Lumia 650 Review: A remarkable piece of hardware




The Lumia 650 is rumored to be the last of its kind. If that’s true then Microsoft surely saved the best for last.

Here’s a quick look at the Lumia 650 specs:

  • Lumia 650 Specs:
  • 6.9mm thick
  • 142mm long and 70.9mm wide
  • 122g
  • Nano SIM
  • 5inch OLED 720p HD display (ClearBlackDisplay) on Gorilla Glass III
  • Quad-Core 1.3GHz SD212
  • Adreno 304
  • 16gb internal, 1GB RAM
  • microSD up to 200GB
  • 8MP auto-focus with LED flash, records 720p@30fps
  • 5MP FFC also 720p recording
  • 2000mAh battery removable


Hardware Review:

So, I’ll start off this review by talking about the Lumia 650’s flagship premium build. It features a metallic aluminum frame which is its most pronounced feature. The frame houses the 3.5mm audio jack on the top, the power and volume buttons on the right side (there is no camera button), the Micro USB charging/data port on the bottom, the speakers are housed on the front bezel, this is one placement I am most pleasant with, most phones today have their speakers on the bottom edge, Microsoft has had its speakers on previous Lumia models on the back of the device, a position I have hated for so long. With the Lumia 650, I am glad it is on the front bezel, it is the only ideal position in my opinion. The front bezel also has the front facing camera and “Microsoft” brand at the top. I also find the width of the bezels to be decent, it’s just right.

The battery cover is removable, it is made of plastic but has a nice matte finish that leaves less to be desired from it. It also has the Microsoft Logo nicely engraved at the center and on top of that is the camera and LCD flash.


I particularly love how the battery/back cover snaps into place and looks like it is not removable, just like the Lumia 830 and because the back cover is removable, this means it i can be customized, you can buy 3rd party back covers from Mozo, they have a few you can choose from including a wood finish back cover (my favorite).

The Lumia 650 is the lightest Lumia I have ever used, it weighs just 122g and is 6.9mm thin. The 650 is so light that sometimes I forget I’m holding it. Don’t underestimate how light this device is, if the Lumia 650 was a pro-boxer, it would be in the feather-weight division.

The slimness and metallic frame give the Lumia 650 that premium look, a look that has it mistaken for a flagship device., but it is not. I give its hardware build a 9.5/10


The Display Review:

In its frame is a 5.0inch OLEDisplay (Clear Black Display) with 720x1280res protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass III. The display is really good, it has got high acute viewing angles, but what do you expect from an OLEDisplay. My only gripe with the display is its brightness, at 100% brightness level, it’s just not as bright as I would have expected. Other than that, the screen is superb, it has got a HD display so it is amazing for a phone in its price range. I give the display a review score of 8/10


Performance Review:

The 650 is powered by a quad-core 1.3GHz, Snapdragon 212 processor. An Adreno 304 GPU. It has 1GB RAMemory, with 16GB internal storage and a MicroSD card slot. I am sure you are wondering how it performs under these specs but I can tell you it is on par with its predecessor, The Lumia 650 scored a total of 31130 when I ran popular AnTuTu Benchmark testing tool.


The Lumia 640 (650 predecessor) which has a Snapdragon 400 processor and 1GB RAM. It is a tad bit slower than the Lumia 950. I will advice you install your apps on the internal storage to speed up performance. I cannot really complain about how fast or slow it is, I will say that it is fast enough for a device in its price bracket. I got a 32GB SanDisk MicroSD card which for some unknown reason, caused an endless boot loop, I did insert the card into a tablet I have lying around and it works fine, so I cannot pinpoint what the issue is. I did replace get a 64GB MicroSD SanDisk which works fine with the 650, so be careful when buying MicroSD cards for this device.

I give the Lumia 650’s performance a 6.5/10


The Battery Performance Review:

The battery on the Lumia 650 is a seemingly underwhelming 2000mAh, but you know what’s overwhelming? The battery life on this thing. It lasts me the entire day and I am a heavy user, I’m constantly on Reddit (Readit), WhatsApp, GroupMe, Twitter, Words With Friends, Feedly reader (iNi reader) and more. The battery on the Lumia 650 is really remarkable. I normally use a Lumia 950 and after 6-8hours, the battery is fully drained so to use a Lumia 650 and have it last for as much as 12hours is perfect for me.

I’ll give its battery performance a 8/10


The Camera Review:

The camera is a 8MP camera with auto-focus and an LED flash. The front-facing camera is a 5MP capable of recording 720p@30fps video, there’s just one problem, you see, since the Lumia 1020,  have been spoiled its excellent image quality and the OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) technology which stabilizes video, what that means is no more shaking videos. The Lumia 650 does NOT have OIS (Optical Image Stabilization). I know it is a mid range device, but when you record videos with the Lumia 650 and play them back, you will notice right away the lack of OIS. Here are some sample shots and video I took with the Lumia 650.















Here is a video recorded in 720p HD @ 30fps with the Lumia 650…

I really like the Lumia 650 camera , I think it’s  an upgrade from the Lumia 640 camera , but thats it just an upgrade from a Lumia 640’s camera.

I’ll give it a 7/10


Review Summary:

The Lumia 650 is truly a remarkable piece of hardware. Microsoft it seems has saved the best for last, from it’s premium/flagship look and feel to the great battery performance, to the image quality, the Lumia 650 is a flagship Lumia phone disguised as a mid-ranger.

The battery life is absolutely superb, the photos produced from its 8MP shooter are decent and it’s OLED screen with Clear Black Display gives you a gorgeous hi-res display even under direct sunlight.

I give the Lumia 650 an overall good review, considering its a midrange device its build, design, screen, & camera  are all step ups from the Lumia 640.

You can get the Lumia 650 from Cricket Wireless starting May 6th for only $129. Only the black version is available via the carrier though.

While the unlocked Dual SIM variant is available at Microsoft stores (retail stores and online) for $199.

Overall Review score: 7.5/10