Lumia 550 first impressions: Why does this exist?


28, 2015


Microsoft’s Lumia 550 is the last of Microsoft’s Windows 10 Mobile related devices that we have yet to review, so we’ve picked one up for completion sake.

My first impressions of the device weren’t exactly positive. Due to a combination of Windows 10 Mobile needing huge number of app updates and downloading an OS update at first run, the phone was hotter than an oven, a bit slow and laggy and ate battery life like a champ. After letting it settle overnight and work all its kinks out of the system, it’s a bit more pleasant to use. Everything loads up quickly, and Windows 10 Mobile looks nice and pretty, albeit when the DPI configured properly(I find Microsoft’s stock DPI settings too large on nearly all devices).

The phone is smaller than most I’ve used this year. Currently I’m switching between the Nokia Lumia 1520 and the Motorola Google Nexus 6 which both weigh in at relatively gigantic 6 inch screens, at 4.7 inches, the 550 is a lot more compact than the other two.

As far as specs go, its specs are relativel ho-hum, a secondary 2MP camera paired with a 5 MP rear camera, a Snapdragon 210 processor, 1 GB of RAM etc.

What I don’t understand, is the why of the phone. Why does the Microsoft Lumia 550 exist?

Consider, there is a Microsoft Lumia 540 which existed and still exists for less than half a year which has superior specs to the Lumia 550 in almost every way but the SOC. Could Microsoft simply not have just rebranded and updated the processors in its 2015 line-up of devices so as to devote more time to solving issues in Windows 10 Mobile and the 950s? Are there any 540 or 535 owner who complained and said, “I really like this phone, but if you could make the cameras suck more, the screen smaller, and the battery life worse, I’d love it even more”. Is Windows Phone suffering from a shortage of low-end, low-powered devices that Microsoft has to push this out? As it stands, I think the 550 is a lovely device, albeit a waste of time and unnecessary distraction for Microsoft.

I’ll be using it as my main device over the course of a week to determine if it justifies its existence and deserves your money.

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