Today, Microsoft announced what is expected to be the final Lumia smartphone, the Microsoft Lumia 650. The US$200.00 phone is being used by the Redmond, Wash. technology company to entice business users to try out the long-awaited Windows 10 Mobile platform. No release date has been set for the Lumia 650 within the United States, but it is expected that the device will be available in key European markets within the week.
The Lumia 650 mostly follows traditional Lumia aesthetics, with the main exception being the addition of medal trim around the device. Lumias are known for being fully polycarbonate without any metal accents or trim, so the addition of metal flair is a relief to some long-time Windows fans and a bane to others that prefer the minimalist (and very utilitarian!) plastic. Available in both black and white color variants, Microsoft seems to be continuing its trend of limiting color choice as first experienced with the release of the Windows 10 Mobile flagships, the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL. The recent color limitations are in direct opposition to Nokia’s former handing of the Lumia line before selling it, when colors a varied as cyan, lime green, and neon orange could all be found with ease in the product lineup.
The specific technology inside the Lumia 650 is exactly what you’d expect from a low-to-mid range phone, but what the initial specs lack, the device makes up for in adaptability. For instance, sporting only 16GB of internal storage is offset by the ability to utilize the most cutting edge removable 200 GB SD cards. Similarly, the mediocre 2000 mAh battery is replaceable thanks to a removable backplate, just as you’d expect from a Lumia device.
With a 1.3 Ghz quad-core Snapdragon 212 processor, 5” AMOLED clear black screen, and dual cameras (8MP rear, 5MP front), the Lumia 650 is almost directly in line with other $200 phones such as the Android powered Moto G or Asus ZenPhone 2. The one area where the Lumia 650 truly falls short of its Android competitors is with on-board memory. The Lumia 650 only features 1 GB of RAM without any larger memory model variants available.
As previously mentioned, it is expected that the Lumia 650 will be the last in the Lumia product line. Microsoft has not confirmed or denied that common belieft, and any elimination of the Lumia line is mere speculation. Industry observers suggest that Lumias may be replaced by a Surface line of phones to capitalize on the success of Microsoft’s Surface tablet lineup. It is also speculated, without being taken as seriously as the previous suggestion, that Microsoft may exit the mobile hardware business in favor or relying solely on OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) such as Asus, HP, Samsung, Lenovo, and others to manufacture any devices smaller than Microsoft’s Surface tablets.
What are your thoughts on the Lumia 650? Post your ideas and feedback in the comments below, and be sure to follow me on Twitter @ChaseRaz.