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Microsoft Lumia 640 review

Then we got to Mobile World Congress. Microsoft had taken over the space once inhabited by Nokia and used it to deliver a keynote very early on the first morning of the show. Among the Windows 10 talk was the introduction of the Lumia 640 and the Lumia 640 XL.

Both another step up on the ladder from those that came before, and taking it up to around half-dozen smartphones to carry the Microsoft logo. The Lumia 640 has big shoes to fill, coming in as a replacement for the very popular Lumia 630/635. Does it do a good job?

That's what we're here to find out.

What you'll like:

  • Great value for money.
  • A free year of Office 365
  • Lumia Camera 5.
  • Fantastic display complete with Glance Screen.
  • Good battery life

What you won't like:

  • Internal storage is pretty low
  • No wireless charging

Bottom Line

With hardware that's largely on par with the more expensive Lumia 830, the Lumia 640 is an absolute steal. What it gives is the very best of Windows Phone at a very affordable price point. The camera, while not a patch on the PureView shooters in the higher end phones, is excellent for a phone in this segment of the market. And it ticks pretty much all the boxes: Glance Screen, HD display, removable battery, microSD card slot and the very latest version of Windows Phone. The Lumia 640 XL may be more tempting for those into larger screens and more impressive cameras, but for the average consumer, the Lumia 640 is all the Windows Phone they could need. Solid, all round performance and a very tempting asking price.

First impressions

Video hands-on

What makes it tick

The specs

Lumia 640

  • Windows Phone 8.1 with Lumia Denim
  • Windows 10 Ready
  • Colors: Glossy cyan, orange, and white, as well as matte black 
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (MSM8926), 1.2 GHz quad-core processor 
  • 5" HD (1280x720, 16:9) IPS LCD, 294 PPI, Glance screen, Corning Gorilla Glass 3, Sunlight readability enhancements 
  • 1GB RAM 
  • 8 GB internal mass memory + up to 128 GB Micro SD & 30GB free OneDrive cloud storage 
  • Rear camera: 8 MP AF (3280x2464), f/2.2, 28 mm, 1080p @ 30 fps video (continuous autofocus), Flash: LED, Lumia Camera 5.0 (with Dynamic Flash, HDR) 
  • Front camera: HD 1 MP wide angle, f/2.4, 720p video 
  • Connectivity: BT 4.0, microUSB2.0, Micro SIM, A-GPS+GLONASS, BeiDou, DLNA, Screen cloning with Miracast, WLAN 802.11 b/g/n/ 
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Magnetometer, Proximity, Ambient Light Sensor 
  • Battery: 2500 mAh (BV-T5C) removable battery 
  • Weight: 145 g
  • Size: 141.3 x 72.2 x 8.85 mm

Safe, yet solid

The hardware and design

One thing the Lumia 640 does not do is introduce anything new to the line up when you look solely at the hardware. The design is iterative, the internals reused in combination with other devices in the range. For example, while the likes of Blu and Kazam are launching a new Windows Phone with a Snapdragon 410 CPU, the Lumia 640 stays in a more familiar realm of the Snapdragon 400. Just like the Lumia 830. And the Lumia 730.

You can look at that in different ways. On the one hand, performance should be identical to the more expensive Lumia 830. And, on the whole, that does seem to be the case. The CPU and RAM are the same, the display size and resolution likewise.

For a mid-range device, the hardware is strong

That's one of the strong points of the Lumia 640. For a mid-range device, the hardware is strong. The internals are capable, and the display is great to look at. Vivid, bright colors, deep blacks and sharp text. At 5-inches, 720p resolution is perfectly acceptable in 2015.

I said the design was iterative, too, and it is. If you hold the Lumia 640 next to the Lumia 630/635, there's a definite family resemblance. Not that there's anything wrong with the design, the 635 was a fantastic phone. But the 640 just feels like the 635. Only bigger.

As before, though, you do get a removable back in a variety of colors, including the triumphant return of cyan. The colors are a glossy finish and finished off with black accents on the power and volume buttons on the side. A small touch, but something that does set off the appearance just a little.

Lumia 640

Other things to note:

  • The battery is a decent size at 2500mAh. Bigger than the removable battery on the Lumia 830. More on that later.
  • You'll need a microSIM for this phone.
  • Under the back cover, you'll also find a microSD card slot that's SDXC compatible. So you can throw in a 128GB memory card if you wish. Or one of those fancy 200GB ones when they're on sale if you're feeling really flush.
  • No camera hump on the back. Can't say it's something we've missed, but unlike it's big brother, the Lumia 640 XL, this one will sit flat on a table.
  • Double tap to wake is here, alive and well.

So, the hardware is dependable, solid, well designed if a little predictable at this point.

But Cyan is back!

More: 7 things to know about The Microsoft Lumia 640

Latest and greatest!

The software - Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2 on board

Despite the recent 'rollout' as part of the Windows 10 preview for phones, the Lumia 640 is one of the first phones that at present officially has Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2 loaded up. While a lot of what's important in Update 2 is under the hood, there are also a few forward facing features we can see.

One of the more lauded features included is the 'remote kill switch' as it's so often called, now required by law in the U.S. It no doubt played a big part in Update 2 even existing. But elsewhere the Settings app has had an organizational refresh, there are some mild visual tweaks and a few handy little features that are going to be useful to some.

Since Update 2 applies more to Windows Phone as a platform than just the Lumia 640, check out the links below where we've already broken some of it down.

