Mobile World Congress is in full swing today and Microsoft woke the press up early to discuss new features coming to their smartphone and tablet space. Top of the bill, presented by Stephen Elop, are the new Lumia 640 and Lumia 640XL devices. The regular 640, with it 5-inch HD display comes as the upgrade from the 630, whereas the 5.7-inch XL version sits as the move up from the large Lumia 1320.

Both devices will be available in 3G and LTE versions, with single and dual SIM in both of those depending on the market. The 640 uses a Snapdragon 400-series quad core processor at 1.2 GHz featuring Gorilla Glass 3, 1 GB of DRAM and 8 GB of storage. One might expect SD card support to come as standard, although a short hands on with the device failed to find one. The rear 8MP camera was described as a wide angle lens (although no numbers were given), with auto-HDR and dynamic LED flash. The battery weighs in at 2500 mAh also. Pricing for the 3G model starts at 139€ with the LTE version at 159€.

The 640 XL was described as ‘a slim 9mm’ with similar specifications to the smaller model but at 5.7 inches, namely a 1280x720 screen but the battery is pushed up to 3000 mAh. Internal specifications were not discussed, but the rear 13MP camera features Zeiss optics. Pricing starts at 189€ for the 3G model with LTE at 219€.

Both devices will ship with Windows 8.1 but will be upgraded to Windows 10, with Microsoft going all out to encourage Windows 10 across all of its future devices when available. The 640 and 640XL will also come with one year of Office 365, allowing installation on one PC and one other device as part of the deal. It also comes with 1TB of One Drive storage and 60 Skype World minutes.

An interesting element to the launch, especially with the ‘seemless feel’ push of Office across all different sizes of devices, was the Microsoft Universal Portable Keyboard. Barely bigger than a wallet, it is designed to fit into an office bag and be able to connect seamlessly via Bluetooth. No pricing or date was announced, but the focus was more on the office environment.

One demonstration that took me (Ian) by surprise was that of the Microsoft Surface Hub. This was an 84-inch display, normally the size used by large scale demonstrations, but this featured 4K resolution at 120 Hz as well as touch screen functionality. Naturally my thoughts drifted towards a TN type panel using MST, although taking the typical wide-angle test for TN panels was confusing as color consistency remained the same – it seems like they are using some kind of IPS display, which seems odd at 120 Hz.

The combination of 4K and 120 Hz and possibly IPS is mind boggling, which pointed me more towards an MST arrangement – either two panels or four. We managed to ask one of the product managers for the Surface Hub about this, but he was unable to give that information until launch. One of the demonstrations of the device featured a white-board scenario, as well as writing on office presentations. Anything written on the screen was recreated back to the controlling Surface tablet, and the tablet user could write as well, or what Microsoft calls ‘ink-back’. In a similar vein, ‘swipe-back’ to allow both users to change slides was demonstrated. The Surface Hub is linked to Windows 10, and we were told to expect more details at Windows 10 launch, along with another version at 55-inches but with 1080p resolution.

The final announcement of the presentation was for the Microsoft Build Conference, which will be on April 29th.


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  • gamoniac - Monday, March 2, 2015 - link

    I can't imagine an 8GB phone without a MicroSD slot. It must be under the battery or something. I am glad they have 1GB of RAM instead of the rumored 512MB. From the pictures, it does not look like 640 has a front-facing camera. And at this price point, 640 XL is much more interesting. I just hope that they upgrade the camera quality compared to the one in Lumia 635.
  • Laxaa - Monday, March 2, 2015 - link

    According to Lumia Conversations, there is expandable storage.
  • Lolimaster - Monday, March 2, 2015 - link

    Many people got their lossless music collection on a 64-128GB SD, comics/manga on another, and movies on another one. They can simply swap content taking minimal space on their bag. You just can't findt the same content, with the same quality and available at any moment depending on the internet.
  • bradleymikej - Monday, March 2, 2015 - link

    All cell phones are always Internet connected - you don't have to have an SD card.
  • Lolimaster - Monday, March 2, 2015 - link

    Many people got their lossless music collection on a 64-128GB SD, comics/manga on another, and movies on another one. They can simply swap content taking minimal space on their bag. You just can't findt the same content, with the same quality and available at any moment depending on the internet.
  • AlluringRaja - Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - link

    Exactly. Am ready to buy 500 plus Gb too. But still there is no single manufacturer. I don't have laptop and I need to stand in court for two- 5 hours, then how can I stand for that long. But if I have SD cards with maximum memory support ( but in low end like Lumia 435) its easy to carry with me.
    I always use shirts with button pockets ( I specially orders to stitch like that so so that no one Robs me and also nothing will fall even if am very uncared / careless).
    Why to buy
    Flagship smartphones if we don't use unnecessary apps or features.
    I need music,videos ( I watch comedy movie to get relief from my unbearable tensions. )
    I need notes, office app, calendar, email, that's all I use only this. But because I don't have laptop I download it from YouTube ( only WP
    OS supports it).
    For chating I use fb and twitter. But I like Skype very much for because of its integration with OS in contact dialers.
    So my importance is first to SD card which only WP supports. ( consider above my point I need low budget phone only but with maximum SD card.
  • AlluringRaja - Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - link

    I thought alot, thought to buy ₹20000 phone. But due to financial problem I bought nokia c6-00. ₹14000. Tried to download music ( mainly from youtube). But there is no app. More over after two years it was damaged and sold for just ₹1450. I felt sad and keep away from smartphones for 11-12 months. Then on lit of research I bought Lumia 520 for 7260 only. But am fully happy. Now am waiting for 250 plus SD card release. Then I will buy latest low end Lumia to get all I want. ( because windows OS support upto 500 plus cards. ( may be more with Windows 10)
    But yes I need front camera too like Lumia 735, but not now because I don't have Skype users much. But in a year or so I will get atleast 15 or more. So I I WILL buy latest mid range at that time not now.
  • Alexvrb - Monday, March 2, 2015 - link

    That's not always strictly true, especially for those that travel. It also doesn't factor in areas that have poor coverage, with weak signal or spotty LTE, limited data plans, etc. Cloud storage is still nice for things I don't need locally and/or want to access from different devices easily. But it doesn't entirely supplant local storage.
  • AlluringRaja - Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - link

    Nope! many people use SD cards for uninterrupted music / movies. Why you want internet all the to listen you favorite movie / songs. Most people including me just downloads what they want and enjoy enjoy offline. In India internet charges are very high and there is no way data charges comes down in next two years.
  • asoyemi - Tuesday, March 3, 2015 - link

    It has miSDCard slot for up to 128GB
    You can check this out for video output " This was done by T-Mo using the L-640 to shoot. The XL seems to have some good features that I think will give it a good value for its price.

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