Microsoft’s Lumia 950 is the company's latest attempt to make a dent in the smartphone market -- something it hasn't been able to do in the past. It comes up against some of the biggest players in the handset market, namely Apple’s iPhone 6S and the Samsung Galaxy S6.
Here’s a look at how the Lumia 950 stacks up against both devices.
Screen Size and Resolution
The Lumia 950 comes packed with the largest screen of the bunch at 5.2 inches diagonally and a 2,560-by-1,440-pixel QHD resolution. While the Galaxy S6 sports the same resolution display, it’s slightly smaller at 5.1 inches. The iPhone 6S comes in as the smallest of the bunch in both respects, with its 4.7-inch display at 1,334-by-750-pixel resolution. While the iPhone 6S doesn’t win in the pixel department, it comes with 3D Touch technology, which detects how much pressure is applied to the screen. Combined with iOS 9, the feature can be used to preview messages or launch shortcuts from apps.
The Lumia 950 has the largest battery of the three, at 3,000 mAh. The Galaxy S6 comes in second with its 2,550 mAh battery and the iPhone 6S comes in last with its 1715 mAh battery -- a decrease in size from previous models. But keep in mind that how that translates to real-world device time depends on a number of factors, such as software optimization and how the device is used.
The Lumia 950 is the latest smartphone to sport a reversible USB Type-C connector. The Galaxy S6 comes with the popular micro USB and the iPhone 6S uses Apple’s lightning connector. USB Type-C is intended to replace micro USB for future devices. But for now only a handful of smartphones and laptops use the USB Type-C, such as the 12-inch Apple MacBook, Google Chromebook Pixel, Pixel C tablet, Nexus 5X, 6P and OnePlus 2.
When the Lumia 950 is connected to a Microsoft Display Dock accessory, it can be used as a Windows 10 desktop computer. Neither the Galaxy S6 nor the iPhone 6S has this option for Android or OS X.
Winner: Well, Microsoft
The Lumia 950 comes with 32GB of internal storage, and customers looking for more room can expand it with an SD card. The Galaxy S6 starts at 32GB but doesn’t come with support for expandable storage, and the iPhone 6S is the smallest of the bunch, with a base storage of 16GB.
At 20 megapixels, the Lumia 950 boasts the largest number of image sensor pixels out of the three smartphones and also comes with optical image stabilization for steadier video and better low light shots. That’s well above the 16MP sensor of the Galaxy S6, which also comes with OIS and far larger than the 12MP sensor of the iPhone 6S, which doesn’t come with an optical image stabilizer. On paper the Lumia 950 would appear that it could capture more details compared to the other two devices. But shoppers will have to wait for real-world tests to see how well it fares. The front-facing cameras of each smartphone come in at 5 megapixels.
Winner: On megapixels, Microsoft
A unique feature of the Lumia 950 is its infrared iris-scanning feature, which lets you unlock the device by just looking at it. In comparison, the Galaxy S6 and the iPhone 6S come with fingerprint sensors for mobile payments and device security.
The Lumia 950 retails for $549. That’s $100 less than Apple’s 16GB iPhone 6S, unsubsidized and unlocked. Samsung’s Galaxy S6 is right in the middle due in part to a price cut that brings it down to $579.99 for the 32GB model. However, prices may vary depending on vendor and location of purchase. The Lumia 950 begins shipping in November.