Microsoft Lumia 640

Excellent basic phone, but get a case!! | 6/4/2017 | Comments: 1
Image result for Lumia 640 Lumia 640 (AT&T Go Phone / Unlockable) ~ Spring 2015
Cost: $50 - $80 (Off Contract)

Specs:
OS: Windows Phone 8.1 (Upgradeable to Windows Phone 10)
Display: 5" IPS 1280x720 (Gorilla Glass 3)
Processor: Snapdragon 400 (4 x 1.2ghz)
Video: Adreno 305
Memory: 1GB Ram
Storage: 8GB (4.7GB free) w/ MicroSD slot also available
Camera: 8mpx (back + single flash) / 1mpx (front)
Radios: Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, Wifi b/g/n, FM Radio
MicroUSB 2.0 (no OTG functionality)
Battery: 2500mAh (Li-ion) ~ Rated for up to 76h Standby / Mixed
Build: Plastic Case Construction with removable back

The Good:

  • Bright display, easy to see in sunlight
  • Long battery life lasting 4 - 5 hours of screen on time or days on standby
  • Windows 10 Upgradable
  • Surprisingly good camera for such a cheap phone

The Bad:

  • The processor, graphics and memory are dated and you can sometimes feel their age. Slow memory and not a lot of it (really 1GB, ouch!)
  • 3D games, don't play well or at all
  • Phone can become laggy especially while browsing the web
  • Build quality is dirt cheap, the back cover of the phone crumbled in my pocket after a few months

I bought this phone at Walmart back in November of 2015 for a whopping $70. At the time, Windows Phone 10 was in it's infancy and I wanted to mess around with the Beta of 10 to get to know the OS... so for me, this was an easy buy.

Before loading 10 on it, I decided to test Windows 8.1's functionality and get a feel for the OS (especially since the last Windows Mobile device I had was back when Windows Mobile CE 6.0 was popular). I played around with it for about 2 weeks and found it ran fairly smooth and was responsive with no stuttering in the OS. Moving on to Windows Phone 10 Beta, the upgrade was fairly painless, but did require that I install an app from the Windows Store.

Apps

Coming from Android, I found Windows Phone in general was very limited in what you could do (especially with no Google apps!!). When you've invested most of your time in either Android or iOS, going to Windows Phone is almost a deal breaker since there are no native apps for either platform here. Office and Outlook on the phone are a nice touch and there was an "OK" selection of apps in the Windows Store. In the end though, I mainly wound up just using it for light web browsing and as a backup / standby phone for a few months (definitely not a daily driver). With no support for Google Hangouts even as a backup phone it didn't last long.

Gaming and Performance

After the initial two week period, it was time to try out Windows Phone 10 Beta... I was initially surprised how well 1GB of ram and the SD400 processor held up. Even after the full release of Windows Phone 10, the Moto G 1st gen (Android) with the same hardware feels a lot slower than this phone. The only sluggishness I found was with the browser when loading large websites and 3D intensive gaming. Trying to play Asphalt 8 wasn't too bad, but forget about CSR Racing. I also tried out Order and Chaos (a World of Warcraft clone) and it was fairly laggy, but semi-playable (although I wouldn't want to). Minecraft was "playable" but felt laggy as well. 

Screen

Both in doors and out, the screen is very bright and crisp easily viewable in direct sunlight. The colors were a little dull in some instances, but I'm not a very good judge on color reproduction. Anyway, it gets the job done and with a 720p resolution it's easy to use the display for media consumption or for remote desktop.

Camera

The 8mpx camera on this phone had me amazed. The picture quality blew my Moto G 1st gen and Moto X 1st gen out of the water. The colors were vibrant, pictures turned out natural looking and the software wasn't overly complicated to use. For the price of the phone, the camera by itself was worth it.

Sound

Not stereo, but very, very loud (like most phones lows were absent and mids barely hanging in there). Speaker phone was a good experience.

Build Quality

One word... Cheap!! This thing is all plastic, the back plates are swappable and the battery removable (which is a good thing) I wound up replacing the back plate twice ($9 a pop) due to it shattering while in my pocket. I am rough on my phones as I just throw them in a pocket with keys and other stuff, but I've never had a back casing shatter like this one. I also some how got a scratch on the screen (not a deep one) but enough of one to be annoying.

Network Compatibility

Being an AT&T Go phone I was able to pop my normal AT&T sim in it with no problem. I got 1 - 2 bars (LTE) where I live which is normal, at work  I got full bars and ran a few speed tests. AT&T LTE reached up to 32mbps down and 8.3mbps up (Not bad at all). (My Moto X 1st gen peeked out at 42mbps down and 12mbps down.) After unlocking the phone, I popped in a FreedomPop 4g sim and an LTE, they both worked well, however since there is no FreedomPop App for Windows Phones, only the internet was usable.

Conclusion

If you are heavily invested in iOS or Google Apps or are looking to use this phone with the FreedomPop network look else where. If your interested in a basic phone, to make calls, maybe check emails and play a few rounds of solitaire or check Facebook this phone would work good for you even with it being a phone from 2015 (and it being 2017).

A word of advice though... Stay away from it's younger brother the Lumia 650 (the older 640 is actually a little faster).

 

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