As part of its reveal of the new Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL, Microsoft has announced the Display Dock, a hardware adapter that lets you use your phone like a desktop Windows PC with keyboard, mice, and a large display. Originally known as the Continuum dock, the new hardware has three USB ports, including USB Type-C, and both HDMI and DisplayPort. You can also plug in a USB drive.
So how does Continuum look? A lot like Windows 10 PC, in fact, but the taskbar is slightly tweaked and there’s a signal bar at the top along with battery and time information. Microsoft showed off the Windows Hello beta run from a new Lumia — that is to say, it’s not the full PC experience, but it’s PC-esque and runs universal Windows 10 apps
Microsoft is officially unveiling the Lumia 950 today. It has been 18 months since the last flagship Windows phone was announced, and the new Lumia 950 is here to help launch Windows 10 Mobile. The Lumia 950 will be available starting November for $549.
Microsoft has opted for a 5.2-inch WQHD (1440 x 2560) OLED display on the Lumia 950, coupled with 3GB of RAM and a Snapdragon 808 processor. That makes it one of the more powerful Windows phones we’ve seen to date, and the first to make use of Qualcomm’s latest processors.
Also, it has liquid cooling. Seriously.
Like previous high-end Lumia devices, Microsoft is focusing on the camera capabilities with the Lumia 950. A 20-megapixel PureView camera (with triple LED flash) will serve as the primary camera; a wide-angle 5-megapixel front-facing camera is also included.
Microsoft says there’s 32GB on both this phone and the larger Lumia 950XL, as well as support for USB Type-C.
Microsoft’s Lumia 950 will also include support for a new Continuum feature of Windows 10 Mobile. Continuum will turn a phone into a PC by allowing support for a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard, and the ability to connect a device wirelessly to a monitor. Microsoft is adapting the Windows 10 Mobile UI to include a Start Menu and desktop-like interface in this mode, but a lot of the functionality will be powered by built-in apps to begin with. Developers will have to create Windows 10 universal apps to make use of Continuum, so it will take time of the feature to be really useful.
Microsoft’s mobile focus has shifted recently, and it’s clear this particular handset was devised ahead of any decisions on the fate of Nokia’s phone business within the company. The Lumia 950 looks a lot like Microsoft’s previous range of Lumias, and doesn’t really stand out as a unique or flagship Windows phone that you might expect to go head-to-head with the latest iPhone and Samsung offerings.
Except for the whole liquid cooling thing, of course.