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Microsoft's Lumia 640 (LTE) Launching On Cricket Wireless May 15; Where Else, Nobody Knows

Back at Mobile World Congress, Microsoft unveiled the low-cost Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL, promising an April release date. April has come and gone, but apparently, the Lumia 640 (LTE version, presumably single-SIM) will be available as early as this Friday in the U.S. on Cricket Wireless.

Cricket, a subsidiary of AT&T, said that it's the first carrier to offer the Lumia 640, so when the device (and its bigger brother, the Lumia 640 XL) will be available on other carriers remains to be seen. On AT&T itself, the 640 XL is listed as "coming soon," but there's no mention of the 640 at all.

Microsoft's own site indicated that the Lumia 640 will come to T-Mobile and MetroPCS. There are no carrier hints on the Lumia 640 XL's page, though; it just says "coming soon." T-Mobile's Lumia 640 page also says "coming soon," with no mention of the 640 XL. On Verizon's and Sprint's sites? Nothing.

Those who purchase Cricket Wireless' Lumia 640 between May 15 and June 30 will get a free year of Skype calling (60 minutes per month), up to 30 GB of free OneDrive storage, and a free year of Office 365 Personal, which includes access to full Microsoft Office apps.

Check out the specs below:

Lumia 640 (LTE Dual Sim)
SoCQualcomm Snapdragon 400 (quad-core, 1.2 GHz)
RAM1 GB
Storage-8 GB onboard-up to 128 GB microSD -30 GB free OneDrive
Display5-inch HD (1280 x 720)
CamerasBack: 8 MP AF, 1080p HD @ 30 fpsFront: 0.9 MP 720p HD wide angle, f/2.4
ConnectivityBT 4.0, microUSB 2.0, Micro SIM, A-GPS+GLONASS, BeiDou, NFC, DLNA, Screen cloning with Miracast, WLAN 802.11 b/g/n/
SensorsAccelerometer, Magnetometer, Proximity, Ambient Light Sensor, SensorCore
Battery2500 mAh (removable)
OSWindows 10 Mobile?

Considering what we saw recently at Microsoft's Build Conference and the upcoming Windows 10 Mobile OS, which is simply an extension of full Windows 10, that free year of Office 365 may be one of the key selling points of the 640. That would also be timely, because the popularity of Windows Phone Windows 10 Mobile has dwindled into the rounding error zone in the U.S. market. Unleashing an inexpensive but reasonably-spec'd handset like this one in the U.S. is likely a sound strategy.

Related:

It's no mistake that Microsoft chose Cricket Wireless as the first U.S. carrier to offer the Lumia 640. Cricket offers inexpensive yet compelling service for people who don't want to (or can't) pay for an expensive smartphone plan. Likewise, the Lumia 640 is an inexpensive yet compelling device for people who don't want to (or can't) pay for an expensive flagship smartphone.

The Lumia 640 will be available both online and in brick-and-mortar Cricket locations on Friday, May 15 for $129.99.

Seth Colaner is the News Director at Tom's Hardware. Follow him on Twitter @SethColaner. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

  • DelightfulDucklings
    Really hope they bring out a new flagship Windows phone soon, as good as these phones do run for their price I'm not really in that area of the market
    Reply
  • alextheblue
    Really hope they bring out a new flagship Windows phone soon, as good as these phones do run for their price I'm not really in that area of the market

    There's strong rumors about 840 and 940 models, but I don't know that they'll bother launching them with 8.1 with 10 just around the corner. I'm thinking they'll launch something higher-end when they release 10 Mobile. Especially after what happened between MS and Verizon with the Icon. Here you had a flagship phone and they had to fight with Verizon to get the latest firmware and 8.1 update, it took forever. They don't want a repeat of that mess. Developer previews aren't the solution for the masses, and they don't include changes that have to be made at a firmware level.
    Reply
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    Every time I read about a phone launching "on" some carrier, I can't help but scoff... when will Americans realize they're being swindled? The rest of the world doesn't equate phones with a contract. Makes for a much healthier market.
    Reply
  • Luis Melo
    It's already selling here on Brasil since last Week. Dont know if it's the 4G version.
    Reply
  • alextheblue
    Every time I read about a phone launching "on" some carrier, I can't help but scoff... when will Americans realize they're being swindled? The rest of the world doesn't equate phones with a contract. Makes for a much healthier market.

    What you're saying doesn't really affect us that much. For one thing there's nothing stopping you from buying off-contract phones in the US. They have a wide range of devices, and several carriers offer cheaper plans for those without a contract. I could pick up that new LG Lancet on VZW for cheap and run on their Edge plan. If Verizon has the best coverage in my area, that's who I would get service from.

    Even if everyone woke up tomorrow and said "I'll never buy a phone on contract ever again!" it doesn't change our market all that much. We have a lot of area to cover and you use whatever carrier is best suited to your needs. If you live in a city with excellent coverage by the smaller carriers, don't need the fastest data, and you don't travel a lot, you can save a lot of money. For many other Americans, you want coverage wherever you go, fast data, etcetera, and that means big carriers.

    Plus keep in mind certain devices only work on certain networks. Regardless of whether or not you as an individual buy on or off contract doesn't affect what deals OEMs strike with carriers (who then push these products at their stores). You can buy a phone off-contract anywhere but it's only guaranteed to work with certain networks. It's easier to get a phone from your carrier directly for most people anyway, even if you buy off-contract. That way if there's any issues they can handle it at your local branch. I've dealt with independent shops and they suck.

    TLDR: You have options either way here depending on what you want and need. It's not a big deal.
    Reply
  • Vaida Cristian
    Microsoft's Lumia phones are the biggest joke ever in the smartphone industry. U buy a microsoft lumia phone to find out that u cannot use many applications, u do not even have the essential block unwanted number application. I have Nokia Lumia 800 and because i cannot run windows 8 on it many applications do not work anymore. Plus if u played an online game like Castle clash on your phone u can forget about your nice account because Microsoft doesn not have a civilized policy with many mobile games corporations. What i want to say is that Microsoft does not care about his clients in the Lumia bussines he just want's to sell bad phones.
    Reply
  • MWCCC
    U is a letter, not a word. :)
    Reply