Microsoft quietly announced a new handset, the Lumia 650, and it’s not especially clear why it exists. As the name implies, it’s not much different than the 640 and 640 XL. It’s true that some key specs are not the same, but they won’t affect notable differences in performance.
The biggest hardware change is that the 650 runs a Snapdragon 212 SoC whereas the 640 and 640 XL have the Snapdragon 400. It has twice the storage, although it’s still not much at 16 GB. All three phones have the same RAM, and the 640 and 650 displays are both 5 inches and 1280x720 resolution. Oddly, the camera is worse, offering just 720p HD performance. The 650 also has a smaller battery than its older brothers.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Lumia 640||Lumia 640 XL||Lumia 650|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (quad core, 1.2 GHz)||Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (quad core, 1.2 GHz)||Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 (quad core, 1.3 GHz)|
|GPU||Adreno 305 GPU||Adreno 305 GPU||Adreno 304 GPU|
|RAM||1 GB||1 GB||1 GB|
|Storage||-8 GB onboard-up to 128 GB microSD -30 GB free OneDrive||-8 GB onboard-up to 128 GB microSD -30 GB free OneDrive||-16 GB onboard-up to 200 GB microSD -OneDrive|
|Display||5-inch HD (1280 x 720)||5.7-inch HD (1280 x 720)||5-inch HD (1280 x 720)|
|Cameras||Back: 8 MP AF, 1080p HD @ 30 fpsFront: 1 MP 720p HD wide angle, f/2.4||Back: 13 MP AF, 1080p @ 30 fps video (continuous autofocus), Flash: LED, Lumia CameraFront: 5 MP wide angle, fixed focus, 1080p video||Back: 8 MP AF, 720p @ 30 fps video, Flash: LED flash Front: 5 MP wide angle, 720p video @ 30 fps|
|Connectivity||BT 4.0, microUSB 2.0, Micro SIM, A-GPS+GLONASS, BeiDou, NFC, DLNA, Screen cloning with Miracast, WLAN 802.11 b/g/n||BT 4.0, microUSB 2.0, Micro SIM, A-GPS+GLONASS, BeiDou, DLNA, NFC, Screen cloning with Miracast, WLAN 802.11 b/g/n||BT 4.1, microUSB, Nano SIM, A-GLONASS, A-GPS, A-BeiDou, NFC, WLAN 802.11 b/g/n|
|Sensors||Accelerometer, Magnetometer, Proximity, Ambient Light Sensor||Accelerometer, Magnetometer, Proximity, Ambient Light Sensor, SensorCore||Accelerometer, Proximity, Ambient light sensor|
|Battery||2500 mAh (removable)||3000 mAh (removable)||2000 mAh (removable)|
|OS||Windows 8.1||Windows 8.1||Windows 10|
The 650 also runs Windows 10, which is great, but it kind of feels like a slap in the face to 640/640 XL owners who are still waiting for Windows 10 to drop onto their handsets.
It also makes no sense. For now at least, the 650 is aimed solely at European markets (UK, France, Germany and Italy), where the 640 is already sold, and it has Windows 10 (for phones).
But you can forget about Continuum support. The 650 doesn't meet the minimum requirements -- not even close.
It’s also $200 USD, which is less expensive than the 640/640 XL, and it’s available now. In some European countries.
Update, 2/16/16, 6:50am PT: The original version of this article misstated the number of cores on the Snapdragon 400. There were also a couple of typos. The copy has been adjusted accordingly.