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Microsoft Lumia 640 

While Android and iOS are the dominant force with regards to smartphones, they are not the only choice. Windows Phone 8.1, with a promised upgrade to Windows Phone 10, is a viable alternative.

Microsoft Lumia 640 5 Inch SIM Free Smartphone
click image to enlarge

Continuing to play “Catch-up” and join the major players of Android and Apple in the mobile phone arena, Microsoft has released the Lumia 640 as it first offering to appear without any reference to the Nokia name that was previously associated with the Lumia brand. With its 5-inch touch screen delivering 1280 x 720 pixels at 294ppi, this Windows 8.1 Handset is available in a choice of blue, orange, white and black. My review sample, kindly provided by Vodafone, is of the latter colour scheme.

While the body of the handset is constructed of plastic, the overall feel of the product is of a solid build helped no doubt by the Corning Gorilla Glass 3 screen. The Lumia 640 has dimensions of 141 x 72 x 9mm (H x W x D) and weighs 145g. It fits comfortably in the hand although it does have a tendency to slip if not held firmly when being used. Regrettably, Microsoft, like many other handset manufacturers, has not solved the problem of finger smears building up through even minimal use nor has it bothered to include a cleaning cloth in the box.

However, unlike some other models, the Lumia 640 does have a removable back cover giving access to the battery pack, SIM card and microSD slot for increasing memory capacity. While the removal of the back cover is not the simplest task, especially on the first occasion, it is one that many users will appreciate especially if battery problems emerge.

The usual array of physical options is arranged around the handset’s body. On the right side you will find the volume rocker positioned just above the on/off button. Located at the base of the handset is a micro USB port for charging the 2500mAh Li-Ion battery pack via the supplied lead. Situated on top of the handset is a 3.5mm jack socket for use with your favourite headset as one is not included in the box.

Two cameras come as standard. The front-mounted offering is a 0.9MP unit that should suffice for video Skyping. Positioned on the back of the handset is the main 8.0MP camera with auto-focus and LED flash. The results I achieved with the camera were reasonable but hardly outstanding. Indoor captures tended to fare better than outdoor shots.

Microsoft has built this handset around a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor. There is 1GB of memory which is really a bare minimum to provide adequate performance. Playing a basic game, included on the phone, showed up the limitation of this amount of memory as there were times when I felt the game had frozen with long pauses between scenes. As mentioned there is an option to increase the default 8GB of storage space with a Micro SD card slot. Incidentally this slot is tucked away under the battery pack.

I have to admit that when it comes to Icons vs. Tiles, my preferred choice would be the former. However the Microsoft approach does have some good points with the ease of access when compared to some Android-based handsets. Plus there is always the promise of the smartphone version of Windows 10 to look forward to later this year.

Battery life was a surprising feature of the handset. I was able to get over two days use on a single charge with light usage. More power intensive tasks did help reduce the battery life somewhat but I was still able to watch three full-length videos on a single charge.

Vodafone has a number of plans for this particular phone, some of which I have listed below to give you some idea as to what is on offer with this handset.

Microsoft Lumia 640
Monthly costUpfrontMinutesTextsDataLengthType
£17 Free 500 Unlimited 500MB 24 month Standard
£21 Free 1000 Unlimited 1GB 24 month Standard
£26 Free Unlimited Unlimited 2GB 24 month Red value
£31 Free Unlimited Unlimited 4GB 24 month Red value
£36 Free Unlimited Unlimited 8GB 24 month Red value
£41 Free Unlimited Unlimited 15GB 24 month Red value

http://shop.vodafone.co.uk/shop/contracts-and-deals/microsoft-lumia-640/sku86638-black

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OverallVodafone Microsoft Lumia 640 rated 72 out of 100

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