Lumia 640 XL: Almost there!

Big screen, good clarity, familiar software interface, sturdy OS – these are the hallmarks of the Lumia XL. The Lumia series is getting better and better. But is it there yet? That is the question! And going by what we are seeing, they are almost there! Why a late review of the Nokia 640 XL? Well we wanted to use it fully before we say anything about it. So let us look at this phone today

 

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The 640 XL is a classic trademark Lumia device  – solidly built using good material, with awide range of color options to choose from. It makes no effort to be loud or to force a statement, and that silent confidence has now come to define the Lumia range of phones. No wonder Microsoft took it over from Nokia!

The Lumia 640 XL Dual SIM has a 5.7-inch 720p display. The display has no problems when it comes to color reproduction or viewing angles, the pixel density needs a little bit of work. This isn’t very visible when you are looking at live tiles or viewing pictures, but as soon as you start reading text, the pixelation is very clearly noticeable.

 

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The combination of the 720p display and the 5.7 inch display is not giving good results. I am ready to wager that the same 720p on a 5 inch screen would have been nothing short of brilliant. I think this is a great trade-off that  the end users will surely notice and one that Microsoft could have avoided easily with a simple design meeting to call out the screen size.

Lumia 640 XL runs Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2 out of the box, which includes all the features of the Lumia Denim update with some other enhancements. These new features include improvements to the Settings app, where you can get to any setting quickly by using the in-app search. You can also pin frequently-used individual settings (such as Wi-Fi) to your home screen as a live tile. Simply tap and hold down any setting and you’ll see the pin to start option.

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Settings now also include app permissions that lets you control which apps have access to your Camera, Microphone, as well as Contacts, Messaging, and Calendar data.

The device is pre-loaded with a host of Lumia-branded apps like Lumia Beamer, Lumia Camera, Lumia Cinemagraph, Lumia Creative Studio, Lumia Moments, Lumia Selfie, and Lumia Storyteller. And third-party apps like BBM, BookMyShow, Facebook, Fitbit, Foodpanda, MobiKwik, NDTV, Olacabs, and WeChat. Luckily, you can uninstall these apps whenever you want. So they are NOT Bloatware, technically they are just normal apps! Knock them off and move on if you want to, Simple!

Most Android phones in this price range also suffer from the problem of not using the big screen well, so it would be unfair to single Microsoft out on this point. The Lumia 640 XL will be upgradable to Windows 10, and this is one area where Microsoft certainly scores over the Android devices. No fragmentation worries there!

All UI elements are simply scaled up to the new size, which means there are other annoyances like increased space between rows of keys on the keyboard, which takes some getting used to.

Coming to the camera, in outdoors and good lighting conditions, the 13-megapixel Lumia 640 XL camera captures a good amount of details, though the images tend to be just slightly over-exposed with some amount of noise. Noise is is evident in low-light conditions, but overall the camera does a nifty job when it comes to the quality of images and the flash is pretty useful and good too.The front camera is perfect for good quality selfies, even in low-light conditions.

The Lumia 640 XL comes with a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 SoC with 1GB RAM. In synthetic benchmarks, the phone comes nowhere near Android phones that are now available at a similar price

The phone comes with 8GB of inbuilt storage, but less than 4GB is available to the end users. The phone supports SD cards of up to 128GB capacity, and Windows Phone lets you install apps directly to the SD card, so this is not a huge downside other than the additional cost of buying the SD card.

The Lumia 640 XL has on-screen buttons for navigation, and not physical buttons, which means navigating when using full-screen environments – like when you are viewing a picture or watching a movie – takes an another swipe to first bring up the navigation buttons. Sometimes this tends to bother a user a tad bit.

The phone has a 3000mAh battery that will easily last a day-and-a-half of heavy usage. The call quality is decent and the loudspeaker at the back – is pretty decent for calls and entertainment. You can double tap the display to wake up, which means you don’t need to reach for the power button every time. That is nifty and helps the power button against wear and tear.

Verdict

Windows Phone experience is smooth and everyday usage with navigating between apps, multi-tasking, and Web browsing is a pleasure and smooth.Graphic-intensive games like Asphalt 8 also don’t stutter or lag. The nice, large display makes for a great experience.

 

About Shakthi

I am a Tech Blogger, Disability Activist, Keynote Speaker, Startup Mentor and Digital Branding Consultant. Also a McKinsey Executive Panel Member. Also known as @v_shakthi on twitter. Been around Tech for two decades now.

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  • Lumia XL looks good and has great specifications