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Full Review

Microsoft Lumia 640 Review

The Microsoft Lumia 640 is the latest in a long line of affordable Lumia handsets. With a SIM free price tag of around £120 it’s an entry level phone, but looking at the specs sheet you might be surprised by just how much you get for your money.

So is the Microsoft Lumia 640 the ultimate bargain or is it less than meets the eye?


The Microsoft Lumia 640 looks much like any other Lumia, but it’s at the plainer end of the design spectrum, with a simple plastic back in cyan, orange, white or black. Other than a camera lens and a Microsoft logo the cover is featureless, but most versions of it have a shiny glossy look, which is at least a little different to most phones.

Microsoft Lumia 640 Design

It’s fairly compact and light too at 141.3 x 72.2 x 8.8mm and 145g and it’s as solidly built as we’ve come to expect from Lumia phones. At first glance it could essentially be any other Lumia, which isn’t ideal if you want your phone to stand out, but it’s not badly designed or built at all for a budget handset.


The Lumia 640 punches above its weight with a 5.0-inch 720 x 1280 display giving it a pixel density of 294 pixels per inch. That’s both bigger and higher resolution than we’d typically expect at this sort of price.

So that’s an instant win for the Lumia 640. There are sharper screens elsewhere and bigger ones too if 5 inches really isn’t enough for you, but you’ll be hard pushed to find either at this price point.


While the Lumia 640’s screen defies its low end price its processor doesn’t, as it has a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 chip. That’s fairly standard on new low end phones so while it’s no worse than much of the competition it’s not great either. We’d like to have seen a 64-bit Snapdragon 410 chip.

It does at least have 1GB of RAM though and performance is generally fairly smooth as long as you stick within the limitations that you’d expect of a low end phone- if you’re a power gamer you’ll want to look elsewhere.


The Lumia 640’s camera isn’t packed with features and modes, but at 8 megapixels it’s fairly capable, taking detailed photos and replicating colours well.

Microsoft Lumia 640 Camera

Even the 1 megapixel camera on the front isn’t as bad as we’d feared. It’s not the best around but it’s more than up to the task of taking a basic selfie.

Videos don’t quite maintain the same level of detail, but the rear camera can shoot in 1080p at 30fps and the results aren’t bad at all.


The Microsoft Lumia 640 runs Windows Phone 8.1 with the Lumia Denim update and as there isn’t much opportunity to customise Windows Phone it looks and operates pretty much exactly like every other recent Windows Phone handset.

As such you’ll know what to expect if you’ve used one before, but it’s a fairly intuitive interface which makes use of Microsoft’s colourful live tiles.

Of course it will also be in line for an update to Windows 10 when that becomes available for smartphones, which should ensure its software is up to date for the foreseeable future.


The Lumia 640 includes standard Windows Phone 8.1 software features like Cortana and Action Centre, but most of the standout features which haven’t been mentioned elsewhere in the review take the form of extras.

Microsoft Lumia 640 Software

Because as well as the phone itself you get a one year subscription to Microsoft Office 365 Personal, which gives you access not just to full cloud-supported versions of Microsoft Word, Excel and the like (which you can install on a PC and tablet as well as the Lumia 640), but also gives you 1TB of free OneDrive storage, so you should be able to store pretty much anything and everything in the cloud. Then on top of that there’s also 60 minutes of free Skype calls each month for a year.

Supposedly that lot is valued at £60 on its own, which isn’t bad at all considering the phone only costs twice that.

Battery Life, Memory and Connectivity

The Microsoft Lumia 640 has a 2500 mAh battery which is pretty large for such a cheap phone, but then it is a pretty large phone. Thankfully despite the big screen the battery injects enough life into it to easily last you a day even with heavy use and with lighter use you could feasibly scrape by to lunchtime of a second day.

Internal memory is capped at a disappointingly low 8GB. You can expand that massively as there’s support for microSD cards of up to 128GB, but of course that’s an extra investment, which is worth highlighting given that the low price of this phone is one of its main selling points.

It’s surprisingly well-connected for the money though, with Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC all onboard.


The Lumia brand seems to have got the creation of compelling low-end handsets down to a fine art. In some ways the Lumia 640 disappoints, as it may struggle to stand out from the ever-growing number of low-end Lumia’s, but judged on its own merits it’s highly impressive.

From its big 720p screen, to its 4G support, good battery life, decent camera and generous extras, all for a temptingly low price. The processor could be better but something had to give and performance is still reasonable.

If you’re after an affordable handset with a big screen and 4G you’ll be hard pushed to find better than the Lumia 640 and that makes it easy to recommend.



Dimensions : 141.3 x 72.2 x 8.8mm

Weight: 145g

Screen size: 5.0” (720 x 1280)

Screen Resolution: 720 x 1280 display resolution

Pixels Per Inch (PPI) : 294

Processor: 1.2GHz quad-core application processor


On-board Memory: 8GB (microSD card support)

Camera: 8MP (rear) 1080p@30fps, (1 megapixel front-facing)

Operating system: Windows Phone 8.1

3G / 4G LTE: Yes / Yes

Bluetooth / NFC : Yes / Yes

Battery capacity: 2500mAh

Colours: Glossy cyan, Orange, White, Matte black

Launch Date: Out Now

Price: £119.99


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