Microsoft Lumia 640 review: Outgrowing the mold

Outgrowing the mold

GSMArena team, 18 May 2015.

Unboxing the Microsoft Lumia 640

The Microsoft Lumia 640 retail package is a bit barren - the phone itself, some guides to get you started and a charger with a detachable microUSB cable. Pretty standard so far, but there's no headset.

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This was a rather short unboxing

While most in-box headsets are not high-quality and get tossed in a drawer somewhere, considering the price range of the 640 any headset would have been nice to have. Not everyone has a quality pair available, especially one with a mic.

Microsoft Lumia 640 360° spin

The Nokia Lumia 640 measures 141.3 x 72.2 x 8.8mm and weighs 145g. That's a bit tall for a 5" device (considering no hardware keys or front stereo speakers), a touch wide too. The phone is pleasingly thin though, considering its price point and 2,500mAh battery.

The higher-end Lumia 830 (better camera mostly) is 139.4 x 70.7 x 8.5mm, while the iPhone 6 is 138.1 x 67 x 6.9mm (with a smaller 4.7" screen). Note that there's a Lumia 640 XL with 5.7" screen, though that's a separate device.

Hardware overview

The Lumia family has two basic designs - one with smoothly arched back and sides and one with flat top and bottom. The Lumia 640 is of the first kind like most phones Microsoft has produced. This offers familiarity but will not excite with any novelty. Not that we expected design wonders for an affordable handset, most of its budget is spent on getting the screen and camera.

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The Lumia genes are unmistakable

The design dictates a glass front - Gorilla Glass 3 for added scratch resistance in this case - and a polycarbonate shell on the back that comes off. This shell has either a matte or glossy finish, depending on which color you pick. There's Glossy Cyan, Orange, White, Matte Black to choose from and wrap around the side to spruce up the dull black of the front.

The material is not the top quality material we've seen in the Lumia 9 series and fingerprints are fairly visible on the Matte Black version we have in the office. Still, the shell feels pretty durable and you can swap it out easily to keep the look of your phone fresh.

The Lumia 640 is a bit large for a 5" phone, with glaring bezels around the screen. It's not much taller or wider than an iPhone 6 though, so most people should manage it just fine. However, if you were looking for a compact phone you'll have to head over to the 5-series. At 145g the phone feels the right weight for its volume.

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Lumia 640 nails the weight but the bezels are bigger than perfect

Anyway, the bezels only look empty. Above the screen is a 1MP camera that shoots 720p video - the presence of a camera is an upgrade over the Lumia 630/635. It may not be that great for selfies, but enough good Skype videos.

There's also a proximity sensor, the Lumia 630/635 doesn't have one, for example.

The earpiece and mouthpiece are notched out of the front glass. There's an ambient light sensor in the upper right too.

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A selfie camera and proximity sensor are upgrades over the 630

The only hardware buttons on the phone are on the right side, a part of the color shell. The Volume rocker is fairly comfy to use though the Power button is a bit low, especially if you try to push it with the thumb of your right hand. There's no shutter key here and we miss the times when Microsoft mandated those.

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The Power button rides a bit too low on the right side

The wired ports on the Lumia 640 are split between the top and the bottom - the 3.5mm audio jack goes above, the microUSB 2.0 port goes below.

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3.5mm audio jack above and microUSB 2.0 port below

The 8MP camera is positioned on the mid-line on the back, but it's some distance off the top edge. This leaves you enough room to put your finger there to hold the phone steady, without covering the camera and smudging its lens. A single-LED flash is next to the camera to be used for low-light shots and torch, something previous generations of 6-series Lumias lacked. It's a very cheap addition, considering how annoying it is to not have a flash.

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The 8MP camera leaves enough room for your fingers for a stable grip while shooting

The small round grill for the loudspeaker is in the lower right corner. The camera and speaker are pretty flush with the back, which is good design-wise, but leaves the camera lens open to scratches and muffles the speaker. The back cover comes off, giving you access to the battery and card slots - one or two microSIMs and a microSD.

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Small grill is the loudspeaker's only outlet

Reader comments

Hi there, I would like to know how to update.

I am going to date another review about my experience about the Lumia 640 after having used it during these months, but I am not going to refer to it due to the operating system (end of 2019 support), the applications, the sound, the quality of the s...

  • abdallah al.brazgy
  • 11 Dec 2020
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