Microsoft Lumia 650 Review
Interface and Functionality
Windows 10 has been patched up, but there's still a few breaches in that ship's hull.
When we first experienced Windows 10 on the Lumia 950 & XL last November, the operating system was a mess. It was a bit sluggish, inconsistent, and using it was downright frustrating at times. Thankfully, Microsoft has smoothed out the roughest edges over the last few months, and our first moments with the Lumia 650 made for a smooth sailing.
However, we were puzzled once we got to opening various apps, such as the Office suite or the Calculator. See, rather than heading straight for the app, Windows 10 took us to the Microsoft app store for no apparent reason. The apps were already installed on the device, therefore they ought to work, right?
Not so fast, Speedy Gonzales! First, the phone needs to go through a lengthy app updates queue, which happens in the background without giving you a clue. Anyway, getting around the OS is straightforward and we like the choice of customization options over how certain functions and services work. If there's something you don't like about your experience, chances are you will find a toggle to disable it somewhere in the 'Settings' menu.
Windows 10 is in okay shape now, and works fine for the basic communication and connectivity tasks that the Lumia 650 is designed to pull off.
Processor and memory
The conservative spec sheet delivers a basic level of adequacy and speed with nothing beyond that.
The Lumia 650 is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 212 processor, which comes with four CPU cores ticking at 1.3GHz. It's paired with just 1GB of RAM, but Windows 10 is designed so that modest spec sheets don't put it at a serious performance disadvantage. Moreover, Qualcomm didn't skimp on essential features for its leanest chipset, including support for up-to-date Bluetooth, NFC, and Quick Charge standards. There's also a capable modem in the processor, supporting Cat 4 LTE speeds (150Mbps DL, 50Mbps UL) and all global networks. Storage-wise, we're looking at 16GB of eMMC 4.5 flash memory in the base model.
During use, we were happy not to have any accounts of stutter, lag, and freezes. Windows 10 is reasonably swift in everyday usage, and that goes for the Microsoft Edge web-browser as well. Pages are rendered fairly quick and navigating, zooming, and panning them goes smoothly. App loading times aren't obnoxiously long, although the camera app is a bit slow. App switching happens without strain, although multi-tabbed browsing will make short work of the little available RAM memory. Also, heavy 3D games are completely out of the Lumia 650's reach.