By Rich W Woods
Yesterday, I published a comparison between the Nokia Lumia 635 and the Microsoft Lumia 640, proving that the Microsoft Lumia 640 is a massive upgrade from the Nokia Lumia 635. It even changed my position on the 6xx series of Lumias from good low end phones to decent mid-range phones.
The same thing goes for the second generation Moto E. The second generation, is, like the Microsoft Lumia 640, a massive upgrade from its predecessor. The key difference here is that the Moto E made its main improvements in the processor and the Lumia 640 made its improvements everywhere else, although I should say that they both improved battery.
Microsoft Lumia 640 vs Moto E: Specs
|Microsoft Lumia 640||Moto E|
|Processor||1.2 GHz Quad Core Snapdragon 400||3G – 1.2 GHz Quad Core Snapdragon 200, LTE – 1.2 GHz Quad Core Snapdragon 410|
|GPU||Adreno 306||3G – Adreno 302, LTE – Adreno 306|
|Display||5″, 720p, 294 ppi, IPS LCD||4.5″, 540×960, 245 ppi, IPS LCD|
|Body||141.3×72.2×8.8 mm, 145 g||129.9×66.8×12.3 mm , 145 g|
|Camera||8 MP, 3264×2448, 1 MP Front||5 MP, 2592х1944, 0.3 MP Front|
|Video||720p – 30 fps, Front 720p – 30 fps||720p – 30 fps, Front 480p – 30 fps|
|Storage||8 GB, Expandable to 128 GB||8 GB, Expandable to 32 GB|
|RAM||1 GB||1 GB|
|Battery||2500 mAh||2390 mAh|
|Price||???||3G – $119, LTE – $149|
I really wish I had a price tag for the Lumia 640 in the United States. I’ve heard it will cost $99 when locked to a carrier, although I’m not sure if that’s the 3G model or the LTE model. On the other hand, Expansys is selling the unlocked LTE model for $219, so who knows?
The problem is, when you compare mid-range or low end phones, it’s always a question of which phone gives you more bang for your buck. Obviously, when you look at the spec sheet, you can see that the Microsoft Lumia 640 trumps the Moto E in every way except for the 64 bit processor in the LTE Moto E. If you can snag a Lumia 640 LTE for $149 or a 3G Lumia 640 for $119, why wouldn’t you? Of course, the Moto E is unlocked.
Microsoft Lumia 640 vs Moto E: Rear Camera
The big difference between the camera on the Microsoft Lumia 640 and the camera on the Moto E is that the camera on the Lumia 640 has a flash. It’s a single LED flash, which doesn’t account for much, but it’s still a flash where the Moto E doesn’t have one.
The Microsoft Lumia 640 has the higher resolution rear camera, coming in at 8 MP with the Moto E coming in at 5 MP. I can tell you that resolution doesn’t matter and you won’t be able to tell the difference. Many will agree and go so far as to say “A higher resolution doesn’t necessarily take a better picture”. I would take it a step further and say that if a higher resolution camera takes a better picture, it’s a coincidence.
I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention the camera apps that these phones use. The Moto E uses the standard Moto Camera app. It’s a little weird to get used to at first. Instead of tap to focus, it has a drag to focus and the user taps to snap the photo. There is a circle where the image will be focused and the user can drag the circle to other parts of the image. The only problem with this is sometimes it’s hard to tell if the image will be focused well when you take the picture. For example, if you’re too close to the subject to get a good focus, you’ll be left with a blurry mess.
The Moto Camera app also doesn’t allow the user to make any manual settings, unlike the Lumia Camera app. The Microsoft Lumia 640 runs Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2, meaning that it also has the coveted Lumia Camera 5.
Lumia Camera 5, like its predecessors, allows the user to control white balance, ISO, shutter speed, focus, and brightness. There is also a feature called Rich Capture, which allows the user to take a picture and adjust the exposure by using a simple slider. This really comes in handy on a photo taken with a flash.
Now I could talk about these two cameras all day, but let’s just look at some samples instead, yes? Please note that in order to enlarge the images, simply click or tap on them. To view the full size image, there is a link in the carousel.
|Microsoft Lumia 640||Moto E|
I was really impressed with the Moto E’s camera when I first started reviewing it; however, like with all Motorola phones, it just sucks in low light. I also mentioned that the Lumia 640 has a flash, so here’s what those two nighttime photos look like with the flash.
As I said earlier, it’s not much of a flash, but it’s still a flash.
Overall, I would say that the Lumia 640 wins this one, if only because the Moto Camera app is so bad and the lack of a flash. However, the photos taken with the Microsoft Lumia 640 might be a bit too saturated.
Microsoft Lumia 640 vs Moto E: Front Camera
I mentioned earlier that resolution doesn’t matter. It does in this case. That’s because the resolution on the Moto E’s front camera is just so low, coming in at 0.3 MP while the Lumia 640 comes in at 1 MP, which is a massive difference. Have a look.
As you can see, the resolution is just too low on the Moto E to produce a decent photo with the front camera. Also, it blurs near the edges. I’m not sure if they’re trying to go for some kind of effect or if they wanted to cram the pixels into the center or what, but it’s bad.
Microsoft Lumia 640 vs Moto E: Benchmarks
I am not a believer in benchmarks. They so rarely provide any insight into real world performance. Unfortunately, they are the best tool we have for putting the performance of a device on paper (or a screen. You know what I mean).
The problem here is that we’re comparing a Windows Phone to an Android phone, meaning we’re using completely different benchmark tools, so take them with a grain of salt.
I normally do battery tests on iOS and Android with Geekbench 3; however, it’s not available on Windows Phone so I use WP Bench. AnTuTu is available on both platforms; however, the Windows Phone version is version 0.8, so who knows if it’s even accurately measuring the same things the same way? Nevertheless, I’ll show you the results I came up with.
As you can see, these are really not numbers that you can put stock in. The battery life of the Microsoft Lumia 640 is the best I’ve ever seen from a Windows Phone. Also, are we to assume that a Snapdragon 410 with 1 GB of RAM does that much better than a Snapdragon 400 with 1 GB of RAM?
Ultimately, both of these phones will deliver a tremendous amount of value for their price, whatever Microsoft offers the Lumia 640 for. It all comes down to personal preferences.