“Microsoft gives its affordable lineup of smartphones a much-needed refresh with the Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL.”
While most brands use Mobile World Congress as a platform to showcase their newest flagships, Microsoft decided to do things differently. At its launch event today, the company unveiled two affordable smartphones, the Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL. Microsoft has come under a lot of flak for its budget devices, which have been frequently put to shame by similarly priced Android alternatives, but with these two new smartphones, the company is aiming to change that.
The Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL are very similar, save for a few key differences. While the Lumia 640 features a 5-inch display, the 640 XL gets a phablet-sized 5.7-inch screen. Both screens offer HD resolution, and get a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for protection. The Lumia 640 features a 1MP front camera with a wide-angle lens, while the Lumia 640 XL gets a higher resolution 5MP front camera. Both devices are equipped with proximity and ambient light sensors, which have been missing on previous budget Lumias so far. The fascia below the screen is bare, since the smartphones feature capacitive navigation keys. The port and button placement are identical, with the volume and power buttons on the right spine, the micro-USB port at the bottom and the 3.5mm audio jack on top.
The rear panels hold the primary camera, LED flash, Microsoft branding and loudspeaker. The Lumia 640 features an 8MP shooter, while the Lumia 640 XL gets a 13MP snapper. The cameras on both smartphones support Rich Capture and Dynamic Flash features, among others. Although they aren’t PureView cameras, the results were fairly impressive when we tested the snappers on both devices.
As always, the rear shells are removable, exposing the user replaceable batteries, micro SIM and microSD card slots. The Lumia 640 gets an ample 2,500mAh battery, while the 640 XL gets a better endowed 3,000mAh unit.
Microsoft hasn’t forgotten the superior build quality it inherited from Nokia, and this shows in the overall quality of both smartphones. They feel really good to hold, and we especially liked the matte-finish rear shells on the 640 XL. Both devices are available in the usual riot of Lumia colours such as cyan, orange, white and black.
Powering the internals on both smartphones are 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processors, mated to 1GB of RAM. There’s 8GB of internal storage, expandable up to 128GB via microSD. Handling software is Windows Phone 8.1 with the Lumia Denim update, but both smartphones will get the Windows 10 update when it rolls out later this year. As a plus, the devices both feature the Glance Screen feature, which displays information on the lockscreen. HERE Maps and HERE Drive+ are also preloaded.
Both smartphones come in 3G and 4G variants, as well as dual SIM editions. The Lumia 640 is priced at Euro 139 for the 3G version (approximately Rs 9,660), while the 4G edition will cost Euro 159 (approximately Rs 11,050). The Lumia 640 XL on the other hand will cost Euro 189 for the 3G model (approximately Rs 13,136), and Euro 219 for the 4G version (approximately Rs 15,221). The Lumia 640 is due to be launched in April this year, while the 640 XL will be available in March.