Cricket Wireless announced today that it will begin selling Microsoft’s latest low-end smart phone, the Lumia 650, in May for just $130. This is the first time that the Lumia 650 will be available via a wireless carrier in the US.
That phone will be locked to Cricket, but it’s a no-contract phone, meaning that you don’t have to pay for Cricket’s service to acquire the device.
“Elevating the prepaid space means more than having a diverse portfolio for our customers,” Cricket vice president and chief marketing officer Tiffany Baehman said in a prepared statement. “It’s also about bringing value to our customers through the unexpected – the things they thought they could only get from postpaid. Being the exclusive carrier of the Lumia 650, a sleek smartphone at a great price, gives customers more reason to want to join Cricket Nation.”
The Lumia 650 is a curious smart phone: It has a premium exterior with a surprisingly thin design and metal sides. But it’s internals scream bargain basement: A 1.3 GHz Snapdragon 212 processor, 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD), a 5-inch 720p OLED display, and an 8 MP rear camera.
Cricket describes the 650 as being perfect for “busy professionals, parents and frequent travelers,” which is itself a curious mix of potential users. But it ships with Windows 10 Mobile, limiting its mainstream appeal. And it lacks key Windows 10 features like Windows Hello and Continuum support, which further limits its appeal, even for Windows phone enthusiasts.
Customers who do switch to Cricket will receive a $50 bill credit (or a $100 bill credit if they switch from T-Mobile). The carrier offers an unlimited plan for $65 per month, but you can also choose from plans that cost as little as $40 per month (for 2.5 GB of data).
As pretty as this phone is—and seriously, it really does feel nice in the hand—my advice is to steer clear of Windows 10 Mobile generally, and of this phone specifically, until and unless the app situation changes dramatically.