TechGadgetsReview: Lumia 640XL

Review: Lumia 640XL

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Are you looking for a phone that’s not Apple or Android that look no further, Microsoft has ended the Phablet category with the Lumia 640XL, that uses the Windows Phone system, which is totally worth for the features, device experience and the 13MP camera it comes along with it. Priced at about £160 sim free maybe cheaper if you look around a bit.

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Not only this will attract consumers for its Big Screen & Impressive Camera, the business consumers will find it very affordable with joy of video calls and Office Documentation.

Display & Screen:

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The 5.7 inch screen is one of my favourite feature in this phone. This is a treat that comes with phablet category, specially with 720P Screen, everything just looks bigger and beautiful. The screen is IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, with 259 PPI and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3.

The real-time usage and experience matches with the claimed specs. Swiping is smooth, display is sharp, and the amount of blackness you get with 640 XL is just impressive. It helps a lot when it comes to day-light readability.

The colours on the screen don’t change when you change the viewing angle of the device. This will be same when you watch movie and playing game, as the screen doesn’t look black.

Glance Screen : The phone supports glance screen which allows you to see notifications on your phone without unlocking the device. This not only saves a lot of your time, but also battery which you spend on unlocking, checking your screen and then locking again.

Build & Design :

The phone has the same model as the Lumia 630 i.e. Brick with curved edges, and it just feels awesome because its delivers experience of solid build quality with rear matt finish which adds to the grip. That said, you should know that this is long and wide phone and hence a phablet. If you have never used a phablet before,  it will take for yo to adjust to handle it, but if you have used before, its no brainer.

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The screen takes up almost 70% of the front along with a camera. The rear holds the 13 MP camera, flash, and the speaker right next to it.  The phone does not have capacitive hardware buttons, and  instead uses software button. Since the screen is quite big, the on screen buttons just work fine.

Camera (Picture and Video Quality):

Rear Camera

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If you wanted a big with awesome camera, your search ends here.  Lumia 640 XL holds a 13 MP (Carl Zeiss optics)  Autofocus Rear camera with LED Flash. It is capable of recording video at 1080p at 30 FPS.

Rich Mode Advantage:

What makes this camera really stand out is the Rich Mode recording which comes with Lumia Camera 5.0. Many a times, I don’t want to use flash, because it over exposes the subject. So even if you have a camera with flash, you really can’t make the best use of it. This mode allows you take the picture with flash set automatic/ on all the time, and then readjust the amount of light later on. This is incredible, and gives every picture to get the right amount of light and be better.

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In general the picture quality is pretty awesome. You will love the day light shots, macros are amazing and night shots can be improved with Rich mode controls.

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If you skip to use flash in night mode, the results won’t impress you.

Front camera

The front houses a 5 MP autofocus camera, which can record at 1080P. The picture quality is decent enough for selfies, and making video calls would be bliss.

Performance:

The phone is powered by Snapdragon 400 Quad core processor which is clocked to 1.2 GHz and Adreno 305 GPU. It houses a 1 GB RAM and 8 GB internal storage. This is a very good combination to keep up the performance, make sure every app runs and you aren’t running out of space as soon as you setup your phone. If you have never used a Windows Phone before, stay assured that this hardware is enough to get the same performance claimed by Octacore Android Phones. Its just not about the specs, when it comes to long term usage.

After using tons of apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, Messenger, Twitter and other stock app, I failed to find any hiccups or lags with them. They switch back and forth nicely. You can have 8 Apps running in background.

Game Performance with Asphalt 8 : Airborne

Like always, I played a lot of games on this as well, and the best part of the gaming was Zero heating on the rear side. After 45 minutes or so of gameplay, the phone stayed cool which is something you will appreciate.

Those who crave for better graphics, you will be not be disappointed. The 720P resolution display of the phone, the zero changing color experience when you tilt the phone  during asphalt 8,  and quad-core processor with Adreno 305 just deliver what is expected. No Frame Skips, No Lags.

Casual games like Temple Run 2, Candy Crush, etc just work fine as well.

Battery:

The phone is packed with 3000mAh battery power. Those who think that this is frigging big, its more of a requirement to support that massive 720 P 5.7 inch display which is going to be hammered for Gaming, Multimedia and Office experience.

Store and Apps

Windows Phone as a platform has come a long way now. Most of the popular apps are now onboard the platform which helps if you are switching to this platform, you won’t miss most of them. Now, Its quite possible that when delivering the update, some of the apps might get the latest features a little later compared to other platform.

Microsoft Office Support:

Windows Phone comes with Office for Life. Since Microsoft is targeting business consumers here more, they have extended an offer by rolling out Office 365 Subscription which lasts for one year.  Its a bliss to use Office documents on this phone. You can edit, add comment and view all the office document which you are using in your business.
Storage:

The phone comes with 8 GB of internal storage, of which 3.5 Gb is consumed by System update and 1 Gb by installed apps. Looks like this 8 GB internal storage is going to start falling short sooner. Though you do have approx 3 Gb to keep you going for long, but since this device will be used for media and clicking pictures a lot, you will need an SD card soon.

The phone does support microSD card of upto 128GB. Not only this, Windows Phone 8.1 does allow you to install apps on SD card as well, leaving you free to keep space on your primary storage. Like always, I will recommend you to use a class 10 SD card as it performs better when it comes to apps and games.

Video Playback:

HD (1080P) video play remains a concern on low-end Windows Phone devices because of the native video player which fails to do well. Those who wanted to know if the processor supports it, yes it does, but there is something by OEM which restricts HD video play.

On Speaker:

If its Lumia, you don’t have to doubt on its speakers quality, but Lumia 640 XL might put in a doubt as the speaker looks way too small. Its located right next to the camera and to clear your doubt, its pretty loud you get to use equalizer while listening to music on speakers.

Thanks to the protruded camera, there is enough space for audio to escape out when the phone is placed on a flat surface. I personally love listening to music over external speaker

Using Earphones:

No doubts here as well. You have access to equalizer and virtual surround. Launch MixRadio and stream the music and everything will be just awesome. MixRadio allows you to save music mixes offline and listen to this without need of internet connection. O

Value for Money & Conclusion:

The phone delivers design, performance, solid build quality, excellent picture clicks, brilliant audio experience for music and in-call and not to be missed the Lumia experience of apps.

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Chris Hare
Chris Hare
A True Tech Geek at Heart, I Started my life of being a Tech Geek at the age of 5 with the BBC Micro. Went on through most of Nintendo stuff and now a Xbox and PlayStation fan. I also leaked the information about the leaked Hotmail passwords story from October 2009 that went World Wide. I Started writing tech articles at the beginning of 2011, most of my articles are about Android phones and Xbox One and PlayStation 4 and other gaming news. When Chris has free time its with the family.

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