Microsoft’s New Lumia 650 Is A $199 Windows 10 Phone

Microsoft unveiled its first Lumia phones running Windows 10 back in October, and today it offered up a third and much cheaper variant.

If last year’s Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL looked impressive — impressive for phones running on a ‘dead’ platform — then the Lumia 650, which was outed today, is the budget version, coming in as it does at $199 — far cheaper than the $549 and $649 of the 950 and 950 XL.

That $199 gets you five-inch OLED screen, eight- and five-megapixel cameras and the front and back, and a Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 212 which doesn’t support Microsoft’s ‘Continuum ‘ phone-to-PC feature.

The Redmond-based company is billing the device as a business phone that represents an affordable way to get Windows 10 into your workforce’s pocket — “the smart choice for your business.”

But, but, but, but… you really have to ask if that’s the best use of corporate money, at this point.

TechCrunch’s Natasha Lomas explained last month that Windows Phone is officially an “ex-platform.” Microsoft’s phone-based revenue plummeted by 49 percent, with quarterly sales dropping from 10.5 million units to 4.5 million over one year. Even CEO Satya Nadella conceded that numbers have gone south since “our strategy change announced in July 2015.”

Yet, here we are, weeks later, with what seems like a nice looking, capable and wallet-friendly release. Another Windows Phone that you won’t and (since app developers care about whether the eyeballs — and companies have long shifted to bring-your-own-device) shouldn’t buy.

There have been rumors that Microsoft is preparing a service phone and that this is the last Lumia device we’ll see. That’s based on the company relocating the once-independent Lumia team into the Surface team. As, a Microsoft authority, explained though, at this point nobody knows what devices that new working relationship will produce so all the speculation is moot.

Judging Microsoft on the here and now: the Lumia 650 looks fine, but the Windows Phone game is all but over.