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.


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.