By Rich W Woods
I love the Microsoft Lumia 640 XL. I have been having so much fun with it. Technically, it’s the successor to the Nokia Lumia 1320; however, we didn’t see a lot of the Lumia 1320 here in the United States. The only carrier that saw it was Cricket Wireless, a small carrier.
Needless to say, I don’t have a Lumia 1320 to compare the Lumia 640 XL to, so the next best thing is going to be the Nokia Lumia 635. Now, before I get into it, I want to point out a few things, because while I don’t have a Lumia 1320 on hand to compare it to, I have reviewed the Nokia Lumia 1320, so there are a few key points to make.
The Nokia Lumia 1320 was not a great phone. It was great at being a budget phablet; however, it was very thick, bulky, and heavy. Carrying it around in my pocket made me not want to carry it around in my pocket. It was very uncomfortable.
You don’t get that feeling with the Microsoft Lumia 640 XL. The Microsoft Lumia 640 XL is surprisingly light. It has a better camera as well. The Nokia Lumia 1320 only had a 0.3 MP front camera, which just isn’t enough. It also had a 5 MP rear camera, so you’ll see similar results from the Nokia Lumia 635 as you would from the Nokia Lumia 1320.
One major boost is performance. Like all of the original Windows Phone 8 devices, the Nokia Lumia 1320 used a dual core 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 Plus processor, which really didn’t stand up once Windows Phone 8.1 dropped.
I went on a bit of a tangent there comparing the Microsoft Lumia 640 XL to the Nokia Lumia 1320, but it was important. When I get a new phone to review, I start doing these comparisons to familiarize myself with the device, and the best place to start is by comparing it to its successor. The Microsoft Lumia 640 XL is off to a really good start.
Nokia Lumia 635 vs Microsoft Lumia 640 XL: Specs
|Nokia Lumia 635||Microsoft Lumia 640 XL|
|CPU||1.2 GHz Quad Core Snapdragon 400||1.2 Ghz Quad Core Snapdragon 400|
|GPU||Adreno 305||Adreno 305|
|Display||4.5″, 480p, 221 ppi, IPS LCD||5.7″, 720p, 259 ppi, IPS LCD|
|Body||129.5×66.7×9.2 mm, 134 g||157.9×81.5×9 mm, 171 g|
|Camera||5 MP, 2592х1944||13 MP, 4128×3096, 5 MP Front|
|Video||720p – 30 fps||1080p – 30 fps, Front 1080p – 30 fps|
|Storage||8 GB, Expandable to 128 GB||8 GB, Expandable to 128 GB|
|RAM||1 GB||1 GB|
|Batery||1830 mAh||3000 mAh|
|Price||AT&T – $49, T-Mobile – $79, Unlocked – $129, Sprint – $179||???|
As you can see, there are significant improvements here. They made massive battery improvements. Even the Lumia 640 uses a 2500 mAh battery. I’ll show off the battery tests later, but here’s a spoiler. The Lumia 640 XL gets almost six hours of screen on time (SoT), more than any Windows Phone I’ve ever witnessed.
The camera is also a massive improvement. The sensor is bigger, coming in at 1/3″ while both the Lumia 635 and Lumia 640 use 1/4″ sensors. The aperture is much larger as well, coming in at f/2 while the Lumia 635 is f/2.4 and the Lumia 640 is f/2.2, so you can expect better low light performance from the Lumia 640 XL.
I would also point out that the Lumia 640 XL has a larger sensor, larger aperture, higher resolution, better front camera, larger battery, same processor, same RAM, same storage, and same screen resolution as the Lumia 830 at half the price. The only thing the Lumia 830 has that the Lumia 640 XL does not is optical image stabilization (OIS) in the rear camera.
The display is not so much an improvement, as the Nokia Lumia 1320 also had a 720p display. After all, on a display this big, 480p just wouldn’t work. Hell, it barely works on the 4.5″ Nokia Lumia 635 display.
Nokia Lumia 635 vs Microsoft Lumia 640 XL: Camera
There are really some massive improvements to the camera here. It really goes to show what Microsoft wants the 6xx brand to be. The Lumia 6xx brand is no longer the mid-range brand the straddles the border for the low end. This is a strong mid-range contender.
The Microsoft Lumia 640 XL has a 13 MP rear shooter, which blows away anything we’ve seen that’s not in the flagship range. From what I can find, I can’t think of another Lumia that has an aperture that large, at f/2 either.
