Introduction


Last November, Microsoft launched the Lumia 950 and 950 XL to debut Windows 10 on smartphones. With muscular spec sheets, the duo took aim at the higher-end price segment, leaving Windows 10 out of reach for budget-minded buyers. Six months later, Redmond introduced an affordable option, the Lumia 650. Featuring a slim design and markedly lean hardware, we're intrigued whether the handset is compromised in any way, punches above its weight, or simply delivers the essentials and nothing more. The answer might surprise you.

Design

A simple, understated Lumia phone that's a bit taller than needed.

The Lumia 650 has borrowed understated, rectangular-shaped DNA strands from the design gene pool. Its unassuming looks aren't ones to fall head over heels with, but they don't irritate with any excess, annoyances, or baffling choices. It features a glass front, a metal frame, and a removable plastic back plate.

Removing and re-attaching the back panel is easy and secure, providing access to the battery, nanoSIM tray, and microSD card slot. The metal frame is sturdy and it won't torment your palms with sharp edges. The phone itself isn't feather-light, but its weight is evenly distributed. It handles fairly well for a 5-incher, although the top and bottom bezels are long-ish, making the handset taller than desirable. The power and volume keys are placed on the right and respond tightly, without wobbling or mushing it up.

As a whole, build quality is solid on the Lumia 650, although the utilitarian look won't win fashion awards.


Microsoft Lumia 650

Microsoft Lumia 650

Dimensions

5.59 x 2.79 x 0.27 inches

142 x 70.9 x 6.9 mm

Weight

4.30 oz (122 g)

Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (4.7

Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (4.7")

Dimensions

5.3 x 2.59 x 0.3 inches

134.6 x 65.9 x 7.55 mm

Weight

3.88 oz (110 g)

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)

Dimensions

5.7 x 2.8 x 0.29 inches

144.8 x 71 x 7.3 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 g)

Honor 5X

Honor 5X

Dimensions

5.96 x 3 x 0.32 inches

151.3 x 76.3 x 8.15 mm

Weight

5.57 oz (158 g)

Microsoft Lumia 650

Microsoft Lumia 650

Dimensions

5.59 x 2.79 x 0.27 inches

142 x 70.9 x 6.9 mm

Weight

4.30 oz (122 g)

Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (4.7

Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (4.7")

Dimensions

5.3 x 2.59 x 0.3 inches

134.6 x 65.9 x 7.55 mm

Weight

3.88 oz (110 g)

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)

Dimensions

5.7 x 2.8 x 0.29 inches

144.8 x 71 x 7.3 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 g)

Honor 5X

Honor 5X

Dimensions

5.96 x 3 x 0.32 inches

151.3 x 76.3 x 8.15 mm

Weight

5.57 oz (158 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page


Display

A strong, though not exceptional showcase of what an AMOLED screen can do in an affordable device.

The Lumia 650 presents a 5-inch AMOLED screen with a 720 x 1280 resolution that falls short in some aspects. Images look crisp and colors are reasonably accurate right off the bat, save for the seriously skewed greens. Thankfully, the phone lets you tune the display's color temperature and color saturation to your liking, so tweak at will! The peak brightness output of 340 nits isn't anything to write home about, but using the Lumia 650 under bright light poses no issue. The minimum brightness of 5 nits is okay for not searing your retinas during bed reading. Viewing angles are fine, with no noticeable color, brightness, or contrast distortions. There's also an 'Always-On' feature that shows you the current time, date, and event notifications. As a whole, the display is of good quality.



FEATURED VIDEO

24 Comments

3. Shocky unregistered

The tile interface still looks like a mess to me, just glad I don't have to deal with it on desktops anymore. Generous score imo, some better spec'ed Chinese phones didn't even score this much.

4. SIGPRO

Posts: 2815; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

You know you can customize the tiles right?

11. alierna

Posts: 15; Member since: Apr 06, 2016

yeah you can make it like anything you want

5. sergiobr

Posts: 718; Member since: Feb 25, 2013

Horrible camera ! What did they do with Nokia legacy ?????

7. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

photo results are fine for low-end phone... but its video has perma-quake -_-

12. alierna

Posts: 15; Member since: Apr 06, 2016

if camera is important for you and you have budget problem go for lumia 640 xl, lumia 830 or 730. or if you want an high end phone lumia 950, 950xl, 1520 and 930 are available for you

18. sergiobr

Posts: 718; Member since: Feb 25, 2013

I'm a owner of a Nokia 808 and after that I bought a Lumia 1020. I got disappointed with 1020. A lot of problems with this. 808 was the last good Nokia, now I'm using Note 5 and satisfied.

