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Is the Lumia 640 a good upgrade from my current Windows Phone?

Lumia 640

The Windows Central forums members have been asking this question. Is it a good upgrade from my old Lumia xxx? Should I buy one to see me through until the next flagship device launches?

"I'm wondering if the 640 might be an acceptable, temporary replacement for my 920. At the $150 price I could buy off contract and wait for the promised flagship this fall. While the specs are definitely low/mid range for current hardware how do they stack up to the 920 that's almost 3 years old." - forums member todd7900

On the face of it the Lumia 640 is capable of going toe-to-toe with even the goliaths of previous generations. Compared to the Lumia 920 in question you're getting, firstly, a new phone, a bigger display, microSD card support and the latest version of Windows Phone. Let's not forget the devices we saw at the Mobile World Congress launch were running Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2. Something even the likes of the Lumia 930 and Lumia 1520 can't currently boast.

There's no Pureview camera on the Lumia 640, but the 8MP shooter round the back seems perfectly respectible, and while we'll never judge performance on a trade show hands-on, it didn't seem to do so bad in the darkened world of the MWC halls. But for a phone at this price point we're always going to have to put camera expectations firmly in perspective.

Also for the circa $180 asking price you get Glance screen, clearblack HD display and a removable 2500mAh battery. Not too shabby at all for a mid-ranger.

Upgrade perhaps wouldn't be the term coming from a last-gen flagship. 'Sidegrade' might be better suited.

HTC One M8

"I have the windows HTC m8 and have had no problems but I really want the 640. Am I crazy to want to downgrade." - forums member ericreinhardt

Here's an interesting one. The beauty of Windows Phone is that the experience in the software is going to be pretty consistent regardless of which device you're running. The M8 definitely has the upper hand when it comes to pure hardware, but the camera isn't to everyone's tastes for one.

And the Lumia 640 will have Lumia Camera 5. Something currently only reserved for the highest end Lumia phones. But the overall experience should be comparable. And the Lumia 640 comes in Cyan!

Moto G

"The 640 is the phone that finally gets me back to a Windows phone. I think this could be a home run for MS." - forums member sdc1

What about coming over or coming back from the competition? Just as the Moto G provides the best of Android at an affordable price, the same can be said of the Lumia 640 with regards Windows Phone.

It also fixes some of the flaws with its predecessor, the extremely popular 630/635. There's a front facing camera and a rear flash for example. Converting people from Android is still a monumental task, but for people who got bored and tried something new, is the 640 a tempting enough offering to bring them back?

With the Lumia 640 starting to hit shelves across the world right now there'll be a good few asking "should I buy?" If you're on a current 5xx or 6xx phone we'd almost call it a no-brainer. From something else past or present, only you can make that decision.

But our opinion is but one. What say you? Drop us your thoughts in the comments below or drop by the Lumia 640 forums and join the conversation!

