Microsoft has announced its latest Windows 10 handset, the Lumia 650, which goes on sale this week for around $200.
The mid-range device is for Windows 10 Mobile buyers who don't want all the bells and whistles available with Microsoft's Lumia 950, such as Windows Hello biometric authentication and Continuum, but need something a little more powerful than the entry-level Lumia 550.
To give the Lumia 650 a touch of luxury and appeal to the business user, Microsoft has wrapped the five-inch OLED display device in an aluminium frame, helping keep it lightweight and slender. Microsoft boasts that the Lumia 650 is 6.9mm thick and weighs 122 grams.
The new handset comes as Microsoft continues to trim headcount in Finland after its Nokia devices acquisition. The company is moving ahead with CEO Satya Nadella's plan to produce fewer Lumia handsets and focus on Microsoft cloud services and apps for Android and iOS, such as its recent SwiftKey acquisition whose tech will be integrated with the WordFlow iOS keyboard that Microsoft has in the works . Despite the design touches, Microsoft has kept the Lumia 650 basic. It will be available only in matte black or matte white and features an eight-megapixel (MP) main camera and five-MP selfie-shooter.
The AMOLED display has a resolution of 1,280 x 720 pixels, while apps run on a lower-end 1.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 processor, which explains why Continuum isn't available. Other core feature of the Lumia 650 include an FM radio, 1GB RAM, 16GB in-built storage, a microSD slot that supports up to 200GB additional storage and a 2,000mAh removable battery. While Microsoft has dialled back its mobile hardware efforts, the company insists that they remain part of its plan for Windows 10 to reach a billion devices. So far, Windows 10 runs 200 million devices, though the contribution from Windows 10 Mobile devices remains minimal with Lumia shipments at 4.5 million in its most recent quarter.
There's no mention yet of a US launch date for the Lumia 650, which will available in some European markets next week for around US$200 before taxes. Microsoft has announced the device will available in Germany for 229Euro, including taxes.