Microsoft’s Lumia 640 will finally arrive here in the United States on Friday for the first time: Cricket Wireless will sell the handset–which sports a 5-inch HD display and LTE capabilities–for just $130 off-contract.
“Cricket Wireless and Microsoft make balancing your work life and personal life a whole lot easier with the Lumia 640, featuring 4G LTE technology,” the Cricket announcement reads. “Cricket will be the first carrier in the U.S. to offer consumers the powerful smartphone with free services like Office 365 Personal and Skype calling, provided by Microsoft – available to consumers who purchase from Cricket between May 15 and June 30.”
Microsoft announced the Lumia 640–and the phablet-class Lumia 640 XL, which boasts a bigger screen and a better camera–way back in February at Mobile World Congress. At the time, I noted that the specs–which you can see below–were right in the middle of the market, which is sort of an improvement from the usual bottom of the barrel low-end Lumia products Microsoft has been shipping of late.
But now that we have a real-world price, we can compare the Lumia 640 (and the XL, though that isn’t part of this announcement–to other low-cost Windows Phone devices you can buy sans contract. A no-contract Lumia 635, for example, can be had for just $46 right now, but this is a decidedly low-end phone. And the Lumia 535, which has a bigger (but dim) screen, is about $120 in GSM/international unlocked form.
The Lumia 640 is the better deal. For just $10 more-ish than the 535, you get real AT&T-compatible LTE capabilities if you want ’em. This could actually be used as a phone.
Here’s a rundown of the core specs.
Processor. 1.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor.
RAM. 1 GB.
Storage. 8 GB internal with microSD expansion.
Screen. 5-inch HD (720 x 1280) ClearBlack IPS display with sunlight readability enhancements.
Sensors. Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Magnetometer, SensorCore.
Cameras. 8 megapixel rear camera with auto-focus and LED flash, .9 MP wide angle front-facing camera.
Basically, this phone, while middle-of-the-road, is a big step up from the Lumia 635 and 535, and for a reasonable price. I may have to grab one, though I am admittedly far more interested in the 640 XL, mostly because of the superior camera. No word yet on when we can expect that one.