Vodafone Microsoft Lumia 640
This 5 inch smartphone currently runs on Windows Phone 8.1 so that those using Office 365 Home or Personal will be able to edit Office documents on the phone and work seamlessly between phone and desktop. Now that Microsoft has released Windows 10, before too long there will be the Windows 10 upgrade for the phone which should bring enhanced compatibility.
It is roughly 140 x 72mm in size and weighs 147g. Its rear shell is matt black in colour and the phone has a solid feel and sits comfortably in the hand. This is due to it being quite slim at 9mm thick as well as having a smooth curve on the removable shell. This shell is easily removed to gain access to the microSIM, the microSD expansion slot and, unusually for many of today’s phones, the removable battery. It supports up to 128GB added memory in addition to the 8GB internal memory. This should be large enough to meet anyone’s realistic needs for videos and any number of photos.
The layout of the phone is conventional with the headphone jack at the top, microUSB power and data connector at the bottom and power switch and volume up/down on the right hand side. The rear camera lens and the flash are quite near the top on the rear of the phone. The Microsoft name and the logo are in the centre of the back. When initially using the phone the new user should find that the Quick Guide booklet provided with the phone in the box is enough to enable them to get started. There is then a user guide behind the Lumia Help + Tips tile on the phone which is always available for reference.
When in standby mode the time, the number of missed calls and outstanding texts are shown. Then, when bringing the phone to life by touching the power button, day and date appear and then a quick swipe brings up the usual Windows 8.1 array of tiles
In the box, as well as the Quick Guide there was the mains charger but there was not, by the way, earbuds or headset supplied with the phone. This is not a problem as the audio connector is a standard 3.5mm jack so that any standard earbuds or headphones can be used to listen to the FM radio or downloaded video without disturbing one’s neighbours. The rear, main, camera is 8MP while the front one is 0.9MP These resolutions are in keeping with what one would expect from an affordable phone and I found that it was straightforward to switch between front and back cameras and adjusting the settings such as ISO speed, flash, shutter speed, brightness setting and flash On/Off/Auto.
Similarly the HD720 resolution (1280 x 720) screen with its Corning Gorilla glass provides good resolution, good contrast and colour rendition and was more than adequate even though I felt that the viewing angle was slightly limited.
The maximum standby time claimed is 36 days while the maximum talk times are 26.5 and 17.5 hours for 2G and 3G respectively. This is certainly quite respectable for a slim phone of this size and shows that the 2500mAh battery is up to the job even though it should not be overlooked that making phone calls will eat into the available standby time.
Overall, this is a very reasonable Windows Phone based smartphone at an acceptable price. It is available on pay monthly contracts from Vodafone from £17 per month with no up-front costs. However, as with any 4G phone one can rapidly eat up one’s data allowance so make sure that you pick the most suitable tariff for your needs.
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