Notebookcheck

Microsoft Lumia 650 Smartphone Review

Andreas Osthoff, Tanja Hinum, 05/14/2016

Mainstream Microsoft. The new Lumia 650 from Microsoft wants to convince users with competitive pricing and obviously the Windows operating system. The manufacturer from Redmond targets business customers in particular. Because of the slow hardware, however, there are some limitations, including the lack of the Windows Continuum feature.

For the original German review, see here.

The Microsoft Lumia 650 is the direct successor to the Lumia 640 we reviewed one year ago. Microsoft once again offers two versions of the smartphone. We reviewed the "normal" version priced at around 200 Euros (~$226). Microsoft offers a dual-SIM model for 30 Euros (~$33) more, but there are no technical differences except for the additional SIM-slot. Microsoft advertises the suitability for businesses. The manufacturer from Redmond mainly refers to the Office apps as well as the compatibility with Windows 10 PCs, but customers do not get Continuum due to the slow hardware. This feature is currently reserved for the two flagship devices Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL. Our test device is equipped with an entry-level quad-core SoC from Qualcomm, 1 GB memory as well as 16 GB internal storage. The 5-inch display is based on AMOLED technology and has 1280x720 pixels (HD resolution). 

Rivals for the Microsoft Lumia 650 include: Motorola Moto G3Asus ZenFone 2 LaserArchos Diamond SSamsung Galaxy J5Allview E4 and the LG Class.

Microsoft Lumia 650 (Lumia Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
1024 MB 
Display
5 inch 16:9, 1280 x 720 pixel 294 PPI, capacitive, OLED, Clear Black, TrueColor, glossy: yes
Storage
16 GB eMMC Flash, 16 GB 
, 11.5 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm Combo, Card Reader: microSD up to 200 GB, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: Proximity, Ambient Light, Accelerometer, WiFi-Direct
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.1, GSM (850,900, 1.800 and 1900 MHz), UMTS (850, 900 and 2100 MHz), LTE Cat. 4 (800, 900, 1.800, 2100 and 2600 MHz), LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 6.9 x 142 x 70.9 ( = 0.27 x 5.59 x 2.79 in)
Battery
7.6 Wh, 2000 mAh Lithium-Ion, removeable, Standby 2G (according to manufacturer): 624 h
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Mobile
Camera
Primary Camera: 8 MPix (f/2.2, focal length: 28 mm, autofocus, LED flash)
Secondary Camera: 5 MPix (f/2.2, wide-angle)
Additional features
Speakers: Mono, Keyboard: virtual, Keyboard Light: yes, Power adaptor with fixed USB cable, battery, manual, Microsoft Edge, Outlook, Facebook, WhatsApp, OneDrive, Xbox Live Hub, Skype, Microsoft Office (OneNote, Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Amazon, Netflix, Lumia Offers, Audible, Expedia, Maps, Help + Tips, Shazam, 24 Months Warranty, fanless
Weight
122 g ( = 4.3 oz / 0.27 pounds), Power Supply: 64 g ( = 2.26 oz / 0.14 pounds)
Price
199 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

Microsoft drops the colorful design of the predecessor Lumia 640 and uses the design language from the current top models Lumia 950 and 950 XL for the new Lumia 650. The visual appearance of the smaller Lumia is even a bit nobler, because we get polished edges at the aluminum frame. The back cover is now made of black plastic and is slightly rounded towards the sides, which improves the handling. The black review unit integrates well into business environments and should not be very conspicuous. There is also a completely white version if you like a brighter smartphone.

The stability of the 5-inch smartphone is good in general, only the detachable cover at the back slightly affects the good impression. The cover itself sits tight, but between the surface and the battery underneath is a small gap, so you can hear slight clattering noises when you touch the cover. The cover also feels very cheap, but fingerprints, pressure or twisting attempts are no problem in return. We were able to hear some creaking, but this is caused by the detachable rear cover. Underneath, we can find the replaceable battery as well as the two slots for the microSD and SIM. Access to these two slots requires the removal of the battery.

Tipping the scale at just 122 grams and with a thickness of just 6.9 millimeters, the Lumia 650 is among the most compact devices within our comparison. There are no outliers for the other dimensions, either.

