Microsoft decided to no longer release new hardware or features for Windows Phone last year. However, the company had been winding down its smartphone operations long before the final nail was hit into the coffin. Despite this, like a phoenix from the flames Lumia has risen from its grave and Microsoft is once again selling smartphones.
Yes, that’s probably news many of us have wanted to hear for some time. However, this is no Surface Phone. Instead, Microsoft has resurrected some of the classic (we guess) Lumia devices from yesteryear.
Perhaps the company found a crate of devices at the back of a warehouse somewhere. Either way, the Lumia 950, 950 XL, 650 and 550 models are all currently available. Microsoft has put them on its online store this month.
In fact, it seems the products have been available since February 4, but it is only now anyone is noticing. That’s probably a good indicator as to why Lumia ultimately failed for Microsoft.
All the devices are old school these days, but are still solidly made handsets. However, we can’t help but think Microsoft is being a little bit cheeky. For example, the Lumia 950 XL is available for $499. That’s a fair chunk of money for a three-year old smartphone. Sure, the XL was a bona fide flagship and cost $649 back in the day, but the emphasis really should be on “back in the day”.
These days you will find much better smartphones for $499, so you will need to really want the Windows Phone experience to adopt the Lumia 950 XL. It’s a similar story with the other devices. The 950 now costs $399, while the Lumia 650 and 550 cost $199 and $139 respectively. If you remember those two budget smartphones, you will know that’s the same retail price they had at launch. Again, cheeky.
So, if you want one last crack at a Windows Phone handset, now’s your chance. Of course, you will have to make do without any new features and probably no significant new apps anytime soon. But hey, you can glance jealously at the nearest Android or iOS user as they get the new Microsoft service you can’t get on your Microsoft-built smartphone.
It is worth noting that the company will continue to support Windows Phone in terms of software management. That means your new/old zombie Lumia should be secure and bugs will be fixed.