The Lumia 650 caught the interest of many Windows Phone and Lumia fans when it first got announced in February – actually even before the announcement, Windows users – me included – we’re excited about the device since it was romoured to be a very premium feeling phone. Nevertheless, this phone has also a somewhat sad side since it looks like this is the very last Lumia ever made. At the end of the day I was really eager to try it out since I have heard some mixed reports about the device: On the one side their are the people who really like using the Lumia 650 (including our author Valentin who already wrote an in-depth review about it), and on the other hand there is also a group of people who don’t are particularly fond of the experience with the device (including Dan, the host of our partner project theMSedge Techcast – you can find his review over at theMSedge). Therefore, I really wanted to use the device personally to find out wheter I like or don’t like the Lumia 650. In this post I want to share my impressions with you.
Design and Build Quality
This is definitely an area where the Lumia 650 knows to impress. The removable back cover which is made of plastic feels comfortably smooth while still providing enough grip. While a metal back might feel more premium I would in no way claim that the Lumia 650 feels cheap – it actually does overall feel better than the flagship Lumia 950, so definitely enough premium in my opinion. And of course the metal frame does feel very nice too. Furthermore, the buttons located on the right side of the device as usual are made of metal as well and provide you with good feedback and can easily be reached with the hand. Being only available in black or white, the Lumia 650 doesn’t stand out of the mass anymore but I still like the design quite a bit. At the end of the day I like the device in terms of design and build quality.
Just like my beloved Lumia 830, the 650 does have a 5 inch display with a resolution of 1280 x 720p. While this phone might not be a ‘pixel monster’ I still think that 720p are perfectly fine for a display of this size. Nevertheless, one has to mentioned that other phones in the same price class (like the Wiko Fever) offer higher resolutions. At the end of the day I still think the Lumia 650’s display is just perfectly fine: Colors look great (thanks AMOLED!), the brightness is good as well and last but not least the Lumia 650 supports Glance Screen.
In terms of speakers, I’m actually pretty impressed with the Lumia 650. Unlike most other Lumia devices, the speakers aren’t placed on the back of the device but rather are front-facing ones. This definitely an advantage of the device. Furthermore, the quality is acceptably good and the speaker can get quite loud as well.
Having a battery with 2000 mAh, the Lumia 650’s battery life isn’t too bad but not exceptionally good either. Nevertheless, you should get over one day with one charge without any problems.
With its five megapixel front-facing camera and its eight megapixel shooter on the back, the Lumia 650 is more geared towards selfie fans rather than people who want to take some high quality pictures with the main camera. Don’t get me wrong: The picture quality is quite decent and definitely on a par with other phones in the price range, but it just won’t blow you away. Those who want to have a better overall camera experience definitely should check out the Lumia 950 which offers a very good 20 megapixel camera.
For picture samples please check out Valentin’s post.
The Lumia 650 does of course run Windows 10 Mobile. The positive and negative aspects of the operating system have been discussed in detail already so I won’t go too much into the details. I for one really enjoy W10M but there are definitely things which still could be improved. Nevertheless, the only ‘real’ problem – which probably is software related – I had with the 650, was the ‘brightness freeze problem’. Just watch the unboxing video above to observe the problem in action.
Being powered by a Snapdragon 212, the Lumia 650 isn’t really a powerhouse. Furthermore, the device is only equipped with 1 GB of RAM. Nevertheless, the performance for daily tasks is sufficient but if you want to seriously play some intensive games you might want to consider buying a more expensive phone, for instance a Lumia 950 or Lumia 950 XL. This doesn’t mean that games like Asphalt 8 run terrible – actually the experience is quite good – but there are definitely phones which are better suited for such tasks.
The Lumia 650 is a nice low-midrange device with outstandingly good build quality for the price and with a very appealing elegant design. Furthermore, it’s got a decent display with great color reproduction and its front-facing speaker is definitely good enough for the price range. In terms of camera, the Lumia 650 isn’t the best offer but it will please selfie fans for sure. The Snapdragon 212 is performant enough for daily tasks but might not be best for intensive games. At the end of the day, I quite enjoyed my experience with the device but I struggle to find anything that sets it apart from other phones in the price range – apart from Windows 10 Mobile of course (which for most people sadly is considered as a disadvantage rather than an advange) 😉 But for Windows fans who don’t need a flagship device, this might be an interesting offer….
Have you already checked out our Windows 10 TheWinDuck app? Download it here.