Connectivity

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Microsoft equips the Lumia 650 with an entry-level quad-core SoC. Probably the most noticeable aspect of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 is the lack of a WWAN module, which has to be realized with an additional chip. Microsoft is not really generous in terms of connectivity, because we only get a common USB 2.0 port without OTG support as well as Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi Direct and NFC. You can at least expand the 16 GB internal storage by up to 200 GB via microSD. Similar to the bigger Lumia models, there is no fingerprint scanner, but users of the Lumia 650 also have to waive an Iris scanner or a camera with facial recognition. This also means the function "Windows Hello" is not supported. Considering the focus on business customers, this is a bit disappointing. An FM radio is available, but it requires an optional headset.

Left: no ports
Left: no ports
Bottom: Micro-USB 2.0
Bottom: Micro-USB 2.0
Top: 3.5 mm audio, microphone
Top: 3.5 mm audio, microphone
Right: power button, volume rocker
Right: power button, volume rocker

Software

After the Lumia 950 XL, the Lumia 950 and the Lumia 550, the review unit Lumia 650 is the fourth smartphone with the operating system Windows 10 Mobile. You still get the tiles on the home screen, so both the design and the handling do not really differ from the previous Windows Phone 8.x. You will feel right at home when you have used a Windows smartphone before, but the handling is also pretty intuitive for newcomers. The home screen consists of tiles (some with live information), which can be adjusted in terms of size and transparency.

A swipe from the top opens the quick settings, which can be further expanded. The lower bar with the onscreen buttons (back, Windows, search) can be an issue in some situations. It can be activated and deactivated with a swipe from below. Basically a good idea, but the content is not always adjusted to the bar, so control elements from apps can be partially or even completely blocked. 

Still, Windows 10 Mobile leaves a positive impression in general. We already mentioned the intuitive handling and Office is already preloaded. Probably the biggest issue of Windows Mobile is still the limited app selection compared to Android and iOS. This might not be such a big deal if this is your first smartphone, but you should definitely check the availability of your preferred apps when you switch from Android or iOS. 

A useful feature is the always-on display (glance screen) we already know from the more expensive Lumias. You can see information like the date, time and notification on the lock screen. There are also numerous settings for this function. You can, for instance, adjust how long the information is shown or activate a night mode with other colors.

Communication & GPS

You can also notice the low price of the Lumia 650 when you look at the specs for the communication modules. There should not be any limitations in practice, but you have to waive modern standards. LTE connections are possible according to Cat. 4 (up to 150 Mbps downstream, 50 Mbps upstream), but the supported 2G and 3G frequencies in particular are limited (see specs for full list). This means the Lumia 650 is not the perfect choice for frequent travelers.

The smartphone supports the Wi-Fi standards 802.11 b/g/n, but only in 2.4 GHz networks. Neither the less crowded 5 GHz band nor the fast ac-standard is available. The Wi-Fi signal was average at best in our individual review environment. The signal often dropped to just one bar with just a few structural obstacles like thin walls, and the performance during web browsing and app downloads was noticeably affected as well.

The Lumia 650 is surprisingly well-equipped in terms of location, because besides A-GPS and GLONASS, the smartphone can also use the Chinese BeiDou network. We compare the performance of the smartphone with the professional navigation device Garmin Edge 500 on a bicycle ride. The review unit performs very well and the deviation is just 200 meters on the 11 km track. We cannot see shortcuts or connection issues on the summary, either. It is therefore no problem to use the Lumia 650 for navigation purposes.

Microsoft Lumia 650: overview
Microsoft Lumia 650: overview
Microsoft Lumia 650: crossing
Microsoft Lumia 650: crossing
Microsoft Lumia 650: turning point
Microsoft Lumia 650: turning point
Garmin Edge 500: overview
Garmin Edge 500: overview
Garmin Edge 500: crossing
Garmin Edge 500: crossing
Garmin Edge 500: turning point
Garmin Edge 500: turning point

Telephone & Voice Quality

The structure of the phone app is a bit complicated, because the individual functions are distributed across the top and the bottom. We can find different tabs with the history, quick dial and the numbers pad at the top, while the symbols at the bottom change depending on the active tab. Access to the mailbox or the contacts, for example, is only possible in the tabs history and quick dial, but not when you use the numbers pad. One advantage is the good integration of Skype, because calls are also listed in the normal phone app.

