Yesterday evening NZT, Microsoft held a press conference in Barcelona for the yearly Mobile World Congress. The company talked a lot about their new operating system for Lumia smartphones: Windows 10 for Phones. In addition to that, they also announced two new smartphones: the Lumia 640 and its big brother the Lumia 640 XL. As you can probably tell, the big difference between the 640 and the 640 XL is its size: 5-inch vs 5.7-inches!
Judging by the specs, these aren’t Microsoft flagship devices, however they will work pretty well for everyday users who are more familiar with the Windows Phone range.
Both devices are powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor featuring a quad-core CPU running at 1.2GHz, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage space but support for an external microSD card slot of up to 128GB in capacity. I think Microsoft wanted users to buy an external microSD card (or save money on parts costs) as 8GB these days is hardly anything especially since the phone itself already takes up a bit of space from the get-go.
The smartphones also installed with the latest version of Windows Phone 8.1 and the Lumia Denim update.
The key differences between the Lumia 640 and 640 XL smartphones are the camera, battery and screen sizes. The 640 has an 8MP rear-shooter and a 1MP front-facing camera, whereas the 640 XL has a 13MP rear-shooter and a 5MP front-facing camera that can record full 1080p video (720p front camera video only on the 640); a 2,500mAh battery for the 640 and 3,000mAh for the 640 XL; screen sizes you should already know by now. They both have the same screen resolution of 720×1280 which means the larger screen will have slightly less pixels-per-inch.
Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL customers will be able to access new Windows 10 features and innovation through the Windows Insider Program, as well as upgrade to Windows 10 later this year.
Key features and improvements of Windows 10 include new universal apps such as Office, Mail and Calendar, and Photos; Internet Protocol-based messaging from Skype and others integrated directly into the messaging experience; an entirely new browsing experience with the new Project Spartan browser; and extended integration of the Cortana personal assistant.
As a launch offer, Microsoft is also throwing in a free one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal, “which includes the latest Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote) on the Lumia as well as on one PC or Mac and one tablet, plus 1TB of OneDrive storage, and 60 free minutes of Skype Unlimited Worldwide calling per month”.
Below is a table of the specs of the two new smartphones:
Lumia 640 XL will begin rolling out globally in March and will be available in matte
cyan, orange and black, as well as both matte and glossy white. Lumia 640 will be available
starting in April and will be available in glossy cyan, orange and white, as well as matte
black. Pricing for NZ is yet to be announced.
Microsoft are starting to get on track with their Windows Phone side of things and I really do look forward to Windows 10 for Windows Phone!