Microsoft Lumia 650 hands-on: well that's a nice entry-level device!

Just a week ago, Microsoft announced the Lumia 650 – a $200 smartphone with lowly specs, but the core Windows 10 package – Office, OneDrive, and Cortana (no Continuum at that price point, though!). The phone is currently only available in select European markets and we were able to get a quick hands-on with it here, at the MWC 2016 show floor. Let's take a close look!

When one hears “a $200 Lumia”, they might be tempted to assume that it's going to be as appealing as a plastic brick and shrug it off as a non-interesting device. If that's you, then the Lumia 650 might surprise you. It's actually a pretty well-built, thin and light device, with a metal frame around its sides for that cool touch. Its removable back is made of plastic, which does feel flimsy to the touch, but the rest of the handset just feels very nice to the touch and it successfully made the impression of an overall solid build.

The handset's screen has a 5-inch diagonal and a 720 x 1280 pixel resolution. It's not crazy-crisp, with a pixel density of 294 ppi, but it's still good enough, considering the class of the smartphone. The screen had a pretty decent max brightness, we thought, though we can't say how it will perform under direct sunlight just yet.

Windows has been famous for being easy on modestly specced smartphones, and we have to say Windows 10 ran decently well for the short time we had with the Lumia 650. There were noticeable stutters here and there, and switching between the cameras was accompanied by a steady delay. We'd also assume that the phone's Snapdragon 212 SoC and 1 GB of RAM wouldn't lend themselves well towards gaming or any heavy apps.

The snappers are also on the modest side, with an 8 MP sensor on the main camera and a 5 MP shooter on the front. Obviously, we didn't have the conditions to put them through their paces, but if the track record of entry-level Lumias is anything to go by, the cameras should be good enough to do the job for the social media sharing, but not so much for prized memorabilia.

The lowly specs may turn off most consumers out there, but the Lumia 650 is made for enterprise clients, with its integration with business applications and on-board Office 365, and Microsoft is clear in that.

Related phones

Lumia 650
  • Display 5.0 inches
    1280 x 720 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP (Single camera)
    5 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 212, 1GB RAM
  • Storage 16GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 2000 mAh
  • OS Windows 10 Mobile



18. dazed1

Posts: 815; Member since: Jul 28, 2015

S212 + 1gb ram? rofllll for 200 you can get RNEP!! 3gb ram, 32, s650 5.5 fhd ips, pdaf 16 mp, 4000 mAh - 9h sot, full metal body, fingerprint microsoft hahaha...

12. 7thspaceman

Posts: 1597; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

This is a Business smart phone folks a lot of businesses do not want to pay 650 to 750 dollars for smart phones for their employees who sometimes break them. this smart phone will drop in price as time goes on then sell OK as a basic Windows 10 mobile smart phone

13. jellmoo

Posts: 2718; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

The problem stems from the fact that are pushing this as a business phone, are pushing Continuum as a business feature, yet this device doesn't support that feature. It creates a weird disconnect.

6. nokia12

Posts: 610; Member since: Nov 19, 2013

Extinct Cortex A7 and 1gb ram in 2016 for 200 $ ?? Lag in WP ?? They need Ballmer to sell this one Enterprise!, Enterprise!, Enterprise!, Enterprise!, Enterprise!, Enterprise!,Enterprise!, Enterprise!, Enterprise!, Enterprise!,Enterprise!, Enterprise!, Enterprise!, Enterprise! Come on !!!

5. jellmoo

Posts: 2718; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Microsoft needs to bridge the gap between the 650 and 950. There needs to be a budget conscious device that is capable and offers good performance. The 650 is lacking some of the higher profile features of Windows 10, and that's a shame when you need to promote your platform.

8. Subie

Posts: 2477; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

I'm guessing there will be an 850 coming. Lets hope they at least put a 600 series Snapdragon in it.

4. Bambule

Posts: 10; Member since: Sep 22, 2015

Entry level....but midend price...especially in europe

2. Furbal unregistered

MS should be ashamed of itself for giving the 950/xl the piss poor build quality they did, then releasing this.

3. Hashed unregistered

Seems they are working so hard to shoot themselves in the foot.

7. Well-Manicured-Man

Posts: 735; Member since: Jun 16, 2015

The bad Lumia 950ies as well as the 650 are evidence for me that Microsoft is focusing its energy on something else. I am pretty sure that Microsoft is working on some kind of a Surface Phone line-up that will replace the Lumia series. The devices we see today are just gap-fillers which Microsoft has to release in order to avoid complete obsolescence in the market until the surface phones are ready.

9. htcisthebest

Posts: 440; Member since: Nov 15, 2011

How do you know for sure? I mean I wanted to see the Surface Phone too, but I hope this is not just wishful thinking.

10. Furbal unregistered

That is one reason I returned my 950xl, there is no way they can justify that price for what the phone is. Wait for something better.

11. Plutonium239

Posts: 1266; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

MS likely released the 950/xl as the last remnants of Nokia flagship design and they knew HP was working on the Elite X3. MS did not disappoint on the hardware and software features, but the design is fairly basic, which I don't have an issue with. Aside from the basic design, polycarbonate is a better material than metal anyways, and it is even more expensive.

19. jontaylor07

Posts: 169; Member since: Oct 12, 2015

I agree. Releasing a $500 high-end with plastic body, then a $200 entry-level with metal is typical Nokia. By which I mean, inconsistent, no two phones in a row have predictable features or build. It's like they just throw design ideas against the wall and hope something sticks.

21. Plutonium239

Posts: 1266; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

I disagree that the "plastic" is low end however, its high end and pretty much the ideal build material for the phone body/chassis. It feels great in the hand, not too grippy, not too slippery, it resists scratches better than metal or glass, it doesn't dent or ding, it doesn't cause RF interference, and it is more expensive. Polycarbonate is the best build material.

20. microsoftnokiawin

Posts: 1268; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

have you held a Lumia 950xl in real life ???

1. htcisthebest

Posts: 440; Member since: Nov 15, 2011

Microsoft keeps teasing about a phone with ground-breaking technology..but we never heard any evidence about that yet. What's going on?

14. shimanto1123

Posts: 105; Member since: Nov 20, 2014

offering a SD 212 smartphone at $200, that is ground-breaking.

15. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

this one is most useless $200 phone on 2016

16. S.R.K.

Posts: 678; Member since: Feb 11, 2016

That is rip off. 1gb Ram and S200 should not exist.

17. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

Even samsung can make phone with better spec at that price.. What the hell.

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