- Weak front-facing camera
- Slippery grip
With the latest entry in their mid-tier Lumia series, Microsoft hopes to address some of the complaints of the previous 630 series. With improved stats and some slight design tweaks, the phone appears to offer a competent option for those looking for a Windows Phone at an affordable price. Do the specs match its performance? Let’s check out the reviews!
The 640 features the same unibody design as previous models. It’s high-grade polycarbonate shell received mixed reviews on grip but all agreed that it looks great and offers a rugged, well-built feel in the hand. Available in multiple colors and matte or glossy finishes, it offers plenty of options to make the phone appealing. Many reviews noted that the glossy shells were prone to fingerprints. Expert Reviews UK spent some time with the handset and noted, “Its sturdy unibody design is comfortable to hold and its angular edges give you plenty of grip.”
The phone sports a 5-inch 720p IPS LCD screen. Many reviewers were blown away by the contrast and color range offered by the display, second guessing if it was an IPS or OLED display. While the resolution is certainly well below flagship models, it is fitting for a mid-tier device. With the tile-based Windows Phone interface, reviews report it offers plenty of clarity and detail for easy operation. Expert Reviews UK called the display, “Easily a cut above any other budget smartphone panel we've seen in recent months.”
Power the Lumia 640, you’ll find 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 with 1GB of RAM. While these specs might be a bit lackluster in the Android or iOS market, it appears to be plenty of power to keep the Windows Phone experience running smoothly. With an update to Windows 10 promised from Microsoft, performance should only improve. Expert Reviews UK found it “Felt very quick and snappy when we were scrolling through the phone's Start screen and various menu settings.”
With 8GB of internal storage, the handset offers a fair amount of storage out of the box. If you plan to store media for on-the-go enjoyment or install a lot of large apps, you should count on expanding with a microSD card. Fortunately, support for up to 128GB cards means you can double or quadruple the storage on the phone for an affordable price.
As with most Lumia devices, the cameras on the 640 receive good reviews. The rear camera appears to handle lighting well and produce respectable results for an 8MP shooter. Unfortunately, if you’re a fan of selfies or video chat, the 1MP wide-angle front-facing chat and selfie camera was less popular. Notebook Review called it “grainy and inaccurate” while many other reviews found weak low-light performance and general shortcomings.
To keep everything running, Microsoft went with a 2,500mAh battery. While Microsoft claims all day battery life, reviews were vague on what to expect. However, with the specs listed, a day of moderate usage should be no problem. Heavy users might look for an external battery pack or keep a charger on hand. For a limited time, Microsoft plans to offer a free year of Microsoft Office 365 and 1TB of OneDrive storage, if you’re a fan of either service, this makes the already affordable phone a steal.
Overall, the phone received great reviews. While Windows Phone is still struggling to find a foothold in the market, Microsoft continues to offer compelling options for fans of the ecosystem. Trusted Reviews summed up the phone well, stating, “It's got the makings of a solid, affordable 5-inch Android alternative.”