We would describe the voice quality itself as inconspicuous. Voices are clear and we did not notice annoying dropouts – contrary to the bigger Lumia 950 XL. The hands-free mode on the other hand creates slightly tinny voices and our call partner noted that our voice was a bit quiet.

Cameras

Picture with the front camera
Picture with the front camera

Microsoft implements a 5 MP wide-angle camera at the front (f/2.2, fix focus), which takes decent pictures in good lighting conditions. You can still see the content very well in low-light situations, even though picture noise cannot be avoided due to the missing flash. Videos can be recorded in the HD resolution (1280x720 pixels) with the front camera.

The rear camera has a slightly higher resolution of 9 MP (f/2.2) and is equipped with an autofocus as well as an LED flash. The quality of the pictures is surprisingly good and the low resolution is only noticeable when you zoom in. We can still see everything in low-light situations and the picture noise is not too bad. This means the Lumia 650 is definitely suited for occasional pictures. The maximum video resolution of the rear camera is limited to the HD resolution and up to 30 fps, so slow-motions are not possible.

The functionality of the camera software is a bit meager. You can adjust some values like ISO value or the exposure, but some picture modes are missing. For instance, it is not possible to take panoramas without additional apps. There are no filters, either.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images

In addition to our usual sample shots, we also take pictures under controlled lighting conditions. We use the automatic mode and the results are not edited afterwards. We use the ColorChecker colors to evaluate the color accuracy. Many of the colors are a bit too saturated, but this actually helps the vivid picture impression.

The test chart is a good indicator for the sharpness of the camera. The Lumia 650 – despite the comparatively low resolution – once again performs very well. We can only see slightly blurred edges in the enlarged section. All in all, a good performance for this price range.

ColorChecker Passport: The original color is displayed in the lower part of each patch.
ColorChecker Passport: The original color is displayed in the lower part of each patch.
Test chart
Test chart
Section (center)
Section (center)

Accessories & Warranty

The Microsoft Lumia 650 is only shipped with the essentials. The power adapter has a fixed cable, so we do not get a USB cable for connection with a PC. A headset is not in the box, either, but Microsoft offers an optional Comfort Headset as well as an external battery.

The warranty period for the smartphone is two years.

Input Devices & Handling

Despite the comparatively slow hardware, the handling of the smartphone is actually pretty smooth. This is also supported by the good touchscreen, which allows precise inputs. The gliding capabilities of the surface (Gorilla Glass 3) are also without criticism. We are not quite that convinced by the physical buttons on the right side of the case. The volume rocker and the power button are a little bit on the stiff side and have a spongy pressure point, and the power button is not perfectly implemented and clatters a bit.

The virtual keyboard of the Lumia 650 is called Word Flow and also accepts fast inputs without problems. All common features (word predictions, spelling, swipe inputs) are supported and we get a small blue dot to move the cursor within inputs.

Keyboard landscape mode
Keyboard landscape mode
Keyboard portrait mode
Keyboard portrait mode

Display

Subpixel arrangement
Subpixel arrangement

Similar to the more expensive Lumia smartphones, Microsoft also uses an AMOLED screen for the smaller Lumia 650. The 5-inch display has the HD resolution (1280x720 pixels), which results in a pixel density of 294 PPI. Fonts and pictures are therefore sufficiently sharp. Subjectively, we like the rich colors, which are typical for AMOLEDs. There are settings for the color temperature and the saturation, which can be adjusted within certain limits, so you can adjust the display to your personal preferences.

We measure the brightness with a pure white picture (up to 372 cd/m²) as well as an even distribution of bright and dark surfaces (APL50, up to 398 cd/m²). Some LCD-based rivals manage slightly higher results, but because of the low black value (0 cd/m²) and the resulting high contrast ratio, this small disadvantage is easily compensated for. The luminance is not further increased with the activated light sensor.

