We compare Microsoft’s Lumia 650 with rival mid-range phones, the Motorola Moto G (2015) and Wileyfox Swift, to see if you should go Windows 10, Android or Cyanogen OS. Check out our full comparison review.
Microsoft Lumia 650 vs Motorola Moto G vs Wileyfox Swift: Specs at a glance
|Phone||Lumia 650||Moto G||Wileyfox Swift|
|OS||Windows 10||Android 5.1||Cyanogen OS 12.1|
|Processor||Snapdragon 212||Snapdragon 410||Snapdragon 410|
|Storage||16GB + microSD||16GB + microSD||16GB + microSD|
|Cameras||8MP + 5MP||13MP + 5MP||13MP + 5MP|
Microsoft Lumia 650 vs Motorola Moto G vs Wileyfox Swift: Design
When it comes to look and feel, these three phones are both similar and completely different.
If you want colour and customisation, then your best bet is the Moto G. You can select from a wide range of vibrant backings when you order your handset through Motorola’s Moto Maker service, and that back panel actually pops off so you can replace it with another colour at any time.
The Wileyfox Swift and Lumia 650 plump for more straightlaced designs, although they aren’t boring by any means. The Swift comes in either white or black and looks neat and tidy, with the funky fox head logo debossed on the back and an attractive, subtle splash of orange around the camera lens. Meanwhile the Lumia 650 is the only mobile here to boast a metallic edging, which lends it a premium finish.
All three phones are 5-inchers, so they’re a similar build. The Moto G is the chunkiest handset here with its rounded back, but it’s still comfortable to use with just one hand. The Wileyfox and the Lumia sport more slender designs, while the grainy rear of the Swift (black model only) and the soft-touch rubbery back of the 650 help to give them some grip.
All three phones can put up with a bit of rough handling, although the Moto G is the only one that’s water-resistant, surviving unexpected tumbles into a bathtub or toilet.
Microsoft Lumia 650 vs Motorola Moto G vs Wileyfox Swift: Screen and media
All three phones here boast five-inch HD screens, packing a 720p resolution to keep your movies looking satisfyingly sharp. You’ll have to practically face-hump the handsets in order to see individual pixels.
Of course, a quality display isn’t just about resolution, but thankfully this trio of mid-range mobiles all sport solid panels despite their low asking price. Colours are warm without appearing oversaturated and viewing angles are suitably wide. And all three screens are powerfully bright, so you won’t be squinting when the sun pops out.
If you’re not a fan of streaming media on the move, you can at least expand the storage on all three phones with a microSD memory card.
Microsoft Lumia 650 vs Motorola Moto G vs Wileyfox Swift: Features and user experience
The biggest difference between these three phones is the user experience, as they use different mobile operating systems.
The Lumia 650 rocks Windows 10, which is designed to look and feel very similar on both phones and desktops. Microsoft users will therefore get a refreshingly consistent experience, with their Cortana assistance feature and documents syncing up between all Windows devices.
The Windows 10 mobile experience is still a little glitchy at times and the apps offering isn’t quite as strong as the other phones here, but smartphone noobs will appreciate the simple Live Tiles layout and the People app, which helps you to quickly track all social interactions with your favourite contacts.
Android is the OS of choice for the Moto G and it’s a pleasingly vanilla version, lacking the heavy overlays that many other Android phones ship with. You get a few Motorola-flavoured extras such as Moto Migrate, which helps you to move your old photos, messages, etc. from your old phone, but besides that the Moto G is as close to a clean Android slate as you’ll find. You can download a massive selection of apps from Google Play and populate your desktops with the usual array of widgets.
Finally, the Wileyfox Swift uses a tweaked version of Android known as Cyanogen OS. Cynanogen is a solid choice for more advanced users who demand greater customisation, plus deep control over app privileges. Check out our full Cyanogen review for more info.
Microsoft Lumia 650 vs Motorola Moto G vs Wileyfox Swift: Performance
When it comes to performance, the Moto G is the clear winner here. After several months of use it still refuses to slow down, offering a smooth everyday experience and playing the latest games without a struggle.
The Swift and the Lumia 650 try their damndest, but we still see the occasional lag from both of them. They’ll play the latest games, but you can expect the odd dropped frame and stutter, while switching between apps is often accompanied by a brief pause as the phone tries to catch up.
Microsoft Lumia 650 vs Motorola Moto G vs Wileyfox Swift: Battery life
Everyday battery life is consistent across all three handsets here, with a full day of use between charges and no more. They all charge in roughly two hours and you can pop out and replace the batteries if needed.
When it comes to streaming movies, the Lumia 650 manages to last for almost eight hours, the best result here. The Moto G dies in around five and a half hours, while the Swift dies in a worryingly quick four hours.
Microsoft Lumia 650 vs Motorola Moto G vs Wileyfox Swift: Cameras
The clear winner in this category is the Moto G, which boasts the same excellent 13-megapixel camera as the Motorola-designed Nexus 6. On auto mode, you’ll find your snaps come out well-lit and packed with detail, while the camera app is pleasingly simple and streamlined. Video shot on the Moto G also looks great, proving pleasingly crisp even when viewed back on a big screen.
Wileyfox did well with the Swift’s 13-megapixel snapper, even though it can’t quite match the giddy heights of the Moto G. The autofocus takes a second longer to latch onto your subject and dodgy lighting occasionally poses a problem, but most of your photos should come out cleanly. And home movies look fine, despite a lack of image stabilisation that results in shaky footage when you’re moving about.
Sadly the Lumia 650 comes last in the round-up with its basic 8-megapixel snapper. Difficult lighting conditions often result in ugly, murky photos and videos aren’t as sharp as those shot on the Moto G or the Swift, with a maximum 720p resolution. There’s no image stabilisation again, so you’ll get shaky video if you’re on the move. Still, the Lumia 650 does at least boast some great manual controls, if you want to tweak your shot before snapping.