back to article Is this the last ever Lumia?

Microsoft has unveiled what may be its last ever Lumia-branded phone, the Lumia 650. It’s a lightweight “business” workhorse priced at $199 before local taxes and subsidies. Despite the low price, the aluminium-framed model looks somewhat more luxurious than the two troubled “flagship” Lumia 950 models which emerged late last …

  1. Joerg

    Changing name into "Surface" won't make it any better.

    Windows8.2=10 sucks.

    Windows8 sucks. Windows 8.1 sucks.

    The childish Windows Metro/ModernUI sucks.

    All the Microsoft spyware crap sucks.

    All Microsot managers should be in jail for what they did to Nokia and thousands of people that lost their job.

    1. Bob Vistakin
      Unhappy

      Re: Changing name into "Surface" won't make it any better.

      Microsoft has clearly abandoned mobile internally. We're just waiting for the formal announcement now. It's future lies in other vendors hardware using other vendors software platforms.

      A colossal double fail, making their rape and murder of Nokia so much more poignant.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Changing name into "Surface" won't make it any better.

        "Microsoft has clearly abandoned mobile internally"

        No they haven't - they are just focussing primarily on enterprise customers. The next line of phones will likely be Surface branded is what this article refers to.

        We just finished moving over 5,000 devices from BB to WP8 / Lumia 640s where I work (a FTSE 100) - and the end user feedback was very positive. The primary reasoning for the decision was that it was much more cost effective than Apple and far more secure than Android.

        1. toughluck

          Re: Changing name into "Surface" won't make it any better.

          I bought a Lumia 640 for myself and my wife. We're both very happy with them (it's her first smartphone).

          I have to admit some apps are missing. Namely, games. I can sympathize with people who treat their phone as a mobile games console, since they are left out in the cold and Windows Phone definitely isn't going to work out for them.

          Some apps are paid for while they are "free" on Android (I also have a cheap Android tablet). The problem with "free" apps/games is that they are either extremely limited or ads make them unusable. Then you have to pay money to disable ads or enable full functionality. This usually costs 2-3 times more than buying the full version on Windows Phone in the first place.

          End of the day, I have found and installed all apps that I use or need. Neither phone crashed as of yet. And user experience is just perfect -- I have noticed absolutely no lag at all and all functionality is implemented well -- no need for five different keyboards for varied functionality and swype is much better at predicting text than it ever was on Android or Bada (my previous smartphone of last four years was the original Samsung Wave).

        2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: Changing name into "Surface" won't make it any better.

          > the decision was that it was much more cost effective than Apple

          Of course it was. Nokia phone division never made a profit in any quarter with WP in spite of getting a $billion a year from Microsoft. That was because they sold at a loss in order to make any sales at all. Microsoft seem to still be selling them as a loss leader to try to keep their business intact. Letting Apple or Linux (Android) into 'their' sites would be the thin edge of the wedge (BB was neutral because it was only phones).

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Changing name into "Surface" won't make it any better.

          Lol, far more secure than Android. You really did fall for the hype.

          Given over a billion Android phones in daily use, don't you think you would see problems for real, not just READ about them on the internet? It's quite clear to me you don't understand how the internet works..

          @ac. Nokia Here Mao's is available for free, for Android too and supports offline maps. It's not even Nokia Here maps anymore, that was sold off too (to automotive consortium)

          A very large German company I know beginning with S, they have a windows phone story, users have them as a corporate deal, they are universally hated, mostly useless, and almost all users have real phones too....

          If you want to know where all the phone shop back room unsold landfill goes, look to large corporate deals. I'm sure one guy got a big bonus saving the company money on phones, but there is more to the story.. Far more...

          1. Bob Vistakin
            Facepalm

            Re: Changing name into "Surface" won't make it any better.

            This "corporate deal" defense speaks volumes. It's admitting no-one uses a windows phone because they *want* to, it's because they have to be forced to. Another stupid move guaranteed to lose their last users hearts and minds.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Changing name into "Surface" won't make it any better.