All about Update 2

Update 2 is the very latest version of Windows Phone 8.1. While it's a minor upgrade overall, it does bring some important features with it, including the so-called 'remote kill switch.' Find out everything right here.

  • Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2 - Everything you need to know

Some nice surprises

The software - everything else

Aside from Update 2, it's pretty much business as usual on the Lumia 640. It comes with Lumia Denim firmware and all the goodness that brings which also includes the Lumia Camera 5 application.

Lumia Camera 5

Before the launch of the Lumia 640 and 640 XL, Lumia Camera 5 had been exclusive to Microsoft's higher end, PureView camera phones. It's both a surprise and a delight to see it on what's certainly classed as a mid-range device, one without PureView, and even without Zeiss optics.

We'll look at the camera app in more detail further on.

Otherwise, there are a couple of pre-loaded items, one of which is the Fitbit app. Microsoft and Fitbit have a pretty good relationship these days, but the Lumia 640 isn't one of the phones offered with a free Fitbit Flex, so the app is pretty superfluous if you don't already have a band. But you can delete it if you don't want it, so that's OK.

Free stuff!

Office 365

Worth highlighting on its own, the Lumia 640 along with the 640 XL marks the first time Microsoft has given away a free one-year subscription to Office 365 with one of its smartphones.

Such an offer has been commonplace on small Windows 8.1 tablets for some time now. It's perhaps less useful on a phone, especially given the current state of Office on Windows Phone. But since you get bundled Skype calls, 1TB of OneDrive storage and access to the Office desktop apps as part of it, it's nothing to turn your nose up at.

The links below will guide you through what it is you're getting, and how you go about getting it.

Something for everyone

Connectivity - Dual SIM, LTE or not

While it's easy to focus on the camera, or the display, or any other number of features, one of the most important for the Lumia 640 is its connectivity. Dual SIM phones aren't uncommon from Microsoft. But how about Dual-SIM LTE?

In fact, dual-SIM phones that support two LTE SIM cards aren't that common anywhere right now. For Microsoft to include on a phone that's as affordable as the Lumia 640 is a very big deal.

But not everyone wants that. And not everyone wants or can get LTE support. As such the Lumia 640 comes in variants with or without both of these options. We've got the LTE UKCV here with single-SIM. And it's the same story with the larger Lumia 640 XL, as well.

Aside from the choice, performance is as good as you get on any Lumia smartphone. We've had no issues locking onto and maintaining an LTE connection.

Happy snapping

The rear camera

Lumia 640 camera

Something everyone cares about in 2015 when buying a smartphone. We always say the best camera you have is the one you have with you at the time. And as such, smartphone cameras are ever improving, even at the lower price points.

That can be said of the Lumia 640.

On paper, the hardware in the rear camera is decidedly mid-range and wholly unremarkable. There's an 8MP unit with no PureView, no Zeiss. But there's also no hump, as such, more a small ridge as was found on its predecessor. But, unlike its predecessor, we do at least have an LED flash this time around.

But if anything, the Lumia 640 is living proof that a good camera experience can be had without spending a lot of money. And part of that is down to Lumia Camera 5, the standard, pre-loaded camera application.

Until now, Microsoft has reserved Lumia Camera 5 for its very best camera phones. The likes of the Lumia 930, Lumia 1520 and Lumia 830 (in certain regions) all have it, but those are all PureView. The Lumia 640 is just, well, a regular old phone camera.

The Lumia Camera app has always been more capable than many equivalent stock apps on competing platforms, offering a level of manual control not found everywhere. Lumia Camera 5 adds the highly-praised Rich Capture feature to help you take more exciting photos.

The rear camera is surprisingly good at capturing detail

At the same time, if you're spending this sort of money on a smartphone you should always remember to keep expectations in line with that. But that said, you probably won't be disappointed with the Lumia 640.

The rear camera is surprisingly good at capturing detail though, at times, everything set to auto can lead to some issues with white balance. But at least you can change this on the fly in the app.

Chalk the rear camera up as a surprisingly impressive shooter. It gives us a good feeling when the mid-range is as capable as this.

A tale of three Lumia Camera apps

Lumia Camera 5 isn't the only Lumia Camera app in town. There's actually three, and each one applies to a different phone in the lineup and has different features depending on the hardware? Confused much?

Selfie-tastic

The front camera

Unlike the Lumia 630 that came before it, the Lumia 640 packs a front-facing camera. It's nothing particularly special. It is a 1MP unit that will take those selfie shots and let you video call your friends and family.

If you want to go landscape, go right

The biggest issue with the front-facing camera is its position. It's way over there on the left-hand side. No issues if you use it in portrait, but if you happen to want to use it in landscape and you tilt the phone left, you're in Dell XPS 13 country.

And by that, we mean it's suddenly very low down and will give a great view up your nose. A minor irritation, but still something to remember. If you want to go landscape, go right.

Moving pictures

Recording video

The Lumia 640 also does a fairly decent job at recording videos, too. The rear camera will shoot at 1080p at a continuous 30fps with auto-focus. The auto-focus does its job, but it is quite aggressive as it refocuses when you're moving the camera around. You won't be shooting any blockbusters on it, but for capturing those casual clips and stuff to share with social media it does pretty well.

The front facing camera steps down to 720p resolution. It's better than we first expected, and for the sort of thing you'd want to use a front-facing camera for, it should be ample for most.

And as you'll see in the video clip below, the microphone performs strongly. Even outdoors with a little wind noise it picks up your voice really well.

