Microsoft Lumia 650 review
Our Thoughts: An extremely affordable business-grade phone
|Read the Lumia 950 XL review|
This smartphone will surely help Microsoft add to the already 200 million Windows 10 devices worldwide and is perfect for both personal and business users looking for maximum value.
Design - Lightweight aluminium
The Microsoft Lumia 650 is a truly good-looking smartphone and the build includes a diamond cut solid anodized aluminium metal frame. Available in white and black, the Lumia 650 is thin at 6.9mm and very light indeed. At 122 grams, it pips the Huawei P8Lite (131g) as the lightest 2015/16 UK smartphone.
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Display - Sunlight readability
The back cover is exchangeable, while the front face is protected behind durable Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The 5” OLED display has a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels and whilst 297 pixels per inch isn’t the highest density available, the screen works very well indeed with both sunlight readability enhancements and ClearBlack technology.
The screen also works well when viewed at wide angles and the experience is pretty responsive thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 1.3GHz quad-core processor with 1GB RAM.
Phone Set Up
Getting started - Memory, accounts and security
The Microsoft Lumia 650 has an ample 16GB memory that can be boosted with a microSD card of any value up to 200GB. Users can easily add their Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, WeChat, WhatsApp and Foursquare social media accounts, with the apps already pre-loaded.
Windows 10 apps are synchronised across all Windows 10 devices and OneDrive online Cloud storage is available. The security setup is as expected and the device is further protected with remote device lock, wipe, backup and restore over the internet.
Personal features - Cortana, maps and music
Personal users will be pretty chuffed with the functionality of the Microsoft Lumia 650. The Cortana virtual assistant can be voice controlled and can set reminders, create a daily schedule and preempt the user’s needs with traffic information and weather reports, while keeping everything in sync with the user’s PC or tablet.
|Which virtual assistant is best? Siri vs Cortana vs S Voice|
The Lumia 650 is also a very handy navigation tool that can be used on-foot, in-vehicle or on public transport. The GPS works with free online and offline maps and destinations can be pinned onto the Start screen. Further navigation tools include realtime traffic updates, speed limit information and there is a very useful ‘where is my car’ feature.
Video and music streaming is possible with MixRadio and Groove Music and your music collections can be played with online and offline Cloud playback. The Lumia 650 is fully internet ready and can be connected over 4G or via Wi-Fi. In addition to this it can be used to create a Wi-Fi hotspot, for connecting up to eight other Wi-Fi enabled devices.
Business features - Microsoft apps
We mentioned earlier that the Microsoft Lumia 650 is a good phone for business users looking for a phone that doesn’t cost the earth. The Lumia 650 gives easy one-click Office 365 set up and has the mobile versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote, pre-loaded and all optimised for touchscreen use.
Access to the Adobe Reader is provided via a free download and Microsoft’s Company Hub is available for enterprise applications. Business users can also take advantage of Skype for Business and the Microsoft Edge browser, which has an ad-free article reader and ability to draw on and save web pages.
Camera & Video
Photography - Price-balanced quality
The Microsoft Lumia 650 has a price-balanced combination of cameras that consist of a main 8MP camera and a secondary 5MP camera with wide-angle lens. These will be more than impressive for anyone who isn’t looking for an OTT camera, like the 23MP camera on the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact.
|Sony Xperia Z5 Compact review|
The Photos app automatically backs up photos and capturing these is aided with touch focus, an LED flash and auto/manual control over white balance and exposure. Video footage can be recorded at 720p quality, which matches the resolution of the screen, and is aided by a video light and video zoom.
Power - 26 days standby
The elevating lightness of the Lumia 650 is achieved somewhat through its small removable battery that has a capacity of 2,000mAh. This isn’t to say that the battery doesn’t perform well, in fact the battery saving technology used extends the usage times to give up to 16 hours talk time or 26 days standby.
Verdict: Overall, we are very impressed by the Microsoft Lumia 650 and when price is considered, it really is a Windows 10 phone worth buying.
Written by: Michael Brown