372
cd/m²
344
cd/m²
342
cd/m²
372
cd/m²
349
cd/m²
341
cd/m²
369
cd/m²
350
cd/m²
342
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 372 cd/m² Average: 353.4 cd/m² Minimum: 15.67 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 92 %
Center on Battery: 349 cd/m²
Contrast: ∞:1 (Black: 0 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 2.6 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2
ΔE Greyscale 1.8 | 0.64-98 Ø6.4
Gamma: 2.06
Microsoft Lumia 650
Adreno 304, 212 APQ8009, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Asus Zenfone 2 ZE500KL
Adreno 306, 410 APQ8016, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Archos Diamond S
Mali-T720 MP4, MT6753, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Samsung Galaxy J5
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Allview E4
Mali-T720 MP4, MT6753, 16 GB eMMC Flash
LG Class
Adreno 306, 410 APQ8016, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Screen
-25%
7%
-46%
-44%
-28%
-59%
Brightness middle
349
418
20%
467
34%
357
2%
349
0%
534
53%
518
48%
Brightness
353
407
15%
460
30%
363
3%
353
0%
503
42%
492
39%
Brightness Distribution
92
95
3%
95
3%
95
3%
93
1%
82
-11%
91
-1%
Black Level *
0.49
0.3
0.57
0.51
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
2.6
3.92
-51%
3.28
-26%
6.11
-135%
5.22
-101%
5.65
-117%
5.41
-108%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
8.2
9.91
-21%
8.76
-7%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
1.8
3.81
-112%
1.89
-5%
4.12
-129%
3.96
-120%
3.69
-105%
7.67
-326%
Gamma
2.06 107%
2.27 97%
2.21 100%
2.24 98%
2.08 106%
2.15 102%
2.19 100%
CCT
6542 99%
7361 88%
6734 97%
7272 89%
7308 89%
7289 89%
8521 76%
Contrast
853
1557
937
1016

* ... smaller is better

The smartphone from Microsoft performs very well in our CalMAN measurements. We can only measure low average DeltaE-2000 deviations ex-works. Both the grayscale as well as the colors are below the target value of 3 at 1.8 and 2.6, respectively, even though there are some outliers (red, magenta) with a deviation of up to eight.

CalMAN Grayscale (target color space sRGB)
CalMAN Grayscale (target color space sRGB)
CalMAN ColorChecker (target color space sRGB)
CalMAN ColorChecker (target color space sRGB)
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps (target color space sRGB)
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps (target color space sRGB)
CalMAN Colorspace (target color space AdobeRGB)
CalMAN Colorspace (target color space AdobeRGB)

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
20 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 15 ms rise
↘ 5 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 19 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
32 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 20 ms rise
↘ 12 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 18 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (41 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9064 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

We also want to mention the brightness control of the Lumia 650 at this point. AMOLEDs are typically controlled by so called pulse-width modulation (explanation in the box above) to dim the brightness. In the case of the Lumia 650, however, we could not detect PWM. This is good news for users that usually have issues with AMOLEDs.

We already mentioned that the maximum luminance is not further increased with the activated light sensor. Microsoft does, however, implement a feature called "sunlight readability enhancements". Special algorithms are supposed to improve the visibility under sunlight. We cannot really see a difference though, and similar to all other glossy displays, you should avoid direct light sources if possible. Otherwise, the display fares pretty well and there are no limitations even in bright environments. The viewing-angle stability is very good, but you can see a slight blue discoloration from very extreme angles, which is common for AMOLEDs. This was, however, no problem for us in practice.

In the sun (with reflections)
In the sun (with reflections)
In the sun (without reflections)
In the sun (without reflections)
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

Except for the high-end devices, many smartphones with the Windows operating system are equipped with comparatively slow hardware. This is also the case for the current Lumia. The Snapdragon 212 from Qualcomm was only announced at the beginning of this year, but it is still an entry-level chip with its four Cortex-A7 cores (up to 1.3 GHz). The other specs with just 1 GB RAM and the GPU Adreno 304 cannot be called high-end, either.

