PASCAL ERB | Impressive Budget Smartphone – Lumia 640XL
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Impressive Budget Smartphone – Lumia 640XL

Two weeks ago I got an E-Mail if I would like to test the new Lumia 640XL. I wanted to buy Lumia 640XL already so it was a great chance to test it before I spend the money. So 4 days ago I received a package from Microsoft.

But first let us go back in time:
It’s not my first Lumia devices. I started with the Lumia 700 but I wasn’t happy with the devices because of bad battery life, the camera was pretty bad and the App gap was too big. So I went back to my Android phone. After a couple of months I gave it a second try so I bought the Lumia 920. When I got this devices, the Lumia love started. A year later I bought myself a Lumia 1020. This smartphone was my companion for 2 years. There is no other smartphone with such a great camera, the battery life got better and the Microsoft Store had all the apps I needed.
Then I started a new Job where I got a second phone for work. So I switched to the Lumia 730. Because of the Dual-Sim option.

LumiaPhones

Since 4 days I’m on the road with the Lumia 640XL. Because of the missing Dual-Sim Option I needed a second phone (There is a Dual-Sim Version on the market as well). My second phone is a iPhone 6. It is great to have the advantages of both phones and very interesting to compare a budget phone with a high-end phone.
When it comes to specs, the Microsoft Lumia 640 XL does not disappoint. The device has a 5.7-inch, 720p screen with 259 PPI, a quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor clocked at 1.2 GHz, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, 13 MP Back Camera and 5 MP Selfie Camera.


 

Design

When I received the Microsoft Lumia 640 XL, I was not impressed, but this is how we know the Lumia devices. A blocky solid design. The Screen is huge as the device is. What I like is the orange cover, it brings color to life. The back cover of the device is removable, allowing you to switch in a number of different options, including black, white, cyan and orange. So there is no need for a case, if it gets some scratches you can change it.

Once the back has been removed, access is given to the Micro-SIM slot, the removable 3000mAh battery and the MicroSD slot.

Coming from a smaller device it took a little while before I was confident enough to use the phone. I have big hands but there is no way to use it one-handed. The power button and the volume rocker are on the right and easy to reach. I really miss the camera button because it is a device to take photos but more about that later.

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One Micro-USB slot is on the bottom of the device, while the 3.5mm headphone jack is on the top, what I really like. The headphone jack has to be on the top, I really don’t get it why the iPhone has it on the bottom.

On the back of the Lumia 640 XL is a single speaker, the Microsoft logo, the 13MP rear-facing camera with a single LED-Flash.

The front of the device contains the 5.7-inch screen covered by Gorilla Glass, a 5MP selfie camera a call-speaker and microphone.

Overall, it is a nice device for the price. To keep in mind the size of the phone it’s light, well balanced but only to use two-handed.


Screen

I never was a big fan of big devices. With a 5,7-inch panel, the Lumia 640 XL is big… very big. But after using it for 4 days I really enjoy the big screen. With 259 PPI, though not quite ‚Retina‘ in its quality, the screen should please everyone (pixel nerds aside). Web browsing is an enjoyable experience, as was watching HD Movies. Since I have the Lumia 640XL I haven’t used my 7-inch Tablet. It really could replace it.

As expected the screen is very good to use outdoors. No other smartphone manufacture does it better then Microsoft. It is because of the ‚ClearBlack‘ polarisation filter used previously by Nokia. Gladly Microsoft applied this future to he Lumia 640XL.

The screen on the Lumia 640 XL is one of its highlights, and is one of the best available at this price point.


 

Battery

To put it simply, the battery life of the Microsoft Lumia 640 XL is excellent. Charged the device when I got it then I was listening to a few hours of Spotify, hours of  browsing the internet made some calls and a lot of photos later I had to charge it once in 4 days!

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In all, regardless of your use case, this device has great battery life. And, as a bonus for those who travel frequently, and power users, it is removable, allowing for ‚hot-swapping‘.


