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Microsoft Lumia 640 vs Lumia 640 XL: What’s the difference and which is best?

We compare the two latest Lumia phones, the Lumia 640 and the Lumia 640 XL, to see how their specs, screens, cameras and everything else stack up. Check out our full versus review.

At a glance

  Lumia 640 Lumia 640 XL
Price £169 for 4G model £219 for 4G model
Weight 145g 171g
Screen size 5-inches 5.7-inches
Screen resolution 720×1280 720×1280
Processor Snapdragon 400 Snapdragon 400
Storage 8GB + micro SD 8GB + micro SD
4G? Yes Yes
Rear camera 8-megapixel 13-megapixel
Front camera 0.9-megapixel 5-megapixel

Design

The most obvious difference between these two phones is the dimensions, with the Lumia 640 XL sporting a much bulkier frame than the bog-standard Lumia 640. While the 640 sports a sizeable 5-inch screen, the 640 XL goes all-out with a massive 5.7-inch panel, which makes it a definite two-handed device.

That boost in screen size also means the Lumia 640 XL is much heavier than its smaller sibling, at 171g compared with 145g. It’s not quite heavy enough to ache your muscles and it feels relatively light considering the size of the thing, but you’ll definitely feel the thing when it’s stashed in a pocket.

Screen and media

Despite that larger screen, the Lumia 640 XL sports the same 720p resolution. This means that images aren’t as sharp on the 640 XL, with pixels spread over a greater area – although in reality it makes little difference. We still have no problem reading tiny text on the 640 XL while HD movies look just as awesome.

In fact, the 640 XL’s screen is more vivid than the 640’s display, so your desktops and photos stand out with rich, gorgeous colours.

As for carrying around your entire media collection, both phones are up to the job. They only pack 8GB of built-in storage but that’s easily upgradeable via the micro SD memory card slot, which supports a further 128GB of space.

Features

Both phones pack Windows Phone and will get an upgrade to Windows 10 this summer. They also have the same on-board apps and features such as 4G support. However, they do sport different camera tech.

Cameras

While both the Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL sport the same camera app and features, including the excellent Rich Capture mode which allows you to change a photo’s exposure after it’s already been taken, the camera hardware is different.

The Lumia 640 packs an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera which produces great photos, but the Lumia 640 XL can capture even sharper shots thanks to its 13-megapixel snapper. The 640 XL’s larger sensor also makes for slightly better low light performance, with less grain and crisper details.

The Lumia 640 also makes do with a basic 0.9-megapixel front-facing cam, while the Lumia 640 XL upgrades to a full-on 5-megapixel snapper that can shoot 1080p video. So if you’re a selfie addict, the Lumia 640 XL is an obvious choice.

Performance and battery life

Despite both phones packing a Snapdragon 400 processor with 1GB of RAM, we did notice the odd tiny stutter on the Lumia 640 XL, which wasn’t present on the smaller Lumia 640. It’s not a deal breaker by any means, but occasionally the 640 XL stuttered when leaving an app or swiping through menus.

As for battery life, both phones excel. You can expect two full days of use per charge and around six to seven hours of video playback before you’ll need to plug in.

Verdict

The major difference between these handsets is still the size, but the Lumia 640 XL boasts a more colourful screen and upgraded camera tech too. If the added bulk isn’t a turn off and you fancy a massive screen for your media and apps, the Lumia 640 XL is a great choice. If your main priority is price, the Lumia 640 can basically do all of the same things as its extra large sibling, in a more compact package.

Check out our full Lumia 640 review and Lumia 640 XL review.

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