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Hands-on: Microsoft Lumia 550 second impressions; the best budget Lumia offering to date

Last October, Microsoft announced the two flagship phones that Windows phone fans, depending on region and carrier, had been waiting up to two years for. During the announcement, you could have blinked and missed it, but Panos Panay announced a budget handset as well, the Microsoft Lumia 550.

I've had the Lumia 550 for a little over a week now and, as with any budget device, there are compromises to be made.

It's hard to say that this isn't the best Lumia in the 5xx series. It contains LTE and Glance, features never seen before in the 5xx line. It has a 720p display, only previously seen in the Lumia 540, which was only available in certain markets.

The camera has received a downgrade - the Lumia 540 has a 5MP up front and 8MP in the rear, where the Lumia 550 is 2MP up front and 5MP in the rear.

Somewhere between first impressions and a final review, these are my second impressions of the Microsoft Lumia 550.

There will be more to come in the next couple weeks. We'll be comparing the Lumia 550 to the Lumia 640. After all, those in the United States can get an AT&T Lumia 640 for $29 with no contract. Does it make sense to spend $139 (unlocked) on a Lumia 550?

Following that, there will be a full review.

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