Microsoft is regular with its launches of Windows Phone devices in the budget and mid-range market, and the latest addition to it, is the Lumia 540 Dual SIM, launched at a price of Rs. 10199. Unlike the Lumia 640, which was exclusive to Flipkart, the Lumia 540 is going to be available both at offline stores, and online retailers as well. The specs don’t justify the pricing, and Microsoft deserves the criticism for this, but let’s talk about it in the end.
Design wise, we are still looking at the standard Lumia design, with the plastic back extending till the screen edge, and it is a good build quality, never taking away the feel while holding a device of this size. But, the glossy body does retain fingerprints, more than what one would have been okay with, thus asking for regular cleaning of the back (except for the black, all the color variants have a glossy back). The button placement is proper, with the power button and volume rocker keys above it on the right frame.
Just like on the Lumia 532, there’s a transparent edge on the back cover, but it doesn’t have the sharp corners, thankfully, as the bar-like phone is curved on all sides. The display looks great, with perfect color output and good viewing angles, but we are talking a bit too early and haven’t checked the display for sunlight legibility. The touch response is much better than what it was on the Lumia 535.
While the device has two very good cameras, users choosing an Android device at this price point have some better choices when it comes to cameras. Though, if we are to talk about the camera quality, the captures come out good enough for that resolution, although the app isn’t very quick. The Lumia camera has a neat Pro mode, which works really well to change the ISO, Exposure, Focus and white balance, if the user doesn’t want to settle with the Auto settings.
Talking of the internals, the Microsoft Lumia 540 Dual SIM is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor, along with 1GB of RAM. It’s 2015, and although many might say that the Windows Phone OS isn’t a heavy resource user, it is not good to see a smartphone lower on power when the same brand has a cheaper smartphone with a better processor. The recently launched Lumia 640 is powered by Snapdragon 400, and has a better battery capacity.
The difference in processor doesn’t limit only the performance, as the Lumia 540 with that 8MP camera, can record only 480p videos. You’ll see devices priced even lesser than this, doing a lot better with Full HD video recording possible.
This, although doesn’t let us complain about the design as always, there is a lot to talk against the Lumia 540 Dual SIM, when we talk of other features. The other positive side, is its Windows Phone 8.1 OS, that is possibly going to get updated to Windows 10 in future. If you are already a Windows Phone user, you’re at home with the interface of Lumia 540 as it is the same on most of them.
Easily overpriced, and this time, it isn’t just Android smartphones that would do better than it with a similar price tag, but Microsoft’s own Lumia 640 seems a better deal. The only reason why one might still want to look at the Lumia 540, is for its selfie camera.
[Inputs and Pictures by Shimon Das]