirements. I don't think the current generation is able to provide enough power to run this in a satisfactory way. I could see some issues especially in the graphics department of Intel's current mobile lineup.
  • Well, the Nvidia GPU in the Surface Book is a 100% custom job for Microsoft. Microsoft made their own chip for PixelSense. Could MS and Intel be collaborating on something? I think they are.
  • Agreed.
  • Let me preface my comments by saying I have and absolutely love the Surface Pro 3.  It truly has replaced my laptop in all but a couple of situations.  As a tablet, it's beautiful and powerful.  And I would hate such a design as a phone, without a doubt.  I have no confidence that Microsoft could come out with a phone design that is as beautiful and in-your-face as the Lumia 920, 1020 or 1520.  I just don't.  As sure as I am that they will be able to keep making tablets as awesome as the SP3 or SP4, I am equally sure they are incapable of taking what I feel are the best approaches to the design of the phones.  I don't believe it's in their DNA.  And as much as most of you seemed to be impressed with Panay, I was exactly the opposite of impressed.
  • Which other phone in the market has Liquid Cooling? Which other phone in the market has RGB flash + 20Megapixel + 5th generation optical image stabilizer in Camera? Which other phone in the market has Retina scanner? Which other phone in the market has custom back covers from external parties (leather, metal, polycarbonate) Which other phone in 2015 has expandable memory that is high end. I'm not sure why you think that the 920, 1020, 1520 are better than this, this phone beats all of them in many aspects and features.
  • I absolutely love my 1520, quirks and all. It's still beautiful, it's still a beast. And yet, you are 100% correct, in every way, the new phones are superior. Except maybe screen size. I have average hands but this 6" screen is just amazing.
  • Yeah, but (according to the article) this is a "Nokia phone", not a "Microsoft phone" and probably not what ScubaDog was referring to.
  • Well, to be fair no phone on the market has any of those specifications you mentioned unless you can somehow buy phones from the future. Also, no phone currently being developed has a retina scanner.
  • I'm withholding judgement on the Surface Book until we see how that funky hunge holds up in the real world. V1.0 hardware of anything Microsoft (or anyone, for that matter) makes is bound to have its share of kinks. As far as the current Lumia (950/950XL) line stacks up, I think it holds up well. Sure, it may not have the same build quality as a Surface, but I think it will be on par with other flagship phones. The Surface phone, when it eventually becomes a thing, will very probably be priced well out of my budget.
  • Agree: The 950 Lumias are "just some more Lumias", although good ones of course.  Well made, you know, but in a strange way just some old stuff, just much better.  They are comparable with other high-end phone, and they do compare quite well. But there nothing really salient about those models that would tip the scale towards a Lumia 950 phone from the perspective of a regular consumers point of view. If your are already looking for a Windows Phone the choice is clear. But if Joe or Jane Smith rumanate about getting a high-end phone from either Apple, the Android galaxy (pun fully indtended) or a nice new-fangled Windows 10 Phone there isn't any obvious "thing" that would add gravity to a Lumia 950.  Chances that a regular consumer picks a Lumia 950 are at 33.33% at best. Contiuum isn't much of an argument either (yet). With the current Lumia ARM platform Contiuum it is a nice proof of concept but not yet the real thing it could and will be. This is what the Microsoft CEO "indicated" at the end of the event if you listend (very) carefully what he said.  ARM as a platform are hampering Windows 10 phones and keep them at bay. You can't get much better than the competition who use the very same Qualcomm SoC hardware or even a better ARM SoC (like the Apple A9). In terms of ARM you can't beat the Apple A9 SoC and on the other side Qualcom defines the boundaries of what a Lumia device or Android devices can offer.   The only way out of this prison of currently available choices is a custom Intel SoC that broadens the availabe design choices substancially. Including unique features (also security features) and some Altera FPGA section (for flexibility) and maybe even some XPoint memory.  A Intel SoC also would fare much better when it comes to Continuum I would venture to say and would also fold much more neatly into a corporate IT infrastructure.  So once we will see a "Surface Phone" (won't be called like that) things will become way more interesting.  The Lumia 950s are just two more high-end smartphones among many. Very nice ones, but so are the others as well.  So 2016 might become interesting, but probably around this time of the again. So if you buy a Lumia 950 now one likely will be tempted to open his/her wallet in a year's time again. For a device that does truely differentiates from the rest of the crowd of really great smartphones. 
