Alternative music, video, and PDF apps for the Lumia 650

The Lumia 650 is an entry-level smartphone with a modest Snapdragon 212 processor and 1 GB of RAM. It's not a bad phone in itself but really only designed for Windows 10 Mobile fans, considering that budget Android alternatives from manufacturers such as Honor and Vivo carry robust processors and considerably more RAM.

Due to its hardware limitations and Windows 10 Mobile issues regarding reading external storage, users can install lightweight apps instead, particularly for playing back videos, podcasts, and music stored on the micro SD.

The following apps have been tested with the Lumia 650 and an inserted 64 GB micro SD card:

1. Xodo PDF - As noted in a previous article, Adobe Reader for Windows 10 Mobile doesn't work very well for various reasons, one of which is more likely hardware requirements. Xodo PDF is a worthy alternative and features tabbed PDF viewing and annotation. Moreover, unlike Adobe Reader, it doesn't crash when attempting to load heavy PDFs.

2. Acast - In many ways, Acast is superior to the default Podcast app for Windows 10 Mobile. The Acast UI is more attractive and searching for podcasts is more organized than the primitive Bing search bar in Podcast. Despite having more features than Podcast for Windows 10 Mobile, Acast is also more reliable and doesn't crash or stall.

3. Music X Lite - For details on Music X Lite and its advantages over VLC and Groove Music, refer to Playing MP3s using Groove Music, VLC, and Music X Lite 2.x for Windows 10 Mobile.

***Use when needed***

Easy Player - Admittedly, most users probably wouldn't like Easy Player. The UI isn't attractive, and the app suffers from Windows 10 Mobile's issues regarding browsing the micro SD. Most users can probably get by with Smart Player, VLC for Windows 10 Mobile, and the default Movies & TV app.

Easy Player, despite its name, isn't intuitive and prone to crashing when it attempts to playback oddly encoded video. On the other hand, I keep Easy Player on my 650 because it isn't as heavy as the aforementioned video apps. As good as VLC is in most platforms, the Windows 10 Mobile version struggles on the Lumia 650. Meanwhile, the Movies & TV app doesn't have playlist support or support for older video file formats. Easy Player, while slow, has playlist support and supports even the aged .mpeg format. It works fine for playing numerous short .mpeg clips from yesteryear.


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