Microsoft’s big mid-rangers arrive for under $400

Large screen phones can come with equally large price tags, but two on the way from Microsoft, formerly Nokia, are making sizeable purchases more available to those not big on spending, well, big.

Two more phones are landing on the shelves of Australian telco stores this week, previewed earlier in the year when Microsoft announced the Lumia 640 and Lumia 640XL handsets at Mobile World Congress in Spain.

Microsoft's 5 inch Lumia 640
Microsoft’s 5 inch Lumia 640

The phones are very similar, and generally separated by screen sizes, batteries sizes, and camera differences, but other than that, are very similar, including 4G, high definition (720p) screens, 8GB storage, microSD slots, 1.2GHz dual-core processors, and Windows Phone 8.1, with the knowledge that you’ll be able to update that to Windows Phone 10 later in the year when that comes out.

But then there are the differences, with the Lumia 640 being the smaller of the two, including a 5 inch display, 2500mAh battery, 1 megapixel front-facing camera, and an 8 megapixel rear camera for $299.

At a hundred bucks more ($399), you’ll find the “extra-large” edition, which is also a little different, including a 5.7 inch display, a 3000mAh battery, and two large cameras accommodating 5 megapixel selfies and 13 megapixel images from the rear camera.

The slightly bigger 5.7 inch Microsoft Lumia 640 XL.
The slightly bigger 5.7 inch Microsoft Lumia 640 XL.

“People are looking for a device which brings them more flexibility to switch easily between work and play, without breaking the bank” said Steve Lewis, General Manager of Microsoft Devices in Australia and New Zealand.

“With the Lumia 640 people will enjoy key benefits that make Windows Phones unique, like Cortana alpha, detail rich photos and personalised Live Tiles, all at a low cost. The release of the Lumia 640XL, a powerful new phablet, reflects the changing ways that consumers are doing business and accessing content, offering easy viewing on the go.”

We’re also told that Microsoft is trying to sweeten the deal by throwing in a 12 month Office 365 subscription to people who purchase the phones, meaning they won’t just have Office on their phones, but also on their actual computers, with a level of synchronisation occurring between both.

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As far as availability goes, Microsoft sends word that Optus will get the Lumia 640 in black and orange, while Telstra will get it in black only, and outright dealers Harvey Norman, Dick Smith, Allphones, and Officeworks will see the $299 Lumia 640 in black, cyan, and white, with release for all of these in May.

Meanwhile, the $399 Lumia 640XL will see release in May too, but with a cyan model from Vodafone, and black and white variants from Harvey Norman, Dick Smith, and JB HIFi.

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  1. I’ve been supporting iOS and Android since 2008 as a Systems Admin with about ~50 handsets… and what can I say? They’re subpar devices when compared to the Microsoft Lumia 640XL.

    It all started when I needed a spare prepaid phone and picked up a Lumia 530. I quickly then changed my primary phone to a Lumia 735, then gave that to one of our staff memebrs and picked up a Lumia 830. That I then sold and grabbed one of the Lumia 640XL’s….

    I can’t speak highly enough of how intuitive and human-like the operation of the phone is.

    A back button that still functions on the home screen? TICK.
    Global device search? TICK
    Double stacked user interface controls? TICK (This makes the Lumia 640XL actually usable with one hand for a majority of tasks…. same can’t be said for an iPhone 6Plus or Android phablet)

    The utter smoothness of the OS and the battery life on every single Lumia echo’s longevity.

    People here at work with their iPhone’s will be lucky to get to 3PM and be at 25% without doing much on their handsets…. The Sony Xperia Z3/Z3C’s we have fair a lot better, but even they don’t compare to the battery life obtained from the Microsoft handsets…

  2. Last time I looked at Lumina it wouldn’t sync with my Outlook unless I used the Cloud, even though stuff with much higher data volumes sync without involving the Cloud. Blackberry does it without problems. Until Microsoft/Nokia (and other providers) provide this technically simple functionality (it used to be in Nokia’s years ago) I won’t be using one.

    1. That is a really poor way of sync’ing data, windows phones can sync with mail servers directly. What you are doing is legacy garbage inherited from the PDA era when there was no onboard data/gsm.

  3. As as Microsoft/Nokia user of 1520 Im awaiting for a better device but i droped it and bent it had to go back to a 720 :/ Im awaiting for the 940xl latter on in the year to have high or better specs then 1520

  4. A $650 quality phone for under $400 is exceptional. And great build quality. I’ve had both an 820 & 830 & would never return to Android. And the integration with my PC & Surface 3 via OneDrive puts it over the top. No its not perfect, but its better than the alternatives.

  5. I have had a Nokia Lumia before as a work phone, and theay are fab for that. I currently have a Lumia 830 & a surface 3 for work as my complete kit for home I have a ipad air, iphone 6 plus and a mac mini attached to out LCDTV with my wife using a MacBook pro Laptop

  6. I think that the problem that Nokia will have here is that no Lumia phone is really notably different. They’re going to have trouble attracting anyone but people who are already fans to newer models in favour of older, cheaper ones.

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