  • It feels like the cornerstone to everything in regards to Windows 10 Mobile is really going to be their bridge projects. Without Centenial, Win32 apps won't be able to be installed on the phones easily. Without Astoria/Islandwood traditional "phone app" offerings will continue to lag behind.   Hopefully they'll actually give a release date for them at the next software conference.
  • honestly, articles like this make me much more conent with sticking with my Icon for the time being. I def won't sign any sort of 2 year contract or 2 year phone payment plan until VZW's fate is determined with MSoft and Windows 10, but I am fine holding off on the gorgeous 950XL until we see what Panos can do with a phone. 
  • Because our Icons are awesome still. I hear they run W10M great too.
  • Very well written.. I am going to sound a little childish here. But, it has always been a long waiting game. I have a 920. When it was time to renew the contract, wait 1 whole year for the next flagship. Flagship announced- Wait 2 months for the availability of the flagships. Now, I am thinking I should wait for the Intel powered Surface Phone. I feel like stuck in an unending circle with my 920. Set me free Microsoft!
  • Great article. Daniel, you described my thoughts exactly :)
  • Dan, can you honestly advise if one should go and buy a 950 now or rather go with nexus 5x or an alternate and wait for the so called surface phone. Please?
  • It's the ecosystem you would be buying into. Do you really want to surrender your every bit of data to the Google ad sales folks.
  • Do I really wanna spend $549 for a good camera and the continuum feature that's almost useless?
  • I was on Windows Phone for almost 5 years and loved it. Now I am on a Galaxy S6 which I like but miss some things from WP ie glance screen. I would recommend going with a Nexus or low end Windows Phone to tide you over perhaps. Microsoft is basically across all platforms now so unless you have a ton of paid apps there really aren't strong ties to an ecosystem as much as there used to be. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Always next year... Only next year. That's Windows Phone mantra for five years and seems it will never gonna change. Getting tired of this. I'll keep my L730 for one more year, and certainly go back to Android if Windows 10 Mobile keeps being a promise.
  • This. I really do get the struggles and changes. But the facts on the ground are that msft has provided a very unstable ecosystem. Maybe in 5 years we'll all look back and laugh. But maybe not. I got taken by msft with the lumia 900. I bought a lumia 1020 and 925 anyway, and watched windows 8.1 wither away. The camera looks so good on the 950 that I'll probably have to buy it. This time though, I'll know I'm not buying into an ecosystem... I'm just buying a camera phone. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • In other words, the savior of Windows Phone will be coming next year. (Just like every year) How many times have we heard that? There is always an excuse. This year the excuse is that they are "carry overs from Nokia," what a joke.
  • It is what it is. Put your money where you want, it's your choice. Thing is, I think Microsoft can and will build a category defying product for their phone. They did it for Surface, they're doing it with Band.
  • Won't  Microsoft has to build category defying hardware.  Apple rules as a brand, has a strong (mobile) ecosystem and the best performing SoC.  Android is just everywhere and dominates the volume.  Me too - or just building a great phone - does not work in a situation like that.  Microsoft has to trump Apple in some technical way. And that's definately not gonna happen with Qualcomm or MediTek. Or Samsung. All of those contenders are maxing out their existing technology and only will be able to gradually improve things. The only one company that can make a real difference in terms of semiconductors is Intel. Intel has not maxed out their technology, they still have a lot of headroom left. And Intel is in need of a screeching success in the mobile world as well. So those two companies could evolve into a perfect storm for other combatans if they get their act together.  Google of course is also well aware of Intel's capabilities. So Microsoft better hurries up substancially to make sure that they are first to market with a top-notch-can't-possivly-beat-it custom-tailored Intel SoC.  Won't be cheap in terms of risk, but Nokia wasn't exactly cheap either and the risk did actually materilize and had to be written off.         
  • I don't get why everyone felt he wasn't excited about the phone! The surface had more points to sell and therefore that perception. He was really into it when he talked about the antennas on the Lumia. And to think that 950xl is Nokia legacy is a load of bs. There's no evidence of it being modelled off of flagships from Nokia. Nokia was a phone company, form over function. The 950 is definitely function first and therefore very much Microsoft's take. Granted no one from surface contributed but this is an ms device.
