Microsoft’s newest Lumias arrives in the PH
Last April 29, Microsoft Philippines invited the media and various tech and lifestyle bloggers to the unveiling of Microsoft’s latest Lumia offerings in the Philippines – the Lumia 640XL & Lumia 540. These new Lumia devices aim to capture new audiences with Microsoft’s latest low-to-mid range phones.
“People are looking for a device which brings them more flexibility to switch easily between work and play, without breaking the bank” said Gary Chan, Microsoft Devices’ Head of Marketing in Pan Asia. “The Lumia 640 XL keeps people prepared for anything, with the full range of Microsoft experiences – including Office and OneDrive – which Lumia users have come to expect straight out of the box, a superb 5.7 inch HD screen and long lasting battery.”
SPEC SHEET OF LUMIA 640XL
While the Lumia 640XL’s spec sheet does look good on paper, we know that it’s how the device operates that really count.
As a lower mid-range phone, the Lumia 640XL delivers the same Lumia experience that we can expect from its flagship counterpart. As a Lumia 1520 user, I’m blown away at how advanced the technology of the Lumia 640XL that I could hardly feel any difference going through the tiles of the Windows Phone OS. Considering that the 640XL runs on only 1G of RAM versus 2G from the 1520, I hardly felt any lag time on opening apps and even using it’s 13Megapixel camera and the new Lumia Camera app that comes out of the box.
I have to hand it to the guys at Microsoft (and/or former Nokia), they really know how to optimize their devices and the 640XL is no exception.
More than hardware it’s what you can do under the hood that makes the 640XL a compelling device to consider. Aside from the usual array of Microsoft/ Nokia/ Lumia apps, one of the most notable feature of the 640XL is its Microsoft Office Suite. While the Microsoft Office App is available in almost all the Lumias that was ever launched, the 640’s 5.7” screen coupled with forward integration to Office 365 and the inevitable upgrade of the Windows Phone 8.1 OS to Windows 10 makes this a powerful companion for productivity.
On my 1520 alone, I’ve edited tons of Powerpoints, created document and edited press releases . One new(ish) additional feature from the Office suite is the Office Lens – a pretty sick note-taking tool. Snapping photos of notes on whiteboards or business cards isn’t a new behavior. Ever since phones had cameras in them it’s easier to record data and info. The problem is translating that photo into a workable document. Office lens takes care of that. It can crop, align, and convert images into documents and editable pdf formats. Wild!
Microsoft is really trying to win people back to its phone OS not by the hardware specs of the individual devices but trhough the OS’s ecosystem as a whole. I think it’s a smart move, and it’s interesting to see how this will all play out when Windows 10 hits the shelves in a few months’ time.
If there’s one thing that we felt lacking with the Lumia 640XL launch, it’s the fact that this amazing dual-sim Lumia is still not LTE ready. In the day and age of increasing mobile data dependency, LTE is pretty much an absolute must have. However, Gary Chan, Microsoft VP for Marketing in Pan Asia, did mentioned that a Dual-Sim LTE version should be arriving under SMART Telecom very soon. So yay, crisis averted!
With a price tag of Php 11,990.00 the Lumia 640XL stays very much relevant in today’s fast-paced mobile phone landscape. But what makes the price tag more interesting is the promo bundled with it.
Until June 30, every purchase of a Lumia 640XL entitles its new users a year’s worth of Office 365, 60-minutes of Skype Calls to mobile and landline FOR A YEAR and 1 friggin’ Terabyte of One-Drive storage. 1 TERABYTE! You can store your entire life in that and it still wouldn’t be enough! Well, okay, my life. Hehehe.
Microsoft also revealed the Lumia 540 which is the highly-evolved brother of the very successful Lumia 530. The 540 is intended as an entry-level Lumia. Starting at Php7,990.00, the Lumia 540 gives one a proper introduction to the world of Windows Phone.
SPEC SHEET OF THE LUMIA 540
Having been accustomed to phablets, I’d personally reach for the 640XL than the 540 but if you don’t want the extra bulk and processing power, then the 540 is a snazzy little device that helps you organize your life in a jiffy. It comes pre-loaded with the latest Windows Phone OS and the Lumia Denim update so you’ll get the full Lumia experience with this as well.
All-in-all, Microsoft seems to be on the right track offering suitable-speced devices at an affordable price point; and with the suite of freebies bundled to the device it’s hard not to give this Lumia device a chance!