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Microsoft Lumia 640 review: Still a great Windows phone

Microsoft Lumia 640
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £120
inc VAT SIM-free

The camera is a bit disappointing, but the Lumia 640 is still an excellent value handset with a great screen and good battery life


Processor: Quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, Screen Size: 5in, Screen resolution: 1,280×720, Rear camera: 8-megapixel, Storage: 8GB, Wireless data: 3G, 4G, Size: 141x72x8.8mm, Weight: 145g, Operating system: Windows Phone 8.1
See all of the best Microsoft Lumia 640 deals on uSwitch



Microsoft’s mobile operating system has come on leaps and bounds with the Lumia Denim update, and we particularly like the revamped Settings menu. Rather than simply listing every option in one big, confusing list, each one has been reorganised into categories such as Network & Wireless, Personalisation, System and Privacy.

This makes things much easier to find, although there are still a few rogue options. Display, which lets you adjust the brightness and colour profiles, is stuck in Extras instead of System, where you’ll find the ordinary brightness settings.

Cortana, Microsoft’s personal digital assistant, also comes as standard, and you can launch it either using the onscreen Search button or through the traditional Live Tile app. While not quite as efficient as Apple’s Siri, it is still in beta at the moment, so there’s every possibility that it will get better in the future.

Microsoft Lumia 640 Windows Phone 8.1 Cortana screenshots^ Cortana isn’t only good for searching the web, as it also controls your diary and various alarms

As well as being able to search the web and answer questions for you, Cortana can control your phone’s ‘quiet hours’. This is one of our favourite features, as it effectively puts the phone on silent during set hours of the day, such as late at night or weekend mornings, so you can get on with your home life undisturbed. You can still allow favourite contacts to get through, though, and anyone who calls twice in three minutes, just in case there’s an emergency.

Another handy bonus is a free one-year subscription to Office 365, with 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage. This offer will be valid across all your Windows PCs and tablets, too, allowing you to seamlessly sync your Office docs on the move across all your various devices.


On the back is an 8-megapixel camera with LED flash. On paper, this is a welcome improvement over the Lumia 630’s 5-megapixel snapper, but in reality we weren’t particularly impressed with the quality of our shots. There was plenty of detail present, but all of our test shots looked quite hazy and out of focus, even in bright sunshine, and lighter objects suffered from too much overexposure.

Microsoft Lumia 640 camera test^ There was plenty of sunlight present when we took this shot, but it still ended up looking a little hazy and disappointing


The Lumia 535 may have been a big disappointment, but the Microsoft Lumia 640 certainly paves a much brighter future for Windows phones going forward. With a great-looking screen, snappy performance, decent battery life and loads of extra features, it’s clearly punching above its weight for an entry-level handset, and it’s a more than a worthy upgrade for existing Lumia 630 owners.

READ NEXT: Our best budget smartphones for 2016

What’s more, the 4G version is just £120 SIM-free, with contracts starting around £16.99 a month for 500MB of data, 500 minutes and unlimited texts. The larger Lumia 640 XL may have more stamina over the course of a day, but the smaller, Lumia 640 is our new budget Windows phone of choice.

See all of the best Microsoft Lumia 640 deals on uSwitch

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ProcessorQuad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
Screen size5in
Screen resolution1,280×720
Screen typeIPS
Front camera0.9-megapixel
Rear camera8-megapixel
Memory card slot (supplied)microSD
BluetoothBluetooth 4.0
Wireless data3G, 4G
Operating systemWindows Phone 8.1
Battery size2,500mAh
Buying information
WarrantyOne-year RTB
Price SIM-free (inc VAT)£120
Price on contract (inc VAT)Free on £16.99-per-month contract
Prepay price (inc VAT)N/A
Part codeRM-1072

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