  • These phones look great and I can't wait to get to the MS Store to actually see and handle one before deciding which one I will probably get. The real fact is that no matter how kick ass the hardware unless the apps and OS are up to snuff no one except us fanboys will buy them. It's not just Snapchat and Google stuff, WalMart, most major US banks and credit cards, Target, Macy's, Formula 1, etc all don't have Windows apps. Just watch TV one evening and see how many ads end with "available in the App Store and Google Play". Until Windows Store is included in those tag lines Windows Mobile will be a bastard stepchild no one wants to hear from and the greatest hardware in the universe won't change that.
  • I'm waiting to get my hands on the 950XL and I think this article is a total buzzkill
  • Not a buzzkill. I think they're great phones. I'm simply pointing out what everyone is noticing that the DNA in these devices doesn't match what Microsoft is capable of. Doesn't mean you should avoid the 950, but the reorg happened. Panos was not in charge of phones until mid-July. He is now. What does that mean for the product line? Use your imagination of what you saw with the Surface line. Now apply to phones.
  • Surface line stands out by bringing Skylake to the market. You can not do this with phones.
    Intel device in 2016 is not possible.
    SD820 can only come in late 2016 according to ms plan to have 3 segments covered yearly.
  • Daniel highlights that WM10 is a total letdown up to this point - even the best hardware is still limited by the software and apps are unpolished at best. Anyone still wonder why Verizon is not carrying the 950/XL? cause they're not going to clear all the WM10 beta software that will be on phones thru next spring the field complaints why software updates are not released. It's sad that WP7/8 were also unfinished messes but real WP10 devices coming in 2016 seem to actually have potential to be difference makers (intel chips) as opposed to bringing nothing unique to mobile (i.e. the last year and today).
  • I've been saying that for months. But no, just because next year the phone will be powered by an Intel chip does not mean it's going to be kick ass. It's all about software. What good is a Ferrari with an empty tank of gas.
  • Agree, Lumia have always been reviewed favourably,but the one con that was always there was the OS. MSFT just trying to blame their unfinished Windows10 mobile OS to Nokia hardware??
  • WM10 is from Microsoft so it is the best software, while Lumias are from nokia so they are the worst hardware. Who cares about verizon it is the network in USA the country of apples loving rednecks. Microsoft should move its HQ to Europe or South America.
  • You sir lose the internet for today. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • And in case you haven't noticed; the 950xl when compared to the izphone6s+ is smaller, with bigger screen & higher resolution, hosts bigger battery and is freaking 26 grams lighter! That's how cool the lumias are! Can't believe no one sees that.
  • Even with all that mojo you've got no good games to play. Half of the important apps are unavailable. What are you planning to do with all the high resolution and battery, watch Porn in high definition?
  • When I review a product and a platform the no of apps isn't a factor.
    The ones I mentioned above are, the ease of development is an important factor, updates are a factor, power, graphic processing capabilities is a factor and battery life is a factor..
    The no of apps is a by product of consumers on platform not apples doing. I get that it affects us and microsoft but its not their fault! They have made available 90+% code reusability, the best IDEs on the planet, freed up in app purchase policies.. What Microsoft has in their control they have done. Its now about getting users on the platform for the apps to flow in
  • I know this in my heart but Lumia 950 with the RED and Gold back will still be mine.
  • Slick presentation...yes but how can Microsoft defend a team that developed two new phones which are incapable of working on either Verizon or T Mobile? Switching networks is not a viable option for me and probably many others. So...our options now are switching ecosystems or waiting at least another year for that next great phone which might even work on my network. Brilliant.
  • I contemplated waiting for the Surface phone next year, but there's always going to be something better on the horizon. I'll be getting a 950XL on day one to replace my 920. When something better inevitably comes out, I'll get that too.
  • Aside from confirmed carriers, what could he have said about the phones that wasn't already leaked weeks before the show?  He said it himself "You have already written everything about it"
  • Exactly.. He talked about the antennas with pride.. The glance screen too.. He even talked with pride about them when he said, putting more than a phone into a phone..
    He pushed everything that was new there were just more new things to talk about in the surface line.