It can go all day (and maybe all night)

Battery life

During our initial hands-on and impressions, we noted that the battery in the Lumia 640 is actually larger than that in the more expensive Lumia 830. There's not a whole lot in it, but it's a healthy 2500mAh, compared to the 2200mAh in the 830.

And it's removable.

What that translates to is a real-world scenario of comfortable all day battery life on what we'd class as regular usage. Without any lengthy gaming sessions or watching videos for too long, getting through the day and even well into the evening doesn't take too much doing.

Ramp up on the more intensive tasks, and it'll naturally go down. But even with the most intensive use we didn't need to hunt for a charger before the end of the working day.

But even so, since you can swap it out, even the most power hungry of smartphone users won't be left scouring for a wall outlet or having to carry an external battery pack.

The one thing we do miss though is wireless charging. If you're coming to the Lumia 640 from any of the previous low-to-mid range Windows Phones, it's possible it's not a problem.

But, the Lumia 640 is an enticing buy to folks who've been on phones like the 820, 920 in a past life. Folks who enjoyed the convenience of just popping it on the charger at their desk throughout the day. You won't miss it if you never had it.

Counting the coppers

Pricing and availability

Lumia 640 price

The Lumia 640 is on sale now in a number of markets across Europe and Asia. The RRP from Microsoft is around £170 though that varies from market to market.

What is important to mention is that the Microsoft Store is probably the most expensive place you'll find one to buy. Third-party retailers and carriers are already offering substantial discounts, so definitely check with your local offerings first.

At some point, it should be making its way to the U.S., but at the time of writing there is no confirmed launch window.

Summing up

The bottom line

Lumia 640

The Lumia 640 is a great phone. We could leave it at that and be done with it. There are some things we're not so happy with, like the lack of wireless charging, but all told this is a real gem in Microsoft's lineup.

Eventually, the higher end will move further away, and any replacement for the Lumia 830 won't (likely) be as closely matched on the hardware to the Lumia 640. But the here and now is where we are at, and that means a sub-£170 phone with very little criticism.

Yes, compromises always need to be made to reach a price point, that's just the nature of the business. But the Lumia 640 offers probably the best compromise of any phone in its price range. A good camera, excellent battery life, solid software performance and all without stealing your wallet.

Pound for pound, this might just be the best value-for-money Windows Phone there is right now. And that's a pretty mighty achievement. It also leaves us even more excited for what might yet come in the higher reaches of the smartphone spectrum.

To see some elements of this review please visit m.windowscentral.com in the browser on your mobile device

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.

168 Comments
  • Thanks.  One day we'll get Lumia Camera 5 on the more premium 830 on AT&T too.
  • Probably after windows 10
  • Silly question, this is a windows phone forum, if we share a link from Daily motion or a onedirve will it not work on this site, i see links to youtube.. if we cannot use them and keep promoting youtube how are we helping MS or is the plan to help Google ?  
  • Microsoft uses youtube as well, that should tell you something....
  • that it's the most popular, de facto video service?
  • Good work Richard a truly awesome review covering all the aspects of the phone :)
    Looking forward to your review of the 640XL
  • One of the best reviews I've ever read.
  • I agree 100%, excellent review!
  • Yeah really a great review as it covers all aspects of mobile phone. Thanks for such a nice review.. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I was holding off for the 640 until AT&T had that suprising deal on the 830, but the Lumia 640 does look good value for the money.  Think I would have been relatively happy.
  • I'm not so sure... The 640 looks good, on paper. It misses out on a lot of stuff the 830 has and to me the 830 is worth the little bit of extra for all those features. The 640 does NOT have (vs 830): sculpted glass, active noise cancelling, surround recording, HAAC mics, OIS, 830 camera is WAY better, Wireless charging, sunlight filters (640 only has software trick for it), super sensitive touch, dolby digital plus licence (rich recording/sorround sound recording), gyroscope, 830 has better audio components for audio/music playback through headphones, 5ghz wi-fi support, 16GB storage. And I personally think the pics from the 640 look less than optimal and a little bland. Screen on the 830 also looks a little better to me (less viewing angles on 830 but color looks infinitely better on the 830 to me)
  • But 830 is likely twice the price of the 640, so it's going to be better. As a mid to entry level device the 640 hits the right boxes. People won't miss things like super sensitive display unless they are used to them. Same with half the things you list... Even iPhone doesn't have most of them!
  • Lumia 830 here is only a little bit more than 640. There's also the 735 that has most of these features too. Iphones are hard to compare because those are bought by people that don't know any better and even worse; don't want to know any better. They believe the iphone marketing without any doubt or hesitation. You can not reason with such religious people.
  • My 620 has super sensitive touch, it's a nice feature to have, you can operate your phone with a pencil if you wanted to :D Or more realistically, with gloves on, I've done so even with two pairs of glowes on :D. And atleast in Latvia, the difference between 830 and 640 LTE is only about 50€ (215€ vs 165€). Do you think paying 50€ on top of 640 is woth it to get the 830? One of those two will most likely be my next phone
  • It is amazing. Just 50€ more? Go for 830 if you are willing to pay.
  • If the 830 is only 50 euros more tha the 640, this would imply that the 830 is near the end of its production run.  I would assume the August/September time frame for Windows 10 with a flagship phone released.  I dont know the differences between 7xx, 8xx, 9xx, 10xx.  I have a 928 which seems to keept getting stronger as the software keeps improving.  Wireless charging is much more convienant than pluging in your phone. Here is a question?  At what point doe s Microsoft go with a intel chip?  SoFIA (Atom x3) is shipping or close to shipping.  This is a integrated 3G modem processor.  Would this part go into a low end phone for emerging markets (India, China, etc...)
  • @dysje: In NZ, the 640 is retailing at NZD 299 and the 830 can be purchased off a local online store for NZD 329.  Only 10% difference! Time to book a trip to New Zealand...
  • The 640 is just expensive in NZ then. 329 NZD is 215 €, that's the same as the 830 costs in Latvia, but the 640 LTE here costs 155€ (236 NZD) and the non-LTE model is only 140€ (213 NZD)
  • Hmmm... Greedy marketers.  The same retailer doesn't offer the 830; only the 640; so he is holding out the 640 as his midrange Windows Phone (taking the place rightfully taken by the 830) but at an 830 price and offers the 930 as his high end entry. This way he gets an extra​ fat margin on his 640.  Rogue.    
  • The Lumia 830 is a great device, but it just has 16B of storage, after my microSD of 32GB died and I lost pictures, apps and documents I decided I'm done with microSD cards, not going to purchase a phone with less than 64GB.  Maybe a lot of people say I'm stupid, maybe I am, but I don't trust microSD cards anymore, so until Microsoft launches a phone with 64GB of storage or more, I'll purchase it.
  • What brand of SD card did you have? Just curious... Thx!
  • You should have backup your photos on OneDrive!
  • You must always keep backups I've learned the hard way as you have.
  • You do realize that the internal storage in all phones is basically the same thing as the SD cards right? They have the same chance to break down (depending on use). I wouldn't call you stupid, but I would recommend to look into reliability of SD cards vs internal phone memory, as there's not really a difference between those in normal use. (as in leaving your SD card in your device for the most part)
  • the lumia 830 does NOT have the microsoft logo in the back xD
  • I love my 820, and wireless charging is one of the things i cannot go without anymore... To bad this's not supported. Arent'there any shells for it?
  • Shells would be useless, because wireless charging circuits are not present n the handset itself.
  • Just a gread phone. I've got the Dual Sim 4g-Version and it's very nice. I like it!
  • Out of interest, where did you buy that from and for how much?
  • Amazon.fr, 179 Euro
     
