New Microsoft Lumia Windows Phones leaked

The long rumoured new flagship (i.e., top of the line) Microsoft Lumia Windows Phones have been leaked. This story is being covered by just about every tech new site on the Web.

While nobody 'really' knows what model number(s) Microsoft will attach to these two new Windows Phones the most popular guess seems to be 950 and 950XL, with the 950 model having a 5.2" screen and the 950XL being a so-called phablet phone with a 5.7" screen.

Shown below (borrowed from the image used by Paul Thurrott on his site www.thurrott.com) is the 950XL model.

I am not going to go through all the leaked specifications of these phones. These are flagship top-of-the-line modern smartphones so they are very well specified. You can find the various lists of specifications on other sites around the Web. However I will cover a few specifications that I thought were worth jotting down.

The first specification that I feel is worth mentioning is the 20MP PureView camera in the 950XL. While we don’t know for sure what Microsoft have done here there is speculation that this camera has the larger 1/1.5 sensor. This is the size of the sensor found in the famous "best smartphone camera ever"—the Lumia 1020. But, even with this awesome camera, the 1020 phone was kind of a failure due to other reasons, such as short battery life (about half a day).

But while the massive (for smartphones) 1/1.5 sensor in the Lumia 1020 was 41MP, the 1/1.5 sensor reported to be in the 950XL is 20MP. This lower megapixel rating should actually make it better than the 1020's 41MP sensor due to the photon-bucket size being bigger (because of the lower pixel density).

The other specification worthy of note is that the 950XL looks like it supports an SD Card. This is quite unusual for a high-end flagship smartphone these days with most manufacturers preferring to add memory to the phone and then jack the price up by about $100 for each model with more memory.

Lastly, the 950XL comes with a 1440 x 2560 QHD screen. This could be good or bad. Higher resolution screens draw more power thereby resulting in shorter battery life. Also numerous tests have shown that the 'average' person cannot detect the difference in clarity or resolution between a 1080 x 1920 HD screen and a 1440 x 2560 QHD screen on a 6" smartphone. So, is it worth drawing that extra power? Personally I don't think so and it could lose Microsoft a lot of sales if driving that QHD screen runs the battery down too fast.

For me the two most important criteria for a smartphone are: fringe area reception (i.e., ability to hold a call in low reception areas—as the whole of Perth metro seems to be a 'low reception area') and battery life. I seriously hope that the 950XL has the antenna and 3G/4G radio configuration that the amazing 640XL has, and that battery life covers at least two days of relatively heavy usage.