      Windows phones are landfill, that is all you need to know. No apps, not very reliable (can it even stream to a Bluetooth speaker without stuttering yet, or go a few days without randomly rebooting?)

      Even Microsoft have given up, and all their focus is on iOS and Android these days. Why would anyone end up with an OS that even its manufacturer has conceded is on Death row? 

      1. Chris Parsons

        Re: Changing name into "Surface" won't make it any better.

        Do you have any experience to back up your bold statement? Somehow, I guess not. I have had a 920 and now have a 1020, which I bought for its superb camera. The phone does everything I want it to, it has yet to crash and it enables me to take a good camera on cycling trips in Europe. I couldn't give a toss about games or esoteric apps, just email, web and mapping - oh, you also get the excellent Nokia Here maps, which are downloaded to the phone.

        If you want to make comments, try to be sensible.

      2. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: Changing name into "Surface" won't make it any better.

        @AC

        No apps, not very reliable (can it even stream to a Bluetooth speaker without stuttering yet, or go a few days without randomly rebooting?)

        Sorry, but that is pure ignorance on your part.

        I'll freely admit to moving from WinPhone to Android at my next phone purchase, as I see that as the winning horse - there's no future for Windows Mobile, in my view.

        No Apps is just wrong. There has yet to be an app devised that I need or want for either Android of iPhone that I cannot get on Windows Mobile. Not one. Randomly rebooting? I've been running WinMobile for about 10 years or so now, and yes they used to do that, literally years ago. I've never had my 8.2 WinPhone reboot randomly, not once.

        Time to pull your head out of your ass and notice that the world has moved on perhaps?

  2. ZSn

    Same ol' same ol'

    This doesn't look much different to the 640, bigger memory, and and a bit better screen, but worse battery life and a nano sim. The big 'draw' is windows 10? Really? I'll stick to 8.1 for the moment.

    They haven't put much effort into this apart from cosmetic it seems.

  3. LDS Silver badge

    They should stick with Lumia for phones and Surface for tablets.

    Just one name will just generate confusion. Apple marketing department knows very well simple short names stick. iPhone and iPad are better than something alike Galaxy Pad Note Pro.

    Making Surface Phones and Surface Tablets (and even laptops...) won't help MS to sell more, and will just confuse buyers. Stick with Lumia and Surface - Continuum won't turn a phone nor into a tablet nor into a laptop.

    And I could replace eventually my Lumia 620 with this one if they eventually understand WP8 works better than W10 on a phone - I don't need to edit Office documents on it.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: They should stick with Lumia for phones and Surface for tablets.

      Heresy.

      According to MS all you ever need to do is use Office everywhere all the time. You have to run Office on every device.

      All those devices must run Windows 10 (or a variant thereof).

      You have got to get on message.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: They should stick with Lumia for phones and Surface for tablets.

      It's even worse. Surface is x86, Lumia is ARM, and if they ever manage Continuum on ARM they're going to need a marketing genius to explain why your desktop apps don't work on the Continuum desktop, more so if they decide to call everything Surface.

      1. Phil Kingston Silver badge

        Re: They should stick with Lumia for phones and Surface for tablets.

        Unless a Surface phone packs an Intel Atom?

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: They should stick with Lumia for phones and Surface for tablets.

          Don't worry, even if they do manage it they're short sighted enough to not allow Win32.

      2. TheVogon Silver badge

        Re: They should stick with Lumia for phones and Surface for tablets.

        "and if they ever manage Continuum on ARM "

        Continuum already works just fine on my ARM based Lumia 950XL...

        Windows 10 apps can be cross platform remember - it's the same underlying kernel and "One Core" APIs. For instance my ARM based mobile phone is already running the exact same Windows 10 build number as my Windows 10 x64 based desktop...

        1. toughluck

          Re: They should stick with Lumia for phones and Surface for tablets.

          People don't get it that it's no longer 2010 and it's no longer Windows Phone 7 that we're talking about.