  • The thing that annoyed me about that is was that only dedicated followers (like us) would've seen the leaks - I'm sure that a huge proportion out there had no idea about the phones, so he should've proceeded to 'wow' us even if he thinks we already know everything. I didn't like him skipping over things as it implies they're not important... he could've said more about the devices, as they are the single best devices we've had so far - bar none! He should be singing that shit from the rooftops. Even saying "hey, I know you know this - but holy shit this is amazing!!". Or perhaps there was too much unfounded negative press (i.e. from the whiners complaining about how 'ugly' they are without seeing high quality images) and he felt there was no point telling us how good it was when we 'all hate it' - except most of us will be lining up to buy them as soon as we can
  • Or like he said during the presentation,there so many leaks about that particular line what was the point of going over it all again? Especially when like 95% of the leaks were genuine. We stole their thunder.
  • Maybe should have read caliborn's post first. Sorry Cali lol
  • Ha Ha! No Worries....great minds think alike..:-)
  • Just one more reason to get the Lumia 950 XL for me... Getting the last dose of some of that Nokia awesomeness ;). Will be looking forward to what Panay and his team come up with next. Exciting times indeed for us Windows Mobile fans.
  • Funny thing is the L830 was the last phone truely from Nokia (based on branding) and now we are getting the last Nokia phone with a MSFT sticker on it. Regardless of when Panay took over the division these are MSFT phones, funny thing is a couple years back Nokia was the saving grace of Windows phone and now they are the red headed step child that can't be kicked to the curb soon enough... Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I agree, these phones have Nokia influences but I think they are inherently MSFT. Last Nokia Flagship was the mismanaged L930,which had some faults but you really can't fault it in the looks department, as compared to that or L830, L950&L950XL looked a step back from that direction. Also it's kind of Ironic that Nokia Lumias pioneered the use of vibrant colours in phones that were saturated with boring black or white and now its back to boredom again, either MSFT is prepping for 'surface phones' with those boring utilitarian look and borders on daylight robbery (forgive me just my rant on how I can't afford them) or they fired all the colour enthusiasts from their team ( I would not be surprised).
  • I don't know if the intention is to have both Lumia and Surface lines, but it might be a decent marketing strategy to line up Lumia as the Android competitor and Surface as the iPhone competitor.
  • I'm very excited about these phones, and even if you don't get the Continuum dock, I think it has better tech than the rest of the competition out there with best camera, expandable storage, best audio recording, best 4K video recording and best of all is it has exchangeable back cover from third party vendors so you can decide if you want your phone back made from leather, metal or polycarbonate.
  • I wonder if you could get a couple of bluetooth controllers working with these phones and Continuum.
  • The contract for my Icon expires in June. I'm fine with the theoretical timing of this.
  • I don't disagree with Dan here at all. I'm still getting an XL. I've been waiting for too dang long for a proper WP flagship and these are both very nice phones indeed. If they DO come out with a Surface Phone in late 2016 or even early 2017 I'm totally OK with waiting a while for this (rumored) new breed of intel Windows Phones to mature. Maybe even wait till a possible Surface Phone 2. I got weeeel over 2 years out of my Lumia 925 and that was with only having 16GB of storage and no expandable memory or removable battery. I expect nothing less from my soon to be 950XL. My two cents as always.  // J
  • Panos recently said there will be no "Surface Phone", only Lumia. And to me, May 2016 sounds unrealistic for the next premium Microsoft Lumia phone. More likely October 2016.
  • Cool.
  • I don't think a x86 phone is even possible in the next 2-3 years. The battery and fast storage it would need make it improbable. Even if Microsoft manage it, it would cost $1500 at the very least!
  • There are decent x86 phones out now though.
  • ok Daniel...thanks for this article. So, I hold onto my L920 for the interim, enjoy my SP4 and Band 2 and patiently wait for the new MS phone to be revealed. that sounds like a reasonable plan.
  • It is rather obvious. flop and his merry team has been fired and Microsoft took over Lumias. Unfortunately it was too late to introduce Lumia 940 in the summer 2015 and autumn is the worst time to do it. Snapdragon 810/808 are the bad SoCs and 820 is not ready yet. Microsoft needed a new flagship so they upgraded last flop’s design and they are releasing it now. I think they will release a new one based on Snapdragon 820 in the spring and it will be a professional one. Without hipterisms like too large camera or wireless charging with wired charger or polycarbon.
