Microsoft Lumia 640XL : User Review
by Javier Dux
Microsoft Lumia 640 and 640XL series are the successors to the previous Lumia phones manufactured by Nokia. I have been a fan of Nokia phones since 2005, so it was only natural for me to keep buying Nokia phones. When I found out Nokia and Microsoft parted ways I was a little skeptical but Microsoft retained the Lumia models, the only difference is the brand name at the top and on the back of the phone.
While most people are hesitant to buy Windows phones because of the operating system, most essential apps do have a Microsoft version, and this phone has never failed me to do what I need it to do.
BATTERY LIFE & CHARGING
When it comes to battery life, I personally consider it a key element to take into consideration before buying a cellphone since I spend a lot of time on my phone, the last thing I want is to run out of battery in the middle of the day.
I usually charge my phone every two days, it’s unusual for me to charge it every day and for just a little more than an hour, but as you know the battery life of a phone depends on the usage you give it, in my case, I mostly use it to stay up to date on social media, check my email and rarely browse YouTube. An oddity I’ve noticed when the phone reaches 5% battery, it hardly ever goes down to say, 3 or 1, after a while it just turns off.
PERFORMANCE & DESIGN
This is another key element I take into consideration when looking for a new phone, who likes a slow phone? No one does. Opening up Facebook and checking my email is smooth and fast, so is swapping between apps. However, the startup process is slow and can be annoying if you have to restart your phone or it dies before you can reach a charger, and if you think you can’t make it, it has an option called battery saver that can be turned on at any time or in my case I set it up to turn on at 20% battery left.
As the name implies, this is a big phone, it is actually a phablet, however, it is one of the smallest phablets out there, when I first saw it, at 5.7 inches this does come across as huge, however it fits perfectly in one hand and if you happen to have small hands it has a one-hand use option. It comes with 3 buttons, 2 used for volume, 1 to lock the phone/power it off. One of the things I dislike is, unlike previous Lumia models, this does not have a camera button, and while it’s not hard to access the camera from a dropdown menu, it’s not as friendly as having a camera button.
STRENGTH & DURABILITY
Oh boy, my phone has fallen plenty of times, from just my pockets, a table, to even survive a fall from a 2nd floor, I thought it was done for, but it survived with just a chipped corner. This phone has great strength and durability thanks to the Gorilla Glass corning. This is the kind of phone you don’t have to worry about falling or having to be too gentle with it, it can definitely take it.
I love music, and sometimes I just want to enjoy a good song without using earphones or using a stereo system. This little phablet can really pack a punch when turned up to full volume, it’s perfect to play music while cooking, showering, you name it.
I think phones can speak about the user’s personality. Windows 10 operating system allows for almost endless customizations for the lock screen as well the start menu. Having the ability to pick the color of menu/theme you want, a light/dark general theme, add more icons, remove them, change transparency from a solid icon block to a clear floating one, positioning as you wish, truly almost endless customization possibilities.
This is by far my favorite feature of this device, if you own both a Windows 10 computer and windows phone, using your Microsoft account in both devices will allow them to be in sync, thus sharing pictures, documents, texts, notifications between both devices. This is especially useful when you create school/work notes on your phone to later check them when you’re home, also setting reminders via Cortana (Microsoft’s virtual assistant) on your laptop/desktop, I’ve personally get distracted easily and often forget to move documents from one place to another, but thanks to the device compatibility I no longer have to do that.
Operating system/Lack of app compatibility
While Windows phone 10 is highly customizable and I think that’s great, it is also one of the downfalls of the phone, while a lot of mainstream apps do have WP compatibility, there are many others that don’t. For a time, I had to use third party apps (and still do to some extent) when wanting to browse Instagram or Snapchat on my phone. Another thing is when compared to iOS and Android, Windows Phone apps do not get updated as often as the others, thus sometimes leaving you behind on some cool features that others might have. It doesn’t end here, a non-optimized app might cause constant crashes/freezes on your phone, this has happened several times to me and it is really frustrating.
Lack of camera button
Some users might just be like “Oh, whatever, I can easily access the camera from the drop down menu”, as I previously mentioned, it is easy to access but for me it is unappealing, most, if not all phones nowadays come with a camera button, be it on the side or on the back for easy camera access, however in the Lumia 640XL this is not the case, I’m not sure why they removed it but I think it was a bad decision.
To wrap things up, I think it is a great phone, especially for the price I acquired it (US $170), this is actually my second 640XL phone (I lost my previous one and decided to buy the same model again that alone should tell you how much I like it). Like previously stated while it may not have the broadest app support, the essentials are there, Facebook, any email, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram. It runs smoothly, the battery lasts long and it can certainly endure more than the occasional fall. The camera never fails to deliver good quality pictures which I think it’s pretty important for everyone nowadays.
It has an amazing selection of cases to fit your creative needs, orange, cyan, black, white, so you can pick whatever you like. Unlike most phones nowadays which are either gray or black, too dull for me.
While the phone does have some negative points, in my case its perks outweigh the negatives so they don’t really cast a shadow over the opinion I have about this phone.
And the score is…
I give this phone an 8/10, despite the lack of app support I don’t think you can get a better phone than this for such cheap price.