          I also fully expect Surface phones to pack Atom CPUs and to allow Win32 software with Continuum and Lumia could continue as Continuum-capable ARM CPU-based phones, but without x86-64 app compatibility, but it's an open question if it makes any sense (it all depends on the price of Snapdragons vs. Atoms).

  4. Bob Vistakin
    Linux

    Keep an eye out on eBay

    There's a slight chance it has one redeeming feature.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's going on at MS ?

    I'm pretty sure exactly no one is waiting for this. Unless they wanted to create their own 'LandFill' line, they have succeeded in getting absolutely nothing right with this effort.

    Even the spin they tried to sell the 950 on (continuum) is missing. Acer was making these things (bar Win10 of course) 2 years ago. Only better. And they were crap too.

    I expect that inside of 6 months we will be reading the news that MS has gotten out of the mobile Phone business completely, and find out they were only using the last Lumia's as test mules for Winpho 10. Which, by this time, will have gained absolutely no traction from their partners and will have been shelved as well. I seriously doubt the much vaunted surface Phone will ever see the light of day.

    Note to Mr. Nadella

    If, in a future near of far, you feel an uncontrollable urge to separate MS for a few million USD, shoot me a mail and I'll give you my bank account number. You'll be rid of your money a lot faster, and you won't even have to spend any time developing useless gadgets or software. A great step in efficiency if ever I saw one.

  6. AMBxx Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Surface

    MS need to sort out their marketing dept. Surface started as a table, became a tablet, became a laptop, now it's going to be a phone.

    Confused yet?

    1. Gio Ciampa

      Re: Surface

      A watch next presumably...

  7. nkuk

    ding dong the witch is dead

    although it hasn't really been 'alive' since Windows Mobile 6.5.

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: ding dong the witch is dead

      "although it hasn't really been 'alive' since Windows Mobile 6.5."

      Cue "undead" Lumias pointing at MS management and moaning, "Brrainnsss, they need brrainnsss."

  8. AdamK

    Tipped By Whom?

    The Surface phone is a myth longed for by a band of increasingly embittered fanbois. There is no evidence that MS sees any percentage on phones. They have written off $10Bn on the Nokia handset acquisition already. They have just announced another load of job cuts in the mobile division. I woould guess that they are winding down their handset engineering division. Windows Mobile 10 (its called that this week) is on maintenance. If OEM's want to make a Windows Phone, MS will with them luck.

    I read they are rolling out WP10 to older handsets in the middle east. This must be an effort to disrupt communications of certain organisations with a reputation for misanthropy. Don't MS know there will never be a Snapchat app for Windows Phone?

  9. chris 17 Bronze badge

    looks good, shame about the choice of OS

    1. sabroni Silver badge
      Happy

      IKR!

      Can I wipe it and put a PROPER linux on there?

  10. J J Carter Silver badge
    FAIL

    Epic Fail

    Only to be issued to the Fail Army!

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Epic Fail

      Sinn Fail?

      1. Jemma Silver badge

        Re: Epic Fail

        So, you'd be tired of your kneecaps then?

      2. Mpeler
        Coat

        Re: Epic Fail

        All's Fail that ends Fail?

  11. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

    The Lumias seem popular around these parts because they're exceedingly good value ( we have two in our house for the same reason ).

    I don't know why, but I'm regularly surprised when I heard a Lumia ring tone and it's not my phone. Obviously anecdote isn't the singular of data, but they seem more popular than they're supposed to be.

    1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      > The Lumias seem popular around these parts because they're exceedingly good value

      The reason they are 'good value' is because Nokia and Microsoft had to sell them at a loss in order to have any sold at all. This is why Nokia phone division never made a profit in any quarter that they were selling WP even though they were given a $bilion a year by Microsoft.

    2. jerkyflexoff

      Your right. I see them in action quite often, it seems like the voice of the other sides want to make sure the world knows their are crap with out even trying them. I have had a win phone since 8, I can do pritty much every thing I need to do on it. Apart from running some crappy waste of Tim e app.