Windows 10 Mobile still runs very smoothly on the review unit, but this is only the case if you are moving on the user interface. There will be stutters and delays as soon as you launch or exit apps and browse more complex websites. This is also the case when you switch between apps; one example is the switch from the camera to the gallery. The benchmarks results are – as expected – pretty bad and the Lumia 650 is usually in the last spot within our comparison group. The benchmark Basemark X 1.1 did not run on the device.

GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Microsoft Lumia 650
Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 1024
3.25 fps ∼27%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
5.3 fps ∼44% +63%
Asus Zenfone 2 ZE500KL
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 APQ8016, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 2048
5.2 fps ∼43% +60%
Archos Diamond S
Mediatek MT6753, ARM Mali-T720 MP4, 2048
12 fps ∼100% +269%
Allview E4
Mediatek MT6753, ARM Mali-T720 MP4, 2048
12 fps ∼100% +269%
LG Class
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 APQ8016, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1536
9.8 fps ∼82% +202%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Microsoft Lumia 650
Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 1024
5.67 fps ∼27%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
9.5 fps ∼45% +68%
Asus Zenfone 2 ZE500KL
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 APQ8016, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 2048
9.2 fps ∼44% +62%
Archos Diamond S
Mediatek MT6753, ARM Mali-T720 MP4, 2048
21 fps ∼100% +270%
Allview E4
Mediatek MT6753, ARM Mali-T720 MP4, 2048
20 fps ∼95% +253%
LG Class
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 APQ8016, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1536
5.2 fps ∼25% -8%
Linpack Android / IOS
Multi Thread (sort by value)
Microsoft Lumia 650
Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 1024
223.568 MFLOPS ∼82%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
207.718 MFLOPS ∼76% -7%
Samsung Galaxy J5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1536
201.99 MFLOPS ∼74% -10%
Allview E4
Mediatek MT6753, ARM Mali-T720 MP4, 2048
272.2 MFLOPS ∼100% +22%
Single Thread (sort by value)
Microsoft Lumia 650
Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 1024
55.892 MFLOPS ∼48%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
117.086 MFLOPS ∼100% +109%
Samsung Galaxy J5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1536
87.69 MFLOPS ∼75% +57%
Allview E4
Mediatek MT6753, ARM Mali-T720 MP4, 2048
111.54 MFLOPS ∼95% +100%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Microsoft Lumia 650
Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 1024
546 Points ∼75%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
484 Points ∼66% -11%
Asus Zenfone 2 ZE500KL
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 APQ8016, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 2048
643 Points ∼88% +18%
Archos Diamond S
Mediatek MT6753, ARM Mali-T720 MP4, 2048
729 Points ∼100% +34%
Samsung Galaxy J5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1536
615 Points ∼84% +13%
Allview E4
Mediatek MT6753, ARM Mali-T720 MP4, 2048
731 Points ∼100% +34%
LG Class
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 APQ8016, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1536
696 Points ∼95% +27%
Graphics (sort by value)
Microsoft Lumia 650
Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 1024
207 Points ∼49%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
315 Points ∼74% +52%
Asus Zenfone 2 ZE500KL
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 APQ8016, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 2048
316 Points ∼75% +53%
Archos Diamond S
Mediatek MT6753, ARM Mali-T720 MP4, 2048
421 Points ∼100% +103%
Samsung Galaxy J5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1536
314 Points ∼74% +52%
Allview E4
Mediatek MT6753, ARM Mali-T720 MP4, 2048
423 Points ∼100% +104%
LG Class
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 APQ8016, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1536
312 Points ∼74% +51%
Memory (sort by value)
Microsoft Lumia 650
Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 1024
575 Points ∼61%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
394 Points ∼42% -31%
Asus Zenfone 2 ZE500KL
