Microsoft’s new Lumia phones boast facial recognition, liquid cooling

Microsoft's new flagships have finally arrived. Photo: Microsoft

Microsoft’s new flagships have finally arrived. Photo: Microsoft

Microsoft hopes to tempt you away from Android and iOS with a pair of flagship smartphones that boast built-in facial recognition and liquid cooling.

The Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL scan your eyes instead of your fingerprints for lightning-fast unlocking, and they’re the first smartphones on the market powered by Windows 10.

Microsoft’s new devices, which were announced this morning at an event in New York City, are the first flagship Lumia devices it has introduced since acquiring the business from Nokia last year. And Windows fans will agree they were worth the wait.

The biggest selling point for the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL is Windows Hello. Introduced to PCs this summer with Windows 10, the feature allows users to unlock their new smartphones simply by looking at them, thanks to Intel RealSense technology.

The Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL also use liquid cooling technology, which isn’t something you’ll find in rival devices. This ensures both devices stay incredibly cool even under heavy loads, which is particularly important for the 950 XL.

The Lumia 950 family boasts a 20-megapixel camera with triple LED flash. Photo: Microsoft

The Lumia 950 family boasts a 20-megapixel camera with triple LED flash. Photo: Microsoft

That’s because the 950 XL is powered by Qualcomm’s octa-core Snapdragon 810 processor, which has been known to overheat under heavy load. It also sports a 5.7-inch Quad HD OLED display that packs 518 pixels-per-inch.

The Lumia 950 has a smaller 5.2-inch display, but offers the same Quad HD resolution at 564 pixels-per-inch. It also packs a hexa-core Snapdragon 808 chip.

Both devices also feature a 20-megapixel rear-facing camera with Carl Zeiss optics, a triple LED flash, and optical image stabilization. They also feature dedicated camera buttons, so you can begin shooting instantly when you want to capture that special moment.

The Lumia 950 family also comes with 32GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot that supports cards up to 2GB in size, and USB-C connectivity.

Another feature these smartphones bring, thanks to those powerful specifications, is the ability to act as a PC. You can connect them to Microsoft’s new Display Dock, then plug in a keyboard, mouse, and monitor, and they provide a true desktop computing experience.

The Display Dock also has three additional USB ports for things like storage drives and other peripherals.

Sure, Microsoft’s new smartphones run Windows, which means they don’t have the App Store or Google Play. But Microsoft is hoping that with the help of those innovative new features, they can compete with rival devices running more popular operating systems.

The Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL go on sale next month, starting at $549 and $649 respectively.