Just before Christmas, Microsoft Chief Marketing Officer Chris Capossela seemingly confirmed the existence of a new mid-range smartphone: the Lumia 650. Capossela was asked by Microsoft watchers Mary Jo Foley and Paul Thurrott when the [until this point] unannounced product would be released. Instead of avoiding the question altogether, Capossela replied that no definite release date had been pinned for the Lumia 650.
Now, notorious gadget leaker Evan Blass has managed to get his hands on an image of a Lumia 650 engineering prototype. The leaked image confirms at least one rumored aspect of the Lumia 650’s design — it has a metal rim around the perimeter of the smartphone, which oddly enough gives the device a more premium appearance than the fully polycarbonate Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL “flagship” Windows 10 Mobile smartphones.
Microsoft Lumia 650 [Image Source: Evan Blass]
When it comes to specs, the Lumia 650 definitely won’t blow your socks off. Under the 5-inch 720p display, you’ll find a low-end, Snapdragon 210 qua-core processor with 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, a microSD slot, 8MP rear camera and 5MP front-facing camera. Unfortunately for those that already have a have a Lumia 640 in their arsenal, the Lumia 650 doesn’t really represent a significant hardware upgrade — in fact, we could say that Microsoft simply punted on this one.
And if Blass is correct, the Lumia 650 has actually taken a step backwards in one important hardware spec. The battery has reportedly shrunk from 2500mAh on the Lumia 640 down to just 2000mAh. It should also be noted that the Lumia 650 has already passed the FCC certification process using its official model name: RM-1152.
If the Lumia 650 seems like a disappointment, there’s at least one bit of good news that is rising from the ashes of Microsoft’s disastrous acquisition of Nokia’s Devices and Services Division. Blass seems to think that the Nokia-esque design flavor of its current smartphone lineup will soon be put out to pasture in favor of designs created by the in-house Surface team (something that Microsoft has hinted at in recent weeks). If the designs of the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book are anything to go on, Windows 10 Mobile fans may have a lot to look forward to in the latter half of 2016 and into 2017 — that is if Microsoft decides to keep it smartphone division around given its lackluster performance in the marketplace.