Microsoft Lumia 640 review
A feature rich smartphone with an 8MP camera
My Microsoft Lumia 640 review uncovers a budget smartphone announced at the Mobile World Congress 2015 event.
The design is dominated by the large 5” HD display that has a decent resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. The screen uses IPS LCD technology and this provides an excellent viewing experience from almost any angle.
The Microsoft Lumia 640 also presents excellent readability under sunlight and the easy clean coating sees all of your fingerprints vanish in a single wipe. Protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 there should be little chance of cracking the screen.
The colour range has something for everyone and includes blue, orange, white and black. On the side we find black power and volume buttons and these really stand out and give the design a little edge. I think Microsoft have missed a trick on the black version though as these buttons offer no design thrill, whereas the use of white buttons against black would really have made a statement.
A quad-core 1.2GHz processor with 1GB RAM is found inside and it is this element that forces us to clarify this smartphone as ‘budget’. Having said that the experience is good and perfectly acceptable for a phone in this pricing bracket.
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The build includes a body that is 8.8mm thick, weighted at 145 grams and has an exchangeable back cover. The 8GB internal memory was a nice find as was a microSD card slot for boosting the memory by up to 128GB.
Phone Set Up
The set up process begins with a double tap to wake up the screen and you will soon find this feature a blessing compared to pressing the power button every time you want to use it. The Microsoft Lumia 640 is powered by the Windows Phone 8.1 operating system and this includes those Live Tiles that have become synonymous with Microsoft products.
I do hate those Live Tiles with the solid colour background but thankfully this can be changed to use a picture from your photo gallery. Making this change transforms the look into a more premium feel altogether.
Skype is installed and ready to go as soon as you log in and at this point you may wish to visit the Windows Phone Store to download your favourite apps such as Instagram, WhatsApp, Flipboard or the Candy Crush Saga.
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You may like to set up OneDrive next and this gives you 15GB of online storage for backing up your files. You also get an additional 15GB of free storage if you activate the camera roll backup feature.
If there is one thing that we have to praise Microsoft for on the Lumia 640 it is the inclusion of feature after feature. These include Microsoft Office, a 12 month free Office 365 Personal subscription and Cortana the digital assistant which can do everything from report on the latest traffic conditions to setting reminders or searching the web, all with simple voice commands.
For entertainment there is the Media Player with virtual surround sound, a graphical equalizer and audio / video streaming. XBox Music allows you to play and manage your tracks or buy new tracks from the Xbox Music Store while Mix Radio lets you enjoy music mixes. Give the tracks you enjoy a thumbs up or thumbs down and these automatically generated music mixes will tailor themselves to the type of music you enjoy.
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Internet browsing is over Wi-Fi or 4G and typing is taken to a new level with the Word Flow Keyboard as you slide your finger from one letter to the next. GPS with free maps and offline maps is also included and I love the fact that you can pin places to the start screen for often visited locations. The GPS software is pretty high-spec and includes speed limit warnings and public transport information for the daily commute.
Camera & Video
The 8MP camera with 4x digital zoom is an awesome addition to the Microsoft Lumia 640 but the 0.9MP secondary camera is a little on the light side when compared to other phones, but I don’t see this as a major sticking point. It does however have a wide-angle lens and the Lumia Selfie feature automatically enhances self portraits.
The Lumia Camera app includes Lumia Refocus, Lumia Moments and 1080p video recording with video zoom.
The 2,500mAh battery is another great inclusion on the Microsoft Lumia 640. This offers up to 17.5 hours talk time, 36 days standby, 18 hours of music playback, 10.8 hours of Wi-Fi internet browsing or 8.6 hours of video playback.
The longevity of power is enhanced with automatic screen brightness and there is a Power Save Mode for when you need maximum efficiency.
Microsoft Lumia 640 verdict: Overall I think this smartphone will be a great buy for those looking for a cheap smartphone with decent main camera and large display.
Written by: Michael Brown