 

Usability

Calls made from the device were clear and in a good quality. The Lumia 640 XL is a pleasant call-making device.

Radio performance also proved to be something of a high point, with 4G performance I had receptions even in areas where I have often found it difficult to gain reception.

Pages loaded quickly on the Internet Explorer browser and the big screen makes it a comfortable way to browse the internet.With a configurable reading mode, desktop mode and many other settings, the browser is moderately customisable.

Windows Phone typing experience remains a joy. This remains true even in the face of increasingly serious competition in the Android space from the likes of Swiftkey and Swype. I haven’t found a better keyboard then the Windows Phone has. Not even the iPhone can head up with it.

The rear-facing speakers on the device are average but for the price you can’t expect more.

Finding apps on Windows Phone is something of a problem. But has nothing to do with the device. There is still a little ‚App Gap‘,  but the main apps are available. Some of the apps are even better than the original one. E.g. the Instagram App by Rudy Huyn  know as 6tag. The apps are running smooth and the loading time is fast.

Lastly, but not least, GPS performance on the device was great. I used the ‚Here Drive+‘ in my car and with the big screen it was a pleasure.

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Camera

The Microsoft Lumia 640 XL has a good every day camera: Good lighting conditions lead to good shots, the details of the photos are very surprising. Low-light performance is impressive, shutter speed relatively fast, so when you consider the price I’d say this is a 13-megapixel camera that overperforms for the section of the market it’s in.

The LED flash deserves a mention, too, managing to add light to shots quite nicely without washing them out. Of course, there are better mobile cameras out there, but for a budget phone the Lumia 640 XL is a good photo-taking phone.

If you’re after a budget smartphone, then the biggest compromise you’ll probably have to make is on the camera. But Microsoft has found a way to put a quality camera in its newest Lumia devices without sticking on a big price rise.

 

The first 4 days

Using the Lumia 640 XL the first days was a surprisingly pleasurable experience. The setup was very easy, the battery life is awesome, the display is great to explore the web and the camera isn’t going to let you down.

Having a phone with battery life that you don’t need to worry about is what I like the most.  Just to let you know, I charge my iPhone 6 twice a day…

Stay tuned for my next review about the Lumia 640 XL, sadly I have to send it back in a few days.

Pascal Erb

info@pascalerb.com
2 Comments
  • Vsmh96

    14. November 2015 at 11:11 Antworten

    Changes in grammar :

    1. Second paragraph , sentence 3 : the App gap was „to“ big, it should be „too“.
    2. One Micro-USB slot is on the bottom of the device, while the 3.5mm headphone jack is on „the top, what I really like“. „On
    the top is what i really like“
    3. Screen
    I really „enjoy“, should be „enjoyed“

    Comments :
    1. I think specs wise the 640 does disappoint but the magic here is how performance is consistent even on budget devices
    which was the same reason i loved my 520 until 8.1 slowed it down considerably due to its 521 mb of ram, i then moved on
    the 920 and WM10 has thus far performed better in terms of performance and memory management, just a few bugs and annoyances
    to fix.

    2. About the audio jack : I believe that Apple did it so that when you put your phone into your pocket it just goes in and comes out when you need it
    as opposed to having to change the direction the phone goes in on other phones but i still like it on the top for general use.

    3. I’m happy that we got „word flow“ integrated into all Lumias without having to install an app like on Android or how iOS
    still cannot have 3rd party keyboards as far as i know.

    4. You may want to make your fonts darker and words bigger.

    5. Congratulations on the making of this blog ^^

    • Pascal Erb

      15. November 2015 at 21:05 Antworten

      Thanks for your Feeback, changed the grammar for point 1.. 2 and 3 I don’t agree 😛 I still enjoy the screen. Point 2, it depends how you read it

      Comments;
      1. For a budget phone it’s great.
      2. You are right 🙂
      4. Good Point, I will test how it looks like with a darker font.
      5, Thanks a lot..

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