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

  • No. I want a flagship.
  • Agree, ready to move on from my Icon. I have had it over a year. How can I stay on the cutting edge with Windows phone nowadays?
  • The Icon still is the cutting edge of WP.
  • I would say a lot of folks "here" would like to see a new so-called flagship.  The entire rest of the world?  My SWAG, not so much.  Why? Most likely cost. The 640 looks to me like an adaquate device for many people. 
  • Adequate perfectly describes it. I was feeling good about the 640 and considered it for an upgrade to my ageing 925... However... At some point you found out why this thing is a low-end/midrange device and the 925 an old high-end device. The benefits of the 640 are only in the battery, and maybe the software version, but Win10 preview soon anyway and difference between Update 2 and 1 are microscopic at best. The thing is... the 640 upsides kind of end there. Compared to old flagships like a 920/925 you miss the following features: curved glass, better display quality, multiple HAAC mics, proper noise reduction, better camera sensors, image stabilization, build quality, possibly audio playback quality, no wireless charging (option), less capable LED flash (for flashlight mostly), the Snapdragon 400 is actually not faster than the Snapdragon S4 Plus that's in the old flagship models, the GPU in the snapdragon 400 is actually SLOWER than that of the S4 Plus... Let's also state the fact that the Snapdragon S4 Plus has dual channel ram and the S400 doesn't. Even though the clocks on the S400 are marginally higher, the dual channel bandwidth is far superior, also for graphics performance. Considering how unbreakable the Lumia 920/925 is, the 640 won't be a step up either. Basically, if you go the Android way and just look at the 3 basic specs: screen size, ppi and CPU, then it's an interesting device, but when you take into account all those unique features that make a Lumia 925 even today give most midrange and even some high-end androids a run for the money, then the story is a little different.
  • I just switched from the 920 to the 830 and the S400 seems plenty fast. This phone is significantly snappier than my 920 ever was. I'm guessing the same will be true with the 640. Heavy games might favor the 920, but honestly, nothing I've tried so far has been a problem on my 830.
  • +830.
    I run heavy games on my 830. They don't seem to be slow.
  • Nope. The 930 has everything the Icon has except 4G has wider coverage and there are more colour options available. The 930 is the flagship Lumia phone and the 1520 is the flagship Lumia phablet.
  • Are you crazy? You're running the cutting edge right now with the icon.
  • Yeah with Denim firmware the Icon is a truly fantastic phone. The 640 would be a great new phone for someone, but to beat the Icon there would have to be some seriously interesting new hardware in the phone, IMO (like fingerprint reader or something).
  • I have a question guys - I'm interested in 930 for myself (wife has 1020 atm) - but I'm getting dishartened with too much issues, screen issues, hot etc. - is that like one off or rarely happening - or something you can live with ? I'm a win/MS guy through and through, no other options for me : ))
  • CheDragan,
    930 is somewhat hot (and it hotness has been mitigated a lot with Denin "mod" update),
    It's the 1520 model which has screen issues (fragile GGII and "Ghost screen", that has been also mitigated, better, solved, after Nokia's firmware).
    930 screen is beautiful, accured, with the clearblack feature and is the prototype of "edged" models. Absolutely amazing.
    It's still an imponent high end device, even after Iphone6, S6 and HTC M9, which camera its has beaten in comparative tests.
    If you like WP like me and don't give up about buying a flagship device, until August, at least, I strongly recommend L930.
  • Give the Icon to me please.
  • The Icon/930 are still running on great displays, have plenty of RAM for WP, and are using the Snapdragon 800, which is second only to Samsung's new CPU which just launched, and the Snapdragon 810, which also just launched but has power and heat issues, so I wouldn't really want it personally. Besides 10 which hasn't launched, what could they include to upgrade on what you have?
  • Its not about reality, its about a phony spectard war. No one needs a flagship really. Maybe a device with an insane camera, but CPUs, screens are already fine in the current lineups. This gimme a flagship whining is soooo old.
  • Actually with high end hardware you get more features such as 'Hey Cortana', 4K video recording, and surround sound audio recording. So no, its not whining when people ask for hardware with these capabilities. Especially when the only hardware on the market that can currently do this is over a year old.
