One of the things that’s really surprising about the Lumia 650 is how thin, light, and high-quality this low-end device feels in the hand. And if you want to experience it for yourself, your time has come: You can now preorder Microsoft’s latest smart phone in the U.S. and Canada.
To do so, head on over to the Microsoft Store online in the U.S. (or in Canada). The device becomes available on April 1, Microsoft says.
Here’s the thing. This is actually reasonable. The price is just $200, which is excellent for an unlocked device of this, um, caliber. (By comparison, the Lumia 950/XL’s premium pricing put those devices out of contention for most.)
No, you don’t get high-end Windows 10 Mobile features like Windows Hello or Continuum support, thanks to the 650’s lack of a biometric sensor or high-end processor, respectively. No, it doesn’t have a 1080p display or nice PureView-class cameras. No, the Lumia 650 doesn’t do a thing to fix the Windows phone app gap.
But, seriously. This is a nicer phone than you may think, at least from an exterior hardware perspective. It is in many ways built to the level of quality we expected—and did not get—with the much higher-end 950 series devices. (As I’ve noted in the past, you can add a Mozo case to solve that problem.)
The specs, alas, are indeed low-end. A quad-core 1.33 GHz Snapdragon 212 processor, 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage (with micro-SD expansion), and a 5-inch 720p OLED display. Micro-USB instead of USB-C. A pedestrian 8 MP main camera and a 720p front-facing unit. Nothing special.
But for $200, you are indeed getting what you pay for. And from a build quality perspective, this device is about a million times nicer than the phone it replaces, the Lumia 640 (and its bigger cousin, the 640 XL).
That said, you can get a Lumia 640 for $46 on Amazon.com right now (AT&T GoPhone locked, but no contract), and an international unlocked version is just $76. (Move up to the 640 XL and pricing goes north of $200for an unlocked device.) And you can always add a Mozo case to that 640/XL for a nicer look and feel. (I bought the purple back cover for my 640 XL, but the 640 version is identical and costs just 15 euros.)
I will say this: The Lumia 650 is the best-looking Windows phone that Microsoft has ever built. If that’s enough for you, the pricing is reasonable.