  12. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    Typical Microsoft marketing. Lumia => Surface. Take a known and established that's almost well thought of... and replace it with something else that's either unknown or is known but has a poor reputation among those that know it.

    They'll be replacing Skype with Lync or Hotmail with live/outlook.com next...

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      They'll presumably rename the OS again:

      Windows 10 For Surface ( No, not that one, the mobile one )

      1. nkuk

        It reminds me of the continual renaming of the MSN online services, its not the name that's the problem.

  13. Anon the mouse

    at least the 1020 tried something

    This is just mid-range as ever. I loved my 1020, until it got progressively slower. The camera while no DSLR was a great standout feature. If this was higher/equal res and not sluggish like the 1020, I'd probably be heading back to the Lumia fold.

    1. Mike Taylor

      Re: at least the 1020 tried something

      The camera on the 950 / 950xl is great.

      I took a wild punt on buying a 950xl couple of weeks ago - I pretty much had to get a new camera, and I thought I'd try it, despite the negative review from AO here. In fact, it's pretty damn good. No glitches that I've noticed, battery lasts well, as fast as you like.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: at least the 1020 tried something

      I doubt they even have the engineers left to put out a high end phone.

  14. MyffyW Silver badge

    Hello? It's lonely in here...

  15. caffeine addict Silver badge

    So... Microsoft spent all that money on Nokia, didn't get the Nokia name, threw away the OS, pissed off most of the Nokia customers, is trashing the Lumia brand and is now (allegedly) dropping it, and clearly doesn't want the employees.

    What did they actually buy Nokia for?

    1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      > What did they actually buy Nokia for?

      To stop them making Android phones. The agreement to only use WP was about to run out and Nokia had already started making 'X' phones* which were Android based. As Nokia made about 90% of all WP devices them switching all manufacturing to Android would kill WP entirely. MS thought it could save it.

      * http://www.gsmarena.com/nokia_x-6067.php

    2. Mikel

      Why buy Nokia?

      Gates wanted to "beat Nokia". Didn't get it done. Ballmer wanted that notch on his gunbelt.

    3. Anna Logg

      The IPR?

      Oh hang on, they didn't get that either.

      I assume Ballmer wanted to buy a mobile phone company, Nutella doesn't want one.

    4. J J Carter Silver badge

      >What did they actually buy Nokia for?<

      Balmer got a chubby on?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What did they actually buy Nokia for?

      The usual cure for having too much money, cocaine, is presumably out in Redmond, so they have to try some of the other traditional cures. In the past it was horses or yachting. Today, obviously, it's buying a mobile phone company and seeing who can run one into the ground fastest. BlackBerry holds the record so far, Microsoft still has a way to go to beat them - but they are a worthy competitor.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Core strategy

      Apart from games and few specialist application in the not so distant future a budget phone phone will have enough power for everyday desktop workloads. Moore's law in action. It just needs a big screen keyboard and mouse attaching. When we get there the days of desktops PC's are pretty much done. As the desktop PC O/S and the attendant sales of Office the OS drives are Microsoft's bread and butter they need to get in front of the game. Buying Nokia allowed them to produce some very nice phone hardware and develop a phone O/S that was surprisingly good. They can't do an Apple so to succeed they need other manufactures making a living pushing phones running their O/S. This means that they need Lumia to be a demo showing that Windows phones can be good but not allow it to be a killer brand so other folks can still compete. Their problem is they are running out of time. They need to get the Windows 10 phone, tablet, continuum, desktop concept established while desktops are still relevant.

    7. LDS Silver badge

      I'm afraid there's little business reasons in these decisions, and a lot of personal revenges among Microsoft executives, with ex-Nokia people caught in the middle. It's no good for employees and customers when a company starts this kind of infighting.

    8. Aaron 10

      If you figure that out, please tell someone at Microsoft's head office.

    9. oldcoder

      To try and keep a Windows phone in existence.

      If it weren't for Nokia, there would have been NO WP oems...

      And Elop killed the company to make it cheaper for MS to purchase (succeeded too).

