Microsoft Lumia 640 XL Hands-on, Initial Impressions

by Chetan Bhawani 29

Microsoft Lumia 640 XL Hands-on

Microsoft seem to have their own plans on pricing the smartphones, and that is clear with the two new devices launched – the Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL. While the Lumia 640 is priced at Rs. 11,999, the Lumia 640 XL gets a price tag of Rs. 15,799. Whether a good or a bad price, is really up to the users to choose because there are much better alternatives at a lower price, but when it comes to those who choose Windows Phone, the Lumia 640 XL seems like a better option. There are always some reasons why pricing is set over what someone expects, thus it is too early to comment on whether the Lumia 640 XL is worth the price or not.

On the first look, the Microsoft Lumia 640 XL is big, and actually quite big than any 5.5-inch device although being just 0.2-inch bigger with screen size. It is much thicker than the mass, but at the other side, makes the phone decently good in the hand. I was a bit disappointed at the sharp edge of the back cover running all around, but that is what keeps the device firm in the hand, as handling this big a phone is not easy.

The white unit has a non-smooth back, and that is the reason you won’t see any fingerprints. It is the opposite on the clearblack display on the front, which attracts all the marks and fingerprints. All the other things that matter, are appreciably well done, except for the volume rockers, which in this particular unit, seem to be not very tactile and you don’t notice you already pressed the button. The power button located just below it, is quite better in response with a tactile feel.

Microsoft could’ve taken out that branding from the front top, and made this more compact, and same with the wasted space below the screen. Still, not really an awkwardly big one when you talk of a phone with a large 5.7-inch display.

Clearblack display is reflective, so much that you could use this as a proper mirror on bright light. That said, it is bright enough to put out readable text and content under the same bright conditions. Viewing angles are good on the Lumia 640 XL, and the colors are vibrant with no over-saturation of any of them. There’s a difference again, when comparing to the Android devices, as Windows Phone keeps it limited with more black than anything else in the background. The navigation buttons in the bottom are almost always hidden in the apps, unless you swipe up from the bottom to access them. That is good, as you are taking a 5.7-inch device for a reason – large screen real estate, entertainment. Whatever space taken by the navigation keys and such, would have been pointless anyways.

Windows Phone is slowly, steadily evolving. But it still is far far low on features when compared to the two leaders, Android and iOS. Few customizations, and even the most frequently used social apps are not well developed, thus taking away all the good experience you expect from it. A regular user who doesn’t have to do much socially, will love this with a clutter-free UI, large tiles that gives an idea of what would open up, and then a vertical scroll list of apps sorted alphabetically. We’re looking at Windows Phone 8.1, Denim update 2, upgradeable to Windows 10 in the future. At least one of those phones that actually might be able to hold on to Windows 10 very well, given the specs packed in.

Microsoft Lumia 640 XL OS

The entire list of Lumia apps, including Camera, Selfie, Storyteller, Beamer, Cinemagraph, Creative Studio and Moments come pre-installed, and there is quite a junk of bloatware seen. On the brighter side, you can simply delete them, unlike some of the Android phones where it isn’t easy to get rid of bloatware.

Microsoft Lumia 640 XL Camera

One big reason why I liked the Lumia 640 XL on the initial use, over the Lumia 640, is the camera. The 13MP shooter is quite a class, and better than the 13MP shooters on many other smartphones. Credits to both, the hardware and the post-capture processing done by the software. The low light captures looked not good in the preview, but the final captures had lesser noise and were bright enough to be appreciated. Those were some quick checks done, but the camera review will be up soon, giving you a better idea of what the 13MP/5MP cameras of the Lumia 640 XL could do.

All being said, I’m not a fan of Windows Phone OS, and expect to see a lot in the Windows 10 that is becoming a unified one between phones, computers and tablets. With the Lumia 640 XL being one of those getting the update in future, I will be excited on how different the experience might be. On the early usage, it still feels a bit higher on price, but again, compare with the Lumia 640, this is at least better.

Chetan Bhawani

Chetan Bhawani is a dentist, a tech blogger and a passionate writer in the field of technology. He keeps himself connected to the web for the entire day, of course except when he's dozed off! Add +Chetan Bhawani on Google Plus for more!

  • SHATARUP

    Nicely pointed out all the key features… thanks to reviewer….

  • sameer

    nice review! thanks phoneradar!

  • sameer

    expecting chetan bhawani for combined review along with amit πŸ™‚

  • Good phone, it is. The front and back panel looks like a Matte finish in the photos. Displays aren’t matte actually. But this phone has one?

  • geojolly12

    I found the camera doing a splendid job as like all other lumia. But, for Lumia phones it is always better to go with less than 5 inch !

