Using the Microsoft Lumia 640 LTE was an experience that I did not expect to enjoy quite so much. Coming from a Nokia Lumia 930 as my daily driver, I was surprised at how much of the overall quality of the Windows Phone experience could be found at the lower end of the market.
With a 720p screen that boasts wide-viewing angles and a pixel density of 294 PPI, the Microsoft Lumia 640 is excellent for reading text on the web, gaming and watching movies on the go. Colour accuracy is strong, given that it is an LCD screen, and Glance mode is supported, along with double-tap, which are nice add-ons for the price.
Boasting 2500mAh, the battery life of the Lumia 640 is consistently excellent. It is easy to make it through a full day of work with enough juice to spare for a gaming session on the commute, along with some reading along the way.
The 8MP rear-facing camera is excellent. In most situations, colours are accurately represented and detail is even throughout, with good sharpness levels present consistently. This is supplemented by the clever Rich Capture mode, which makes shooting in low light easier.
Though the Microsoft Lumia 640 is an attractive device, the signature build quality of the Lumia line seems to have been found somewhat lacking, The plastic shell running around the device betrays its budget origins and doesn't feel as though it could take a knock as easily as its predecessors were able to.
While the Snapdragon 400 is a strong performer, as Qualcomm releases newer chips not only in the 400 line, but others in its budget range, it is a shame to see Windows Phone stuck in the past once again. With the likes of the Moto E (2015) receiving the Snapdragon 410, along with all of its improvements, Windows Phone is once again in danger of looking as though it is stuck in the past.
And, as ever, the app situation on Windows Phone still lags behind. Apps are updated infrequently, if they are present at all, with the store lacking most of the vibrancy that has become a hallmark of the Android and iOS app stores.
Despite its somewhat cheap design and the occasional quirk, the Microsoft Lumia 640 is a remarkably well-rounded device. With an excellent screen, a nice camera, strong battery life and good general performance, this is a phone that should easily suit the lifestyles of most.
This is Microsoft's challenge to the Moto G, and with sales of the latest device in the line failing to hit the heights set by its predecessor, the time is right to strike.
With 30GB of free OneDrive storage and a year's subscription to Office 365 for those who purchase the device, the Lumia is an easy sell for most people.
Despite this, two major question marks hang over the device, the first being Windows 10. Set to debut later this year, Microsoft's major update to its operating ecosystem will bring major changes, and whether these will wash away the tentative footsteps made by Windows Phone into the mobile market is yet to be seen.
The second is simply that of future proofing. As other devices are becoming cheaper and more powerful, especially the likes of the Honor Holly, for how long will besting the Moto G be a true measure of success?
For the price, unlocked and with access to 4G, along with all the other bells and whistles, this is a remarkably complete package from Microsoft, which bodes well for later in the year. This is a smartphone for anyone, and as such is well worth your hard-earned currency.
First reviewed: April 2015