Usually, teasing any new Lumia Windows Phone is enough to stir joy in those dedicated to using the company’s Windows 10 operating system with a matching companion that they can take in their pocket. Today’s leaks of the rumored Lumia 650, complete with the iPhone’s good looks, isn’t exactly having that same reaction. That’s because the Lumia 650 is rumored to be Microsoft’s last Lumia Windows Phone ever.
Unconfirmed leaks of the Microsoft Lumia 650 have trickled out in recent weeks. The device is said to be smaller than the Lumia 950 XL and Lumia 950 iPhone rivals that Microsoft revealed back in October at its Windows 10 Devices Event. Those devices were the fastest, most powerful Lumia Windows Phones the world had ever seen. Unfortunately, a high price tag and plastic design, didn’t impress many at all.
“Microsoft Lumia 650 – the last Lumia, it’s been said press shot,” is about all the context leaker Evan Blass provides with his new picture of the Lumia 650. In the picture you can clearly see the front edges of the device and where its cameras are placed.
Microsoft Lumia 650 — the last Lumia, it's been said — press shot. pic.twitter.com/n4HdOAYOMK
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) February 3, 2016
There are no built-in buttons for Back, Start and Search because Microsoft switched to on-screen navigation some time ago. A web camera sits in the top-right corner of the device, just above the screen. What can barely be seen in this leaked Lumia 960 Windows Phone picture is the device’s rumored metal edges. That being said, the color changes along the bezel match with other pictures and renders of the Lumia 650 that have made it out of Microsoft’s headquarters.
Windows Central, a fan site that’s provided accurate information about Windows Phones in the past, believes that the Lumia 650 will get announced sometime this month, before going on sale directly through Microsoft’s website. The outlet also says that the Lumia 650 will have a 5-inch 720P display, Snapdragon 210 processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, 5 megapixel front-facing camera and a rear-facing 8 megapixel camera, in an older report.
Blass is describing the Lumia 650 as the last Lumia Windows Phone release because it seems to be true in more ways than one. First, Microsoft and all of its partners stopped releasing devices with the Windows Phone operating system on them last fall when Windows 10 debuted.
Though they share apps and features, Windows 10 Mobile is a huge departure from Windows Phone 8, Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows Phone 7. The designs of most apps have changed, features have were added and others others were dropped entirely – some of them iconic. For example, Windows 10 Mobile dumps the mostly black and text-heavy interface of Windows Phone for something that’s a lot closer to Android and just as palatable and bright as Windows 10 for notebooks, desktops and tablets. Windows 10 Mobile apps can double as Windows 10 apps too, when developers put in the necessary work.
Second, the Lumia 650 is said to be the last piece of hardware designed by the teams from Nokia Devices & Services. Microsoft purchased Nokia’s devices division a few years ago. Layoffs and release cutbacks have made what’s left of the team far less visible than they were before.
Last year CEO Satya Nadella handed over control to what remains of Nokia Devices to the same hardware team responsible for the Microsoft Surface. Rumor is that a Surface Phone is coming to take the place of the Lumia line in the not-too-distant future. When it’ll arrive is anyone’s guess, but Microsoft continues to develop Windows 10 Mobile. The company needs some hardware to sell the operating system on of its own just as it does with Surface tablets.
Acer and VIAO have new iPhone rivals running Windows 10 Mobile on the way. The Alcatel OneTouch Fierce is coming to T-Mobile USA soon. AT&T still carries the Lumia 950. Microsoft sells unlocked versions of the Lumia 950 XL and Lumia 950 on its website.