  • Yes! Seems like only the french market is getting the LTE DS variant for now. I also got mine (just yesterday) from MS store france. Im really impressed  with what you get for your money with this phone! Out of curiosity, which color did you order/get? Which phone were you replacing? I ordered the orange version since my 620 was also orange, and got the cyan... is such a nice color, i was positively surpriced xD
  • It looks so...hm... I don't understand Microsoft at this point. Dual-Sim LTE for this Prize? Unbeatable! Our luck that Microsoft makes it possible to buy this phone in other countries like (in my case) Switzerland. I replaced the L535 (white) and also an "old" 630 (also orange => yes, looks great ^^). My 640 has a white glossy backcover. I compared this also with a black version of the 640 from a friend, but, for me, the glossy-backcover looks better. When I compare the L535 with the L640, the 535 looks and feels inferior. The Display of my new L640 is so much better, the colours are great! At the End of the first day (after installing and using (video, music, whatsapp, internet etc.) i had over 50% of battery life!  If somebody is searching a new phone, this should be an option for you!
  • I agree, i had the black mate version from the 620 too, and for me glossy looks better. And yes! The display looks so vivid, and the battery is so much better than other lumias, let alone some droids and apples x) Im really going to enjoy this one, and for the looks of it im sure you also will :D
  • I've got an old Lumia 920 here. And the 640 feels alot like this :-) Where do you live and using your phone?
  • I​ m living in Germany, but moved from Switzerland a couple of weeks ago, so i decided to get a dual sim phone for both cards. Although, i am curretly using the second sim for ​cheaper data with lte :D so droped my monthly costs from 35€ to 15€ using the perfect combination for my needs (5GB LTE data, and 200 mins & 200 sms). ​How are you using your new dual LTE? Business/personal or silly combos? x) ​
  • Na dann, auf Deutsch. Die Andern können ja dann übersetzen :D
    Ich brauchs mit 1 Geschäfts- und 1 Privat-Simkarte. Ist wirklich ein geniales Gerät!    
  • Why do you need Dual Sim?  I am in the US on Verizon and my 928 has a Sim which I need when I go to Europe.  IN the old days I had T-Mobile with a SIm card.  I think I just took the Sim out of a phone and put it in a new phone and I was good to go.  Is this the purpose of the Sim card?  If so why 2?  For 2 carriers?
  • Have you ever been in Switzerland? there you pay a lot for calls, internet etc. (https://www.swisscom.ch/de/privatkunden/mobile/abos-tarife.html). There are 3 Providers (Swisscom, Sunrise, Orange) and Providers, which are using the network of them (Migros, Coop, Aldi etc.). Maybe one of the "Sub"-Providers has a great price for Mobile Data and one of the Providers a gread price for Phone Calls, SMS etc. On this way you are able to combine what you need. Funny Fact: For some people its cheaper to buy a Sim Card in Germany and use in Switzerland, than buy a Sim Card in Switzerland an use it here.. Or if you've got a Sim for Business and another for private Use, a Dual Sim-Phone is also a very good solution. And if you travel to another country, you can take one of these two Sims out and put in one of the country, where you are. Is much cheapter than this (f****ing) Roaming, which is very expensive in Switzerland... And you don't have to send your friends your "new" Number, which you use in another country, 'cause they can call you the normal way (and you can call them back, using your other number). Last but not least: Dual-Sim LTE is faster than Dual-Sim 3G, so there's the reason why i bought the phones in France :-)    
  • Windows 10 Lumia 930
  • Makes my 830 seem a bit overpriced. (Especially considering the larger battery.) Any word on a wireless charging backplate?
  • From my first look it does not have the necessary contacts for that so forget about it. ​
  • Read the comment above from dysje.
    Those are just some of the features better in 830.
    There is no comparison in the build quality and looks of 830 with 640. Basically, except battery, Lumia 830 beats 640 at almost everything.
    So nothing to be sad about. :)
    I use 830 myself.
    And I am proud that I own the last of the amazing Nokia. :) :)
  • The 640 doesn't support this feature, the 640 XL may have it in the future. Why? Look at this Youtube-Video: http://goo.gl/vj1m5Y at 40:43. Martin (which you see in the video) talks about wireless charging. He asked one who has to know for what these Pins are and he told him "if you think about it, you know for what these Pins will be in the future".    
  • I know, right? I've just bought a 640 after seeing this review and it being available for £119 unlocked. Lumia 830 is currently running at £230. There is really not that much between them. In fact it is temporarily replacing my 920 which i cracked the screen on whilst a little tipsy the other night. Think it will really help keep me going til windows 10 flagships start appearing. Will write more in the forums once it arrives.
  • Why no nano SIM? High end only?
  • And why nano sim? It's stupid apple "invention", that almost no one else uses.
  • Gotcha.
  • cough cough 1520 uses nano
  • IE on WP8.1 sucks
  • You suck
  • +830. I.E. Is the best.
  • I am using lumia 730, 720, and 640XL. Though lumia 640XL have 13 MP rear camera , the picture is bad then lumia 730. I don't know whats that problem.