  • I think this article makes perfect sense, but I can't imagine that the feedback that they will collect from the Last Lumia users re: Continuum, iris scanning, the 10 OS etc., etc. will be unwelcome, and is probably essential.  I suspect a Surface phone (a Phanos?) is going to cost me approximately 35% more than a 950 or 950XL, and for that price, they better have engineered out the essential weakness of all mobile devices: the bad things that happen when you drop it out of your lap or hand getting out of your car at the grocery store.  Or [insert similar inevitable disaster here].   I just don't know if I want to carry that much anxiety around in my pocket, but admittedly that is how I feel about my mobile devices now. 
  • This is the perpetual, just a few more months problem. You can always say there is something better coming (the Atom phone is an obvious move) and justify the purchase. These are nice flagships and unless you are dying to run Win32 apps from your phone they only lack snap.
  • "This is the perpetual, just a few more months problem. "
    Agree. But...you have to admit, something magical is happening at Microsoft right now. A renaissance of sorts for OS and now hardware. We cannot just dismiss all of this and not see where it is going to next.
  • MS is certainly positioned to push and surpass apple but I don't buy the idea that this was a Nokia phone or that Panos wasn't interested. I do agree that it isn't Panos quality or stamp on it but he was just as into it. The phone is an evolutionary category now, the surface just hit that mark too.. There's lesser and lesser each year to be excited about. The audience charged up more on the magic surfaces brought and Panos fed of it. But no way was he not happy with those phones.
  • I think they are just getting started.
  • Great article Daniele. I though so too but I still can't skip Lumia 950XL. LOL. It is an amazing device.   I have Lumia 930 and I am going to give it to my mom when I get Lumia 950XL. My sister loves her 730 too much and don't want to change to another phone. LOL
  • 550 looks good but a 5 mp camera? My 920 beats that plus has a dedicated button. I'll wait for the Surface phone as the 950 and XL are just too pricey for an interim phone.
  • This is not justifies very poor coverage of those devices from WC.
    Keep your wet dreams of surface phone to yourself and represent what we get today with 950's
  • Or, I'll do what I want :P
  • This is just a feedback, you know. I can't believe this article came from a person carrying 930/1520 You must be sitting comfortably on i6 or S6 to say "just wait another year, REAL thing will come"
    This is disconnection, kind of.
  • @Viktar H, look it is what it is. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Plus it's not a cult... use what you want... Eash.
  • Good write up Daniel, nice to see the team picking up the quality gauntlet which IMO dropped quite a bit in recent months. I personally appreciate this type/style of articles. It's more enjoyable to read and feels more in-line with the new Microsoft way of presenting things which appears less about specs and numbers and more about why and how.
  • So what? Obviously 950/950XL will be the best phone for quite some time.
    Going to get one of them, not going to wait for a, "maybe someday in a not defined future there will be", Surface phone.
  • Windows Phone resuming in 12 months..............
  • This article will drop WP share ww. (encourage people!!!!!!, article 100% true)
  • WP shares? I don't think you know how business works.
  • I disagree with that... The Lumia 950 is the phone Microsoft needs now.. A phone with all the engineering of a surface would need a expensive process to create and Microsoft is not in a position to sell a expensive phone... Microsoft needs to first bring the developers (project Astoria/island wood/whatever) and then they can create a phone to compete with  iPhone... In the surface case... Windows have the market to accept a premium tablet/laptop  
  • Look we have reached a point were iterative design is now an annual event. It's no longer something that happens every two to three years. Will there be a x86 phone? Absolutely. Is there a need for such a device? In the grand scheme of things, yes. As tech needs to move forward, if humanity is going to progress. It will not happen if we stay stationary. How useful is it? Not much, as of yet maybe in 18-24 months. Because by then we will have all the bridges in play and the landscape will changed once again. If this x86 phone is going to replace a PC it is going need be a hell of alot efficient in terms power drain. A phone is a untethered device. A PC is not. Not to mention it must have a universal LTE radio and beat ARM in every conceivable way.