  • One year old yes, but they still do the job for now. Dispite the age, the Icon/930 and 1520 still beat the crap out of some of the other newer flagships in the market. And I think that three flagships (including the One8) in the market is more than enough for now. Having that in mind and the fact that Win10 is coming in some months it would not be logical, and perhaps it would even be careless from MS to launch a flagship right now. Great success in markets it's all about the right timing and now, for various reasons, it's not the right time for a flagship. At least IMHO. The only reason I want a flagship out as soon as possible is for the price of the 930 to drop so I can easier put my hands in one!
  • The 800 is 3rd to the newer 801 and 805.  Personally I'd rather have an 810 or the new Exnyos.  While 64 bit isn't quite mainstream, I'd really love that extra bit of future proofing. 
  • The question now is... If L640 doesn't have pureview why the hell does it have camera 5.0? :D
  • Because Microsoft doesn't know what the heck they're doing?
  • +520
  • PureView has to do with Zeiss Optics, post-processing being done in hardware, as well as having a dedicated camera button.  All of those things together are what make PureView.  The 640XL will have all of those except the dedicated camera button.  The 640 doesn't even have Zeiss Optics.   Lumia Camera 5 doesn't have anything to do with PureView, but to run the features of Lumia Camera 5, a device has to have a short enough lenght between shots for things like Rich Capture to work.  Technically, Lumia Camera 5 could run on the Lumia 73x, but Microsoft seemed to create an artificial limitation with it so the now-discontinued Lumia 830 looked better on paper.
  • The 830 has not been discontinued. It's only 7 months old.
  • Lumia 830 discontinued!!?????
  • he means that in some carriers, 830 is discontinued, not for whole..damn it, how can you guys think of such cruel thing?? :D
  • Yeah, sorry bro. The 830 is not discontinued.
  • I think it's because with Windows 10 or even 8.1. Update 2 all the phones will support LC5. I could be wrong though
  • Does the Lumia 640 and 640XL come with LED notification light, like on Lumia 730,930 ?
  • Does it have dedicated camera button? If it has I'm buying it first chance I get.
  • It doesn't have a dedicated camera button. Sorry.
  • 930 doesn't have a notification light. Smh Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • Even i am waiting for flagship. :)
  • Oh my days just lay off with the flagship nonsense. We know it's coming. Either wait or don't. Moaning makes no difference. Just makes you sound like a petulant child.
  • Wow......either wait or don't, but don't moan about it? You're too funny for words man. Your comment seems like a End of Days comment...we know its coming.....we don't know when.....but *SOMETIME* after they release a few more crappy phones, a single FLAGSHIP is coming.......what utter BS.   I'd rather get the 830 than the 640 than keep waiting.
  • How is my comment funny? You either wait for a flagship from Microsoft or you go elsewhere. It's pretty simple. And obviously you'd rather have an 830 over a 640. It's a better phone xD
  • In the same way you'd pick an 820 over an 830. It is also a better phone. Still struggling to see the point of the 830.
  • Subjective.... Just depends on your needs. After using my wife's 830 makes me realize what a load of pants the screen resolution is on my 820. Seriously bad, WVGA verses 720 HD, no contest. New 830 for me soon.
  • I would pick the 830 over the 820 without batting an eyelid.
  • Cant wait anymore. Been rocking my 920 since day one. Had enough and pre ordered the S6 Edge. If Microsoft actually bothered with high end users and released a flagship I would have stuck around. They have taken the piss and now im,off. Plenty of others like me too.
  • Agree. Microsoft does not want to compete in the high end. I'll probly be grabbing an S6 myself.
  • So because there is no new hardware, you switch to a completely different software? That's funny. I switched to Windows phone from Android a year ago. I took a Nokia Lumia that time. But I didn't switch to a Lumia and just had a Windows phone as coincidence...
  • Well that's one option. I've learned that in most places contracts are either 1yr or 2yr. You can do a flagship for 2yr and pay obscene amounts of money. Or you can do midrange devices for 1yr and have a new device every year on a cheaper plan. Considering with WP the performance of something like a Lumia 830 is so close to a flagship, it's a surprise people buy flagships at all anymore!
  • But the 820 is better than the 830, as is the 920. The 930 is a much better option and is a fantastic flagship at a really great price. Cost me less than the 820 did! I own an 820 and a 930 and both of them out perform an 830. It was a pointless phone.
  • Lumia 820 had poor screen resolution, no pureview cam., no Dolby 5.1 recording, no 16gb internal storage, poor FFC, no motion sense, no Gorilla glass screen. Still using my 820, and it's doing ok, but will have to go soon. If only because screen resolution is a problem for me to use.
