DPReview smartphone reviews are written with the needs of photographers in mind. We focus on camera features, performance, and image quality.

When we last reviewed a flagship Lumia device (the 1520), it was still sold under the Nokia name. In the meantime Nokia has sold its device business to Microsoft, but it took a long time for the new owners to come up with a replacement for the 1520. Eventually the first duo of Lumia flagship phones under the Microsoft banner was announced in October 2015. The Lumia 950 and 950 XL differ in size and processor specification but use the same PureView-branded camera.

The latter comes with a 1/2.4"-type 20MP Sony sensor and a Carl Zeiss branded lens with F1.9 maximum aperture. A latest generation optical image stabilization system is keeping things steady and a triple-LED RGB flash aims to avoid undesirable color casts when shooting with flash. As you would expect from a current flagship, 4K video recording is on board as well. At the front a 5MP module with F2.4 aperture is installed for self-portraits and video-chats. 

For this review we used the smaller of the two devices, the Lumia 950, which comes with a 5.2-inch 1440p display and Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 chipset. The 950 XL offers a larger screen, a more powerful Snapdragon 810 chip and a slightly larger battery, but the camera setup is identical to the 950's. Read our full review on the following pages to see how the camera on the new Microsoft device performed in our test. 

Key Photographic / Video Specifications

  • 20MP 1/2.4"-type Sony CMOS sensor 
  • Carl Zeiss branded lens with F1.9 maximum aperture
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 26mm equivalent focal length
  • Triple-LED RGB flash
  • 4K video
  • 5MP / F2.4 front camera
  • Dedicated shutter button

Other Specifications

  • Windows 10 operating system
  • 5.2-inch AMOLED 1440p display (564 ppi)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 SoC
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB storage
  • MicroSD slot
  • 3000 mAh battery

Our 9-page review

We've considered every aspect of the Microsoft Lumia 950 with the photographer in mind. We examined the user interface of the native camera app and its special features. We experimented with the camera's performance when taking stills and video, and had a play with the device's many special feature modes.