While we tech enthusiasts are all about the fastest chips and the biggest RAM and the clearest camera, not everyone needs a flagship phone. Those on a budget, or the no-tech-nonsense people may find cheaper options that offer a much better value proposition, and the Lumia 550 is the latest phone from Microsoft to embody this philosophy. Now you can buy it directly from Microsoft.
Granted, the Lumia 550 has been available in the wild for a while now (here in Europe at least), but this marks its first appearance from Microsoft itself in the US. The phone is of course unlocked, and for $139 you get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 210, 1GB of RAM, 8GB storage with MicroSD expansion slot, powering a 4.7-inch HD screen, 5MP auto-focus with LED flash rear cam and 2MP front cam. Windows 10 Mobile will also come preinstalled. Strangely, there is no option to choose a white cover; buyers seemingly will have to be content with black.
Overall, the Lumia 550 is not a bad deal at all for a budget phone. Windows 10 Mobile should run well enough on its admittedly not all-powerful hardware; storage is not a problem with Windows 10 Mobile's excellent microSD card management; the screen and camera is pretty good value for the price. Sub-5-inch smartphones are a dying breed, and while we can argue that the reduced-price Lumia 640 represents better value at this point, those in need of a compact smartphone experience should find the Lumia 550 deserving of their money.