      Only problem was that all the good engineers bailed. Those that remained have ended up getting laid off, and MS can't do a decent OS to save the company.

    10. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Tax breaks and patents?

    11. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      To prevent them releasing an Android device, and subsequently dropping Windows like every other manufacturer?

    12. Captain DaFt

      What did they actually buy Nokia for?

      Best I can figure is that Ballmer saw the end coming for his reign, and the Nokia purchase was his way of giving Microsoft the finger on his way out.

  16. J J Carter Silver badge
    Joke

    It's great for parents!

    I've just told my eldest if he doesn't behave his next mobi will be a Lumia. Know he's as good as gold with his homework open.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Joe Belfiore's iPhone tweet.

    So was Joe B's iPhone tweet with dyed blond hair a cryptic way to say:

    Windows 10 Mobile has dyed / dye hair (died) / is dead.

    Timing seems about right.

  18. Mikel

    For business?

    Microsoft again expresses their contempt for their captive business audience by dropping a low end defeatured phone with no apps saying "it's for business". It's for giving you the business all right.

  19. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Ho Hum

    As ever, I like my 650 and will probably keep it for a while yet, but wouldn't mind something similar with a bit better spec. Particularly the details they seem to have dropped to get the price too low. I don't want a Google spy or an over priced Apple. But when Microsoft bring out new models they all seem to be in the rock bottom, landfill part of the market. There just doesn't seem to be any mid-range, good enough for an ordinary user who wants all the usual features and doesn't need shiny shiny i.e a usable, fully functioning smartphone for everyday general use.

    My 650 pretty much does this. But they took out too many important features, like a front facing camera, a light and something that shows it's charging when it's plugged in on standby. So I'd welcome an improved alternative.

    And Windows 10 will not be what induces me to get a new Lumia - absolutely not

  20. x 7

    "that doesn’t support Continuum"

    and??????

    FFS its a phone. Not a PC

    Has anyone stopped to think that the reason Microsoft has culled so many Nokia staff is that they were superfluous? Nokia was a basket case which was on an uncontrolled implosion. Microsoft bought the wreck and converted it into a controlled implosion. They're getting rid of the crap, the unwanted, the superfluous, the uncommitted.

    Its an accepted fact that prior to the takeover, Nokia phones were riddled with interdepartmental competion, and a complacency regarding their market position. You had competing groups with competing products and competing marketing strategies, and competing operating systems. Microsoft have cured that. They've sacked the wastrells, the jobsworths, the empire builders, and the useless. Its a gamble, but just maybe they can make it work.: making more, of a smaller product range with no internal competition and reduced costs is a very sensible way to go

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No hard feelings, Nokia

    Your acquisition was merely for Microsoft to suck up the patents. The skeletal remains of the carcass inevitably gets assimilated into the 'ecosystem'.

    Look at Skype. Look at Acompli. Look at Swiftkey. Look at Minecraft. Many more examples, if you have the honest eyes to look.

  22. jimbo60

    Sad day...

    I love my Nokia Lumia 1520. Best phone I've ever had, running Windows Phone 8.whatever.

    Unfortunately, the hardware started misbehaving. When the phone mic cut out, I had to get something that worked as a phone! So I picked up one of the Black Friday $30 specials on the 640 as a quick, cheap, and hopefully temporary fix. I also used that as an opportunity to try out the Windows Phone 10 beta (fast ring). I'm still running that, but it pales in comparison to the 1520 running 8.x. Granted, the phone is in a completely different class, but the problems I have with now are software issues, not cheap hardware.

    Sadly, each next generation turn from Microsoft seems to get worse than the previous one. It seems as if they've forgotten how to develop product quality software.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Would be no different if Samsung had been Windows Phone, Strategic Partner.

      'Nokia was a basket case which was an uncontrolled implosion. Microsoft bought that wreck and turned it into a controlled implosion'

      From this you're making the broad assumption that everyone working at Microsoft was far more efficient,intelligent and knowledgeable regards Mobile, than the folk that worked at Nokia were.

