Lumia 650: The £150 budget phone aimed at business users

Handset encryption offers “businesses peace of mind,” says Microsoft

Microsoft's latest smartphone, the Lumia 650, will start at 150, embracing enterprises and consumers in search of a low-cost device.

Lumia 650 is among a handful of Lumia handsets running Windows 10, and includes a number of enterprise-focused features such as Microsoft Office and the new productivity features of virtual assistant, Cortana.

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"We're extremely proud of the Lumia 650 and believe it will quickly be seen as the device that provides the perfect balance between work and personal needs," said Microsoft's Samuli Hnninen in an announcement on the Windows blog.

Microsoft has managed to capture only a slim portion of the fiercely competitive smartphone market with its Windows Phone handsets. It's had a tough time completing with Apple and Samsung, the latter of which is due unveil its Samsung Galaxy S7 next week. This new budget phone will compete with the lower-end iOS and Android handsets.

A sleek metal housing frames the Lumia 650's 5in HD OLED display. It's 6.9mm thick and weighing just 122g.

Continuing Microsoft's track record of impressive built-in cameras, the Lumia 650 features an eight megapixel rear-facing camera and a five megapixel wide-angle, front-facing camera, both of which use Microsoft's flagship imaging algorithms, to provide sharp photo and video capabilities.

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The phone also features a selection of software that Microsoft said will make it a solid chance for both Windows fans and business users everywhere.

This includes the latest Microsoft Office apps, allowing users to create and edit documents on-the-go and sync them to the cloud via OneDrive, built-in Skype integration and enterprise security.

Furthermore, the Lumia 650 will provide enterprise users with built-in support for Microsoft business applications, such as Uber. Microsoft also said IT departments will be able to test the latest Windows 10 Mobile updates against critical business systems and apps, before distributing them to staff via MDM.

Hnninen added: "We designed the Lumia 650 to bring first class to business class; giving our customers the best of Microsoft productivity and security, all wrapped in a beautiful slim package. By providing a consistent experience across PC and phone through the power of Windows 10, we think professionals and Windows fans alike will love using it every day.

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"It's secure by design and keeps company and personal data safer with features like device encryption and device wipe. These features allow businesses peace of mind, knowing important information in emails and files are protected from threats and empowers employees to use one device for work and play."

The Lumia 650 comes in matte black and matte white, and will be available starting from 18 February, 2016, in select European countries, with a recommended retail price of 150 to 160.

Microsoft introduced its first Lumia devices running Windows 10 Lumia 550, Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL last November.

Microsoft's latest headset announcement comes ahead of the mobile industries annual trade show, Mobile World Congress. This budget approach for its Lumia product line may be a sign that the company is making way for the long-rumoured Surface Phone.

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