Microsoft is quietly building a lineup of affordable smartphones it hopes will get penny-pinchers to take a second look in its direction. After introducing a pair of 3G Lumia handsets Microsoft launched the Lumia 640 and 640 XL, another pair of smartphones packed with higher quality components and bearing prices designed to attract budget-conscious customers in both emerging and Western markets.
Both phones will launch Windows Phone 8.1, but Microsoft’s intention is to bring them and other modern Lumias to Windows 10.
Both smartphones comes with a one-year subscription to Microsoft’s Office 365. The Lumia 640 starts at $159 (roughly £100 or AU$205) without a contract, while the LTE version of the phone costs $20 more. The larger Lumia 640 XL costs $209 (roughly £135 or AU$270), and $239 with LTE.
“The new Lumia 640 and 640 XL smartphones – especially the LTE versions – will offer a great user experience at an affordable price,” Forrester analyst Thomas Husson said. “But it remains to be seen if they are able to impress consumers in the competitive markets of China, India, and other emerging mobile markets.”
Looking at the specification of the smartphone, Lumia 640 has a 5-inch HD display, an 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and a 1-megapixel front-facing camera. The display enjoys Gorilla Glass 3 protection. The phone is powered by a Snapdragon 400 chipset (quad-core Cortex-A7 at 1.2GHz) with 1GB of RAM. There’s also 8GB of storage, expandable with up to 128GB microSD cards. It also has the option for dual-SIM card slots, a popular feature in markets like India, where customers can bounce between different carriers.
The higher end Lumia 640 XL has a 5.7-inch display, a 13-megapixel camera with Zeiss optics and a 5-megapixel wide-angle front-facing camera. The phablet is also powered by a Snapdragon 400 chipset with a quad-core 1.2GHz processor with 1GB of RAM. You get 8GB storage out of the box and can bring up to 128GB of your own. It also has a bigger 3,000 mAh battery to support the larger 720-pixel HD display.