  • Because the 6.7mp camera in the Lumia 730 is one of the best camera's you can find. It's ONLY problem is it's low mp, but everything else about it is actually REALLY good. The 13mp camera on the 640xl is a cheap model and has worse images because of that. Sure it has more pixels... It performs worse in capturing light, the pixels themselves are quite a bit smaller and so on...
  • The 13mp is with Zeiss optics too. Personally, I'd prefer a Lumia 640 xl. Better value for money.
  • Zeiss is just a lens. It means nothing on it's own. It's the sensor that makes the 735 so good. 13mp cheap sensor can't be fixed with some branding on the lens. Value in 640xl? A little. If you can live with all the missing features from higher end devices sure. But its good if you only look at the raw numbers, sure. If that's enough for you. I personally use a few of the missing features from the 640xl too much, so its not an option for me.
  • I understand where you're coming from. I've got a Lumia 1520, 930 and 1020, so I'll know the features I'm missing. I want to buy the Lumia 640xl because for me, the Lumia 640xl is the best budget phone out there. Currently the Lumia 640 is £99 in the UK, so if the xl is around £150 then it would be an instant buy for me.
    The Lumia 735 doesn't have glance so that's definitely something I'll miss, whereas the Lumia 640 does have it.
  • you can argue all you want with regards to MPixels and Zeiss optics, as an end user I can tell you that Lumia 640 XL camera stands nowhere in front of the 720/730/735 camera !!
  • Haven't used 640XL but surely 730 beats 640 in camera.
  • I use Lumia 830. Very much proud of it's 10 mp pureview which beats 640's 8mp, 640xl's 13mp and 730's 6.7mp cameras. :)
  • 1520 has the best camera imo
  • Haha. You just compared the jack with his king! That's unfair... :P
    But not to forget... 1520 costs almost double than my 830. But still, its a god.
  • Don't forget it's only £99 (£79 Upgrade) on PAYG at Carphone so yea, pretty much the best phone in the country for this money right now.
  • Bought it today to replace my 1020 which no longer has a working power button (and freezes sometimes) so I'm happy about the pull-able battery. And with an 8mp autofocus camera for £120 from Carphone Warehouse this is the bargain of the effing century!!!
  • Am I the only one who would much rather have WP 8.1.2 than Windows 10? Why isn't this update made available in the developer preview?
  • Same here. I'm fine stopping at 8.1.2, unless W10 has some real killer features.
  • Ignorant people don't know what a technical preview is...
  • I think we need to chill a bit on the W10(P) angst.  We are already seeing a shift in the design language with the newer TP towards a more consistent and nice looking experience.  This points to a trend where the earlier hodge-podge of unfinished stuff will give way to more polished bits. We are already seeing some exciting examples of universal apps with cool device-to-device handoff scenarios too.  So while it's good to give feedback, let's hold off on judgement until the cake has had some more time to bake.
  • True. Then again, some of the bad ingredients are already baked into the cake, such as the hamburger menu and radically reduced use of pivots - and those will not go away.
  • Have you seen the new Office preview apps?! It's not getting better. It's getting worse. It got worse between the first TP and the 2nd TP in my opinion too.
  • Great review. Pleased with the experience with the phone so far. Kindly add the 640 in the primary phone options for profiles.
  • Great phone. This time the 6xx family is right. And I can't wait for the Lumia 740, with a killer FF selfie camera maybe even with Pureview in the front for the first time!
  • Heh, pureview ffc? Ain't gonna happen.
  • Just waiting for a us release, dying to have this phone. I neeeeeeed the XL.
  • I've had mine since launch day. It's a good runner and the screen is really impressive. Performance wise, it doesn't run Asphalt 8 smoothly but the simple games are fine.
  • The Lumia 640XL is 5.7 inches....
    ........
    I hope that doesn't mean that the next high end larger device drops from 6" to 5.7 tiny a$$ inches... If anything I think the next "1540" should increase in screen size while staying close to the 1520 in overall dimensions... But, that's just my opinion... 6.2" preferably for me.
  • You are being ridiculous if a drop of .3" is enough to call it a tiny @$$ phone. After looking at the note 4, I am sure the loss ofthose meager .3" would produce a more manageable phone. 1520 user here.
  • Of course I'm being ridiculous, MR. serious pants.. Calm down. Of course I don't think it's literally a tiny size....
    .......
    But, yes it's considerably smaller... My friends have Notes, and they are all much smaller to me than my 1520... To each his own, and I want the biggest screen reasonable that I can fit in my pocket... I see tons of people with 6.3" devices, namely Megas, and they manage just fine... I'm not worried about managing it, as much as I would enjoy it... If you want to go smaller then, well hand claps to you... But, I hope they go bigger, or at the very least keep it at 6".... It would also be nice to have more size options on the high end... 4.5" 5.0" 5.5" 6.0" 6.5".... Seriously.
    ...............
    With W10 it's time to stop thinking so conventionally, and expand our expectations...
  • 6.0 is standard min for any 1500 range, we have band for quick access, the screen on the 1520 does the video/ and daily driving on the heavy side!
  • I sure hope MS see's it your way, because I completely agree with you. Standard minimum. Well said.
  • If reducing the screen size by 0.3 inches means they've fixed the un-intentional screen tap issue plaguing my 1520, then that would be progress. WW
