Microsoft Lumia 640LTE Review
I have been given the amazing opportunity to have a hands on experience with the Microsoft Lumia 640LTE. Why was I attracted to this device in particular I hear you ask? I’ve never had experience with the Windows Phone and I’ve tried both slices of cake when it comes to Android and iOS. So just how exactly does the Lumia and the Windows Phone experience compare to those seen in the Android and iPhone ranges? This review will hopefully give you an answer from my personal perspective having had experiences of using all 3 systems.
So, what’s in the box?
Inside the box you get the Lumia 640 device itself which I’m sure comes as no surprise along side a wall adapter. I was a little taken aback by the style of adapter as it was one of the standard wall adapters and not the micro usb I’ve became used to in recent times. Anyway, let’s move on to my initial thoughts on the device pre-booting up.
Getting the box into my hands for the very first time wasn’t anything to particularly be excited about. In recent years, the Galaxy range which is the Android line I’m more accustomed to have tried to have their boxes look visually appealing to give the overall Galaxy brand a somewhat premium status ; same can be said with the iPhone too. The Lumia experience was a little underwhelming. The box was just flimsy feeling cardboard and all that was included was the phone itself and then a standard wall charger. Although, I must note that this does help compensate towards the price as it is all very cost effective ; The Lumia640LTE ISN’T being marketed as a top of the range handset anyway! At the end of the day, the quality of the box isn’t important whatsoever…. just making the observation for those who like to have their boxes on display as I know some tech enthusiasts enjoy that
Onto the handset itself…. the build quality given it’s marketed as a budget device is remarkable. The phone is quite light in the hand however it’s a comfortable fit and doesn’t feel cheap in the slightest. Before receiving the device I did note that the back cover came off. When looking at the phone itself in my hand I was convinced this wasn’t the case as the back cover actually goes around the phone and sits completely flush with the screen which in my opinion adds to the pleasant aesethics of the phone.
My only gripe at this stage is that the phone itself is a magnet for dust particles and finger prints. I’ve been continuously trying to keep the screen from looking ‘clean enough’ but I just can’t get it to my standards….. but then again I might just be too fussy!!
Having never experienced the Windows Phone previously, I was quite excited about this stage as it was the door opening to my first Windows Phone experience (there was no pun intended there, honestly!).
The initial set up was quite easy to follow. I already had a Microsoft account to sync to the phone already so I didn’t need to go through that set up process however I would imagine it would be just as easy to complete. The only thing I did note here was it took the phone a little longer to ‘get everything set up’ compared to my experiences with Android and iOS but as the saying goes “good things come to those who wait”. After about 5 minutes, the phone was ready to use.
On the first boot, I had to update a lot of the core applications before I would be able to download any of the apps I would normally use. I did run into a few failed downloads but I will put this down to my WiFi rather than the phone itself. I’m not sure whether I haven’t set something up correctly either but one thing I did notice that was frustrating was that when apps needed ‘Permissions’, rather than a notification appearing, I had to check the downloads list…. which if I hadn’t done then nothing would have downloaded. Feel free to correct me if this is something which can be tweaked!
Using the Device.
I must admit, I did find it a little difficult to adapt to as the actual operating system is considerably different to what I’ve been used to. I also did miss the inclusion of touch display buttons and did forget several times there weren’t there which did add to my frustrations a little bit! Oh and on that note….. the positioning of the lock and volume rocker buttons too was another little gripe I had. I would rather have had the lock button on the right and the volume rockers on the left rather than down the one side as there were many times I hit the volume button rather than the lock button. However this is just minor and I did eventually become used to this.
- General Features
The general features of the phone worked very well and I found reception coverage to be slightly better than my Galaxy Edge +. I would put this down to the materials that the phone is made with rather than a fault with my Edge + though. Call quality was very reasonable and the text messaging app was very easy to use as expected. I also found notifications from external apps (Facebook and Twitter etc) as being very quick to come through and in some cases arrived slightly quicker than my Galaxy Edge Plus.
- Battery Life
In comparison to the devices I’ve used recently, it’s safe to say that the Lumia does have a poorer battery life unfortunately. I first charged the phone at 12pm on the day I received it when it was at pretty much 12% remaining. By 5pm the device was still not at 100% which I found astonishing. Around 8pm that evening I was happy to see the phone was at full charge. I find this to be a bit of a drawback as I can’t understand why it would take as long to charge but nevertheless it gave me the opportunity to get hands on with the device. With my Galaxy Edge, I regularly check Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, get my emails as well as taking calls
and texts and I can pretty much get a full day out of the phone. With the Lumia, I primarily used the phone for general internet browsing, taking a few calls and texts and a a few checks of Facebook but nothing in the volume of use I’d normally do on the Edge. The battery life lasted a little under 10 hours which I found very underwhelming. Had I used the phone in the same capacity as the Galaxy Edge Plus for example I would have found myself constantly charging the phone which is not something I personally would be after nor would most people to be honest. I do also miss the battery percentage being default on the information bar rather than having to trail through menu’s which is another issue I had with the Lumia.
The Lumia 640 has a 8mp camera which is actually a reasonable specification given the price the phone is being retailed at at the moment. While the images taken clearly aren’t as sharp as my Edge Plus, they are definitely an acceptable quality for the selfie lover.
Galaxy Edge Plus Lumia 640 LTE
- App Store
This is where I need to start being a little negative on my whole Windows Phone experience. The app store in my opinion has a very poor offering and some of the essential apps that I regularly use aren’t included in their offerings. For a start, my banking provider doesn’t provide an app for the Windows Phone and several games I regularly play on my phone (Games that includes a blue hedgehog who runs at the speed of sound and collects rings?) weren’t on the app store either nor was Snapchat which is a personal favourite for many! Using the Windows Store did remind me of using the Android Marketplace back on my Galaxy S when Android was beginning to establish itself. If you are somebody who can see past all this and really would be using the phone for general day to day use and not really ‘App-reliant’ then you would be absolutely fine with the lumia!
- Operating System
I did find the operating system to be very easy to use. If you are a user of Windows 8 in particular then you’ll be used to the visual layout as it’s a mobile version of that. I must note that Windows 10 Phone is on the horizon however it was not available to me at the time of writing this review. The Microsoft Lumia really does help to bridge the gap between Windows PC’s and Microsoft Mobile devices which I can only see as a positive.
I think the Windows Phone does have a position to be a real contender in the smartphone market however in it’s current state it’s a long way away from that unfortunately. I do like the cross features from the Windows PC to the Windows Phone and the fact your photos and videos automatically upload to OneDrive in the same way they do to iCloud on the iPhone. However, the poor battery life and poor availability of apps does hinder the experience vastly. On that note, the Lumia isn’t a device I would choose to own on my own accord given what I would want from the device.
That aside though, if you are on the market for a phone that is a smartphone and doesn’t feel cheap and nasty then I certainly would recommend the Lumia 640LTE to you as it is a solid feeling phone and doesn’t look inexpensive to the eye!
- Very good build quality
- Call quality
- Good integration with Windows PC operating system
- Limited number of apps available
- Magnet for Fingerprints and dust
- Poor battery life
Overall rating : 3/5
Thanks to Toby and the o2 Community for allowing me the chance to review the Lumia 640
I have a video review too however I'm having some trouble getting it uploaded due to my poor broadband speeds. I'll try get it uploaded as soon as I can!
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