Microsoft's new Lumia phones come with a free year of Office 365

Microsoft is kind of in limbo with regard to mobile: The company is eager to revamp its lineup — it hasn't had a new flagship since the Lumia 930 — but it can't. Windows 10 doesn't launch until the fall, and it needs to save its top smartphone (whatever it may be) for that debut.

That doesn't mean it showed up to Mobile World Congress empty-handed. Microsoft is debuting the Lumia 640 and 640 XL, a pair of midrange Windows phones with prices that are impressively low — especially when you consider that they come bundled with a one-year subscription to Office 365.
Both phones have pretty much identical guts — a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chip, 1GB of RAM, and a full HD (1080p) display — except the 640 is 5 inches and the 640 XL is "phablet" size at 5.7. The cameras are different, too: The XL has a 13-megapixel sensor while the 640's maxes out at 8MP.
But the real standout spec on both is the price. The 640 starts at $159, and the 640 XL at $209, although those are the 3G versions. For LTE, you're looking at $179 for the 640 and $239 for the XL — still pretty good considering that's with not contract. Both single- and dual-SIM models will be available.
I got a chance to check out both phones in person, and they're very respectable. I preferred the 5.7-inch Lumia 640 XL to the 6-inch Lumia 1520, which I found too big. The new design also has rounder corners, which my fingertips appreciated. All around, it's just a nicer phone to hold than its larger "flagship" cousin (thanks in part to a matte finish), and its performance was very good.
The Lumia 640 is a more sensible size, and its gloss finish gives it a taste of chic, although it makes it slightly harder to hold. The cameras in Microsoft's Lumia phones are one of the things I love, and both phones sport the excellent UI, complete with dial-like manual controls.
The two new Lumias, due in April, also come with all the Windows Phone 8.1  goodness, Cortana included. They'll also be upgradeable to Windows 10 when it debuts later this year.
In the meantime, the phones won't break any new ground for Windows phones, but they're not meant to: All they need to do is buy Microsoft a little time, and perhaps convince a few smartphone virgins to pick one up. The cameras alone should do that.
Share on Google Plus

About Newsmart


Post a Comment