  • That's not necessary... Why not go the other way to fix it... SMDH. Lol.
  • I dont have this on my 1520  
  • I barely do anymore either after all the updates... Still happens from time to time, but it's really a non issue now.
  • Just tell me the date when I can buy it from T-Mobile already.
  • Indeed
  • Love my 635 but im ready to toss it in a drawer as soon as this bad boy comes to a store near me. Tick tock tick tock
  • When is T-Mobile getting the 640XL?  I'm ready to upgrade my two 521's. 
  • Will this be sold in the US?
    Also, can we please retire playing videos as some sort of huge drain on the battery? It's really not. In fact, at least in WP, texting, surfing Facebook and chatting are far more likely to turn your phone into a furnace. Why that is, I don't know. But I get battery use upwards of 50-60% / hour when staying on websites with messaging/chat/discussions. So if you do a lot of that, a replaceable battery is probably a good idea, more so than if you only watch a lot of videos.
  • how's the touch?
  • Touch is fantastic!
  • Great phone at..price..
  • I've been using this phone for a few days now and it's been a great experience so far. A huge leap in every way from the Lumia 620 I used for over two years previously and the blue cover is gourgeous. Only downside is the cover is very prone to fingerprints and whenever I hold it to clean it I leave fingerprints again. :P Minor complaint in a phone that has a great value for its money, though. I don't mind the somewhat low storage because I can insert an SD card anyway. Free Office 365 for a year is a great plus also. If you're looking for a Windows Phone that doesn't need bleeding-edge specs but still works with excellence for all everyday tasks or are simply looking for a budget phone and don't mind any of the downsides Windows Phone may have it's definitely been worth the money so far. :)
  • Yes, completely agree with you. I've mine 640LTE since yesterday to replace the L620, and I feel the L640 is the logical upgrade of the L620 and not the L630/635.
    On L620 we had 4GB, so having now 8GB is "more than enough", specially if there's the SD expanding option.
    This is probably the best device for the price in the market in all platforms (paid 139,90€ at Vodafone Portugal)
  • Actually, the Lumia 620 had 8 GB internal storage but I agree otherwise, the 630 had some shortcomings compared to the 620 that the 640 does not, like lack of Glance and lack of front camera. Then again, the 640 does lack a dedicated camera button, though.
  • Yes, you are right about the 8gb on L620 (don't know where I got the 4gb).
  • Excellent review. Thank you! I am now more sold on this phone than ever before... But have to wait for US launch. =)
  • This looks almost like a comparable sidegrade from my L925,but cheaper and has worse camera and no wireless charging. But I love the metal body of L925.I dont think I can ever go back to anything that feels less premium build like the L925
  • It definitely feels less premium than a 925. The soc in this one is also in some cases slower or of similar performance as the one in the 925. Besides the battery in the 640 everything about the 925 is actually better than in the 640. It's more like a downgrade really. You'll lose the sculpted glass, the HAAC mics, the OIS and a few more cool features.
  • Yeah I was wondering bout the soc in the 640 too since it is a quad core.but the dual core in the L925 is still holding up quite well for an almost 2 year old phone. I REALLY hope that Microsoft will launch a flagship that is less than 5" size. I swear phones nowadays are getting larger and larger everyday it's becoming ridiculous.LOL.
  • The CPU in the 925 is per core quite a lot faster than the snapdragon 400, it has less cores though. Also the 925 uses dual channel ddr2, snapdragon 400 uses single channel ddr3. 925 has faster memory because of that eventually. Makes for an interesting comparison. Also means upgrading to midrange Lumias now isn't really an upgrade for 925 owners.
  • Interesting.I didn't know about the memory channel thing.I only thought that because the 640 has quad core and newer soc,it will be faster than the 925 dual core. But I can noticeably feel the heat on my phone when using apps like 6tag,tubecast,skype etc. Maybe the newer soc produce lesser heat at the cost of slightly slower performance. Yeah I'm quite itching to upgrade but even the 830 has almost the same specs with 640 but with better camera
  • Oh yes, the Snapdragon 400 is way more efficient and cooler too! It doesn't heat up at all and has quite a bit longer battery life too. You get about 40% more battery in most cases. Sometimes even more.
  • I'll hold off getting 640 just for two weeks just to make sure that Microsoft don't release something at build like a Lumia 740 / XL!
  • NOTE: This was supposed to be a direct reply to my post four above this one. Sorry for the confusion. "A huge leap in every way from the Lumia 620 I used for over two years previously"
    Correction: Almost every way. There is for example the lack of WiFi a and the screen is a bit harder to read on with direct sunlight and there is also the lack of NFC on the dual-SIM version (I never used NFC on my 620, though) but the shortcomings are small enough for me to consider this a worthwhile upgrade. Still, those are some shortcomings you may want or need to consider.
  • No WiFi?
  • That was supposed to mean WiFi 802.11a. It's only got b/g/n.
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 does have nfc at least mine does it's turned on in setting
  • Only the LTE versions do.
     
