Much has been the case since Microsoft took over the Nokia Lumia business, the focus at Mobile World Congress was indeed with low to mid-range devices, in question the new Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL. We found it rather interesting how they used a naming strategy from Nokia’s failed Nokia X project, but we’ll let that slide.
However, at least with one of the two devices announced today, Microsoft kind of pulled a Lumia 830 on us, by adding some elements of a Flagship, but beneath it all it’s very clearly not a Flagship in use, something which was very clear when we tested the Lumia 830 not too long back.
Ex-Nokia’s Stephen Elop took to the stage to announce the two devices, first up is the Microsoft Lumia 640, a 5 inch variant of the Lumia 630/635, however with 1GB of RAM, a 720P HD display and a much better 8 Megapixel Camera with front facer. The Lumia 640, along with the XL also sees the return of Cyan to the Lumia lineup, alongside the glossy orange, black and white. Other features lacking and now fixed from the previous 6xx range, include Glance screen and ambient light sensors, all of which let’s be fair should have been in the Lumia 630/635 in the first place.
The Camera on the Lumia 640 doesn’t lose out too much from it’s flagship, whilst there’s no ZIESS optics on the Lumia 640, Lumia Camera 5 with Dynamic Flash and HDR comes out of the box with the devices, which is a massive improvement in what was a lacking Camera experience at best before.
The only real problem we have, is that the Lumia 640 is powered by the same Qualcomm SnapDragon 400, not 410 or anything else, the same 400. Now, we know Windows Phone has always been great with lower specs, but as far as future proofing goes, this just doesn’t cut it for us, even in the mid-range market.
After live demos of Windows 10 running on Phones, Stephen Elop returned to announce a second variant of the same phone (with Apple, now Samsung, is this the year of dual variant devices?), this is the 5.7 inch 720P HD almost phablet, and what most are calling the realistic Lumia 1330, but Microsoft are calling Lumia 640XL.
If you look at the 640 XL as a 1320 successor, it actually looks a lot more attractive, as it continues to fix where the Lumia 1320 failed. Gone is the dreadful 5MP shooter, and in comes a ZEISS Optics 13MP Camera. The choice of 5.7 inch will be a subtle one, but one which we think will be displayed best in person, as the Lumia 1320 was actually bigger in dimension (be it slightly) than the Lumia 1520 with the same 6 inch display.
What we don’t like about the Lumia 640 is even more true however with the Lumia 640 XL. The same old school SnapDragon 400, be it now at 1.7GHz rather than 1.2Ghz normally, which on paper isn’t much better than the 1.7Ghz Snapdragon S4 in the Lumia 1320.
So, there you have it the two Lumia 640 devices, all of which will obviously get Windows 10 likely before anyone else as they’re new, except maybe for the confirmed flagships coming at Build, this April 29th.
Microsoft is continuing their bet in the lower end markets, whilst I think in many ways they’re doing good, looking at new devices like the brand new 2015 Moto E, these new Lumias suddenly don’t compete as well as they once did.
Both the Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL will launch very soon in 3G and LTE versions as well as Dual-LTE SIM versions.