Try The Tech Review – Microsoft Lumia 640 LTE
Firstly I would like to thank O2 for offering me the chance to try out this device. Being a keen Microsoft enthusiast, it has been interesting using one of the lower end Lumia devices. My review will make some comparisons to the higher end phones, and will offer my opinion on how it fairs against the flagships.
Well, I wouldn’t say the 640 felt cheap but you defiantly know its not a flagship. It looks and feels well built and is comfortable to hold in the hand. The power and the volume keys are within easy reach, and they can be operated while using the phone one handed, albeit after a bit of practise. There is one key missing from the 640 that the higher end devices have, and that’s a dedicated camera key. On the whole, the 640 looks fairly average and feels fairly average. But then again, it also comes with a fairly average price tag.
For the purpose of this review, I decided not to use the restore feature and instead set up the 640 with a brand new account. This process was fairly straight forward, and after entering my personal info and picking a username/email address the phone began to check for updates. I should point out that I had connected to Wifi when prompted earlier in this process.
I was surprised at the time the handset took to download and update its core apps. Granted this could have been down to my internet connection, or congestion on the Microsoft servers but felt it was worth noting.
Display & Camera
These are probably the two biggest let downs for me. Firstly, the display is said to be 720p with a PPI of 294. However, the edges of the live tiles aren’t very smooth and you can see pixels in some other apps etc. Now don’t get me wrong, the display is not bad, in fact given the price point of the handset, its darn good.
The same is true of the camera, it’s not great and there is no two stage shutter but it’s perfectly acceptable for quick snaps. The pictures are of average quality, and are not great in low light, despite having a flash. However, take into account the price point, it’s one of the better shooters in this range.
The 640 comes installed with Windows 8. This OS has been replaced with Windows 10 and an update will officially be available in Q1 2016, subject to change of course. Now I had considered upgrading the handset to the preview build of Windows 10, but decided against it due to it being a test unit.
The pre installed OS ran perfectly fine, and during the time it was used I do not recall it ever crashing (unlike my brand new Lumia 950).
I’m not going to get into the pro’s and con’s of each OS, we all know the age old “App Gap” argument. But for me, the ones I use are there. And its only a matter of time before other developers come on board.
I can confirm that Hello Cortana is not compatible with this version of windows, the feature should come with the next OS update.
Battery & Antenna
These are the two best things about this handset. The battery is a beast, it may only be 2500mah but it punches well above its weight. I was able to get 2 full days use before having to reach for the charger. Of course some of this success is down to the lower end hardware, but its still a great achievement.
As for the antenna, I was able to get a signal in places I always considered to be an O2 black spot. I am not sure type of antenna Microsoft used in the 640, but I wish they would have used it in the 925, 930 and 950.
As for the LTE connection, flawless. Average download speeds were in the 20MBps, and again it held this connection in places I normally struggle.
I half expected the 640 to be badly build, have buggy software and generally feel and perform like a substandard device. But I was wrong! The 640 is a very capable, well build and great performing device. In fact, I now intend to purchase one for my daughters birthday in January.
If your looking for a good performing device on a budget, you should consider the 640. With great antennas and great battery life, you wont be disappointed.
For a list of specs please visit the O2 store.