Microsoft Lumia 640 – Software and Performance
The main selling point of the Lumia 640 is that it shows off the best features of the Windows mobile ecosystem, which includes Microsoft’s enterprise tools.
If you already use Office you’ll appreciate having its tools in your pocket wherever you go. To give people a taste of the benefits that Windows Phone offers, Microsoft is throwing in a year’s subscription to Microsoft Office 365 Personal worth £59.99 when you purchase the Lumia 640. Microsoft Office 365 Personal gives you fully installed versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, and offers 1TB of online storage. The package also comes with free Skype calls to mobile phones in eight selected countries and landlines in 60+ countries.
Considering the phone can be picked up for as little as £119.99, that’s great value.
If you need a hand getting organised, Microsoft’s voice assistant software, Cortana, is on hand to put appointments in your diary and create location-based reminders. It’s a useful tool and one that works well. It may not know the meaning of life, but it will remind you to buy washing-up liquid when you go into Sainsbury’s.
LEFT: It’s very telling that the top apps in the Windows Mobile store are either owned by Microsoft or Facebook
The Lumia 640 is well equipped when it comes to Microsoft applications, but the system still struggles with third-party app support. The most popular apps, such as Facebook and Twitter, have been integrated into Windows 8.1 well, but the Instagram app has been in beta for over a year now – a sign there’s still some work to be done in this department.
The Lumia 640 has a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor with 1GB RAM, which is becoming standard for affordable mobiles these days. It means that it handles everyday operations without much bother, but does experience a little lag when trying to open apps and select options. The 640 does well with 3D games, too. We put it through its paces playing the frenetic Asphalt 8: Airborne and it had no issues. The gameplay was uninterrupted and fast, despite the graphics lacking the smoothness you’d get from a more capable top-tier phone.
For the price its performance is great, but Windows really needs to sort out the app store experience and variety. It’s the one thing holding back this system.