  • Have a nap for a few hours and it all blows up again lol. Rather concerned about x86 on a phone, sure it sounds amazing but how will it perform? Like the first gen netbooks or going to be super crazy, my guess it's the latter BUT there is not doubt going to be delays if it's going to be super crazy. Maybe next year we will see DX12 support on phones. It will also have to have a universal gsm LTE support, given the demand for this will be huge. However most importantly it has to beat ARM in terms of power efficiency. Personally I see no reason for a x86 phone at all, maybe to incorporate the realsense camera. Beyond that? We have tablets, laptops, 2-in-1s already, which by 2016/2017 would have increased in numbers as it has y-o-y. The world's population is increasing not decreasing. Never the less this is just a natural evolution of computing, we've gone from punch cards, floppy disks the size of peoples heads holding KB of data, to full pc's powered over hdmi and msd cards holding 200 gig. Everything has become smaller, so this was a given and inevitable due to past trends. I have no doubt we will see biological computing perhaps on a cellular level in the distant future.
  • I'm just waiting for the release dates and warranty details. And yes they did miss a very important detail. A high output Qi charger. One that would act as a stand would be nice. Oh and a car mount model. The mount might not be as important with the removable battery though. Looking forward to the features of the Band 2. I would have perferred a larger screen but the heart rate and sleep monitors are things I am very interested in. The Canadian conversion is WOW OMG.
  • They do (did?) have one with a stand. It's called the DT-910. I have 2 of them and they're great! They even have a little scallop at the bottom to direct the sound forward in speakerphone mode. I have one on my nightstand and with glance it's. A great clock. Not sure why it didn't catch on.
  • As long as I can use Remote Desktop App on Continuum then I'll be able to access the x86 apps I want from my rig at home.
  • That's what I plan doing. If the phone is going to replace my laptop. It's going to have to run something like fruity loops without frying itself lol. However there isn't a chance that's going to happen with the 1st Gen. Maybe third, I'd be surprised if it's the second. But yeah, a PC is much more extensible (upgradeable graphics) for a phone to replace a PC it needs to be as extensible at the minimum (a graphics dock that works in tandem with the phone) etc.
  • It's not coming out May but a year from now.
  • i largely agree, but the bit: "The Microsoft hardware team clearly agonizes over minute details in their creations" can Microsoft honestly claim Band v1 was a part-nokia project? if not, then MS is to blame for the absolute lack of agonizing over minute detail in the materials and longevity of the band v1, something i hasten to add that would never have happened, had it actually been made by nokia, whose products were sometimes legendary for their robustness and materials application. largely speaking, a first generation, of a new consumer device, have been built at a loss, no expense spared, to showcase the new product to the Nth degree, and of incredible quality, thinking of the first apple iphone as one example - then each generation tends to recoup that expenditure with cost savings and cheaper production runs/materials etc shame that MS's agonizing attention to detail don't give me that impression as a microsoft band owner, shame that first gen band owners, might feel like testers for their now roadworthy device, the band V2! - no wonder i see comments on the forum, of "can we part exchange our bands toward the V2" (never gonna happen btw!) - but as naive as it is, maybe those whose well looked after bands, fell apart in a few months, should indeed be entitle to a deal on the v2 now they are apparently all about "pure" MS devices.
  • I see the Band as a v1.5
  • I don't know why you're all panicking over Dan's article in regards to "waiting it out." Iphone users have to do this and buy a new phone EVERY YEAR; and you guys are stressing about a flagship we've been waiting an eternity for!
  • I'll take 'em.
  • I'll also take a Surface Phone if it materializes. 
  • All I hear is we need to wait some more. Plus if they are charging a arm and a leg for the 950's can you imagine what a Surface phone will cost. I will keep a W10 mid-range phone to keep up with the system but my next daily driver will be an Android phone. The world can't wait forever.
  • developing a new operating system, integrating it across devices and pioneering the ability to run apps from other OS's in one IDE doesn't happen....ummm fast. 
  • Daniel, I disagree with you. Are you telling me Microsoft had no input and that these are nokia leftovers? That's ridiculous because it would mean we are talking about tech that is more than a year old. That is not the case. It would mean there was no development for over a year. This phone is largely developed by Microsoft. Of course they used leftovers from Nokia, who wouldn't? Microsoft has had over a year to have had a large input on these devices. You are all interpreting it wrong. The reason why not much attention was paid to the phones was because:
    A. We already knew everything about them.
    B. Windows mobile is not ready, too risky to show stuff.
    C. Nobody except windows phone fans are interested in their phones, doesn't matter how great they are. People who use iPhones or Galaxies won't jump ship. But people do jump ship for a surface. Why? Because windows 10 has a mature ecosystem. Windows 10 mobile has not. The reason why they don't pay much attention to phones is because they want to grow the phone business in a later stage. They take a reverse path to finally lead people to use windows phones. Maybe in 4 years. Until then they will focus on apps everywhere and on surfaces because that is a hole in the market.
