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Microsoft Lumia 640 review

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The Microsoft Lumia 640  is one of the three latest smartphones to be launched by Lumia East Africa earlier this month. With a 5 Inch screen it is the smaller sibling to the bigger Microsoft 640 XL. On first impressions this particular phone that I am doing a review has a stunning shiny blue colour that can be changed by purchasing a removable back cover. The gorilla glass protection makes the phone look very expensive, of which its not. The Microsoft Lumia 640 goes for only Ksh19,999 only.

 

With the #AchieveMore campaign, a national consumer promotion was launched to reward customers with five Chevrolet Cruze cars and 40 Lumia 640 XL devices to be won over the promotion period which will run up to 30th June.

 

To participate in the consumer campaign, all one needs to do is purchase any Lumia phone with a valid 12 months warranty in Kenya, activate it and send a text message containing the IMEI number to 22860 during the period.

 

Main features of the Microsoft Lumia 640

The Lumia 640 has a Quadcore 1.2 Ghz qualcomm snapdragon processor with 1 GB RAM. The internal storage is 8 GB but only 3GB is left for the user but do not worry because the memory card slot can accommodate up to 128GB capacity microSD card. The main camera is 8MP and the selfie front camera is 1MP but capable of shooting 720p. The screen size is 5″ navigate-able using an IPS capacitive touch screen and protected by coring Gorilla glass 3 which is very smooth to the touch and very sensitive. If you set the sensitivity to high on settings, you can even use gloves to operate it. The battery capacity is 2500mAh which is enough to last a whole day plus the charger cable is long enough (1.5 metres) enabling use of the smartphone while charging it at the same time. Below are more snapshots of the Lumia 640 showing the volume buttons, mini USB port, backside and battery.

 

mini-usb-port-microsoft-lumia-640 volume-and-power-buttons-on-microsoft-lumia-640

lumia-640-backside-showing-camera-flash-led-and-speaker-port lumia-640-backside-with-battery-removed

 

There is a 3.5mm earphone jack at the top right of the phone which will make sure you enjoy your music in privacy whether its listening to the FM Radio, mp3 files or videos. All that hardware is encased in only 8.8mm thickness of very smooth but also easy to grip plastic.

Basic operations

 

The Microsoft Lumia 640 smartphone has 3 buttons on the right side with the power button at the centre of the phone lengthwise. The volume buttons are on top in an easily reachable place. Screenshots can be taken by holding down the power button and upper volume key for a second only. The main navigation keys are the bottom of the screen like the screen shot below shows.

lumia-640-lock-screen

 

The centre navigation is the iconic windows logo which takes you to the start menu. (The featured photo shows the start menu). To the left is the back icon and on the right is the search logo which uses Bing. Not shocked at all. From the main menu swipe left to reveal the list of all apps which are arranged in Alphabetical order which makes it easy to locate an app you are looking for. From  sleep mode you can wake up the Microsoft Lumia 640 by double tapping on the screen or pressing the power button briefly. There is an app called Lumia Help+Tips which is self explanatory if you get stuck. To see more options, such as settings in an app, tap the three dots at the bottom right corner. If the 3 main menu icons are hidden just slide them up from the bottom of the screen. The main browser is Internet Explorer which has its address bar at the bottom, but you download Opera Mini by visiting the windows store. Notably missing from the list of browsers is chrome browser from google but again its understandable. The Lumia camera really stabilizes photos and makes sure the end result is the best enhanced shot.

 

Extra cool features plus the letter O

The Lumia 640 is 4G enabled but you have to use a 4G SIM card to enjoy 4G internet speeds.  The letter O stands for Office, One drive and One note all of which are available as apps. Inspiration can come at any time and that’s when you need One Note to jot down your notes. The Lumia 640 comes with free 30GB One drive free storage. Office enables you to read documents without having to look for a computer.

In keeping with the 640 theme, I took the following photo in totally dark room this morning. It looks like I typed it somewhere and edited it but the answer is no, its just a photo.

lumia-640-clock

 

This is what I call the sleep mode and as you can see the clock even in total darkness (as well as in the light). As long as you are charging the phone overnight, the clock stays visible but if not charging it will go completely off but a small shake like picking up the phone will make the Digital Clock appear. Missed calls and unread messages will also appear next to the clock.

 

Windows Store

The only social media app that came with the Lumia 640 is Facebook but to down load other apps and games like Twitter, Whatsapp, Vine, Instagram among others go to Windows store. The windows store can be accessed by going to Store on the All Apps list.

 

Weak Point

No USB cable is provided for PC connection but if you get a cable your PC will correctly identify the phone. I use Windows 7 and it worked.

Lastly although the Lumia 640 has a lot of cool features, in Kenya the most important application is MPESA which is quite hard to trace to a beginner.

But this is how to open MPESA on the Lumia 640 smartphone.

From the home menu Go to All apps > settings >  mobile + SIM > SIM settings > SIM Applications. As you can see its a long process of scrolling and tapping.

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