Microsoft Lumia 640 Review: It's affordable, but it's missing a few things we love about Lumias

CIO | Jun 7, 2015


The best Windows phone you can buy! --- well, this isn’t it.
Microsoft’s Lumia 640 seems like an affordable, midrange Windows Phone. Microsoft will even toss in a free subscription to Office 365 Personal, just to sweeten the deal.
But the 640 aspires to mediocrity – and it nails it. The 5-inch phone is coated in a slick plastic shell that’s going to make you a little nervous.
The 1280 x 720 display is readable in bright sunlight. But it looks a little dull and cheap, compared to those gorgeous displays found on iOS and Android phones.
Even the 8-megapixel rear camera’s pretty basic nowadays. However, the Lumia Denim firmware allows you to shoot photos fast, and you can use the Lumia Moments app to extract photos from video you shot earlier.
There’s another small reason to buy this phone: Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2, which organizes the phone’s settings into something you can actually use. You can now control which apps access your calendar or contacts.
You don’t really need a fitness band, either: the 640 accurately shows you how many steps you’ve walked and run that day.
Still, there’s a better option: the Lumia 830. Last year’s “affordable flagship” phone offers pretty much everything that the 640 does. And, like the 640, it’s upgradeable to Windows 10 Mobile.
You’ll also appreciate the 16 GB of storage the Lumia 830 includes, versus the 8 GB the 640 offers. Because after you download a few apps and take a few videos – ouch!
Look, there’s nothing really wrong with the Lumia 640 – but there’s nothing really right about it, either. Take it from me -- pay a little more for the Lumia 830. You’ll be glad you did.