    This all stands apart from the Lumia 950 and 950XL being top flagship premium phones. They are. They have almost everything you could wish for. Except no metal housing. Are you kidding me? Metal sucks.
    You are talking this phone down for no reason. Because of articles like these even fans won't buy these phones and Microsoft will have another reason to invest less in these kind of phones.
    Wait until you get these phones with a more polished w10m. They will blow your mind.
    You better buy one because I promise you the 'surface' phones are not going to supersede these flagships. They will fit a different category. People will regret not getting a 950 when they find out.
  • If they convert to x86 phones they can kill of windows mobile without killing off windows phones. They would truly have one windows version on all devices.
  • Hey guys, cmon, just because dan says so doesn't mean its so. So should i now say to iphone users, wait for iphone7, save up, next year its gonna be d bomb, and wen its out i'll say again, wait fir iPhone 7s and so on, bottom line is ders always more to come. Dats life for u da. So who wants to buy should buy and who doesn't want to and don't have anything meaningful to write should go and look bush, instead of reading btw lines, but bliv me wen i say dis, d whole world stopped for these phones, they are beasts.
  • I think Microsoft did it purposely because if they made a surface phone by now means it would be expensive and people wont buy it so they made a polycarbonate phone and want to check how people respond to their new phones . In India normally people wont knew abt any Lumia phones until they were used by their friends but iam telling this is the phone which made many people to look at this before sales and I think this is itself a big achievement by Microsoft. Hope I will see many people using 950 devices in India :-)
  • There are too many clues that make me think those phones are not the atomic bomb from Microsoft, first of all the leaked photos and press images...microsoft was able to take hidden surface 3, band 1, hololens , surface pro 4 and the new shiny surface book....and not a phone?
    Microsoft knows that lumia 950/xl are not what people expected, and increase interest with leaked images.
    I think that "if oem doesn't make windows phone they will" is the exact thing that happened with the first surface: They showed how power microsoft is and that they had enough of waiting oem to make something interesting. At first oem were angry and scared, but after that they follow the same line and let microsoft try something new at its own risk and take all the advantages. I bet this will be happen again
  • Microsoft should fix the OS first then we can be like apple... Nokia made killing hardware, the problem was Windows OS, I barely get notifications, is ridicules stupid, viber, WhatsApp, facebook messenger. A loyal fan of Nokia and Windows, but septic on gm the mobile OS.
  • Probably. Why it matter? You coming out?
  • I tink the os windows store is a more valid argument here, otherwise it's hardware it simply innovating
  • Microsoft has talked about putting the x86 apps in a wrapper and distributing them through the store. Would that make those x86 apps universal or would they still require an intel chip?
  • I think Dan just put in words what a lot of us were thinking. It hadn't occurred to me that these phones would STILL be relics of the Nokia era. That seems like FOREVER ago. I was assuming that they were choosing the Lumia design language for some reason. I am looking forward to seeing what Microsoft can REALLY do with a phone design.
  • And they have, liqiud cooling, 2tb expandable storage, iris scanner, continuum, cortana etc, na wetin u dey fine again, fridge for inside d fone?
  • There was an article at Engadget couple years ago that it takes roughly 12-18 months to bring a phone from drawing board to market..
  • The next flagship shoul dbe rebranded and redesigned as Surface Phone. Why has Microsoft not come up it it yet?
  • Window 10 mobile aren't crucial in the eye of Microsoft, because people are their center focus. Regardless of what devices e.g apple, android, or Lumia that people use, all can run MS apps.  You can work at home or office and continue on with any devices.  That's powerful and assuming more and more going to window 10 route.  But... if you choose windows 10 mobile, it will be customized as far as services go like universal apps, Cortana (hey cortana), Continuum, hopefully surface pen on lumia etc.  In other words, if someone chooses an iPhone 6, it won't hurt MS a bit because as long as that person use office, then he need to have office 365.
  • He was saying not to buy one because he's working on the surface phone...drops mike