1. chancooluk's Avatar
    My Lumia 640 Review for Windows Central Forums:

    Main points to take from this review/comparison (if you can’t be bothered to read it all):
    • Sturdy build quality, feels better built than the 535

    • Almost identical to the Lumia 635 in design and construction (apart from size)

    • Great camera image quality in good light

    • Average camera image quality in low-light

    • Screen is high quality, with better viewing angles and refresh rates than the Lumia 830

    • No touch sensor problems (as in Lumia 535); recognises 10 touch points without issues.

    • Fantastic value for money (in the UK at least), easily beats the nearest competition


    All full resolution Images taken using the Lumia 640, Lumia 830, and Lumia 635 can be found in the OneDrive Album linked here: http://1drv.ms/1CBWrRt. I recommend downloading the entire folder. Each file is named with the Lumia model, camera app and settings used.

    This review isn't going to go in-depth with the OS software, or the improvements brought by GDR2, I will keep to discussing hardware in the main and only bring up software where needed.

    Design and construction:

    The Lumia 640 is basically a Lumia 635 XL. The two phones share an almost identical design, only the 640 has a 5" screen vs. the 4.5" screen on the 635. The 640 has more in common with the 635 than the 640 XL does with the 640. It feels well built and sturdy; there is none of the flex or creaking which can be found on the cheaper Lumia 535, which uses thinner plastic to form its removable battery cover.





    I have two versions of the 640 LTE at the moment, a matte black version, and a bright orange glossy version. The matte version is the same slippy plastic that's used on the 630/635 matte covers, it doesn't feel particularly high end (not that it's meant to), and the lack of a soft touch coating (see Lumia 520, Moto E) is disappointing. The glossy cover on the other hand feels much nicer in my hand, it uses the same translucent band around the outer edge as was used on the glossy covers for the 635 (similar to the dual colour covers from the Lumia 620). This means the glossy covers are actually slightly larger than the matte covers (about 1-2mm wider and taller). The slight increase in size isn't noticeable in the hand, but it might cause issues when buying a fitted case. It depends on whether the manufacturers have used the matte or glossy covers when designing their cases. I personally prefer the feel of the glossy cover over the matte cover, but being glossy it is likely to pick up scratches and fingerprints at a much faster rate.



    Screen (5" HD-IPS with Clearblack (although not branded as such)):

    The screen on the Lumia 640 looks remarkably similar (again) to the clearblack screen on the Lumia 635. The blacks have a slight (barely noticeable) purple/blue tint. I was expecting the Lumia 640 screen to be exactly the same as the screen used on the Lumia 830, as I just assumed they would use the same parts to keep costs down.



    I was surprised to find that the screen actually appears to be of higher quality on the Lumia 640. Colours when viewed head-on are very similar on both screens, but viewing angles are much improved on the Lumia 640, which looks good from a diagonal angle, whereas the Lumia 830 gets washed out easily. Blacks also look much deeper on the Lumia 640 screen, compared to the slightly grey-ish blacks on the Lumia 830. The screen is slightly less bright at maximum brightness compared to the Lumia 830, so this might affect outdoor visibility slightly.



    In motion, the screen on the Lumia 640 also has an advantage over the Lumia 830. It appears to run at a slightly faster refresh rate (hello Lumia 920 PureMotion), which means text and images are less prone to blurring when scrolling around the interface.



    The 'Glance Screen' (which shows a clock and notifications when on standby) has a nicer appearance on the 640 due to the deeper blacks. It looks like white text on a black screen, compared to the 830 which looks dark grey in comparison. One peculiarity with the Glance Screen is that it appears to be an older version of the software on the 640, compared to the glance screen on the 830. The option to view the date and use information from another app (such as MSN Weather) is missing on the 640 even after updating to the latest version. Hopefully this is just a glitch which Microsoft can fix in an update to the Glance app.



    Touch Response:

    The Lumia 535 was released with a major touch response problem related to a poor quality touch sensor. Multiple software updates have been released to fix the problem, but it seems the issue will never be fully addressed. Luckily the Lumia 640 has no such issues. I have tested the touch response using the ‘MultiTouch Test’ app in the store. The screen can recognise 10 points (fingers) and doesn’t malfunction when crossing fingers across the screen. I have experienced no touch-related issues in my time with the Lumia 640, compared to the 535 which I almost threw across the room in frustration.

    Cameras: (all images were shot on Auto, with no advanced tweaking).

    I have used both the 'Microsoft Camera' app, and 'Lumia Camera 5' to shoot these images. Each app uses a different processing algorithm when capturing the images, which can end up looking vastly different depending on which app you choose. I would have used 'Lumia Camera Classic' instead of 'Microsoft Camera' for this comparison, but 'Lumia Camera Classic' cannot be installed on the Lumia 640. The 'Microsoft Camera' app uses the same processing algorithm as 'Lumia Camera Classic' (AKA Lumia Camera 4). All variations of the images can be found at the OneDrive link above (not all variations will be shown in the samples below).

