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Microsoft Lumia 650 review

6.5/10 AVG.
RATING



6.5/10
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
Windows
Processor
1.3 GHz
Screen Size
5"
Camera
8+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


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
Cnet

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
Notebookcheck

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
TechRadar

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
ZDNet

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


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Quick view

Screen Size
5"

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

Processor
1.3 GHz

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

OS

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

Camera
8+ MP

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

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

Storage
16 GB

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

Battery
2000mAh

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

Overview
Release date February 15, 2016
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/2100 MHz
LTE:
2100/800/900/1800 /2600 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
SIM card size
Nano-SIM
Dual SIM No
Operating System Windows 10

Compare Windows Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 Quad core 1.3 GHz
Internal Storage 16 GB
RAM 1 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 1.2 W/kg
Body: 0.76 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual, Standard Battery
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 (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 960 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 26 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
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
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
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features -
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
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
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 200 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC Yes
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet Yes
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
8+ megapixels
Multi-camera
No
Zoom
2x digital
Flash
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
5+ megapixels
Zoom
Yes
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
HD (1280 x 720 pixels)
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, MP4, WMA, WAV
Radio Yes (FM)
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types XLS, PPT, PPTX, DOC, DOCX
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable, Pre-installed (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, WeChat, Skype, LINE, Sina Weibo, WhatsApp, Foursquare, OneDrive, YouTube)
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Microsoft Lumia 650 Reviews
Where to buy Microsoft Lumia 650
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