Microsoft Lumia 650 announcement delayed until mid-February

Microsoft is expected to announce the business-orientated Lumia 650 relatively soon, but software issues are pushing the date back even further. Recently, Windows Central revealed that Microsoft was set to announce the Lumia 650 on February 1 through their official blog. Presumably, the availability of the device was very close to that low-key announcement, but now plans have changed.

Sources close to the matter have told me that the date has been pushed back until sometime in mid-February with no specific day yet set. The delay is reportedly due to some last minute software/firmware issues that were found. As to why such a scenario would delay the announcement, it is not too clear. However, if Microsoft were planning to align the statement with immediate availability of the new phone e.g. direct purchase online, such a delay could make sense.

If mid-February is the new timeframe, it casts even more doubt on Microsoft having any significant presence at Mobile World Congress, which kicks off February 22 in Barcelona. Instead, as we noted earlier, the Lumia 650 will be announced with little fanfare, and that still looks to be the case.

Lumia 650

Laser cutting

Additionally, I can add that the Microsoft used laser cutting for the metal edge of the Lumia 650. The effect of laser cutting is the band's metal is matte on the sides, but shinier on the edges. Of course, such a high-quality feel will only cast more doubt on why the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL could not have had the same attention to design and detail. One thing is clear: the Lumia team's efforts on this generation of phones were more diverse and sporadic.

More layoffs and 'the last Lumia'?

I hear there may be more layoffs in the Lumia division as Microsoft continues to walk back the purchase of Nokia's mobile division. To counter the layoffs the group under Panos Panay is reportedly actively hiring for mobile. This rebalancing seems to confirm the phasing out of the Lumia brand. However, that is pure speculation at this time.

Let me address the phrasing many sites have taken that the Lumia 650 is "the last Lumia" for Microsoft as in forever. The only thing I have heard is the Lumia 650 is the only Lumia in development and planned for release for this year. Whether or not Microsoft will have new Lumias later in 2016 or early 2017 or revise the brand is unknown. To my knowledge, there are no other Lumias in the pipeline and the Lumia 650 completes the Nokia portfolio acquired when Microsoft bought their mobile division.

Lumia 650

Note, however, that Lumia does not mean Windows Phone. Microsoft is actively developing a new mobile phone for late 2016, with the Surface team led by Panos Panay taking the charge. Panay took over mobile hardware in the end of July, so none of that is news or surprising. What that device will look like, feature, or even if it will see the light of day remains to be seen and is Microsoft's more pressing challenge.