  • Microsoft is cleaning up the Lumia line. After releasing the 520/521, Nokia released the 530 - a phone with less features (and arguably a downgrade!) and made it more expensive. It made no sense whatsoever. I wonder if there will be a US low end model like the 435/532. Or will it be the 640 after all? That would be excellent. Will wait and see!
  • Richard, why do you have to be so mean? I am refering to the begining of section on the rear camera that says "Happy Snapping", which is snapchat's catchphrase, and you can't use snapchat on windows phone. Just teasing you. However, it is somwhat ironic.
  • As a non-Snapchat user I had no idea!
  • There is one thing I find strange about the Glance Screen, namely that I cannot show any extended notifications, MSN apps or the date on it but only the time and the short counter notifications. Any idea why that may be?
  • I guess maybe could be a bug that maybe MS will fix (or maybe not and wait for W10) - probably related with Upgrade 2 that comes in L640 and not about the device itself.
  • in my opinion the display has the same bad quality like the 830 and the thin plastic feels cheap. but for this price its ok.
  • Great article!   Given that the 640XL can be pre-ordered in the US for $27x, what's the best guess for an initial street price for the smaller 640 LTE?
  • Not sure about all carriers, but MetroPCS already announced the regular 640 will be $99 - http://www.windowscentral.com/metropcs-launch-microsoft-lumia-640-mid-late-may-priced-99. I'd expect AT&T and T-Mobile to be similar at around $100 +/- $20, and the 640XL will probably be something like $179-199. The Expansys price is more because it's a novelty for early adopters.
  • Thanks. Will be buying a non-branded for sure. Hopefully not much more in price. I can't see putting up with Carrier delays (or worse) of OS or firmware updates. Maybe if MS ever stands firm on letting owners get updates without Carrier approval or if there was a CV firmware for it, I would buy an unlockable phone from a carrier.
  • Hows the sound quality over headphones?  Does it include Dolby sound, like the 920/1020 devices? I'm already on track to switch to an iphone 6, but thinking that something like the 640 would make a good ipod/gym music player type second device.
     
