Microsoft's new Lumia 650 emphasises its new business focus, but without Continuum

Microsoft says it will launch the 650 in select European markets, for now.

Microsoft Lumia 650

Microsoft Lumia 650

More and more, Microsoft seems to transitioning Windows Phone into a business-oriented device. So it’s a little odd that its new phone, the Lumia 650, appears to have launched without support for Microsoft's Continuum Display Dock.

Microsoft’s Lumia 650 is decidedly a midrange to low-end phone: according to Microsoft’s specifications, it’s powered by a low-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 212, with just 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, as well as a 5-inch, 1280x720 display. And, like the Lumia 950, Lumia 950XL, and Lumia 550, it does run Windows 10 Mobile. Microsoft said its new phone will cost less than $200, but didn’t release a price in euros.

It’s not all that strange, however, that Microsoft launched the Lumia 650 overseas and not in the United States. U.S. customers seem to prefer (and have been clamoring for) new flagship devices that can compete with similar products on the Android and iOS platforms. But Windows Phone’s market share has sagged, while overseas it is at least viable. In the U.K., for example, it stood at 9.2 percent for the three months ending in December, according to Kantar WorldPanel. It’s likely, based on Kantar’s data, that the phone will launch in the U.K., France, and Italy.

Analysts began suspecting that Microsoft’s future was in the enterprise last fall, though a recent spate of announcements by PC companies seems to have crystallized Microsoft’s Windows phone strategy: partner with PC companies with little to no phone presence, while building a strong ecosystem of apps for competing platforms.

One of the strongest business features of Microsoft’s recent Lumia line, though, has been the Display Dock, a feature that transforms the Windows 10 Mobile phone into a PC-like experience. With Continuum, a compatible phone can be connected to the Dock and an external monitor. A user can then run Windows 10 Universal apps on the phone, through the dock, and on an external monitor—with the apps scaling to fill the available space.

Microsoft has included some features that Lumia fans prefer: a removable 2000mAh battery, for example, and SD card support for up to 200GB. There’s an 8-megapixel camera on the rear, and a 5-Mpixel selfie camera on the front. Other than that, however, the Lumia 650 seems like just another average Lumia phone.

Why this matters: The Lumia 650 doesn’t seem to be compatible with the Dock—or, at least, Microsoft never mentioned it on its blog post announcing the phone or on its product page, including its recommended accessories. We don’t know that the Lumia 650 isn’t compatible with the Dock—but it’s an odd and slightly disappointing omission, nevertheless. If Microsoft plans to make phones for business its new focus, you would think that Continumm, and the Display Dock, would be front and center.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftWindows 10

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mark Hachman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?