Microsoft Lumia 640 Review: A good Windows Phone with an excellent camera
Microsoft has launched a new Lumia, but unfortunately there is still no signs of a flagship Windows Smartphone. Instead we have the affordable (£129) Microsoft Lumia 640. This new handset can be considered as a mid range Lumia. A lot reviewers have called the Lumia 640 the Moto G of Windows Phone. In some aspects this is true and both devices can be compared but the Lumia 640 has some extras under its sleeves...like a very good camera.
This is my full review of the Microsoft Lumia 640.
What’s in the box?
Since the Nokia Lumia 630 was launched, we are used to the square and thin retail packaging instead of a big blue box. With a price tag of £129 don’t expect to get any fancy accessories because you will be disappointed. Instead you get the Lumia 640 (of course!), the battery, the charger and some leaflets. Nothing less and nothing more. This is an affordable phone after all!
Design and build quality
If you are an aluminium or metal lover, please go and knock on the door of Apple, Samsung or HTC because this phone is completely plastic. To be honest there is nothing wrong with plastic if the build quality is good. And it looks like Microsoft has decided to keep the Nokia philosophy because the Lumia 640 is really well built. The removable back cover fits perfectly and the side buttons have a great feeling. Overall the Lumia 640 feels like a more expensive phone so we have to give credit to Microsoft.
At £129 we can't expect a full HD display. Lately we have been blessed with some excellent 720p displays, and the Microsoft Lumia 640 won’t disappoint you. It has a very nice, crisp and vibrant 5” display (1280 x720) with a pixel density of 294ppi. Thanks to the Clear Black technology, blacks are deep and not washed out.
Overall it's a very nice display, perfect for the colourful Windows Phone 8.1. Outdoor it is a good performer but in direct sunlight, the Microsoft Lumia 640 will shows some limits.
Performance and battery life
We are in 2015 and the Lumia 640 won't be remembered for great specifications. It is powered by an old Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 clocked at 1200MHz. Thankfully Microsoft has decided to power the Lumia 640 with 1GB Ram. Sadly this phone is available with only 8GB of hard drive. Even if Windows Phone 8.1 works very well with a Micro SD card, I think that it’s not a good move. Microsoft it’s 2015!
So, how does this mid range phone perform?
It is actually OK, because Windows Phone 8.1 is well optimised and doesn’t need powerful processors to work smoothly. However as always with a Windows Phone, the experience can be frustrating sometimes. Moving through the OS is a breeze, it works very well, however with apps it is a different matter. Apps can be slow to launch but the worst is when you need to refresh some applications. This can be a very slow and painful process. For exemple with the unit I used for 1 week, it was almost impossible to refresh the One Drive app. However, I have used a lot of Windows Phones in the past so I am used to it. A Lumia phone can be really enjoyable (most of the time) and so frustrating too.
But, to be honest the Microsoft Lumia 640 is much faster than the Lumia 630 or 635. The 1gb of ram helps a lot, and if you are coming from a low end Windows Phone, the Microsoft Lumia 640 is a great upgrade.
Regarding the battery life, I have to say that I was impressed with it. I never needed to charge the phone in the evening for that little bit of extra power to finish the day. I am a power user and the battery of the Lumia 640 is very good.
With a price tag of £129 we have the right to think that the 8MP camera will be average at best. Fortunately we are wrong, because the camera is probably the strongest point of the Lumia 640. It is really good, fast, and produces some outstanding pictures. The latest Lumia camera app is included so you will have plenty of options in manual mode. I used mainly the auto mode and I have to say I have been pleasantly surprised by the results. And of course as the Lumia 640 is linked to your One Drive account, saving the pictures in the cloud is a seamless process.
Here are some pictures I took with this awesome camera. This is not a good camera for £129, this is a good camera period!
Apps and Cortana
The app situation is improving a lot on the Windows Phones platform. The most important apps are available (probably without the full features you can find on iOS or Android), so you don’t have to worry about the big names (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Vine etc..). But once you have downloaded your premium apps, I have to be honest, the rest of the apps available are not that great. If you are a heavy Google user, you might be disappointed with Windows Phone 8.1: no Gmail, Google plus, Adsense, Google Drive, Google Photos or YouTube. However there are some excellent YouTube apps (such as MetroTube). So the app situation is still a problem in my opinion, and Windows Phone is not a good platform for Google users, unless you are ready to ditch Google for Microsoft services.
On the bright side, Cortana is here. I love Cortana. That’s one of the best (if not the best) personal assistants. Cortana has some cracking jokes, good songs and the way you interact with Cortana feels more human than with 'OK Google' or Siri.
At £129 the Microsoft Lumia 640 is a good mid range smartphone with an excellent camera. If you are a Lumia user and want to upgrade, the Lumia 640 is the perfect choice. If you are coming from another platform and want to try Windows Phone, I wouldn't hesitate in recommending this phone.
This is definitely a step in the right direction for Microsoft, but they need to power their phones with better processors and more up-to-date specs. Thanks to its excellent camera I am sure it will be one of the most successful Windows Phone for 2015.
Don't forget to read the review of the tiny and powerful Nokia MD-12 Wireless Speaker! It works very well with the Lumia 640. click here for the full review.
As always your comments are important. Do you own the Microsoft Lumia 640? If yes, what are the best features in your opinion? If you don't own it, are you planning on buying the Lumia 640 or are you waiting for a new flagship from Microsoft? Feel free to comment and share the post!
If you want to buy the Microsoft Lumia 640 you can find it Sim Free on Amazon: Link below.
Have a great day and thank you for reading :)