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Microsoft Lumia 650 review

6.5/10 AVG.
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Microsoft Lumia 650
Microsoft Lumia 650
Microsoft Lumia 650
Microsoft Lumia 650

Informr score
The Microsoft Lumia 650 currently has an Informr score of 6.5 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 18 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Vivid colors and deep blacks
  • Good battery life
  • Good performance for basic tasks
  • Premium design

What's bad

  • Lack of apps
  • Very grainy low light pictures

The Lumia lineup has been known more for its fun color options than its premium build, but Microsoft hopes to change that with the Lumia 650. While still mostly made of plastic, the 650 utilizes a soft-touch matte for smoother finish and a brushed aluminum frame for sturdiness. Reporters describe it as "lovely" although they didn't miss the obvious iPhone 5 inspiration with its chamfered edges. What impressed them the most, however, was its incredibly thin (0.27 inches) profile and light weight (122 grams). Many were impressed with how light it was though some mentioned it took away from that 'premium' feel.

Spanning the majority of the front is the 5-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 for a pixel density of 297ppi. While technically not a full HD screen, reviewers still consider it a fairly sharp display. Thanks to the ClearBlack technology, they were able to get incredibly inky blacks, which brought out the vividness of the onscreen colors. For the most part, they had no qualms with the viewing angles or sunlight legibility for the most part.

As a lower end handset, the Lumia 650 doesn't have the latest in processor technology or a lot of RAM. It does come with a reasonable 1.3GHz quad-core processor and only 1 GB of RAM. On paper this might seem incredibly weak, but critics were quite surprised at its decent performance. While they warn gaming isn't its strong point, especially with power-hungry 3D games, it worked fairly well for more basic tasks like checking email and browsing the web though they did notice some extended load times. MS Power User ads, "If you are happy with the decent-enough performance and [don't] do a lot of gaming, the Lumia 650 should be a pretty good device for you." Battery life is quite good with critics able to get a full day with moderate usage.

As for the camera it, like the processor, was perfectly adequate for the price. The 8MP rear camera didn't wow experts, but it didn't have any glaring issues either. Their daylight pictures came out detailed and colorful and, as expected, low light images were fairly noisy. And while they had some issues with the autofocus, they add that for the price the camera itself performs well enough to post pictures to social media. It also comes with a 5MP selfie camera that experts note was "capable enough."

While it isn't free of issues, for the price reviewers consider the Lumia 650 one of the best Microsoft 10 phones available. Yes, it still suffers from a lack of apps, but its sleek design, good battery life and decent performance make it a strong contender in the entry level Windows 10 market. Windows Central states, "The Lumia 650 is a good, cheap Windows phone…For the average person buying a phone that costs this much, there's not a whole lot to dislike."

Operating system
Operating system
1.3 GHz
1.3 GHz
Screen Size
Screen Size
8+ MP
8+ MP
2000 mAh

What the Critics Are Saying...

Phone Scoop
Phone Scoop

Given Microsoft's recent moves to deemphasize its phone hardware, I'd only recommend the Lumia 650 to die-hard Windows fans who also happen to be on a budget. If you just need a smartphone with Cricket for less than $150, there are plenty of other, better options.

- Eric M. Zeman, Phone Scoop

If you're set on a halfway decent phone with a truly budget price, the Lumia 650 does give you a solid Windows experience with better looks than most phones in the range. It just isn't clear how many updates and how much support Microsoft will be able to offer down the line.

- Nic Healey, Cnet

The Microsoft Lumia is a decent successor to the old Lumia 640. The mainstream smartphone now uses the design language from the bigger siblings Lumia 950/Lumia 950 XL and we get a good chassis with a great AMOLED screen. After the review, however, we do not really know why the device is supposed to...

- Andreas Osthoff, Notebookcheck

With a great display, a nice design, good-enough battery life and a capable camera, the Lumia 650 makes a strong first impression. But a poor processor, lack of apps and buggy OS cause it to fall short of greatness.

- Sean Cameron, TechRadar

Microsoft provides with the Lumia 650 for a device that perfectly meets the idea ‘we are almost there, but not quite’. The phone is beautiful in terms of design, lies well in the hand, Windows 10 Mobile is certainly a value, but the small defects are still too numerous: a bad browser, th...

- Jens De Wit, ZDNet

Prices (Where to Buy)

Common Questions

We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Microsoft Lumia 650 user manual here.

Microsoft backs up the Lumia 650 with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.

If your Lumia 650 has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Microsoft support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Microsoft's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.


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Quick view

Screen Size

The Microsoft Lumia 650's screen size is 5 inches with 720 x 1280 pixels resolution.

1.3 GHz

There is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 Quad core 1.3 GHz processor (CPU).


The phone runs on the Windows 10 operating system (OS).

8+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 8+ MP camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 5+ megapixels resolution.

16 GB

Internal memory is 16 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 200 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.


The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 2000 mAh battery. Microsoft's performance ratings are 960 minutes, 477 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

Lumia 650 Specs

Release Date February 15, 2016
Regions Available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Operating System Windows 10

Compare Windows Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 Quad core 1.3 GHz
Internal Storage 16 GB
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 1.2 W/kg
Body: 0.76 W/kg
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual, Standard Battery
Mobile / Cellular Data
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
SIM card size
Dual SIM No
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.1
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HID, HFP, HSP, PAN
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Mobile Hotspot Yes
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 200 GB)
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Main Camera
Resolution / Aperture
8+ Megapixels
2x digital
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Face detection, Geotagging, Self-timer, White balance
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Video Recording Parameters
HD (1280 x 720 pixels)
Front Camera
Resolution / Aperture
5+ Megapixels
Additional Front Camera Info
Video Recording Parameters
HD (1280 x 720 pixels)
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology AMOLED
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 720 x 1280 pixels
Pixel Density 297 pixels
Size 5 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Power & Battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 2000 mAh
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to 429 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to 477 minutes
Internet Use (Cellular) Unknown
Talk Time Up to 960 minutes
Standby Time Up to 26 days
Mixed Usage
Physical Characteristics
Design Type Bar
Material Aluminium
Colors Matte Black, Matte White
Dimensions [H x W x D] 14.2 x 7.1 x 0.7 cm (5.6 x 2.8 x 0.3 in)
Weight 122 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Headset Jack 3.5mm
External Speakers Yes
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Input / Keyboard Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor No
Additional Information Other Names (AKA):
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Microsoft Lumia 650 Reviews
Where to buy Microsoft Lumia 650
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