Daniel Rubino
Editor-in-chief

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

344 Comments
  • Is there anything Microsoft does not delay these days?
  • The answer for that question has been delayed. More info at microsoft.soon
  • Lmao
  • LOL
  • Lol.. Good one.
  • Epic, couldnt help laughing, although im at work :P
  • Lmfao
  • iOS and Android apps, ohhhh; j/k, Microsoft is playing catch up, I think most people that follow Windows phone knows this and have either accepted it or moved on...
  • Moved on indeed. Both emotionally and from the platform itself.
  • Done and did that too somewhat, still use my WPs at work but only because I'm trying to get my monies worth LOL, predict they’ll be my last though especially if MS continues on with their ways.
  • Yet here you are
  • For me not near as much and one always needs a laugh or two to brighten up their day ;)
  • I was worried that I'm the only one.
  • ^ This ^
  • Microsoft seems to not care for the average consumer, they are interested in the business consumer. Probably this way they are just shedding the average Joe off their consumer base.
  • There will be no business customers without the average joe. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Microsoft do care for the average consumer and show this by looking at the long term view, which is Windows 10 on most devices. Compromises on the way but compare this to the fragmented mess of the Android OS: http://developer.android.com/about/dashboards/index.html Android have no plans to deal with this mess! Apple could be said to care less with a fragmented OS and not fixing Security Bugs for years: http://fortune.com/2016/01/21/apple-ios-9-bug-fix/ All round, Windows 10 shows plenty of promise.
  • Considering how horrible the software experience is specially on the 950XL, maybe delaying to improve it on a phone aimed at enterprise is the wisest move Microsoft made on mobile, ever. The 650, if aimed at enterprise, will likely be the bridge towards the "Surface phone" if it happens. And agravating enterprise customers with bad software experiences is far far more dangerous to Microsoft than to annoy a hand-full of WP fans, which were the targets of the 950.
  • The software experience on the 950XL is not horrible. Take a break DJ and stop bashing non-Nokia Lumias.
  • Sorry but all the non-biased accounts of people's experience with that phone contradict what you just said.
  • I have used a lot of Lumias and I will still say that the 950xl is really a great device. You should use it as your daily driver and then comment.
  • You see, I have always said I would never buy a Microsoft Lumia. And I'm a man who sticks to his word. I swor to never buy one and I will never buy one. Now, fortunately for me, there are tons of reviews of the phone on the internet. Many of them from reviewers who are actually trustworthy. And the fact is, there isn't a single trustworthy review that praises the software on the XL. Not a single one. Not even Daniel did it on the 950's review (and the XL review never even came...and I do have a feeling I know why). The fact that, for example, Amazon keeps taking the phone from sale to investigate complaints just reiterates that, no matter how many people did it, at least some people actually returned the phones because of some problem. To pretend that the XL is a great phone with no issues is not helping anyone, starting with Microsoft. If Microsoft (or any other company, really) doesn't get complaints, they won't address an issue.   I'm inclined to believe that you do not own a 950 yourself, judging by your own profile and the way you formed your sentence. So, please, do not try to perpetuate something that goes against the concerns that many XL owners expressed.
  • Out of curioisity, why did you 'vow' not to buy one?
  • Nokia trolls gonna troll
  • These days it's not about buying what works for you and that's that, it's about telling others how you swear off *insert brand* to get +rep and achieve self validation.
  • I opposed the attack on Nokia's D&S service. I thought it was a mistake, even for Microsoft (something history ended up confirming). But most of all I didn't like Ballmer's-Microsoft attack on Nokia, who was nothing but faithful to WP and did their best to make the OS happen. So I simply vowed to never buy a Lumia phone from them. It wouldn't be coherent to oppose something and then spend money on future products out of something I opposed. I always said my loyalty was to Nokia, not WP. Without Nokia I would jump ship. As such, I simply kept my word. Never bought a Microsoft Lumia and jumped ship as soon as Nokia left.
  • What loyality dude? these are just phones, you use the best experience provided (which is a matter of opinion) - I agree with most of what you said but you lost me at "loyality to NOKIA". I don't use Windows Phone because I'm loyal to Nokia or Microsoft, I use it because I don't like android and always thought apple products were way too over priced, Windows on the other hand is smooth, simple and has a lot of potential so here I am. if MS fails to achieve what they want in a year or two I'll be switching platforms (unfortunately) which I really don't want to. but, you know, loyalty doesn't get my **** done.
  • Why do you say it was an attack? Nokia got rid of paying around 20000 jobs and also got a whooping 7.2 billion for a division that was losing money.
  • DJCBS, for having jumped ship you sure spend a lot of time on a forum that focuses on Microsoft products. We all know you like to complain but something seems awfully inconsistent here.
  • Lol. I own a 950xl and i am typing from it this moment. You are a very biased fellow it seems. My policy is to never believe in what the Internet reviews say about a mobile until you get to use it. People warned me from wp but i use it and still love it. So DJ you can sing praises for Nokia as long as you want( heck, i still love my old Nokias) but that doesn't mean wp and overall the new Lumias are bad.
  • Ha! DJCBA has ALWAYS been a very biased fellow. Very full of resentment. My 950 had been pretty great... admittedly not reliable as a WP8.1 device. Needs a reboot once in a while. Occasional problem with the picture processing. But not too bad for a new os.
  • Here's the difference between you and me, Pallav: 1 - I never pretended to be anything I'm not. I never pretended to not be biased towards Nokia. Never. 2 - My policy is to believe the work of people I trust, regardless of where they work. If they work on the internet, that's fine. For example, I am much more prone to believe a review from Daniel or Richard on WP than anything out of WMPoweruser. And every single reviewer I trust reported a bad experience with the software on the 950XL.  3 - It's funny that you keep bringing Nokia to the conversation. I did NOT mention Nokia im my original comment. That's a bit of a paranoia of yours, no? Actually, if you read my comments, I didn't mention Nokia ONCE in them. The first comment I mentioned Nokia on was when I answered a direct question on why I vowed to not buy MS Lumias. So...perhaps dial back your paranoia with me and Nokia? Yes, I sing the praises of Nokia. Gladly. Yet, curiously, I didn't do it once. 4 - And another thing...you do realise I only talked about software, right? I said not a word about the hardware. Not even about the Snaptoaster 810 inside the XL. I mentioned the software experience, period.