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 APQ8016, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 2048
797 Points ∼84% +39%
Archos Diamond S
Mediatek MT6753, ARM Mali-T720 MP4, 2048
949 Points ∼100% +65%
Samsung Galaxy J5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1536
399 Points ∼42% -31%
Allview E4
Mediatek MT6753, ARM Mali-T720 MP4, 2048
877 Points ∼92% +53%
LG Class
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 APQ8016, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1536
427 Points ∼45% -26%
System (sort by value)
Microsoft Lumia 650
Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 1024
552 Points ∼31%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
1166 Points ∼65% +111%
Asus Zenfone 2 ZE500KL
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 APQ8016, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 2048
1077 Points ∼60% +95%
Archos Diamond S
Mediatek MT6753, ARM Mali-T720 MP4, 2048
1792 Points ∼100% +225%
Samsung Galaxy J5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1536
1058 Points ∼59% +92%
Allview E4
Mediatek MT6753, ARM Mali-T720 MP4, 2048
1694 Points ∼95% +207%
LG Class
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 APQ8016, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1536
1068 Points ∼60% +93%
Overall (sort by value)
Microsoft Lumia 650
Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 1024
435 Points ∼51%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
515 Points ∼61% +18%
Asus Zenfone 2 ZE500KL
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 APQ8016, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 2048
646 Points ∼76% +49%
Archos Diamond S
Mediatek MT6753, ARM Mali-T720 MP4, 2048
850 Points ∼100% +95%
Samsung Galaxy J5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1536
534 Points ∼63% +23%
Allview E4
Mediatek MT6753, ARM Mali-T720 MP4, 2048
823 Points ∼97% +89%
LG Class
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 APQ8016, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1536
561 Points ∼66% +29%
AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Microsoft Lumia 650
Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 1024
31844 Points ∼86%
Archos Diamond S
Mediatek MT6753, ARM Mali-T720 MP4, 2048
35194 Points ∼95% +11%
Allview E4
Mediatek MT6753, ARM Mali-T720 MP4, 2048
37203 Points ∼100% +17%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Microsoft Lumia 650
Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 1024
2574 Points ∼78%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
3296 Points ∼100% +28%
Asus Zenfone 2 ZE500KL
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 APQ8016, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 2048
3012 Points ∼91% +17%
Archos Diamond S
Mediatek MT6753, ARM Mali-T720 MP4, 2048
2754 Points ∼84% +7%
Samsung Galaxy J5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1536
3038 Points ∼92% +18%
Allview E4
Mediatek MT6753, ARM Mali-T720 MP4, 2048
3177 Points ∼96% +23%
LG Class
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 APQ8016, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1536
3028 Points ∼92% +18%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Microsoft Lumia 650
Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 1024
18237.4 ms * ∼100%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
11843 ms * ∼65% +35%
Asus Zenfone 2 ZE500KL
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 APQ8016, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 2048
14680 ms * ∼80% +20%
Archos Diamond S
Mediatek MT6753, ARM Mali-T720 MP4, 2048
13398 ms * ∼73% +27%
Samsung Galaxy J5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1536
14074 ms * ∼77% +23%
Allview E4
Mediatek MT6753, ARM Mali-T720 MP4, 2048
13148.9 ms * ∼72% +28%
LG Class
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 APQ8016, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1536
13979.7 ms * ∼77% +23%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score (sort by value)
Microsoft Lumia 650
Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 1024
52 Points ∼88%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
52 Points ∼88% 0%
Samsung Galaxy J5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1536
52 Points ∼88% 0%
Allview E4
Mediatek MT6753, ARM Mali-T720 MP4, 2048
59 Points ∼100% +13%
LG Class
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 APQ8016, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1536
57 Points ∼97% +10%

