Introduction

Microsoft unveiled a couple of mid-rangers, but no flagships. The high-enders will come later, for now we get the Microsoft Lumia 640 XL phablet with Zeiss camera and the Lumia 640, both on their way to a Windows 10 update and both with a full range of connectivity options.

Microsoft MWC 2015

The Microsoft Lumia 640 XL is the more interesting of the two, priced at €190 for the 3G version and €220 for the 4G LTE version. This much money gets you a 5.7" HD IPS screen with ClearBlack and a 13MP camera with Zeiss f/2.0 lens and 5MP selfie camera, both of which can do 1080p video.

The Microsoft Lumia 640 is smaller with a 5" HD IPS display and will come at €140/€160 for the 3G/4G version. While its camera doesn't have Zeiss branding, it's much better than what previous 6-series devices got - an 8MP main camera with 1080p video capture and a 1MP/720p selfie camera. The Lumia 635 didn't even have a flash.

Microsoft MWC 2015
Microsoft MWC 2015
Microsoft MWC 2015
Microsoft MWC 2015

Microsoft Lumia 640 XL and Lumia 640

In terms of connectivity both phones are fully loaded - you can get either a 3G or a 4G LTE device, both with an option for dual-SIM connectivity.

Microsoft sprinkled some cool value-added features including 60 Skype minutes per month for a year. That makes calling abroad cheap and easy, but you also get 1TB of OneDrive storage and a subscription to Office 365 for a year.

Microsoft Lumia 640 XL hands-on

Instead of another Lumia 13xx phablet, Microsoft chose to position this in the 6-series. With a bolstered 5-series and the new 4-series, the Lumia 6xx models are no longer an inch off the entry-level.

The Microsoft Lumia 640 XL is very impressive for a mid-ranger and will give similarly priced Androids a run for their money. It's bigger than the Moto Gs and Xperia E4s of the world with a 5.7" screen though.

The phablet has the familiar Lumia feel in the hand. The white color version we handled was made of matte polycarbonate, a quality material. It's reasonably thin at 9mm (a Moto G is 11mm), but has old-school Nokia weight, a whopping 171g. That's essentially the same as the Galaxy Note 4, which also has a 5.7" screen but also a metal frame.

The screen measures 5.7" big and has 720p resolution, giving it a decent 259ppi pixel density. The Windows tiles and typography UI looks quite good at this density.

Microsoft MWC 2015
Microsoft MWC 2015

Microsoft Lumia 640 XL

The display is an IPS LCD with good viewing angles. It has a polarizing filter, ClearBlack, which cuts down reflections and further improves the image quality. There's Gorilla Glass 3 protection.

Going back to the flip side of the Lumia 640 XL, this is where the magic starts to happen. Microsoft had already brought a Zeiss lens on a mid-ranger, but the Lumia 830 is noticeably pricier than the 640 XL.

This one has a higher resolution sensor (13MP vs. 10MP) and it's bigger to boot (1/3" vs. 1/3.4"). There's no optical image stabilization, but it has an f/2.0 aperture and records 1080p videos.

The selfie camera is a 5MP shooter that can also record 1080p video. It seems to be the unit from the Lumia 735 as it matches the other specs too, f/2.4 aperture on a wide-angel 24mm lens.

Microsoft MWC 2015
Microsoft MWC 2015
Microsoft MWC 2015

13MP camera with Zeiss optics

Microsoft has further enhanced the camera software aside from the Lumia Camera and Lumia Selfie features we've seen before. A new feature called Living Image is similar to HTC's Zoe in that it records a 1 second video that leads up to the photo (that is the end of the video matches the photo).

Since the Microsoft Lumia 635 has an LED flash (Lumia 63x phones didn't) it can take advantage of Rich Capture. The _phone_ takes two photos - one without flash and one with flash on - and you can adjust the strength of the flash after the fact.

The one disappointing feature of the phablet is the chipset - a Snapdragon 400. That includes a 1.2GHz quad-core Cortex-A7, 1GB of RAM and Adreno 305 GPU. Windows _phone_ 8.1 runs smoothly, but we're yet to see how Windows 10 will handle on the device.

There's a 3,000mAh battery sealed inside the body of the phablet, which Microsoft claims is enough for 24 hours of talking on a 3G network or browsing the web over Wi-Fi for over 14 hours.