    This is where I expect the Lumia 830 to show its greatness over the Lumia 640. The biggest difference between the 640 and 830, apart from the design, is the camera hardware. The Lumia 640 features an 8MP 1/4" Sensor, with LED flash, and auto focus. The Lumia 830 features a 10MP 1/3.4" (bigger) sensor with LED flash, auto focus and OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation), it's also PureView branded with Zeiss optics. The viewing angle is also wider compared to the Lumia 640.

    The camera on the Lumia 640 is a big improvement over the 5MP unit found in the Lumia 635, which was basically the same as the camera found in the Lumia 520.





    The advanced options found in 'Lumia Camera 5' for the Lumia 640 are the same as the Lumia 830 (Max 4 sec shutter, 3200 ISO). The only differences in the software are that the Lumia 640 cannot capture RAW DNG images, and cannot record 5.1 surround sound when capturing video.

    In good light there is little between the two cameras, other than the increased detail brought on by the higher resolution of the 830 Camera. Rich capture works just as effectively on the 640 as it does on the 830.




    In low light, things take a turn for the worse on the 640. The images are very similar to those taken by its predecessor, the Lumia 635. There is a massive increase in detail, colour accuracy, and overall image quality on the Lumia 830.





    Macro photos are somewhat of a win for the Lumia 640, which can focus much closer to the subject than the 830. The lumia 830 struggled to focus from the same difference, requiring to re-shoot from slightly further back. The resulting photos are generally sharper and more detailed from the 830 sensor however.




    Videos offer a similar level of detail at 1080p 30fps, but it’s a clear win for the 830 which offers a nice smooth shake-free experience, thanks to its optical image stabilisation. You can find sample videos in the OneDrive album linked above.

    There is also a 1MP front facing camera on the Lumia 640, which takes adequate photos in 1280x720 resolution. The sensor resolution is slightly higher than the 0.9MP FFC in the Lumia 830, but that also captures images at 1280x720. There is barely a difference between the two.

    Wrap Up:
    The Lumia 640 is probably the best value Windows Phone available at the moment. I managed to get these for 79.99 from Carphone Warehouse on a PAYG upgrade deal. That is crazy cheap considering the handset have only just been released.

    For that money you are getting a phone which is very close to offering everything that is available on the Lumia 830. The trade-off is the camera, which offers quite poor low-light photography on auto settings. You could always improve things by opening the shutter for longer, but without OIS the resulting photos will be a blurry mess (at least if taken by hand, not using a tripod). In daylight though the cameras are very similar, and it is easily going to beat pretty much any other phone camera around this price point.
    Last edited by chancooluk; 04-14-2015 at 07:09 AM.
    04-13-2015 05:01 PM
  2. Nathan-NL's Avatar
    Thank you for doing this.

    Great job!
    chancooluk likes this.
    04-13-2015 09:07 PM
  3. rohit bhattacharjee's Avatar
    That's a great review!! Thanks! One more thing.. Did u notice that in the video recording mode, the view finder became darker, and the video too is little darker than when u take a still image in same lighting conditions..I have only seen this in low light conditions..but still in surprised to see the video recording going darker..
    chancooluk likes this.
    04-14-2015 01:14 AM
  4. chancooluk's Avatar
    That's a great review!! Thanks! One more thing.. Did u notice that in the video recording mode, the view finder became darker, and the video too is little darker than when u take a still image in same lighting conditions..I have only seen this in low light conditions..but still in surprised to see the video recording going darker..
    Yes, but the same thing happens on other lumias too.

    The viewfinder goes dark in order to maintain a steady 30fps. Notice that the brighter still camera viewfinder runs at a much lower frame rate when viewed in low light, as it doesn't need to be smooth in order to capture a still image.

    Lower frame rate = more light captured by the sensor. Best for still photo capture.

    Higher frame rate = less light captured by the sensor, but results in a much smoother viewing experience. Best for capturing video footage.
    04-14-2015 02:59 AM
  5. rohit bhattacharjee's Avatar
    oh! thanks! :D I didn't know that! I thought something was wrong with my piece! so then ideally, I should set the recording at 1080p at 23 fps right??
    04-14-2015 03:18 AM
  6. chancooluk's Avatar
    oh! thanks! :D I didn't know that! I thought something was wrong with my piece! so then ideally, I should set the recording at 1080p at 23 fps right??
    Yes if you are recording in a dark environment, it should help slightly. Keep it at 30fps in daylight for the smoothest video though.
    04-14-2015 04:02 AM
  7. chancooluk's Avatar
    I've added some more camera samples \ comparisons to the Onedrive album.
    04-14-2015 07:10 AM
  8. P1ng0fDeath's Avatar
    one question: does Glance screen and double tap to wake tend to fail to respond on the 640? on my 830 it sometimes doesn't work when waving my hand over the proximity sensor or taking it out of my pocket... not sure if it's faulty hardware (my previous 830 had it too) or can be fixed with updates...
    04-14-2015 08:15 PM
  9. pankaj981's Avatar
    one question: does Glance screen and double tap to wake tend to fail to respond on the 640? on my 830 it sometimes doesn't work when waving my hand over the proximity sensor or taking it out of my pocket... not sure if it's faulty hardware (my previous 830 had it too) or can be fixed with updates...
    I have had no Glance screen issues with all 3 of my 830s so it could be more of a hardware/software issue?