* ... smaller is better

Gaming

You can obviously notice the slow components during gaming. The Lumia 650 does benefit from its slightly lower HD resolution, but there will still be stutters in many games. Asphalt 8: Airborne is one example where we noticed the stutters even with low effects. It is playable but not completely smooth. Simpler titles like Doodle Jump are no problem. The mono speaker at the front directs the sound towards the user and is not covered during gaming. The sensors worked well during our tests.

Asphalt 8: Airborne
Asphalt 8: Airborne
Doodle Jump
Doodle Jump

Emissions

Temperature

GFXBench: Battery Test
GFXBench: Battery Test

The temperature development of the Microsoft Lumia 650 is completely uncritical. It does not even get lukewarm while idling or with light workloads, and we can also only measure up to 38 °C under load at some spots. The SoC does not have thermal issues, either. We check the performance under sustained load with the GFXBench Battery Test. It repeats the T-Rex test 30 times and logs the performance. The result is clear, because the FPS number does not fluctuate.

Max. Load
 36.2 °C
97 F
37.2 °C
99 F
35.1 °C
95 F
 
 36.3 °C
97 F
36.7 °C
98 F
36.4 °C
98 F
 
 35.1 °C
95 F
35.5 °C
96 F
35.1 °C
95 F
 
Maximum: 37.2 °C = 99 F
Average: 36 °C = 97 F
37.7 °C
100 F
38.2 °C
101 F
35.5 °C
96 F
36 °C
97 F
33.7 °C
93 F
33.3 °C
92 F
33.9 °C
93 F
33.7 °C
93 F
32.5 °C
91 F
Maximum: 38.2 °C = 101 F
Average: 34.9 °C = 95 F
Power Supply (max.)  40 °C = 104 F | Room Temperature 21.8 °C = 71 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 36 °C / 97 F, compared to the average of 33.2 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 37.2 °C / 99 F, compared to the average of 35.7 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 38.2 °C / 101 F, compared to the average of 34.2 °C / 94 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 30 °C / 86 F, compared to the device average of 33.2 °C / 92 F.
Microsoft Lumia 650
Adreno 304, 212 APQ8009, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Asus Zenfone 2 ZE500KL
Adreno 306, 410 APQ8016, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Archos Diamond S
Mali-T720 MP4, MT6753, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Samsung Galaxy J5
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Allview E4
Mali-T720 MP4, MT6753, 16 GB eMMC Flash
LG Class
Adreno 306, 410 APQ8016, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Heat
-6%
1%
4%
-2%
-16%
-1%
Maximum Upper Side *
37.2
41.2
-11%
41.1
-10%
34.3
8%
38.3
-3%
41.3
-11%
38.6
-4%
Maximum Bottom *
38.2
39.2
-3%
37
3%
33.7
12%
37.7
1%
45.1
-18%
35
8%
Idle Upper Side *
30.9
33.4
-8%
30
3%
32
-4%
31.9
-3%
36
-17%
34.2
-11%
Idle Bottom *
30.5
31.1
-2%
27.9
9%
31
-2%
30.8
-1%
35.3
-16%
29.6
3%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

The mono speaker is at the bottom of the front and directs the sound towards the user. The maximum volume is sufficiently loud at almost 86 dB(A), but the sound is still pretty tinny. Bass is not available at all and the integrated equalizer with different presets (somewhat hidden in Settings/Extras/Equalizer) cannot change that, either. External speakers or headphones can either be attached via Bluetooth, NFC or stereo jack.

Pink Noise diagram
Pink Noise diagram
Equalizer
Equalizer

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Our consumption measurements show decent results for the Lumia 650. We can only notice the "old" and less efficient Cortex-A7 cores of the SoC under load, because our review unit consumes more power than many of the comparisons devices on average in particular. The maximum consumption is about 4.5 Watts, but the power adapter only has a nominal output of 2.75 Watts (5V, 550 mA). This means the PSU cannot charge the battery or at least maintain the capacity when you play games, for example.

The standby consumption is 0.22 Watts and is increased to 0.36 with the always-on display (information on the lock screen).

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.07 / 0.22 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.7 / 1.1 / 1.18 Watt
Load midlight 4.04 / 4.07 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Gossen Metrahit Energy
Microsoft Lumia 650
7.6 Wh
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
 Wh
Asus Zenfone 2 ZE500KL
 Wh
Archos Diamond S
 Wh
Samsung Galaxy J5
10 Wh
Allview E4
8 Wh
LG Class
 Wh
Power Consumption
11%
18%
-10%
-64%
-193%
-49%
Idle Minimum *
0.7
0.4
43%
0.5
29%
0.8
-14%
1.5
-114%
3.11
-344%
1.2
-71%
Idle Average *
1.1
1
9%
0.9
18%
1.21
-10%
2.2
-100%
4.06
-269%
1.9
-73%
Idle Maximum *
1.18
1.2
-2%
1.1
7%
1.32
-12%
2.4
-103%
4.23
-258%
2.2
-86%
Load Average *
4.04
2.9
28%
2.4
41%
3.73
8%
3.5
13%
5.53
-37%
3.1
23%
Load Maximum *
4.07
5
-23%
4.3
-6%
4.97
-22%
4.8
-18%
6.33
-56%
5.6
-38%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

