Windows 10 is just around the corner and so Microsoft decided to bring a pair of new Lumias into the mix in preparation: the Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL.
The majority of Microsoft’s MWC keynote was actually devoted to the seamless user experience Windows 10 will afford users across mobile, tablet and desktop computing, but they were still pretty open about these two new devices and what we can expect.
As the naming suggests both the 640 and 640 XL run off the same base underlying hardware, although the XL offers up a larger display and battery as well as a higher resolution pair of cameras.
At its heart the 640 packs a slightly older 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor (most of the Android mid-range crop have switched to the Snapdragon 615), along with 8GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD by up to an additional 128GB). On the front there’s a 5-inch 720p HD IPS LCD and a 1-megapixel front-facing camera, whilst on the back of the phone’s polycarbonate body you’ll find an 8-megapixel snapper with all the latest Lumia Camera goodies you could hope for including Dynamic Flash and Auto HDR.
Make a jump to the 640 XL and you get the same core storage and processing options, but a 5-megapixel snapper on the front and a larger 13-megapixel rear sensor, again with the latest Lumia Camera update. The battery jumps from a 2500mAh cell to a respectable 3000mAh capacity cell and the screen pushes the XL well into phablet territory with a 5.7-inch 720p HD IPS LCD panel.
At launch both handsets will arrive running Windows Phone 8.1, but will be amongst the first wave of devices to receive a free upgrade to Windows 10 due, “later this year.” To sweeten the deal, Microsoft will also be bundling both phones with free access to Office 365, which will also carry across to one PC and one tablet (yes that includes Android tablets and iPads too).
Far and away the biggest part of the company’s press conference, Universal Apps will let users seamlessly interact with emails, mapping, calendar entries, Office documents and the Cortana voice assistant on all of their devices. Set a reminder on your phone, it’ll have automatically synchronised with you Windows 10 PC. Searched for a location on the Maps app, it’ll be in the history on your phone too. Windows 10 will also feature a new browser, currently codenamed Project Spartan, which will scale to the device it’s running on.
We still don’t know when exactly the Windows 10 upgrade will take place, but Microsoft did reveal that both handsets will be available in single and dual-SIM variants as well as 3G-only and 3G/4G models. The Microsoft Lumia 640 will retail for around €139 (£100) for the 3G version and €159 (£115) for the LTE model, whilst the 640 XL variants will cost €189 (£140) and €219 (£160) respectively.