  • I'm perfectly happy with my 920 and have no doubt it will take me through to the next flagship.  There are plenty of others not like you as well.
  • I have 920 from launch, on days I want to play with a new device but then I cant say what's wrong with this and rather save some money. A phone has never lasted so long for me.
  • 920 here, over 2 years old, and agree with each and every word you said
  • Lol. No point in launching a flagship at the moment. Dude, try to understand, Ms wants to make windows 10 popular. So I think its the best decision by Microsoft to launch new flagship with windows 10 inbuilt. Yes. People may have left. But the number of people who will come to windows will be much more than the number of people who are leaving windows phones.
  • Deluded. Win10 will not stop the haemorrhaging. Don't believe the hype cause even that doesn't exist.
  • Why did you not buy the 930 then?
  • I wait to comes in Serbia-- That will price buti?
  • Yes it is if you have a feature phone.
  • I've been using Lumia 920 for 2 years, now waiting for flagship windows phone which runs full windows 10 64 bit
  • Yes bro I have 925,720,730 and want flagship that ribs 64 bit Windows 10 and I want to suggest 1 thing Microsoft to change notification centre and it should be transparent as ios version and also should be similar functionality as ios
    At least I want this type of features.... What about you brother...
  • I​ want an order of 64-Bit Ribs!!!! I'll need some 64-Bit sauce too and a take home Windows 10 gallon sweet tea!
  • Windows phone battle.
    You have 720, 730, 925.
    I have 720, 535, 830. :P Guess you win. :D
  • No brother it's not about number I'd phones you have.... It's about how much you care about of your phone... And for me they are my best friends...
  • That's pretty sad...
  • Looks you barely edge my Windows Phone Selection: I have a Lumia 521, 635 and 920.
  • 64 bit? Are you expecting more than 4GB RAM on the new flagship?
  • Well let's see. 16GB RAM and 512GB storage, a core i5 or up, at least three days of battery life preferably one week. But not heavier or larger then a 930.
  • Wow, that phone sounds amazing. If anybody were to use any other phone again, they're retarded. Might as well get rid of your computer at that point
  • Does it also unpack or project to a 32" screen?
  • 70 inch projector with hololens :)
  • Bwahahahahhahaha! :D
  • +9830.
  • Just buy a Surface Pro 3 )::::)
  • Might as well inject some realism into the dreams. You can't get a core i5 to last three days in a laptop. The stortage you could get away with. That's four currently available microSD cards, so that could be packed into a reasonable size, though maybe not at a reasonable price.
  • The 64-bit platforms come with additional instructions as well. Not that they bring all that much to the table.
  • Or anything 635 and below
  • We too
  • Lumia 640XL
  • +630
  • I love my 920too much after drowning it twice dropping it god know how many times it still works like a champ. And the camera still superior to most new android phones. I'll hold out until the flagship.
  • Agree, I still love my 920 and the camera is superb specially the OIS. Although I want to try out something new with a bigger display. I still can't decide :'(
  • Well if ots 150bucks you can't go wrong.
  • 150 bucks is still a lot of money to some of us.
  • To be honest all 920 user love their phones. I am too waiting for flagship
  • Purely because it set a pretty high standard as a flagship, don't think any other flagship was on par with it, thanks to att butchering the 1520.
  • The 920 is great, but the current 930 flagship is still better.
  • Sure, but its Verizon only in US and by the time global model went on sale it was dated. I never buy phones from carriers, hate the stupid logos and bloat ware.
  • +920
  • +920
  • True... 920 is superb. Anyone who says different can get a knocked on the head with the brick... 920 is still the 2nd toughest phone ever.
  • Same here man. My 920 is a champ!
  • +920
  • Yes, the 920 is a tank of a phone! It may be thick and it may be heavy, but it can take a beating and still operate like it did on Day 1. I think 8.1 update 1 is pushing the limits what it can handle smoothly in terms of handling live folders without lag, but everything else is good. So with no 1020 successor in sight, I have no reason to be tempted to get a new phone.
  • I love the Nokia Lumia 830
  • Only good at looks.. Comparing price and features, it is costly
  • I paid 299. It was what I wanted for the price I was willing to pay. I guess each person decides what is to costly for them. The funny thing about it is, build quality plays a huge role for me. I have no idea why, but when I owned the all plastic 1520 I felt like I was missing out on something. Now owning the 830 and its aluminum build, I feel like I have it all. Really I dont understand it, but its how I am.
