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Microsoft announces the Lumia 640XL, a poor man's Lumia 1520 phablet

Mark Hachman | March 3, 2015
Microsoft's midrange phone strategy continues. The Lumia 640XL resembles the Lumia 1520, but it dials back the specs a bit and adds a free Office 365 sub to lower the price.

Inside, the Lumia 640XL is no slouch. Microsoft's Windows Phone OS and apps don't demand high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon chips, so there's only a Snapdragon 400 (MSM8226) inside, along with 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of flash storage (with a microSD slot supporting up to 128GB cards). The 3,000 mAh battery is good for 37 days of standby time and 24 hours of 3G talk time, the only battery metrics Microsoft supplied. The phone also includes Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, NFC, Miracast, 802.11b/g/n, as well as the SensorCore technology that allows the phone to act as a pedometer.

The Lumia 640: decidedly average
The Lumia 640 is what you'll buy if you want a modern Windows Phone-no more, no less. Nothing about the phone really stands out. The 5-inch, 1280x720 display seems perfectly serviceable, as does the Snapdragon 400, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, and microSD slot.  About the only drawback is the 8-megapixel rear camera, sort of the minimum spec for rear cameras these days. (A 1-megapixel camera is on the front.)

The phone measures 5.56x2.84x0.34 inches (141.3 x 72.2 x 8.85 mm), and weighs 5.1 ounces (145 grams).

Microsoft's tag line for the phone is "prepared for anything". A better line might be "prepared for anywhere." Like the 640XL, the 640 comes in either single (U.S.) or dual-SIM configurations for the rest of the world. The Lumia 640 supports an even greater range of frequency bands than the 640XL, however, indicative that Microsoft's really going to push this phone worldwide. Update: It costs 139 euros ($155) for a 3G model, while the LTE variant costs 159 euros ($178).

Rumor has it that Microsoft plans to pop the champagne for Windows 10 with new flagship phones-which Microsoft confirmed, in part, in January. But both the Lumia 640 and Lumia 640XL will almost certainly be upgradeable to Windows 10 as well. 


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