Lumia 640 And 640 XL Hands-On: Microsoft Does Cheap Real Well

Illustration for article titled Lumia 640 And 640 XL Hands-On: Microsoft Does Cheap Real Well

Microsoft has made it pretty clear they are not launching any new flagship phones until Windows 10 for mobile is ready. Instead, they have introduced two new Lumia models, Lumia 640 and 640 XL. We got the chance to give them a try here in Barcelona.

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They excel at what Microsoft does best: affordable phones with a decent spec sheet and a good overall experience. Both phones feel pretty big when you hold them in your hand. Lumia 640 has a 5 inch screen and the 640 XL goes up to 6 inches, both with a 720p screen resolution and Gorilla Glass 3.

Illustration for article titled Lumia 640 And 640 XL Hands-On: Microsoft Does Cheap Real Well
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Considering the 3G version of the Lumia 640 starts at $150 dollars and the XL at $200, I was honestly surprised by how Microsoft has managed to put such good-looking screens on such affordable phones. They are still not as good as higher tier phones—but they're much better than previous Lumias.

Illustration for article titled Lumia 640 And 640 XL Hands-On: Microsoft Does Cheap Real Well

Design of both of them is the same old, same old. Sure, Lumia's design was cool two years ago, but the looks are starting to get a little tired now. Cameras (rear: 13 MP, LED flash and Zeiss Optics; front: 5 MP, wide angle) are not going to wow, but they should do reasonably good on most situations, even with low light.

Both phones come with a 1-year subscription to Office 365, 1TB on OneDrive and 60 minutes per month on Skype, which is also a pretty good deal considering that just the 1 year standalone Office 365 subscription is around $99 dollars.

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Illustration for article titled Lumia 640 And 640 XL Hands-On: Microsoft Does Cheap Real Well

Battery capacity is at 2500 mAh for the Lumia 640 and 300 mAh for the Lumia 640 XL but we have no indication on how manny battery hours that will give you in real life. Colors are black, white, blue and orange for both.

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These are cheap Lumia phones we are talking about. They are not probably going to change anybody's life and they won't, perhaps, become best-selling devices—but they offer a pretty good bang for your buck and should compete reasonably well with phones such as the Motorola Moto G. They will be available in April worldwide. Microsoft hasn't specified countries, but it's almost certain we'll se them in the US, Europe and Latin America.

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DISCUSSION

Something that Microsoft has done well with the Windows Phone is make their phones cheap with ok specs. Nothing stellar... but the biggest win in this market is the fact that Windows Phone still continues to run FANTASTIC on low end devices with their latest OS update. You try running android on phones with those lower end specs and its gonna be a lag-fest just using normal operations. My work has dished out about 20 Lumia 925's (a higher end phone. Not the best ever, but seriously solid contender), and as of lately we've been dishing out the 635 (about half the phone of the 925), both phones operate as if they were the same phone (in all basic functions). The only real noticeable difference is that the 635 can't handle some of the more resource heavy games. Otherwise, I applaud Microsoft for making the Windows Phone an excellently efficient phone OS.