Mobile World Congress has just kicked off with a slew of new device announcements from Samsung, HTC and the like. Today was Microsoft’s day to shine, with it’s own new smartphone devices, the Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL. These are both mid-range devices, and may be a bit overshadowed by the recent flagship announcements, but they are by no means nothing to sneeze at, and are Microsoft’s way of ensuring us a steady stream of new, affordable, and very capable devices that offer no compromise.
The first device, the Lumia 640, is the successor to last year’s Lumia 630 and 635. This time, Microsoft decided to simply things a bit by opting to offer two variants (3G and LTE) with the same model number. With this device, you’ll get the most bang for your buck with features like a 5 inch HD Clearblack display protected by Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3, an 8MP full-HD camera with LED flash coupled with a .9MP front-facer with HD video recording, and 4G LTE connectivity, all powered by a quad-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor (sorry, no “Hey Cortana”). Microsoft also tucked in a nice 2500mAh battery for up to 17.5 hours of talk time, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage with MicroSD support of up to 128GB.
At first glance, the device looks a lot like its predecessors, albeit with a bigger screen and a front facing camera. Of course this time around you also get the Microsoft moniker splashed across the top of the bezel. The Lumia 640 is available in glossy cyan, orange and matte black, and will be shipped in April at the low price of EUR 139 (3G) and EUR 159 (LTE). Both have dual-SIM variants.
The Lumia 640 XL is Microsoft’s new beast, and also keeps with the new simplified naming scheme by using same model number. As indicated by the “XL”, the device is much bigger than the 640 with a 5.7 inch HD screen, pushing it towards phablet territory. This may very well be the Lumia 1330 that’s been rumored for sometime now. In terms of specifications, the device is basically the same as the 640, save for the larger screen, larger 3000mAh battery, and improved camera setup (13MP Zeiss rear camera/5MP front-facing). While taking some design cues from the Lumia 630, the design is more reminiscent of the Lumia 1320 as it features a slight camera hump in the back. This device is available in cyan, orange, white, or black, and will ship in April for EUR 189 (3G) and EUR 219 (LTE). Also available in dial-SIM variants.
For those of you in the US, Executive Vice President of Microsoft’s Devices & Services, Stephen Elop, announced the availability of these phones in the US on carriers such as AT&T, T-Mobile, and MetroPCS. That’s pretty exciting for me as a long-time T-Mobile subscriber, since the carrier hasn’t had a new Lumia since the 635.
It was also announced that when purchasing a new Lumia 640 device, users get 30GB of integrated OneDrive Cloud Storage, a 1-year subscription of Office 365 (which includes 1TB of OneDrive storage), and for business users, access to the new AT&T Mobile Office Suite, a cloud-based, mobile collaboration solution that “offers customers fast, easy and highly-secure access to voice calls, email, calendars, instant messaging, HD video conferencing, desktop sharing, file sharing, and more”.
While we aren’t to expect any flagship devices from Microsoft until later this year, there’s no doubt that these are very capable smartphones from the company. Furthermore, we’re promised that both these Windows Phone 8.1 devices will receive updates to Windows 10 later this year when it’s released (though Insiders may possibly get an early beta release when the program opens up).
So on that note, let us know below what you think of Microsoft’s latest smartphones! Do you like the new simplified naming scheme?
Source: Lumia Conversations
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