  • MohammadWasiullah

    A good mobile and good screen size, but it am not setisfied with the price, almost same configuration mobiles come in under the budget, but review is good

  • Nivedit Majumdar

    Very detailed description for an initial impression of the phone. All aspects have been discussed nicely. Was curious, which phone do you think would be the biggest competitor to the 640? Platform wise in the same price bracket.

  • Uttarwar Anoop

    (30 GB cloud storage) sound G8 ! Specs are ok! but it price s bit high when compare to other smartphone !

  • im_mukund

    Not a wp fan but finally, Microsoft is making ‘some’ sense. Though it has less RAM, its a bit ‘value for money’ phone.

  • Chandresh Jain

    Seems all of the Lumia series phone look similar ..Need to work on basic design

  • Chandresh Jain

    At the Price Range , It’s difficult to pick a Window OS phone and look aloof in peers with high constraint on no. of apps available..

  • sameer

    superb review covered all the specs, chetan bhawnai is a fantastic reviewer after listening to him i have bought many devices which are superb good work team phoneradar!

  • Easwar Das KV

    Excellent Review!! Especially the pricing factor considered in the Initial Impressions

  • Kaushik Medhi

    Incredible flagship smartphone by Microsoft with sumptuous & big HD screen and and amazing camera ! Its a gorgeous smartphone with Quad-core processor with a good budgeted price. Many Thanks for this amazing review.

  • Sathish Mechy

    Nicely done πŸ™‚

  • Sathish Mechy

    Nicely done πŸ™‚ Low features in WP is a very big ?

  • Santosh Tarlapally

    Looks really big in hand . and its heavy too 171 g.

  • himanshu

    Mukund: you need to consider the fact that Windows is very different from Android or iOS. It consumes much less resources: Processing, memory and battery. Therefore, a lot of people feel you get similar kind of processing speeds with 1GB ram on a windows phone as you would get with a 2GB RAM on Android.
    It is a fact though that people buy phones looking at price vs. specifications for different phones. That is one of the reasons why people feel Lumias still are over priced.

    • im_mukund

      I understand that windows works fine even on 1 GB RAM unlike android. But still, a 2 GB RAM would be a better option. Like on Lumia 525 with 1 GB RAM, still some apps lag a bit. At price of 15k -16k, a 2GB RAM is worth asking for and is reasonable.

  • himanshu

    It goes upto to 1TB! Plus one year of free Office 365 subscription!

  • himanshu

    You will read this comment in a lot of forums.
    Do not compare specifications on phones across platforms. Compare specification for Android vs. Andoid or Windows vs. Windows. For same 3000 mah battery, look at video and music playback times for this phone vs. Android phones that have the same battery capacity. You can run for more number of apps simultaneously on windows phone with 1GB RAM as compared to Android Phones with 1.5GB RAM. In fact, Android phones with 1GB ram and Lolipop or even KitKat update, appear very slow. While this is extremely smooth even if you have several apps open.

  • Pawan Chitta

    Nice review of the Microsoft Phablet!. Pricing of this Phablet is good for 5.7 inch phone you can shell out little over15k .

  • nagateja

    I think Windows Phone OS is the most fluidic mobile OS available to date. The app ecosystem is what is killing it big & everybody knows this. It could be a great winner in the Low end budget spectrum.
    On the other side there is an air of optimism everywhere with the unified store on the windows 10, but imagine why will developers develop anything special for even the “unified store” when windows on tablets and desktops can run the standalone 32/64bit (.exe) applications.

  • Excellent Hands on! This is a very interesting phone that will get loads of coverage. And PR will always be my go to read. One fact is that this is overpriced but still has nice things to offer. The question is whether it’s enough to sway users to buy. I personally can’t go for a Windows based design. Just not enough bang for the buck! This was a nice analysis of whats to come from this phone and Microsoft! Waiting for the review!

  • Somdeb Technophile

    Very Detailed Hands on. But, the price point that Microsoft has launched this phone at is not justified. Also, there is shortage of apps on Windows Phone Store as compared to Android Play Store, which could be a letdown for potential buyers.

  • Abijith Warrier

    Windows Phone has less apps that’s the down point :

  • Rohit Kumar

    I think that it’s wrong to complain about the price for which the phone is launched considering the fact that it comes with a lot of functional apps and free Office 365 subscriptions. The phone is a total value for money. It’s great to own one!

  • Nikhil Narkhede

    It’s good to see Windows phones are getting better and better with each phone launch. They just need to get pricing right .

  • Guru Raja

    wiindows needs to bring more devices with better specs