The Microsoft Lumia 640 XL LTE Dual-SIM. Whoo, that’s quite the same, but that’s because Microsoft released 4 versions of the Lumia 640. A smaller 5 inch 640, and a larger 5.7 inch 1320 successor, the 640 XL. Both come in 3G HSPA+, and 4G LTE models, the XL has a single SIM and Dual SIM variant, there are International and US market versions, and they both come in a variety of color in both matte and glossy. If this doesn’t spell out the remnants of Nokia’s approach to mobile phones then I am not sure what does.
Both share the same Snapdragon 400 SoC, 1 GB or Ram, 720p clear black display with Glance (and crappie proximity sensor detection), double tap to wake, and removable batteries and micro-SD card slots. It does have 8GB of internal flash storage, but the SD card slot is welcome, if it is an albeit necessary edition. The 640XL Dual SIM, however, packs a higher grade 13 megapixel Carl Zeiss lens with flash and auto focus, and a 5 megapixel fronting facing camera. The Dual SIM support both T-Mobile and AT&T LTE bands, and speed are looking impressive. The battery is also 3,000 mAH, which combined with a lower resolution display, makes for almost magical battery life on decent use.
What does this all mean? It that the 640XL is a solid mid range device. Platform ecosystem issues aside it really does most things very well. My concerns so far though, have been around software consistency. I’m not just talking about platform critiques either. The device can lag from time to time, and the consistent saving issues in the camera app bear true the powerful algorithms behind Microsoft’s new PureView technology. Both devices run the once exclusive advanced camera software, but the lag therein on this capable yet struggling Snapdragon 400 give us a window into my use with the 640 XL, potentially astonishing, but occasionally frustrating.
This isn’t a full review, but it certainly is a glimpse into this new approach to Microsoft’s mid-range, and if it is any indication, it is a step in the right direction. For Microsoft fans looking for a sub-300 dollar unlocked device to carry them until the next compelling Windows Phone flagship, I’d say go for it. After your flagship upgrade this can serve as an admirable backup device, secondary device, or hand me down device for a family member or spouse. Even as a daily driver over the last few month the 640 XL was very good in many respects, but if you’re not a Microsoft windows phone fan, are on a strict budget, or are looking for one device to drive your every day, then I’d wait for the next Windows flagship, or look elsewhere.
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