Simply put, a phablet makes it easier to do some real work on a portable device. And that’s exactly what Microsoft had in mind when they decided to release the Lumia 640 XL. Whether it’s editing documents w/ Microsoft Office, typing out long emails, video chatting with the 5MP front camera, or getting some Netflix in throughout the day, the Lumia 640 XL can do it all, and then some.
The Lumia 640 XL is BIG. Not as big as the Lumia 1520. But big enough. And its size can be troublesome at times. Like handling the device. It’s a two-handed operation for sure. You’ll need two hands, pretty much every time you use the device.
And when it comes to portability, the Lumia 640 XL has its limitations. Truth be told, if you decide to own a phablet like the Lumia 640 XL, you’re making the conscious decision to deal with it’s size everywhere you go. I’ve seen some people holster a phablet on their belt, and it just looks silly! It looks like a tablet or mini TV on their waist! It looks silly, and it’s definitely not a good look! It’s big enough that you’ll end up having to keep it out and hold it anywhere you go.
You can slide it into your back-pocket, depending on how tight your pants are. And it’s comfortable in your back pocket as long as you’re walking around. But you wouldn’t be able to sit down with it in your back pocket! You’ll have to take it out and place it somewhere everytime you sit down. And that gets annoying. It’s definitely not front-pocketable! It’s just too flat and square for it to sit in your front pocket and be comfortable.
Personally, I prefer to keep my phablet in a sleeve and treat it like a mini tablet. I don’t make phone calls every minute of the day so I felt that keeping it in a sleeve was the best thing I could do to protect it. It just sucks to worry about the device everytime you go somewhere. It’s fine if you’re at the office all day.
But this is the price you pay for owning a phablet. It’s a compromise. You sacrifice usability and portability for a larger screen that makes it easier for you to get shit done anywhere you are without an actual PC. And I would say that’s a fair trade off.
Despite its large size, however, it’s actually really light. Combine the light weight, square edges and the matte back cover, the Lumia 640 XL is actually easier to handle than most phablets. It was definitely easier to handle then my Lumia 1520.
Speaking of the matte back cover, not only does it feel good, it looks good too. “Look good, feel good, play good” pretty much sums it up. The cyan matte version looks awesome! And I can only imagine the white matte version looks awesome too!
Just like the Lumia 735, you have a removable back which gives you access to the battery, sim card slot and the microSD slot. Those features are pretty non existent nowadays. Most flagship devices don’t even offer those particular features anymore.
The best part of the back cover is that it’s removable and all of the different colors can be purchased separately. Dope!
The only problem I found with the back cover was that it picked up dirt too easily. Depending on the color you choose, you’ll be making a concerted effort everyday to keep it clean if you rock it without a case. There’s also a white glossy version if matte isn’t your thing. But in my honest opinion, matte back covers are in. And I definitely dig the matte back cover on the Lumia 640 XL. I’ve never liked glossy plastic at all. Even going all the way back to my Samsung Galaxy days. Glossy plastic is UGLY!
Despite the 720p display, videos and photos looked just fine. Actually, it looked more than fine, the display looked pretty damn good. Don’t get caught up on the 720p display. HD is HD. And after a while, you totally forget that you’re looking at a 720p display. The large HD display makes it a “video watching machine.” Watching YouTube and Netflix on the Lumia 640 XL is pretty awesome. It’s more enjoyable to watch movies on a phablet than a standard smartphone for sure. It’s like watching movies on a mini flat screen tv. Web browsing is a different story, where the text isn’t as sharp. But who really cares about that when you’re surfing the web?
One thing about the display that was a disappointment was the usability outdoors. It kind of sucks. Especially if you live in a place like Arizona where I do. Most of the time this is a non issue with Lumia devices, so I was kind of disappointed that it wasn’t up to par to what I’ve been accustomed to.
