Microsoft may not have had a flagship phone to launch at the ongoing Mobile World Congress (MWC), but the company surprised us with the announcement of the mid-end Lumia 640 XL. It's a budget handset that runs Windows Phone 8.1 and is expected to get Windows 10 OS later this year.
Microsoft's devices have never been what we would call sexy, and the Lumia 640 XL is no different. It has a traditional look and once again the company has managed to deliver a compelling product in the mid range segment.
Microsoft has not said when the Lumia 640 XL will be launched in India, or indeed how much it will cost. It is worth noting that Microsoft's devices are normally affordable, so we expect the 3G model to cost around Rs. 13,000.
We got our hands on the device briefly at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain. Here are our first impressions.
Microsoft Lumia 640 XL First Look: Form Factor, Design, Display and Operating System
The build quality and design of the Lumia 640 XL will be very familiar to those who have seen or used the Lumia 1320. However, the Lumia 640 XL is a bit shiny and offers glossy rear back. It is very much like the Lumia 1320, emulating many of its styling cues. Measuring 157.9 x 81.5 x 9mm, it's physically larger than the Lumia 640. The large screen sized handset weighs in at 171g.
Even though it is relatively thick at 9mm, it does not feel as thick when we held the device for the first time. As usual, the phone is entirely made out of plastic, but it doesn't feel cheap. We can use the Lumia 640 XL with one hand, which was our biggest concern before trying the device.
Speaking of the display, the Lumia 640 XL uses a 5.7-inch 720p HD IPS display. While colours really pop on the Lumia 640 XL, it is noticeably oversaturated to some extent. This won't really affect use in watching videos, at least, but is noticeable in surfing the web.
As you'd expect for a device with mid-end processing power as the Lumia 640 XL, it runs Windows Phone 8.1 OS with ease. As expected from the WP8.1, you'll indeed get fast and intuitive software experience on the go. This time around, however, the handset comes with a free one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal, alongside I TB of cloud storage. Microsoft says that the Lumia 640 XL will be updated to the Windows 10 OS sometime software.
Microsoft Lumia 640 XL First Look: Processor, RAM, and Connectivity
Microsoft has slapped a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with 1GB of RAM inside the Lumia 640 XL, and we expect that will deliver some pretty special performance. We will be running the Lumia 640 XL through a full suite of benchmark testing in our upcoming full review.
In terms of storage, the phone packs an 8GB of storage, accompanying a microSD card slot (up to 128GB). Both 3G and a 4G LTE options are available, starting April. Notably, the dual-SIM variant should go on sale whenever it hits the Indian market.
Microsoft Lumia 640 XL First Look: Camera and Video
The cameras are way better on the Lumia 640 XL, as the large screen-sized device has a 13-megapixel back shooter and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. Even though the phone doesn't come with optical image stabilization (OIS) feature, however, the images shot during our testing were fairly decent with utmost clarity.
The Lumia 640 XL performs well here, though there are some minor hiccups that we'll discuss in detail later. Talking about the phone's video capturing quality, it more or less works.
Microsoft Lumia 640 XL First Look: Battery and Early Verdict
The Lumia 640 XL has a large removable 3000mAh battery in comparison to the 640's 2500mAh battery pack. We're expecting the device to last at least 2 days, if used moderately.
If you're aiming to get a large screen sized Windows handset with mid-end specifications, then the Lumia 640 XL should be a perfect device. Few phones can match up to the ranks of the Microsoft Lumia 640 XL at this price. Basically the Lumia 640 XL replaces the Lumia 1320, which was a mid-end phablet with a poor camera.
With inputs from Akansha Srivastava