Let me just preface this by saying that I am not only a massive fan of Windows Phone, but an avid member of the Microsoft ecosystem (bar the Xbox). My Lumia 630 is on the Windows 10 Technical Preview for Phones and my laptop is on Windows 10 too, so I am really committed to keep an eye on where both of those operating systems are going.
At Mobile World Congress, Microsoft announced two budget smartphones; the Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL. The maximum price for either of these devices (3G and 4G versions) should be less than £200. The Lumia 640 is a nice bump in spec from it’s predecessor, the Lumia 630 and it comes packed with a quad core Snapdragon 400 clocked at a measly 1.2Ghz, coupled with 1GB of RAM. The screen also screams budget, a 5-inch 720p display at a 1280 x 720 resolution. The battery is decent at 2500mAh in capacity, especially considering Windows Phone’s use of smaller batteries. The model comes with 8GB of storage, but has a microSD slot for expandability if needed.
Lumia phones have been known for their cameras, but not necessarily here; the 640 has a front facing 0.9Mp sensor, with a standard 8Mp sensor with flash on the back which isn’t all that great.
The 640XL doesn’t mess with the guts too much but mainly focuses on key areas consumers care about. If not mentioned, the specs are the same in both handsets. The screen is a 5.7 inch display, with the same resolution as its little brother, so the PPI is a little worse. The battery is bumper though, with a capacity of 3000mAh. The cameras get an upgrade too, with the front-facing now a 5Mp sensor and the back rocking a strong 13Mp with flash and a Zeiss lens, which always improves the quality.
Intent on sweetening the deal on both these devices,vMicrosoft are giving users 30GB of OneDrive storage as well as, rather surprisingly, a subscription to Office365 personal for one year. Both phones will also be Windows 10-ready for when that launches, or can be upgraded to the somewhat shaky technical preview when the phone is released.
Price-wise, the 640 is budget end at 139€ and 159€ for the 3G and 4G models respectively. As expected, the 640 XL will set you back slightly more, with 3G costing 189€ and 4G coming it at 219€.
Considering that the UK pricing never matches up to the conversion rate, the price for 640 XL will probably stay around the £200 mark, if not slightly less. Honestly, the value comes with the year’s subscription to Office 365, normally at a cost of around £60 if bought annually. Taking this into consideration, for the highest price version of the phone and subtracting the price of Office 365, the value sits at a respectable £140 – certainly more than acceptable in the budget category.
I’ve always said that Windows Phone handles lower specification devices, and with a fairly decent set of specs here – this seems (to me anyway) be a better option than other options, such as the Moto E in the Android camp.
What are your thoughts? How do you think these newly announced handsets stack up in comparison to Android counterparts and what seems more of a bargain device for the value?