      I don't buy it.

      Nokia wasn't some completely dead end company, it had some of the brightest & intelligent - working there.

      In contrast, I remember well Windows Phone 7 software been incapable of even booking a Travelodge (in the UK) through its browser, and thinking WTF!

      Windows Phone / Windows 10 mobile & Microsoft Marketing killed Nokia. Nokia's hardware in itself, didn't kill Windows Phone. Windows Phone / Windows 10 mobile would be in exactly the same position today, if Samsung (hardware) had been its main strategic partner.

      1. x 7

        Re: Would be no different if Samsung had been Windows Phone, Strategic Partner.

        "From this you're making the broad assumption that everyone working at Microsoft was far more efficient,intelligent and knowledgeable regards Mobile, than the folk that worked at Nokia were."

        No, I'm making the assumption and assertion that Nokia was such a badly managed, dysfunctional company with invalid technical direct and no sense of marketing direction, that the majority of its staffers were irrelevant to the future of the business, and that ANY external management structure, even Microsoft's would be an improvement.

        Nokia killed itself, with competing divisions selling into the same market with competing products and competing operating systems, with no interusability. Duplicate competing management structures, duplicate redundant R&D and design teams, duplicate software development teams. A total recipe for disaster. Microsoft have got it down to one range, streamlined management, and streamlined production, of what are actually for the "non-tech" user quite user-friendly, reliable phones.

        1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: Would be no different if Samsung had been Windows Phone, Strategic Partner.

          > No, I'm making the assumption and assertion that Nokia was such a badly managed, dysfunctional company

          And yet they were number 1 in their field.

          > with invalid technical direct and no sense of marketing direction

          The proof of that is they chose Windows Phone.

          > Nokia killed itself, with competing divisions selling into the same market with competing products and competing operating systems, with no interusability.

          Nokia addressed several market sectors and many different countries. These had different needs that were met by different products. It also had several different development teams to ensure that it could change direction when required. The N9 showed that it got it right - but this, and others, were squashed by Microsoft before they became more popular than WP. Even the final throw of 'Nokia X' (Android) seemed to outsell WP where available.

          > ANY external management structure, even Microsoft's would be an improvement.

          And yet it was Microsoft's Elop that led directly to destruction.

          > Microsoft have got it down to one range

          By killing off everything that wasn't Microsoft's regardless of whether customers wanted it. In the end Microsoft will go one better.

    2. Mikel

      Re: No hard feelings, Nokia

      Why must we keep reminding you people that when they bought Nokia's phone business Microsoft did not acquire Nokia's phone patents? They acquired a license to USE them, but Nokia is still in business and still owns those patents.

  23. Jon B

    Worse hardware than a 2yr old 735

    Well done Microsoft for another nail in the Windows Phone coffin.

    My two year old Lumia 735, bought for less money than the launch price of the 650, has superior specifications in every regard.

    This is a budget phone in budget hardware for mid-range phone price.

    1. Phil Kingston Silver badge

      Re: Worse hardware than a 2yr old 735

      That's one of the issues MS has struggled with - explaining that specs don't tell the story of user experience.

  24. Terrahawk

    Windows10 Mobile.

    In the future your mobile device will be the answer to all. No computers at home just your mobile. If Microsoft don't get this right it's all over for them as it will be the biggest sinking ship in the history of mankind. (No joke!). The players for that kind of a future is already panning out. Looks like China will have one or two of these companies that will build these devices. Maybe two in the Americas but also 1 or two else where could possibly Africa. It's no longer about Operating systems it's about who will have the mobile phone market. MS has left it very late and if the Win10 fails on mobile their dead and buried. So, Mr MS get your finger out of your **** and sort Win10. I love the Idea of this OS but it is very bad at the moment with no stability in sight after 6 months of waiting for a stable Win10. BTW the version number no longer has any value as the phone will just go through the motions of auto updating from what I understand. If I'm wrong you can let me know here! @TerraHawk1963

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019