- Software release: Windows Phone 8.1 with Lumia Denim (Free upgrade to Windows 10 for mobile)
- CPU name: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 400 Quad core 1200 MHz w/ 1 GB RAM
- Height: 157.9 mm – Width: 81.5 mm – Thickness3: 9 mm – Weight: 171 g
- Display size: 5.7 ” – HD720 (1280 x 720) Display technology: ClearBlack, IPS LCD w/ 259 ppi
- Mass memory1: 8 GB
- Maximum memory card size: 128 GB MicroSD
- Main camera: 13.0 MP, Auto focus w/ 4x digital zoom, ZEISS optics, Sensor size: 1/3 inch, f-number/aperture: f/2.0, focal length: 28 mm, LED flash
- Main camera features: Backside-illuminated image sensor, Dynamic flash, Rich capture, Camera minimum focus range: 10 cm
- Main camera video resolution: 1080p (Full HD, 1920 x 1080), video frame rate: 30 fps w/ 4x video zoom
- Video recording features: Video zoom, Continuous autofocus, Video light
- Video recording formats: MP4/H.264
- Front camera: Full HD 5MP wide angle, f-number/aperture: f/2.4
- Front camera features: Focal length 24 mm, Still image capture, Video call, Video recording
- Front camera video resolution: 1080p (Full HD, 1920 x 1080)
- Battery capacity: 3000 mAh – Replaceable battery: Yes
- Design details: Exchangeable back cover
- Display features: Orientation sensor, Low power mode, Sunlight readability enhancements, Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3, Easy to clean, Lumia Color profile, Wide viewing angle – Touch screen technology: Capacitive multipoint-touch
- Other user interface features: Double-tap to wake, Glance screen, Tactile feedback, Vibrating alerts, Voice commands, Word flow keyboard
I’ve read reviews all over the web talking about how good the camera is on the Lumia 640 XL. But for me, the camera was kind of underwhelming. The camera is good, but it isn’t that impressive either. I found that alot of my photos came out kind of noisy. Which was kind of disappointing. I had this plan to take all these great photos with it, but after a couple of photo sessions, the photos I took just felt uninspired.
The Lumia 640 XL does have the latest Lumia Camera App which means rich capture is there for you to use. It’s nice to see an advanced camera feature on a budget smartphone.
Simply put, auto mode is great if there is perfect lighting. Mainly outdoors during the day. Also, using the camera in low light is okay, but it’s just not all that great either. It’s not up to what I’m use to on a Lumia device. The shutter button is quite speedy at least. Which is a plus since this is a budget device. And the Lumia 640 XL does have the latest Lumia Camera App which means the rich capture feature is available. It’s nice to see an advanced camera feature like that on a budget device.
Don’t get me wrong, the camera is a more than capable shooter. But only if you mess with the manual settings. But that can be annoying for most users. The majority of users won’t even touch manual. Normal users usually stay on auto all the time. Which is a shame since the camera can do some great things if you know what you’re doing. But then again, if you own a Lumia device or looking to get one, then you’re probably already into some type of amateur photography.
For the money, the Lumia 640 XL has a more than capable camera. Just don’t expect to get a great picture every time. It’s a good camera for sure. But it’s a camera that requires work everytime you use it.
I had no issues performance wise. It chugged right along. There were moments that apps seemed to pause but it wasn’t a serious issue.
It doesn’t take high end specs to run Windows Phone. Which is something Android and iOS can never ever claim. Whether you go from a high end Windows Phone or a budget one like the Lumia 640 XL, Windows Phone seems to run about the same. Overall, the Lumia 640 XL does the job.
The Lumia 640XL sports a 3000mAh monster battery. And on a Windows Phone, it’s actually kind of overkill! Battery life has never been an issue with Windows Phone and it continues to stay that way with each Lumia device I try out. The large battery is definitely welcomed here since you can get some heavy daily smartphone usage and still enjoy some Netflix at the end of the day without even draining it down to 50%.
That’s amazing to tell you the truth. Apple and Android are nowhere near this kind of performance. No matter how big the stock battery is on their devices or power management software they try and implement.
During my trial, I was able to achieve 3 days of battery life. In those three days I didn’t use it as my daily driver, but still for a smartphone with a display this big is simply amazing. You’re mileage will vary when it comes to battery life since everyone is different. But that mileage will still be a long one!
The state of Windows Phone is really sad when you think about it. There are these great Windows Phone at all ranges, from low end, to mid range, to high end flagship ones. And the only thing hindering them is developer support. The app store isn’t that bad like it was a few years ago, but it’s still not at a competitive level with Android and iPhone. Hopefully Windows 10 for mobile will change that.
At least the Lumia 640 XL has Cortana! It’s crazy to say that Microsoft has created voice assistant software that is far better than Google and Apple. But it’s true. Everytime I use it, it works about 90% of the time. Every time my wife uses Google Now, it works none of the time! It could be user error, but I’ll give my wife the benefit of the doubt! Even when my co-workers use Siri, it’s funny to see them have to repeat themselves anywhere from 3 to 5 times. Whereas with Cortana, I usually get what I need on the first try. Just sayin…
And if you’re looking for a phablet with a decent camera, a large HD display, long battery life, removable battery, microSD expansion, and of course cheap, then the Lumia 640 XL might be what you’ve been looking for.
The Lumia 640 XL is built for the office warrior who lives in a Microsoft world. It’s for the office warrior who relies on Microsoft apps to get shit done. As long as your not an app whore, the Lumia 640 XL is a great device to own. It really is do more, and consume less with Windows Phone. And I’m okay with that…for now.