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Microsoft Lumia 640 XL

The Lumia 640's big brother gives a whole lot of screen

Microsoft Lumia 640 XL review
The Lumia 640 XL is the phablet-sized brother of the Lumia 640

With the usual Windows Phone caveats, the Lumia 640 XL is a strong device from Microsoft. Not a terribly powerful handset but the lacklustre internal components and a slightly cheap feel are made up for by a nice big screen, good battery life and that appealing price point.

As for Windows Phone 8.1, not everyone wants the latest must-have app – for some of you, Office is probably far more important than Periscope. It's still playing catch-up to iOS and Android but you do get Office for a year and Windows 10 Mobile is imminent.

Microsoft Lumia 640 XL review

We liked

Using the Lumia 640 XL for a week was a surprisingly pleasurable experience. It's solid if unspectacular in its build quality, the display pops nicely and the camera isn't going to let you down.

Having a phone with battery life that you don't need to worry about is a refreshing change, too - especially when the screen is as big as it is on the Lumia 640 XL.

We disliked

You don't get the fine craftsmanship of something like the iPhone 6 or the Nexus 6 here, with the plastic body feeling cheap, yet sturdy in the hand.

The screen is low-res by today's standards and the internal storage space isn't really adequate – factor in the cost of a microSD card when you're working out if you want to make a purchase.

Microsoft Lumia 640 XL

Final verdict

Microsoft promises it has some Windows 10-powered flagship phones in the pipeline, and it's unfair to compare the Lumia 640 XL to the Galaxy S6 and the best models on the market.

If you're on a budget and you want a big phablet-style handset, then give the Lumia 640 XL some serious consideration. The only unknown is how much of a difference Windows 10 is going to make, so you might want to hold off for a few months until the first reviews appear.

Hardware-wise, it's a very good value handset for the price. In terms of software, iOS and Android still have the edge in several areas, so be sure to weigh up the pros and cons before you decide this is the phone for you.

First reviewed: April 2015