The replaceable Li-ion battery
The replaceable Li-ion battery

The replaceable lithium-ion battery has a capacity of 7.6 Wh (2000 mAh, 3.8 V) and only provides mediocre battery runtimes. We are particularly interested in the two scenarios with an adjusted luminance of around 150 cd/m². Our review unit is beaten by many rivals, both in the Wi-Fi test (5:45 h) as well as the video test (08:30 h). Still, the smartphone easily lasted a full day in practice. The charging time with the 2.75 Watt PSU is about 3-3.5 hours.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
15h 10min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
5h 45min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
8h 30min
Load (maximum brightness)
3h 33min
Microsoft Lumia 650
7.6 Wh
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
 Wh
Asus Zenfone 2 ZE500KL
 Wh
Archos Diamond S
 Wh
Samsung Galaxy J5
10 Wh
Allview E4
8 Wh
LG Class
 Wh
Battery Runtime
40%
-23%
38%
45%
-10%
11%
Reader / Idle
910
1364
50%
1292
42%
827
-9%
976
7%
H.264
510
677
33%
657
29%
456
-11%
628
23%
WiFi v1.3
345
526
52%
267
-23%
475
38%
495
43%
315
-9%
422
22%
Load
213
264
24%
350
64%
193
-9%
196
-8%

Pros

+ good build quality and sturdy case
+ detachable rear cover
+ replaceable battery
+ storage expansion via microSD
+ great AMOLED screen without PWM
+ decent camera
+ good GPS
+ Microsoft Office

Cons

- mediocre battery runtimes
- slow performance
- no USB cable or headset
- no Continuum or Windows Hello
- bad speaker
- weak PSU with fixed cable

Verdict

In review: Microsoft Lumia 650. Test model courtesy of Notebooksbilliger.
In review: Microsoft Lumia 650. Test model courtesy of Notebooksbilliger.

The Microsoft Lumia is a decent successor to the old Lumia 640. The mainstream smartphone now uses the design language from the bigger siblings Lumia 950/Lumia 950 XL and we get a good chassis with a great AMOLED screen. After the review, however, we do not really know why the device is supposed to be a perfect solution for business customers. We have to waive some features like Windows Hello or Continuum, so it basically comes down to Microsoft Office.

One of the biggest issues is certainly the slow performance of the Lumia 650. Windows 10 Mobile itself runs very smoothly, but you will notice stutters and delays with more complex apps. The other big problem is Windows, because the app selection is still heavily limited compared to Android and iOS. You should check the availability of your favorite apps if you are thinking about switching to Windows 10 Mobile.

The Microsoft Lumia 650 is a decent mainstream smartphone with a great screen. You should, however, be aware of the limitations of Windows 10 Mobile as well as the slow performance.

Microsoft Lumia 650 - 05/09/2016 v5.1
Andreas Osthoff

Chassis
81%
Keyboard
74 / 75 → 98%
Pointing Device
89%
Connectivity
35 / 60 → 59%
Weight
95%
Battery
88%
Display
87%
Games Performance
3 / 63 → 5%
Application Performance
28 / 70 → 40%
Temperature
91%
Noise
100%
Audio
54 / 91 → 59%
Camera
71%
Average
69%
82%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Microsoft Lumia 650 Smartphone Review
Andreas Osthoff, 2016-05-14 (Update: 2018-05-15)
Andreas Osthoff
Andreas Osthoff - Senior Editor Business
I grew up with computers and modern consumer electronics. I am interested in the technology since I had my first computer, a Commodore C64, and started building my own PCs after that. My focus here at Notebookcheck is the business segment including mobile workstations, but I also like to test new mobile devices. It is always a great experience to review and compare new products. My free time is filled with a lot of sports, in the summer mainly on my bike.