Microsoft Lumia 640 hands-on

The Microsoft Lumia 640 is more compact of the two with a 5" 720p screen and is will take on the Moto G (2015) at a Moto E (2015) price.

The one we handled had a glossy polycarbonate body and one of the brightest orange colors we've seen in person. These high-visibility colors are classic Lumia, Stephen Elop had the Cyan version in his hands, but there are also the more muted Black and White colors.

The Lumia 640 measures 8.8mm, pleasantly thin for this price range, but still carries the Lumia weight, 145g in this case.

The screen is still an IPS LCD with ClearBlack and Gorilla Glass protection, while the pixel density went up to just under 300ppi. The viewing angles and color rendering look great.

Microsoft MWC 2015
Microsoft MWC 2015
Microsoft MWC 2015
Microsoft MWC 2015

Microsoft Lumia 640

The camera department lost some of its headlining features, but is still much better than the current 6-series and below.

The main camera is an 8MP shooter that can record 1080p video - a big jump from the 5MP/720p of the Lumia 635. The Lumia 630 and below couldn't even do 720p and had no selfie camera. Anyway, the main camera uses a small 1/4" BSI sensor with a 28mmm f/2.2 lens.

The Lumia 640 selfie camera is not as impressive as on the XL model, but it's still a 1MP/720p shooter. This phone also supports the Dynamic flash and Rich capture features like the 640 XL model.

The battery is smaller though still good for the size. 2,500mAh gets you over 17 hours of talking on a 3G network and nearly 11 hours of Wi-Fi web browsing.

Microsoft Lumia 640 XL hands-on

Instead of another Lumia 13xx phablet, Microsoft chose to position this in the 6-series. With a bolstered 5-series and the new 4-series, the Lumia 6xx models are no longer an inch off the entry-level.

The Microsoft Lumia 640 XL is very impressive for a mid-ranger and will give similarly priced Androids a run for their money. It's bigger than the Moto Gs and Xperia E4s of the world with a 5.7" screen though.

The phablet has the familiar Lumia feel in the hand. The white color version we handled was made of matte polycarbonate, a quality material. It's reasonably thin at 9mm (a Moto G is 11mm), but has old-school Nokia weight, a whopping 171g. That's essentially the same as the Galaxy Note 4, which also has a 5.7" screen but also a metal frame.

The screen measures 5.7" big and has 720p resolution, giving it a decent 259ppi pixel density. The Windows tiles and typography UI looks quite good at this density.

Microsoft MWC 2015
Microsoft MWC 2015

Microsoft Lumia 640 XL

The display is an IPS LCD with good viewing angles. It has a polarizing filter, ClearBlack, which cuts down reflections and further improves the image quality. There's Gorilla Glass 3 protection.

Going back to the flip side of the Lumia 640 XL, this is where the magic starts to happen. Microsoft had already brought a Zeiss lens on a mid-ranger, but the Lumia 830 is noticeably pricier than the 640 XL.

This one has a higher resolution sensor (13MP vs. 10MP) and it's bigger to boot (1/3" vs. 1/3.4"). There's no optical image stabilization, but it has an f/2.0 aperture and records 1080p videos.

The selfie camera is a 5MP shooter that can also record 1080p video. It seems to be the unit from the Lumia 735 as it matches the other specs too, f/2.4 aperture on a wide-angel 24mm lens.

Microsoft MWC 2015
Microsoft MWC 2015
Microsoft MWC 2015

13MP camera with Zeiss optics

Microsoft has further enhanced the camera software aside from the Lumia Camera and Lumia Selfie features we've seen before. A new feature called Living Image is similar to HTC's Zoe in that it records a 1 second video that leads up to the photo (that is the end of the video matches the photo).

Since the Microsoft Lumia 635 has an LED flash (Lumia 63x phones didn't) it can take advantage of Rich Capture. The phone takes two photos - one without flash and one with flash on - and you can adjust the strength of the flash after the fact.

The one disappointing feature of the phablet is the chipset - a Snapdragon 400. That includes a 1.2GHz quad-core Cortex-A7, 1GB of RAM and Adreno 305 GPU. Windows phone 8.1 runs smoothly, but we're yet to see how Windows 10 will handle on the device.

There's a 3,000mAh battery sealed inside the body of the phablet, which Microsoft claims is enough for 24 hours of talking on a 3G network or browsing the web over Wi-Fi for over 14 hours.

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