The Microsoft Lumia 650 is allegedly the next device to come out of the mobile segment of the Redmond giant and rumors surrounding the budget handset have already reached their peaks with leaked photos, renders and FCC documentation providing proof of its existence. The Lumia 650 release date has not been confirmed by the company, but rumors suggest we should see the phone being unveiled by the end of the month. The Lumia 650 is not an interesting release, being a budget phone, but there’s something else that caught the eyes of journalists and analysts around the web. Some are saying that the Lumia 650 will be the last Windows phone launched under the Lumia label, as various news outlets are reporting about Microsoft letting go of this specific mobile division. I won’t cite any sources because none of them seem to be reliable. Some say that with the new handset, we can say goodbye to smartphones manufactured under Microsoft guidance, while others say the Lumia name will merely be replaced with something Microsoft fans and new customers might be more happy about: the Surface Phone.
Rumors of a Surface Phone have been around for quite a few years now, speculations going around about how the new handset would be launched in tandem with a Surface Pro tablet. Since that hasn’t happened yet, the hype around the name has intensified. With the new rumors of the Lumia name being killed off rising, the prospect of a Surface Phone line-up replacing the brand is interesting, to say the least. Most of you are probably familiar with the slow progress of the Lumia brand and the less than satisfactory sales and revenues Microsoft has been making ever since it took over Lumia from Nokia. It could be possible that in an attempt to revitalize their handset business, Microsoft could be changing the name and modifying the hardware to suit the Surface monogram – Surface inferring high-end hardware and premium design. With competition from Samsung and Apple intensifying as the two companies keep launching premium smartphones to beat the slightly outdated Lumias Microsoft has launched, it seems like the right time for a change in strategy. However, the sources saying Lumia is a goner are not entirely trustworthy, so I think the whole story might be fabricated.
Whether these rumors and speculations are true or not is up for debate. Microsoft has not spoken about what they have in mind for the future of Lumia, especially not about letting go of the brand altogether after investing so much time, effort and money in it. There have been murmurs from execs about a possible Surface Phone, but once again, this kind of info should be taken with a grain of salt. More light should be shed on the matter when the Lumia 650 sees the light of day as the budget device it is promising to be (according to FCC documents), as should Microsoft reveal what their plans are in the IoT world. Surface is a brand on many people’s lips, most praising the Surface Pro line-up of devices. Windows 10 is in the same bucket, although opinions about the new cross-platform operating system are mixed. While some enjoy the experience, others are discontented with the performance and compatibility aspects of the OS. Those with Microsoft hardware are mostly happy with how they can interact with Windows 10, but others with third-party hardware that have installed Windows 10 seem to be having compatibility and performance issues. Windows 10 Mobile has been impressive on the last pair of Lumia 950 handsets, but reviewers did point out on occasion that the OS is still in need of refinement. Perhaps these refinements will be accompanied by a new Surface Phone that would demonstrate the full potential of the OS.
Until we can get some confirmed and true information about the future of Lumia, we can at least find out what their next launch is going to be. The Lumia 650. according to leaked information and FCC filings, will feature a plastic construction and a 5-inch 720p display. A Snapdragon 210 processor, 1 GB RAM and 8 GB internal storage are supposed to be behind the performance of the device and supporting Windows 10. A microSD card slot, 8 MP camera with flash on the rear, 5 MP camera on the front, two SIM slots, 4G LTE and a 2000 mAh battery should also be part of the device’s specs. With this hardware, the Lumia 650 is certainly not a promising device and falls into the budget category. Oh, and the Lumia 650 XL, with a 5.5-inch display, is also pretty much going to be part of the launch. Rumored Lumia 650 price range is between $150 and $200 unlocked, which sounds fair for a handset with these kinds of specs. Windows 10 is still going to be the focus of the handset, although there’s no information about Windows Hello being part of the deal – I suspect it will be through its front camera, but I might be wrong. So what do you guys think? Would the Lumia 650 be a fitting goodbye from Lumia? Or the goodbye phone doesn’t matter if a Surface Phone is in the works?
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