Lumia 950, Lumia 950 XL price, release date: prices slashed in U.K., France; shipping for U.K. begins Dec. 3

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The latest flagship smartphones from Microsoft, the Lumia 950 and the Lumia 950 XL, are now available for pre-order, with some markets even slashing the price to sweeten the deal. 

The price cuts come at around the 6 to 7 percent range for the unlocked version. In the U.K., the Lumia 950 is offered at around $619, down from $660; while the Lumia 950 XL is now priced at $700 from $715.

Earlier trending in the United Kingdom, France is also reportedly offering discounts for the pre-order. The Lumia 950 is being offered in France at 562.6 Euro from its original price of 599 Euro, while the Lumia 950 XL’s price is cut down to 649 Euro from 699 Euro, said WM Power User

However, only the handset in color black is discounted for the Lumia 950, while both the black and white colors for the Lumia 950 XL are offered at a lower price.

The shipping of the pre-orders starts on Dec. 3 for the U.K., while the timing in France has yet to be confirmed. 

In some aspects, both handsets offer the same features. For instance, inside the hood is the latest operating system from Microsoft, Windows 10. Both devices have iris-scanning technology to support Windows Hello, which enables users to unlock the gadget at a glance. Both handsets also house 3 GB RAM, 32 GB internal storage that can be expanded through an external microSD card, and a 20-megapixel shooter that features the Carl Zeiss optics and triple LED flash. 

In other facets, the Lumia 950 XL clearly dominates over its smaller sibling as it is the higher-end device. In its size alone, the Lumia 950 comes with a 5.2-inch screen while the Lumia 950 XL comes with a bigger phablet size of 5.7 inches. In terms of power, the Lumia 950 runs on a hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor while the Lumia 950 XL houses a more powerful octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 CPU. 

The Lumia 950 and the Lumia 950 XL are receiving the nods of smartphone fans because of the performance they promise to deliver. Although it is unclear why there are discounts being offered in some European markets at the initial launch, this may be a strategy to take an upper hand in a world full of smartphone options.