Microsoft Debuts Lumia 640 And 640 XL Midrange Smartphones, Snappy Foldable Keyboard

Microsoft has a pair of new Lumia devices, the 640 and 640 XL, which are both midrange devices with an impressively low price point. At its press event and immediately thereafter, Microsoft was a bit lean on details, such as the exact SoC running inside the handsets, but over the course of the day that extra info has trickled out.

Lumia 640

The Lumia 640 runs on a quad-core Snapdragon 400 SoC (1.2 GHz) and has 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of internal storage, and support for up to 128 GB of microSD storage. You also get 30 GB of free OneDrive storage.

The 5-inch HD (1280 x 720) IPS display is built from Gorilla Glass 3. An 8 MP and a 1 MP front camera flank the back and front of the Lumia 640, respectively, and connectivity includes micro USB, Bluetooth, DLNA, Miracast support, GPS + GLONASS and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi.


Lumia 640 (LTE Dual Sim)
SoC
Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (1.2 GHz)
RAM
1 GB
Storage
-8 GB onboard
-up to 128 GB microSD
-30 GB free OneDrive
Display
5-inch HD (1280 x 720)
Cameras
Back: 8 MP AF, 1080p HD @ 30 fps
Front: 1 MP 720p HD wide angle, f/2.4
Connectivity

BT 4.0, microUSB 2.0, Micro SIM, A-GPS+GLONASS, BeiDou, NFC, DLNA, Screen cloning with Miracast, WLAN 802.11 b/g/n/

Sensors

Accelerometer, Magnetometer, Proximity, Ambient Light Sensor

Battery
2500 mAh (removable)
Networks
-LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 20, 28 (2100, 1900, 1800, 1700/2100, 850, 2600, 900, 700, 800, 700) MHz
-TD-LTE: 38, 40 (2570-2620, 2300-2400) MHz
-GSM/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, WCDMA: 850/900/1900/2100 and 1700/2100 MHz
OS
Windows 8.1

There are actually three versions of the Lumia 640; there's a 3G dual SIM variant, a single-SIM LTE version, and a dual-SIM LTE model. Pricing starts at 139 euros, which translates to about $156 USD, and the LTE model (which variant is unclear) will be 159 euros, or about $178 USD.

Lumia 640 XL

The Lumia 640 has a bigger brother--you guessed, the "XL" refers to a larger size--called the Lumia 640 XL.

The internals are essentially the same as the Lumia 640, save for the cameras and battery (and obviously, the display.) The 640 XL sports a 5.7-inch HD (1280 x 720) IPS display, and the battery is 3000 mAh instead of the 640's 2500 mAh battery. The front camera is 5 MP, with a fixed-focus wide angle lens, and it can handle 1080p HD video. The rear 13 MP camera boasts a Zeiss lens, continuous autofocus, LED flash and Lumia Camera software, and it can shoot 1080p HD video at 30 fps.


Lumia 640 XL (LTE Dual SIM)
SoC
Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (1.2 GHz)
RAM
1 GB
Storage
-8 GB onboard
-up to 128 GB microSD
-30 GB free OneDrive
Display
5.7-inch HD (1280 x 720)
Cameras
Back: 13 MP AF, 1080p @ 30 fps video (continuous autofocus), Flash: LED, Lumia Camera

Front: 5 MP wide angle, fixed focus, 1080p video
Connectivity

BT 4.0, microUSB 2.0, Micro SIM, A-GPS+GLONASS, BeiDou, DLNA, NFC, Screen cloning with Miracast, WLAN 802.11 b/g/n/

Sensors
Accelerometer, Magnetometer, Proximity, Ambient Light Sensor, SensorCore
Battery
3000 mAh
Networks
-LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 20, 28 (2100, 1900, 1800, 1700/2100, 850, 2600, 900, 700, 800, 700) MHz
-TD-LTE: 38, 40 (2570-2620, 2300-2400) MHz
-GSM/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, WCDMA: 850/900/1900/2100 and 1700/2100 MHz
OS
Windows 8.1

Like the 640, the 640 XL will come in multiple variants: 3G single- and dual-SIM, and 4G single- and dual-SIM. Again, Microsoft wasn't entirely clear which variant the pricing applies to, but the "3G version" will cost 180 euros (approximately $212 USD), and the "4G version" will be 219 euros (about $245 USD).

