Microsoft Lumia 640XL review, big phone on small budget

Microsoft Lumia 640XL review, big phone on small budget

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A few weeks ago I reviewed the new Lumia 640 Windows Phone which I was really impressed with considering the price point, but my daily phone is a 6 inch Lumia 1520 and the 640 felt a little small for me. So the new Lumia 640XL is much more my type of phone.

The Lumia 640XL is a large phone, it has a 5.7 inch screen but isn’t particularly thick at 9mm thick. Despite its size it feels an elegant phone to use and feels great in the hand. The removable back has a soft feel to it with curved edges and a bump on the back for the 13MP rear camera. The Lumia 640XL design is one of the devices highlights, oh and it comes in cyan, white, black and orange.

The screen runs at 1280 x 720 which looks sharp and clear and good colour reproduction, it doesn’t run at 1080p like the 6 inch Lumia 1520 but I guess that is one of the compromises made for price and even side by side you can’t see too much difference. I love how the live tiles pop on the screen.
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The 640XL has 8GBN of on-board storage but you can supplement that with an SD card (up to 128GB) and Windows Phone handles external cards really well, you can put apps, games and media on the card so you don’t need a lot of on-board storage. The phone has 1GB of RAM which Windows Phone works very well with, it means that apps load fast and app switching is very snappy. I tried running the Microsoft Health app which is very slow to load on my test Lumia 630 but on the 640XL apps loads very fast. The processor is a Quad Core Snapdragon 400 running at 1.2GHz which while isn’t the fastest chipset around it works very with Windows Phone and it has low hardware requirements. Games like Minecraft work extremely well.

Aside from the larger screen the other difference from the Lumia 640 is the 13MP rear camera (with LED flash) which produces great photos with a very good colour range, it is a very impressive camera for a device in this price range. On the front there is a 5MP wide angle camera which would be great for Skype, and selfies if you really must. Another difference with the 640XL is the larger battery, it is 3000 mAh (the 640 has 2500mAh battery) which got me well over two days between charges.
Taken with the rear camera:
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As with the 640 there is the Glance feature. This shows you the time, battery status and unread email when the phone is off using a special low power mode. You can have it stay on all the time, turn off after 15 minutes or use peek which turns off after 30 seconds but turns back on with movement. It saves you from having to turn your phone on just to check if you have an email or look at the time. Another feature I really like is double tap to wake, you just double tap on the screen and it turns on something my Lumia 1520 has and is really handy as it saves your fumbling for a power button.

Like the Lumia 640 the 640XL comes with Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2 which adds Bluetooth keyboard support and categorised settings. It supports 3G and 4G and you get 1 year of Office 365 Personal Edition included.

So I really like the Lumia 640XL, I am a big fan of large phones and this phone fits the bill. At £184 SIM free it is great value for money and makes you wonder why you would pay more for lesser phones. If the phone is to big there is the 5 inch Lumia 640 which you can read about in my previous review.

In this video I take a look at the 640XL and see how well it works:

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