The Microsoft Lumia 640 XL also uses a Zeiss lens. The only thing that the Microsoft Lumia 640 XL lacks is optical image stabilization, which is why it is not classified as a Pureview camera. Honestly, you wouldn’t even consider the Lumia 635 and the Lumia 640 XL to be in the same class if they weren’t numbered the same way. It is so refreshing to see Microsoft take the mid-range seriously.
The Lumia 640 XL also has Lumia Camera 5, which the Lumia 635 doesn’t have, nor does any Lumia other than the Lumia 830, 930, Icon, or 1520. Lumia Camera 5 has a feature called Rich Capture, a wonderful feature that allows the user to adjust exposure after he takes the photo.
Please note that in order to enlarge the photos, simply click or tap on them. To view the full size images, there is a link in the carousel.
|Nokia Lumia 635||Microsoft Lumia 640 XL|
As we can see, the Microsoft Lumia 640 XL is a massive improvement. Of course, we knew it would be. It was only a question of how much, and the answer to that question: massive.
The Microsoft Lumia 640 XL also rocks a 5 MP front camera, where the Nokia Lumia 635 doesn’t have a front camera at all. Keep in mind that the Nokia Lumia 1320 has a 0.3 MP front camera and the Microsoft Lumia 640 uses a 1 MP front camera.
The front camera on the Microsoft Lumia 640 XL really looks great. I’m looking forward to comparing it to the OnePlus One, which I have long considered to have the best front camera on the market.
Nokia Lumia 635 vs Microsoft Lumia 640 XL: Benchmarks
I don’t put a lot of stock into benchmarks. They rarely provide any insight into real world usage of a device. Unfortunately, they are the best tool we have for writing down the performance of a device.
First off, we have a battery test. There is no Geekbench 3 on Windows Phone, so I use WP Bench. There is no dim screen option like there is in Geekbench 3, so the only results we have are with full brightness.
|Nokia Lumia 635||Microsoft Lumia 640 XL|
As we can see, the Microsoft Lumia 640 XL blows away the Nokia Lumia 635 with that powerful 3000 mAh battery. I have a OneDrive folder full of screenshots just like the ones you see above. That is the best battery life I’ve ever seen from a Windows Phone.
We also have your standard AnTuTu benchmarks. I wouldn’t expect these to vary by much, as they use the same processor; however, the Lumia 640 XL does have double the RAM with 1 GB, where the Lumia 635 has 512 MB.
By the way, that extra RAM is important. There are apps that you don’t have access to in the Store with 512 MB of RAM. It would appear that 1 GB RAM is the direction Microsoft is heading, as all of the new phones, even the lowest end Lumias, use 1 GB of RAM.
Nokia Lumia 635 vs Microsoft Lumia 640 XL: Conclusion
The purpose here was really not to compare the Nokia Lumia 635 and the Microsoft Lumia 640 XL. The purpose was to introduce the Microsoft Lumia 640 XL.
The point was to see how it measures up to other Lumias in general, including the Lumia 635, Lumia 640, Lumia 830, and Lumia 1320. A quick recap.
We saw that the Lumia 640 XL blows away the Lumia 635 from every aspect. The only difference between the Lumia 640 and the Lumia 640 XL is that the Lumia 640 XL has a larger display, better camera, and a larger battery.
The Lumia 640 XL is superior to the Lumia 830 in almost every way. It has a much better front camera and a larger battery. The rear camera has a higher resolution, larger sensor, and larger aperture. The only thing that the Lumia 830 has that the Lumia 640 XL does not is OIS, and that the Lumia 830 is double the price, at $499 for the unlocked model. Everything else is the same: processor, screen resolution, RAM, etc. The Nokia Lumia 830 has to be the most expensive phone in the world to use a Snapdragon 400 processor.
Then there’s the Nokia Lumia 1320, the real phone that the Lumia 640 XL succeeded. While the Lumia 640 XL and the Lumia 1320 have the same display resolution, RAM, and onboard storage, there’s a load of improvements here.
The big one is that it’s lighter and thinner. The Lumia 1320 was just so thick and heavy, making it very uncomfortable to carry around. Then, there’s the massive camera improvements. A 0.3 MP front camera is really not good for anything aside from Skype. Assume that the Lumia 1320 has the same rear camera as the Lumia 635.
There’s also the issue of the processor. Every Windows Phone made prior to the Nokia Lumia 1520 used dual core Snapdragon S4 Plus processors, which is why those phones are so slow now, such as the Lumia 920, 1020, and so on.
In short, the Microsoft Lumia 640 XL is not only a massive improvement, but it’s really an enjoyable phone. I’m looking forward to spending more time with it.