  • "...thinking that something like the 640 would make a good ipod/gym music player type second device." Ummm.....why? Why would you buy a phone with 8gb of storage to use a ipod\music player??? You'd have to buy a micro sd card as well to put any music on it!! Wow....
  • It doesn't include dolby or any other fancy features. But it'll do fine as a music device. Would be a little weird though, this device is bigger than an iphone6 and won't be better at playing music. Though I've added an iphone6 as 2nd device, if you're used to something like a Lumia 925.. The iphone6 feels like a cheaper copy of it in many ways. The 925 is actually better in a few areas (both hardware and software) than the iphone, as crazy as that may sound.
  • Want. Want. Want.
  • The review says:
    Aside from the choice, performance is as good as you get on any Lumia smartphone. We've had issues locking onto and maintaining an LTE connection.
    Should that be "...We've had NO issues locking onto and maintaining an LTE connection?"
  • You say in the review "the performance is as good as any Lumia smart phone, we've had problems locking onto and maintaining an LTE connection." The performance of all the of my Lumias has been excellent (820,625,1320) with no LTE connectivity issues. Is there any chance this may have been a typo and it should have read "we've had NO problems locking onto and maintaining an LTE connection"?
    Damn it, @jdballard beat me to it by about a 5 minutes, you must have been sending yours as I started writing mine!
  • Yeah, almost 3000 words and still needed to add one more :/ Thanks though!
  • No problem. Great review, thanks!
  • Oh that's right.....I forgot....about the very limited storage!!! So this isn't an upgrade from my lumia 810, which also has a 8gb of internal storage and 1G of RAM. Pretty sad. Guess I'll keep waiting.
  • That is one hell of a review. :O Great job. After a long time I am reading such a comprehensive review on Windows Central.
  • Thanks :) Though most of the credit belongs to the fancy templates we had to put it together now!
  • I agree! :) It's such a joy to read and look at it! Good job, people! :)
  • The glossy shells look horrible to me. I wish there was matte cyan, at least. 
  • Let's not forget about the dedicated camera button...
  • Lumia 640 or 830 ?? What is better for its price? 
  • Nice review. I think these are a very worthy update to the 630/635 range. I even keep seeing prices below £90 being quoted, which would be astonishing. Style wise I prefer the 735/830, but that is just me. I personally struggled with the edge of the 930, thought it was really uncomfortable.
  • Fantastic and very thorough review Richard, thanks!!
  • I'd like to see how the 640/XL measures up to the Blu Win HD LTE.
  • That Microsoft logo looks much better than the Nokia logo.
  • Another WP Lumia phone that us Verizon customers will never see.
  • Why don't you just change carriers?
  • what'll happen to office after a year? will it cease to operate? please clarify
  • The links in the review should help.
  • This will be a nice upgrade from my 521, and that's how it should be looked at, an upgrade or side grade. It's a midrange phone after all, and a damned good one it seems.
  • Excellent Review, looking foward to the 640XL Review :D
  • A very good review.640,is a very capable hardware.
    And Cyan=beauty calmness,my favourite too.
  • Hai...sorry this out from topic but, still i want share to you all. I hope this fake, but if this is a real, i will don't buy windows phone any more. I only want camera phone better than my Lumia 1020.   http://fortheloveoftech.com/2015/03/05/microsoft-no-successor-to-the-nok...
  • Does it supports 'hey Cortana'?
  • Does anybody know when this phone will be available in Australia? It looks like the perfect replacement for my Lumia 520. No spec compromises as far as I can see and a great price, what more could you want?
  • Hi there IBMThinkPadR51, both the 640 and the 640 XL are up for pre-order at the Harvey Normans webstire for $299 & $399 respectively, with 2 years Microsoft Warranty.  Both variants are single SIM, LTE models.  They become available on 5 May. 
  • Ah, thanks man! Going to go for the standard 640 with LTE myself.
  • Will be getting this to replace my L635 on T-Mobile : )
  • I'm still confused between the Lumia 640 and 730...I'm using Lumia 630 now can someone tell me what would be the best upgrade ;)
  • Go for 730, it has an amazing camera and better screen.
  • After a long time a complete review for a phone from windowscentral. Posted via samsung galaxy S4
  • There is a new option to double tap on nav bar to off the screen
  • The best review ever done on windows central for a phone. Loved reading it. Never got bored. Everything was presented interestingly.
    Still, I prefer my 830 over 640 or xl. Except battery, is better at everything. :)
  • Now this is the Moto G contender. Good job designing a good budget phone
  • Nice
  • This is my first windows phone and so far I am very pleased with it. The price/performance ratio is just excellent.
  • I guess I just expect too much from reviews these days. You know simple things like, is there an oleophobic coating on the screen? Is the screen responsive? How loud is the external speaker? How well does the new equalizer from Denim work on it? Or here we go, here is a real "out there" question: what's the audio quality like through wired headphones? How about through Bluetooth, does it keep connectivity well and provide good audio quality? I know, I know, these questions are just too much to ask from ANY tech site on ANY device. Much better to just snap a couple pictures from the camera and regurgitate specs that can be found in less than two seconds on Bing. And yes, I CAN do a better job at reviews, send me a phone and I'll prove it.
  • The screen responsivenes is good but yet sometimes the double-tap waking up got mishaps but the double-tap-on-the-navi-bar locking down never turns me down. I don't know about oleophobic coating, but about the audio it is good. The external speaker is not so lavishly loud (for me) but better than my friend's iPhone. The equalizer rocks! At least from the perspective from an ex-525 user (which doesn't have any). The audio quality through wired headphones is better than my previous 525 (this one you can trust me because I'm accustomed to be seen with earphones/headphones).:D The bluetooth audio quality is quite the same with 525 (I wear headphones even outdoor which is normal for an 'eccentric' person like me), both have better connection than my ASUS laptop. Don't know why. The coverage is wider and the connection is more stable on both 'skinny' phones than my 'beefy' laptop. Bought 640 LTE Dual-SIM because my lovely-but-cheap 525 has been stolen (in minutes, so Find My Phone service rendered useless at that time coupled with a turned-off Location for the battery sake). My friend said it was maybe due to its unfaithful orange back matching with the gorgeous transparent Start screen that my 525 had been mistaken as a dandy phone. So, I opt for a (surprisingly matte) black model to tone down its attractiveness. However, it turns out to look premium-ish with coloured  navigation bar matching with the Start screen backgound (that's the good thing about a black back, you can change the theme colour and the background picture without compromising your perfectionist's matching symptom). For the sake of the 'robbery' trauma, I turned on the Location 24/7 and consequently find MSN Health & Fitness tracker so damn cool (on the 10,000 steps mission)! With all-day WiFi, turned-on Location and light social network syndrome (but yet to develop anxiety), the battery lasts as my eyes awake. Maybe this sounds more 'out-there' review/testimony. Haha. I so much agree with you about the typical phone review format.
  • I thought it will have cover for wireless charging. It changed?
  • I think that was a rumour for the XL only.
  • What's the big deal about Cyan? I've always been a Black or bare metal sort of guy, but I must admit I'm tempted by the White this time around...
  • got it :) dual sim version
  • I feel that one should not compare 640 with 830 or 730 because these might not get the Windows 10 update.
  • Nice review, I got my 640 yesterday in the US for $129 from the Windows Store. It's an awesome phone for the price, and next year I'll be ready to pick up the new, next best (reasonably priced thing). Only thing I'm having a problem doing is loading the Fitbit app, if I can get that straightened out soon, I'll be ecstatic... I notice that the 640 is not yet officially supported by Fitbit, I certainly hope that's rectified soon.
  • Loving the 640! But PLEASE make a cover without the flap.
  • The 640 is straight awesome period.
  • let me tell a storyee... My sister lumia640 randomly get the insider build without inside app and win update advisor  apps. and now has the latest build.