Both devices will be available in white, black, matte cyan, and orange. (After seeing the phones in person, we can tell you that it's the brightest orange you can imagine.)

For additional value, you'll get a one year subscription to Office 365 Personal plus one for your PC or Mac, one for your tablet. You also get 1 TB of OneDrive storage (Microsoft didn't specify how long that 1 TB will be free) as well as 60 minutes of free Skype Unlimited Worldwide calling per month.

When the 640 and 640 XL ship, they'll run Windows 8.1, but the Windows 10 upgrade will be available before too long. The 640 XL is shipping globally later this month, while the 640 will come in April.

Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard

But wait, there's more. At its press event today, Microsoft also announced a nifty-looking peripheral called the "Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard," a title that is as informative as it is boring and downplays the allure of the device.

The UF Keyboard looks and feels like a Surface Touch keyboard, right down to the soft gray finish and the size, type and feel of the keys, and it's quite light in the hand. The two halves fold together with a snap and are held there by a magnet hidden under the fabric. Agile typers may find that the split between the two sections of the keyboard is frustrating, but average users will no doubt overlook the issue.

Microsoft did a fine job of providing nice, large keys that don't feel cramped at first touch. When it's folded in half, the keyboard is compact--it's a little larger than a man-sized palm, but it's so thin that it will easily slip into a large pocket in a coat or a purse.


The UF Keyboard is not tied to Windows devices; being a simple Bluetooth 4.0 device, it will work just as well with Android and iOS devices. Specifically, you'll need Windows 8/8.1, iOS 7, or Android 4.3 or later.

You can also pair it with two devices and simply switch between them "with a single touch." To turn it on, simply unfold the keyboard.

Microsoft also said that it has a spill-resistant keyset, so hopefully the first time you spill coffee on it, it will survive to type another day.

The only thing unattractive about the UF Keyboard is the price; it will cost $99.95 (cough, ouch) when it ships in July.

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  • agnickolov
    Now where is the Lumia 640 XS when you need it... I'd much rather have a 4" phone than a 5" one. The previous 4.5" one was already pushing it for me.
  • alextheblue
    Quote:
    Now where is the Lumia 640 XS when you need it... I'd much rather have a 4" phone than a 5" one. The previous 4.5" one was already pushing it for me.

    I used to feel this way too but as I became acclimated to a ~4.5" device I now find it's merely adequate. I find myself headed for a 5" device next upgrade.

    Anyway the specs seem decent and the phones look like nice mid-range models. The article should mention that the smaller one definitely has an LED flash like it's sibling, even if it doesn't get the better (and larger) camera/lens combo. Also the 640 says the battery is removable, I assume that applies to the XL as well? Both come with larger stock batteries than I would have expected out of mid-range Lumias. These models of SoCs/displays don't generally eat up as much power as high-end models so battery life should be good. Even so, being user-replaceable is great and opens the door for upgraded capacities for those who crave it.

    As for the keyboard I really like that it works with all the popular devices. Also, very neat that it can connect to two devices at once and switch between them with the tap of a button.
  • __Miguel_
    Just signing in to chime in about the 1TB OneDrive space offer.

    Unless they changed the subscription model specifically for these two models (I'm assuming the offer is for both of them, right?), the 1TB OneDrive space offer should only be valid for one year.

    That space is actually part of the Office 365 Personal subscription, something that I've been seeing in a few Windows 8 tablets and notebooks, too. Take a look over at https://products.office.com/en-us/office-365-personal for the complete info.