All signs are pointing to Microsoft’s Lumia 650 being the end of the line for the long-running Lumia smartphone family. First ushered in by Nokia, then absorbed by Microsoft, it now looks as though Microsoft will pin its future smartphone hopes on in-house designed “Surface” phones.
But before we get to that point, Microsoft has to actually get the Lumia 650 out the door. And today, Microsoft took the first step by putting the smartphone up for preorder in the United States and Canada. Although you can preorder the Lumia 650 today, it won’t actually ship until April 1st.
When it comes to the actual smartphone, don’t let its premium finish fool you into thinking that this is a high-end phone. Yes, the Lumia 650 has metallic trim running around its perimeter that you won’t find in its pricier siblings — the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL — but its specs aren’t too far removed from last year’s Lumia 640.
That means you’ll be treated to 1.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 processor with a just 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, microSD slot (expandable up to 200GB), a 5-inch OLED 720p display, dual SIMs 8MP rear camera, 5MP front-facing camera, Bluetooth 4.1, 802.11n, LTE connectivity, NFC support and a removable 2000mAh battery. Given the low-end processor, you won’t be able to take advantage of Continuum on the Lumia 650 and wireless charging is also a no-show.
The Lumia 650’s pre-order price is a relatively reasonable $199 off-contract for the dual-SIM model. We haven’t heard any word about carrier-subsidized versions (which will carry a much lower price tag), but word on the street is that Cricket will carry phone in the near future.
If the Lumia 650 is indeed that last smartphone to wear the Lumia branding, it’s unfortunate that it’s going out with such a whimper. However, we can at least take solace in the fact that Panos Panay and his band of merry men and women are surely cooking up a kickass, premium Surface phone that is a worthy of carrying the Windows 10 Mobile torch.