Lumia 650 in 2017 mini-review

As mentioned in a previous post, I had a SIM card from the workplace that I was only using to make international calls, so I figured that it would be nice to put it in a more interesting phone than the Moto G2 they had provided. 

Thus, I bought a white Microsoft Lumia 650 running Windows 10 Mobile Anniversary Edition.

My main phone is a Samsung Galaxy S6 and it is very much needed for the more or less obscure apps I use, as well as the better screen, processing power, etc. 

I was however surprised at how much I started using the Lumia 650 for any task that did not require an Android-only app. 

Even in terms of external hardware, the Lumia 650 is a very pleasant phone to use, its poly-carbonate sides and metal band making it much more hand-friendly than the “slippery as a bar of soap” design that the glass-covered Samsung uses. 

I also like the fact that it has MicroSD card support, although it’s ironic that the S6 can use the Netflix download feature but doesn’t have external storage, while the 650 has a card but can’t download Netflix content. 

In terms of app & service support, I tried to limit my expectations and as of right now I only use Microsoft’s own apps, the Uber app (a backup in case I run out of battery on my Samsung and urgently need a car) and various Xbox Live games.

In fact, I had forgotten how much fun it was to use Xbox Live on mobile (my only previous Windows Phone was an LG Optimus 7 ages ago) and it’s gotten to the point where I use only the 650 on the subway, plugging away at simple old favorites like Fruit Ninja, Plants vs. Zombies, Age of Empires Castle Siege or Temple Run 2.

The OLED screen on the 650 is fantastic and really works well with the general interface of Windows 10, making it look like the tiles are floating in space…this makes me really want an OLED laptop 🙂

In terms of performance, I haven’t yet done anything which makes it crawl, so it’s adequate so far even with just 1GB RAM and one of Qualcomm’s slowest chips. It’s also interesting how much better it performs than the Moto G2 which technically has a faster chip but in reality made me wait for eeeeeverything.

Overall, this experience has actually made it very tempting to get a 950, which I’ve found locally for 190$ new-in-box. The even better screen, performance and wireless charging would be neat to have.

Anyone else using a Windows Mobile phone in such a way? It sometimes feels like what I have is actually a Nintendo DS that can make calls 🙂


Conversation 2 comments

  • 5611

    Premium Member
    10 February, 2017 - 7:06 am

    <p>I have a Lumia 950, but I actually prefer the Lumia 650 in terms of quality and how it feels in the hand. The Lumia 650 just feels great. To be perfectly honest, it’s only the camera (and processing speed to match) which made me choose the 950 over the 650.</p>

  • 539

    10 February, 2017 - 9:01 am

    <p>I have a similar story: I have a "foot in each camp" so to speak.&nbsp;I have a Moto G3, and I used it exclusively for about 3 months. But I moved my SIM back to my L650. The OLED screen, touch response, and talk/text is just better on the 650. The BT connection with car is better, too; I can receive and do voice replies to texts in my car, and music playback is more reliable. The Moto car BT performance just can’t measure up. So, I use my Android as a mini tablet, mostly in the gym (where there is WiFi)&nbsp;for my heart rate monitor. I’ll have to confess that the 650 has a horrid camera. I’m not delusional, though; WP is dead and this time next year I’ll be full Android.</p>


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