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)|
|SoC||Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (quad-core, 1.2 GHz)|
|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 fpsFront: 0.9 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, SensorCore|
|Battery||2500 mAh (removable)|
|OS||Windows 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.
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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.