    OP: Great review. One question: How does the screen touch feel on the 640? Not the responsiveness but the touch feeling. My 830 feels better and smoother than my 920 while it feels way better than the 535 I owned for a week. And yes, the blacks do look better than the 830 for sure, thanks for confirming it!

    I would be buying the 640 XL soon (only if MS releases the da*n thing soon in the US)
    prasath1234 likes this.
    04-14-2015 08:25 PM
  10. P1ng0fDeath's Avatar
    I have had no Glance screen issues with all 3 of my 830s so it could be more of a hardware/software issue?
    well they exchanged mine for a new 830 and the problem persists... tried all kind of resets and updates. Thinking about asking for a refund and giving the 640 a shot.
    prasath1234 likes this.
    04-14-2015 09:18 PM
  11. chancooluk's Avatar
    well they exchanged mine for a new 830 and the problem persists... tried all kind of resets and updates. Thinking about asking for a refund and giving the 640 a shot.
    On the 640's I have tested, the glance screen seems more responsive than my 830. Everytime I put my hand over the screen the glance screen appeared. I can't say the same for my 830 which has a similar issue to yours, although I've tested 3 830's all with a slightly unresponsive glance screen, so I guess its a hardware thing.

    Bear in mind the issues I mentioned with the glance software in my review. It is running the older version which can only show a clock and notifications even with the latest software installed.
    04-15-2015 03:26 AM
  12. chancooluk's Avatar
    I have had no Glance screen issues with all 3 of my 830s so it could be more of a hardware/software issue?


    OP: Great review. One question: How does the screen touch feel on the 640? Not the responsiveness but the touch feeling. My 830 feels better and smoother than my 920 while it feels way better than the 535 I owned for a week. And yes, the blacks do look better than the 830 for sure, thanks for confirming it!

    I would be buying the 640 XL soon (only if MS releases the da*n thing soon in the US)
    The touchscreen feels more like glass than the 535, which felt a bit like plastic. I can't tell a difference between the 830 and 640 to be honest.
    04-15-2015 03:28 AM
  13. P1ng0fDeath's Avatar
    On the 640's I have tested, the glance screen seems more responsive than my 830. Everytime I put my hand over the screen the glance screen appeared. I can't say the same for my 830 which has a similar issue to yours, although I've tested 3 830's all with a slightly unresponsive glance screen, so I guess its a hardware thing.

    Bear in mind the issues I mentioned with the glance software in my review. It is running the older version which can only show a clock and notifications even with the latest software installed.

    Good to know. I didn't want to leave my 830 but i can't keep a faulty phone... Thanks
    prasath1234 likes this.
    04-15-2015 06:25 AM
  14. agaskew's Avatar
    Double tap to wake works fine on my 640. I'm not sure about waving my hand over it - not sure where that is set, or why I'd ever use it!

    I can confirm though that the Glance screen doesn't display App info like the weather yet.
    04-15-2015 09:36 AM
  15. Ibodnano's Avatar
    How is the battery life with the glance on lumia 640 IPS


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    04-15-2015 10:07 AM
  16. sdc1's Avatar
    How is the battery life with the glance on lumia 640 IPS


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    The battery life is fantastic. I have glance, double tap, location, WiFi, etc on and I'm getting more than a day out of it.
    04-15-2015 10:32 AM
  17. worldspy99's Avatar
    Great review! Can't wait for this phone to show up here in the USA!
    Nathan-NL and chancooluk like this.
    04-15-2015 11:00 AM
  18. realwarder's Avatar
    Great post. Thank you for doing this
    chancooluk likes this.
    04-15-2015 12:37 PM
  19. d8smt's Avatar
    Hi,

    Great comparison. Did you by any chance do any comparisons with a Lumia 620? I'm pretty happy with my 620 camera 9except in indoor dark conditions), but looking to upgrade the phone after too many SIM card problems, unsure as to whether to go to 640/820/735 with the camera the main thing I'm unsure about in terms of the best upgrade. Also on the 620 I'm still unsure as to the Nokia Lumia camera or Microsoft Camera - which is generally better to use ?

    cheers

    DS
    06-17-2015 07:09 AM
  20. Birgitte Sciarretta's Avatar
    Great macro shots! Looks like this phone has everything I need.
    libra89 and metalchick719 like this.
    06-17-2015 09:52 AM

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