Microsoft Lumia XL – Battery Life
The Lumia 640 XL packs a 3,000mAh removable battery, so it’s a little smaller than the batteries found inside the Galaxy Note 4 and the Nexus 6. With a lower-resolution screen to deal with than those two more expensive phones, it’s still capable of delivering great battery life.
It will comfortably get you a day’s play and it could go for two days if you’re not a power user. Leave it in standby mode, and it reserves that power well. That’s even without tapping into the Battery Saver mode, which can help identify the most power-sapping running applications and disable online data syncing.
Watching an hour episode of Netflix show House of Cards with the battery at 100%, brightness at 50% and Wi-Fi turned on, the drop-off is about 10%. When you’re gaming for 30 minutes, it’s a similar story. More intensive tasks will hit the battery harder but not enough to put the everyday uses like browsing and sending messages in jeopardy.
Powering the Xl back to life from a dead battery is not the quickest, however. A 30-minute charge will get you around 10-15%.
Microsoft Lumia XL – Call Quality and Speakers
Call quality is decent on the XL. It can’t compete with what One M9 and the S6 can offer, but that’s not really a surprise. There’s good clarity and no issues from either end of the phone call to report.
The speaker, which is situated on the back next to the camera sensor, does a good job for music and movie playback as well as speakerphone calls. It’s loud and, unsurprisingly, does sound tinny when you crank the volume up to the max. Overall, we were pleased if not blown away by what the big phone had to offer.
Should I buy the Microsoft Lumia 640 XL?
If the 640 XL wasn’t such a handful to use, we’d have no qualms recommending it. This finally feels like a mid-range Windows Phone that can compete with the best that Android has to offer in the same price bracket.
While the brighter colour options will divide, you can’t question the build quality and that it has little more character than most £200+ phones. The battery life is great, the camera is a solid performer and it’s generally a great phone to use.
There are still those underlying issues with the operating system, namely the app support and just not feeling quite as slick as iOS or Android. Hopefully all of that will change when Windows 10 launches later this year. Right now, it’s still the biggest problem.
Take the same £220 the 640 XL costs and it can get you better specs for the money elsewhere. The OnePlus One costs the same while the 5-inch screen Moto G 2 costs significantly less and has largely the same specs and performance.
If you have to have Windows Phone, and a big screen isn’t a priority, then go for the smaller Lumia 640. It’s design is a little more tacky, but it’s largely the same phone and much better value for money.
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The Lumia 640 XL is an affordable Windows Phone let down by the shortcomings of still evolving operating system and just being too big use comfortably.
How we test phones
We test every mobile phone we review thoroughly. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly and we use the phone as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Score in detail
Battery Life 8
Calls & Sound 7
Screen Quality 8