New Lumia 650 looks nice but misses Windows 10 Mobile’s best feature

(credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has announced a new phone running Windows: the Lumia 650. As its name numerically implies, this phone sits closer to the low-end $139 (£100) Lumia 550 than the high-end Lumia 950 and 950XL. On the outside, it has a 5-inch 1280×720 OLED screen and an 8MP camera; the inside contains a quad core Snapdragon 212 at 1.3GHz, 1GB RAM, 16GB storage, and LTE support.

The device will cost around $199 in the US and around £150-160 in the UK. It's available in black and white, and both options are attractive. With a metal band around the edge, the 650 looks more like the Lumia 830 and 930/Icon than it does the Lumia 950, and it's better for it—it looks smarter and higher-end than the flagship phones.

But those looks are deceiving. The specs and pricing are on the low end. Microsoft is marketing the phone as a strong choice for business users, but the low specs seem to undermine that positioning. In particular, the phone lacks biometric authentication and doesn't support Windows 10 Mobile's Continuum feature that lets you hook up the phone to a mouse, keyboard, and screen to use it in a desktop-like way. These are the features we'd expect low-end phones to omit, but they're also features that ought to have particular appeal to business users.

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