A pretty face hides a very budget Windows phone – CNET

11 months ago Comments Off on A pretty face hides a very budget Windows phone – CNET


It’s not quite cheap and cheerful, but Microsoft’s newest Windows Phone, the Lumia 650, definitely has its eye on the bottom line.

With a 5-inch OLED screen and an aluminium frame, the Lumia 650 is just $200/£160, making it significantly cheaper than the Lumia 950 and 950 XL while still looking like a million bucks. (That’s around AU$280 converted, but no official word on Austalian pricing yet.)

It might seem a little counter-intuitive. After all, the 950 and 950 XL felt like budget products thanks to that plastic casing, despite being seriously high-end under the hood.

The Lumia 650 comes from the other direction, with a premium look that belies a very mid-range phone. Sure, that plastic back comes off, but that’s so you can get to the Micro SD slot and removable battery, which are both nice things to have in a phone these days. But at this price, you’re not packing in the top-of-the-line components.

  • 5-inch OLED display at 1,280×720 resolution
  • 142 mm by 70.9 mm by 6.9 mm and 122 g (5.5 by 2.8 by 0.27 inches and 4.3oz)
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16 GB storage with Micro SD Card up to 200GB Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 quad-core processor running at 1.3 GHz
  • 2,000 mAh
  • Category 4 LTE
  • 8-megapixel rear camera and 5MP front facing

What’s missing?

Continuum is arguably the killer feature of Windows 10 phones, letting you get a PC-like experience when you connect your device to a big screen. The 650 doesn’t support Continuum. It doesn’t even have the USB-C port you’d need if you wanted to use the Microsoft Display Dock accessory, instead having Micro USB for charging and connectivity.

That Snapdragon 212 CPU won’t be setting any speed records and 2,000mAh is not the largest battery either, although the low-resolution screen and aforementioned chipset aren’t exactly power hungry.



Who’s going to use it?

In launching the phone, Microsoft hyped up its enterprise and business capabilities, but support for Continuum would have added a bigger benefit for business users. Instead the phone seems firmly aimed at the budget conscious looking for a ‘my first Windows Phone’ experience.

Personally I’d like to see Microsoft get a solid Windows flagship to wow the crowds before popping out $200 phones, but that means I’m clearly not the core audience here.

The Microsoft Lumia 650 comes in matte white or black and is available in ‘select European countries’ right now, with no call on US availability and an Australian price and launch date to be “shared soon”.

A pretty face hides a very budget Windows phone – CNET