6. GreenMan

Posts: 2697; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

PhoneArena: You should've tried Lumia Camera App... The default camera app is HORRIBLE! Oh, well... 6 is kinda low, though... VERY low... It may not have killer hardware, but the OS runs fluidly even on humble hardware... Windows 10 Mobile on Snapdragon 820 would be a DUO to be reckoned with!

24. EcoCare

Posts: 444; Member since: Jul 30, 2014

For your information Lumia Camera is replaced with the default camera itself. Even if it runs the OS fluidly with the lowest end processor, it still proves that Microsoft is stingy. They could have given it at least the 400 series given the price tag and it would have been equally fast as mid-range Android handsets. I mean seriously, for roughly $290 one could get Galaxy A3 2016 for similar price and do more stuff than a Windows phone could. Unless a hardcore Windows fan, I see no reason for people to buy Windows phone right now.

8. Acdc1a

Posts: 473; Member since: Jan 21, 2016

It seems pretty clear that Microsoft has abandoned the platform for this year. Maybe with the Zune Phone...errr...Surface Phone they'll get their act together.

9. drifter77

Posts: 400; Member since: Jun 12, 2015

So now every review that comes out of PA is missing the battery section? Where are the benchmarks for battery life?

10. alierna

Posts: 15; Member since: Apr 06, 2016

windows mobile is in perfect situation now. it was updated 2 times already and everything is smooth. there will be future updates too. so there is nothing to worry about. everything is smooth as it was on windows 8.1. the app situation is really getting better with universal apps. all the good apps are coming. they are not making app for 10 million people anymore. they are making a single app and sell it over 4 platforms for more than 500 million buyers. not old buyers who paid once (like in android and ios) new buyers who are thirsty to buy their apps. so everything is amazing. buy this phone. i have last years model and i'm happy with it.

14. StarlessAndBibleBlack

Posts: 4; Member since: Apr 13, 2016

My Lumia 640 is laggy sh** after upgrade and updates. What did I do wrong?

13. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3122; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

"There's also an 'Always-On' feature that shows you the current time, date, and event notifications." It's called "Glance" and Lumias had it long before Samsung. Do your S7 reviews call for a "Glance-like" feature? Tighten up PA!

15. fistashka

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 13, 2016

Hey guys, what about screen brightness? Did you use manual mode again, as it was with lumia 925? In manual mode max brightness is two times lower than maximum brightness in Auto mode.

22. jontaylor07

Posts: 169; Member since: Oct 12, 2015

Of course they didn't bother to test this accurately. It's a Windows phone so there's no point in their giving it a thorough review when they'll give it a low score due to not being Samsung or Apple anyway.

16. jellmoo

Posts: 2562; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

How on earth did this score the same as the Honor 5x?

17. jonathonpower7

Posts: 49; Member since: Mar 09, 2016

There is big difference between Lumia mobile and android mobile... I bought Lumia 520 on 2014 jan it will be work fine to till... But my friends are buying 2 and 3 android mobiles in this period... Lumia 650 is my next mobile...

19. chancooluk

Posts: 20; Member since: Sep 13, 2015

Clearly PhoneArena didn't bother to update the OS or apps on the Lumia 650. The initially installed version of the camera app has issues on the 650, however, it was updated 4 weeks ago to fix the video problems (the app has been updated again since, multiple times). I really hope that they didn't use OS build 10586.11 that comes pre-installed on the 650, instead of updating it to .164 or .218. Their experience would have been so much better. Oh well. I have never trusted Phone Arena reviews. This just gives me even more reason not to.

20. luis.d

Posts: 354; Member since: Dec 04, 2013

Everything updated prior to review, including OS and applications.

21. killer7D

Posts: 550; Member since: Sep 18, 2014

what is the major difference between this phone and the Lumia 625 which is 3 years old or even older??

23. jontaylor07

Posts: 169; Member since: Oct 12, 2015

Pros: Good camera, good build quality, good battery life, display. Cons: Windows OS, which we don't like. 6/10. I'm not surprised by this, but honestly for those who aren't married to an OS the Windows mobile phones are some of the best low-to-mid phones.

25. profperez1

Posts: 76; Member since: May 08, 2012

I just started using this phone. Pretty nice. Very light weight---if you are actually working at your job---can't kill this battery. Took a great photo in doors---but having also owned the 6s I can't argue that most cameras you don't pay $900 for sketchy. There are a couple of apps I miss---but I am working around it fine. I don't need 10,000 flashlight apps! The specs are terrible and before I started using it---I thought I would have to return it! But it's very fast!

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Lumia 650
  • Display 5.0" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 212, Quad-core, 1300 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2000 mAh

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