  • Dude you need to take your pils. The new devices are excellent. Sure we would love for windows 10 mobile to be complete but reality is it's not. So you not buying one is your problem. The 950 I own and love. Steller device. Just do us all a favour and go buy an android.
  • Great! I don't know what model I should buy. 1. Bugdroid 2. Lagdroid
  • Try this:
    3. Stock Android, which nowadays is neither of firdt two ;)
  • Addroid
  • Lol . Adddroid describes it perfectly
  • @DJCBS.Being a day one 950xl owner, you must have read only bad accounts. My favorite feature other than windows hello is being able change out the back plate without needing a case. This allows me to switch up colors based on my mood. Currently rockin original white along with a mozo white and mozo black. Eyeing the blue and orange.
  • What you describe as your favourite feature - changing covers - is a hardware feature. I never mentioned the hardware of the 950/950XL in my comments. I simply talked about the software experience. All the bad reviews are about the software. So...
  • DJ What device do you use.
  • The only issue I had was the lack of visual voicemail on teh dual sim version. I return that one and bought a single sim international version and it has been working perfectly. No crashes. Hell, I haven't even experienced any app crashes since I started using it which was a constant issue on the 920. The only issues I might complain about is some of the features that were available on 8.1 that were removed from windows phone 10.
  • You guys are definitely lucky. I'm a day 1 owner of the a 950XL. I've been enjoying the gimmicky windows hello. However, the phone is less than polished for sure. I'm ok with the hardware even though I would have preferred a phone more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. The software in my opinion is still an issue. I crash at least once a day still and some apps appear to crash often. I'm on the latest insider build which is much better than the build shipped with the phone. My battery life have improved drastically with the last update (very happy about that)!! I wouldn't trade the phone but I wouldn't recommend the phone to anyone yet either because I fear they would run away if not a Microsoft mobile fan. Maybe I have a lemon but I don't think so after reading similar complaints. I'm rooting that MSFT will fix the software soon. I really want a Surface Book but I'm concerned about the experience there as well.
  • Interesting philosophy. Any good review is not trustworthy and you refuse to buy one as well. That's a pretty solid case for not liking one. That said, myself and family have 2 950s and one Xl and all are on .63. They aren't perfect and occasionally have hiccups but for what is technically prerelease software its nearly as stable as release. I know, the phones were released so the software has gotta be release. I don't think that way because if Microsoft felt it was release quality they would actually marketing it.
  • Don't judge me by yourself. The reviews I consider trustworthy are from people whose work I know and got to trust over time. That includes people like Daniel, Richard, Phil, Alex for example here on Mobile Nations. Or Michael Fisher or Paul Thurrott, or Joshua Vergara etc. I don't always agree with their reviews. For example, I never agree when Daniel says a phone that uses circus colours has nice colours. But that doesn't mean I can't trust the review to be honest. On the other hand, I don't tend to trust most reviews out of WMP for example, because they are never ever objective and only sing the praises of Microsoft even when everyone else is pointing the finger at a very obvious problem.   "I know, the phones were released so the software has gotta be release. I don't think that way because if Microsoft felt it was release quality they would actually marketing it." I don't know how things work where you're from, but Microsoft is marketing these phones and the OS in them here. So they considered the software good enough for the general public. They don't say it's beta software (even though it pretty much is) nor anything alike. So the software on the 950/XL IS commercial software, no matter how you turn it. I wouldn't say a word if the complaints came only from people using WP10 on older hardware. But the fact is, people are complaining about the software released on the 950/XL.
  • My 950 is a remarkable and satisfying device. Not without occasional issues, but literally every phone has them. Typically iPhone reviewers just don't acknowledge them, and Android users expect them and doubt ding the device for their presence.
    WinMo reviewers seen to have a much higher standard.
  • I don't know why but the problems only seen to be around the XL Version, the extra Screen Size is causing the problem. Also W10 is never going to be a finished Product,
  • This guy has spoken the honest truth. How long are we gonna pretend that everything is well with Windows 10 Mobile?! There's nothing wrong with the Lumia 950XL or 950 hardware specs apart from the ugly design but the Windows 10 Mobile OS on it is trash. I was so angry today while at work, wanted to take a photo very fast and phone said something went wrong. Tried 3times and got same response on a supposedly high end Lumia 950XL. I think Nadella should just kill the phone division and focus on Surface line of products.
  • just kill the phone division? don't be a drama queen!
  • Well unless you get to see a lot of your friends using them, you are basically declaring that both your prejudice and subsequent ignorance are virtues.
    Do you live in Wasilla? I understand that attitude is considered clever there.
  • And to come to these weird-ass conclusions without OWNING one makes you miopic at best. Move along.
  • So now facts are "weird-ass conclusions". Ok. Do this: buy a barril of nuclear waste. And don't you dare telling me you won't because it's bad. You can't know it just because other people said it is. You need to own the barril of nuclear waste to know it's bad.
  • You excel at spewing drivel.
  • So because no-one 'praised' the software it is therefore 'horrible' ? Interesting logic      
  • No. It's not because no one praised. It's because everyone pointed the software as the major problem of the phone. Quite different.
  • When 1520 was released it had really bad reviews but since I always wished for a windows phablet I had to buy it. After 4 months of terrible reviews I decided to buy one and it was perfect for me I didn't experience what the reviewers were saying! I would buy 950XL today if I didn't have this (still) amazing 1520... The internet is home for the sickest trolls
  • That's funny because the 950's and the 650. Are Nokia leftovers. They are basically Nokia phones.
  • No, they are not. The only think "Nokia" in these phones is the design which came from old designs Nokia had in portfolio which, since microsoft bought them, they might as well use them. Nokia didn't move a finger in the development of these phones. Heck, Nokia never even finished the process on the Nokia 930 and 830, which went to production already under Microsoft's watch.
  • I owe an xl. It is an android experience, feel like;). So, after all, that bad is absolutly not. Mt only complain is the build quality;).
  • Why the hell are you commenting on windows phone if you have never used one...
  • I like your positivity but you ne