  • 1520 os an amazing smartphone. But you're right: Build construction have eminent flaws. GGII is inaceptable at a 200g weigh device. The amount of broken screens among these models is awckward. The ghost screen seems to have be mitigated on The firmware released by MS, and it's in The technical assistance changing its fragile display, broken after a mild fall.
  • 1520 is an amazing smartphone. But you're right: Build construction has evident flaws. GGII is inaceptable at a 200g weight device. The amount of broken screens among these models is awkward. The ghost screen seems to have be mitigated on the firmware released by MS, and, for now, it's in the technical assistance changing its fragile display, broken after a mild fall.
  • Price dropped in many places. It's quite affordable for it's features nowadays. Especially if you consider OIS and other fancy things.
  • Me too!
  • Just upgraded from 920 to 830. It's amazing. This is by far my favorite phone ever. I even like it better than the 930. I only paid $220 for it too. It's got some significant advantages over the 640.
  • +830. Got it after using 720. Trust me, 830 is one of the sexiest phone.
    Got it for 19000₹. That's around 300dollars.
  • What a phone!
  • I'm planning to get the 640XL as a daily driver and use my 1520 as a third photography device! I like camera options, but I know The Sims Freeplay and most of my games will be compatible for the 640XL. The only game in question is Mass Effect: Infiltrator.
  • Why is that in question?
  • Good question.
  • If you really stop and think about it, ME:I is more system intense than The Sims Freeplay.
  • I'd say if you have anything other than a 1020, 920 series, 830, or 1520, go for it.
  • 930?
  • I put that in the 920 series. I guess I should have put 920+ to show I don't mean the 900 but anything in the 9xx series higher than 920.
  • I think 640xl is better upgrade for 720
  • It's definitely an upgrade from 720.
  • What about going from 820 to 640?
  • I think so. I have an 820, and I think the 640 would be sorta an upgrade.
  • Yeah. I agree since I have an 820, which I love. But it isn't like they're asking that expensive of a price. Just wish they had the matte version of cyan like they do on the XL...guess black it is.
  • Only if you want the bigger 720p display. Otherwise the phones are not that different and pretty closely matched.
  • It should have like 3 times the battery life of the 820.
  • Yes its a great idea as its a big replacement with 820 and replacement for Lumia 920will be Lumia 640xl .. And I guaranty that Ms would bring a good exchange offer for Lumia 640xl ....
  • Sorry as a 920 owner I don't agree on the 640XL. Higher PPI on the Lumia 920 + OIS + 32GB storage + Qi wireless charging. I would love to upgrade my 920, but Lumia 640XL is not a true upgrade.
  • Dude only qi wireless charging would be its lack ....but one thing 920 was Nokia whereas 640xl is Ms product which will result in its lack as the best egs is Lumia 535 so Nokia is Nokia .so better your choice ...
  • My lumia 1020's screen is cracked. Does anyone know what is a true replacement for this phone?
  • A DSLR?
  • Wait for this month or sale at the best price now and save that money for buying 640xl otherwise later you will not be able to sell Lumia 1020 at the price now later u will face problem selling it now have ur option ..
  • True replacement? Another 1020. Rumor says successor to launch around Windows 10. I'm hoping we'll see some info at //Build.
  • Possible we might see 1040 being announced this summer.
  • 1030 actually.
  • The Nokia 808. If you manage to get one, of course. Otherwise you'll have to go buy a DSLR.
  • None another 1020
  • Windows 10 will fix that.
  • I would even think to replace my 1520...just to get rid of my screenproblems
  • Yeah, screen problem is very annoying, what a waste for Lumia flagship 1520.
  • I sold my 1520 because of persistent screen issues and bought another 1520. The green international version from Germany which has no issues at all.
  • My green 1520 in the US had it, and it SUCKED. I hated that issue so much I had to sell the thing. UGH.
  • You should go to Nokia Care. Got mine fixed for free. Happy Lumia1520 user again.
  • It won't fixed, I even changed the phone by them.
  • May be they gave you a defective phone. You should have tested it before you accepted your unit.
    That's what i did.
  • What to do is switch to other brands.
  • Nope, no Qi charging, no Ois, similar performance to the 830. Might as well get an 830.
  • Considering price I think 640 is the better choice. Unless you want wireless charging is there really any reason to go for the 830? The Lumia 640 is going to be a few hundred cheaper than the 830 despite only minor differences in the camera and wireless charging.
  • Design? Lol.
  • Camera on 830 is much better.
  • 830 is way better and not hard to find at $250. OIS, pureview camera, amazing build quality, wireless charging, NFC, beautiful. I'm betting the screen is also