Low-end Lumias dominate the Windows Phone market but aren’t prestigious. To fix this, Microsoft crafted the Lumia 640 Trojan horse – a capable mid-ranger hiding behind an undeservedly low model number. It comes with pick-and-choose LTE and dual-SIM connectivity, a camera that punches above its weight and a quality screen. Slowly but steadily, Microsoft is commencing its push into the mid-range, which for now is owned by Android.
The Lumia 6-series began life as the lowest rung of the ladder. Since then Microsoft has extended the ladder with the 5 and 4 series. To live up to its new standing in life, the Lumia 640 brings an HD screen and a 1080p video camera, which were traditional weak spots for the sixes – WVGA screen and 480p video was the norm.
Those are indeed the highlights of this phone. The 5″ IPS panel is nearly as sharp as an iPhone Retina display and boasts ClearBlack (a filter that reduces glare) and Gorilla Glass 3. The 8MP camera with 1080p video matches the iPhone 6 on paper, though we’ll see if the tiny sensor lives up to that promise.
The comparisons to the iPhone are more aspirational than anything, a more realistic comparison will be with the likes of Moto E (2015) and Moto G (2014). The Microsoft Lumia 640 is in their price bracket (depending on the connectivity setup) and has the edge in screen, camera and battery challenges.
Despite its popularity, the Snapdragon 400 chipset is clearly showing its age. Windows Phone isn’t as demanding as Android though, the one area that will really strain the chipset is games – Adreno 305 on a 720p screen is a bit of a stretch. We’ll see what the benchmarks have to say about that.
The “Lumia 640″ is really three different devices. The base device has two SIM slots and 3G connectivity, but there are LTE-enabled versions with one or two SIM slots. We have the single-SIM LTE version with us, but connectivity aside the review covers all 5” 640s.
The Microsoft Lumia 640 is shaping up as a capable, lower-cost alternative to the Lumia 730 and 830. Those boast Carl Zeiss optics and finer bodies, but the lines between Lumia lines have blurred.
The phone it comes to replace, the Lumia 630/635, looks quite plain in comparison – smaller, sub-HD screen, no 1080p video capture or selfie camera, just 512MB RAM and no option for both LTE and dual-SIM. So, if you had any impressions of Lumia’s 6-series you need to put them aside, the Lumia 640 is a big step forward.
As the Galaxy S counter flips another digit, Samsung has hopes of getting an even tighter grip on the smartphone market, and reasserting its Android dominance. With two of the main rivals enjoying a head-start to the market, the Samsung Galaxy S4 would need to be something special to quickly erase their lead. Not to mention, it’s looked upon to match, and outdo, its predecessor. And by the first impressions of the smartphone, that might be not be as tall an order as it sounds.
The new Samsung flagship improves on just about every aspect of the previous generation, coupling more powerful hardware with another handful of new software features. With a bunch of new sensors too, the Galaxy S4 aims to be your must-have all-in-one tool.
Here’s the full cheat sheet for our Samsung Galaxy S4 review:
*. Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE; quad-band 3G with HSPA; LTE
*. 5″ 16M-color 1080p Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with Gorilla Glass 3
*. Android OS v4.2.2 Jelly Bean with TouchWiz UI
*. Quad-core 1.9 GHz Krait 300 CPU, Adreno 320 GPU; Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 chipset/ Quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A15 & quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7, PowerVR SGX 544MP3 GPU; Exynos 5410 chipset
*. 2GB of RAM
*. 13 MP autofocus camera with LED flash,1080p video recording @ 30fps, continuous autofocus and stereo sound
*. 2 MP front-facing camera, 1080p video recording
*. Dual shot and dual video recording, Drama shot, Shot and sound
*. Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct and DLNA
*. GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS
*. 16GB/32/64GB of built-in storage
*. microSD card slot
*. microUSB port with USB host and MHL 2.0
*. Bluetooth v4.0
*. IR port for remote control functionality
*. Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
*. Accelerometer and proximity sensor
*. Barometer, thermometer, hygroscope
*. IR gesture sensor for Air gestures
*. Smart gestures: Smart stay, Smart pause, Smart scroll
*. Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
*. Ample 2600 mAh battery with great endurance
*. 7.9mm thickness
*. Smart volume and Adapt Sound features for the music player
*. Design is a bit played out by now
*. Hyperglaze finish doesn’t feel as premium as aluminum on HTC One or glass on Xperia Z
*. No FM radio
*. Video recording is slightly worse than on the Galaxy S III; FOV in video is pretty narrow
*. Shared camera interface makes framing tricky
We all knew this was eventually coming, but it’s now official. Symbian on Nokia is dead.
Nokia managed to send off the once might platform in style. The 808 PureView will go down in history as the last Symbian device by the Finnish manufacturer. (more…)
Ever since the day the Nexus 4 was officially made available, Google and LG have been struggling to keep up with demand. Google has recently blamed LG for the Nexus 4 scarcity, but according to LG, production was in accordance with figures provided by Google. (more…)
We got an invite from Huawei today, which urges us to save the date, February 24, when the Chinese company will hold a press conference. This is the Sunday before this year’s Mobile WorldCongress kicks off, so we can reasonably expect Huawei to unveil its latest smartphones at the event. (more…)
Samsung could showcase the successor to its rugged S5690 Galaxy Xcover smartphone at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month.
Going by the code name Skomer the S7110 Galaxy Xcover 2 is rumored to pack a bigger 4″ screen of WVGA (480 x 800 pixels) resolution, whereas the old one was rocking a 3.65″ HVGA (320 x 480) unit. The camera has been bumped from 3.2 MP to 5 MP and there’s also a 0.3 MP front-facer now. Internal storage is 4 GB but you can expand it via MicroSD card slot.
The battery should have a 1700 mAh capacity, which is slightly more than the 1500 mAh of its predecessor. The Galaxy Xcover 2 will ship with Android Jelly Bean (either 4.1 or 4.2) covered by Samsung’s latest TouchWiz with Nature UX.
The usual array of connectivity options are there too – HSPA+ up to 21.1 Mbps, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, etc. No word on LTE still.
Finally the device will come in two color schemes – Titan Gray and Black/Red.
Keep in mind that these specs are subject to change before the device comes out of rumorlandand goes official.
We’ll be there to cover the Mobile World Congressas it unfolds so stay tuned.
Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.
It could be a trickle or a torrent, but reports are coming in that Google is shipping the first Nexus 7 pre-orders to those customers who pulled the trigger at the Google Play Store while the I/O keynote seats were still warm. (more…)
Following the release of HTC’s flagship One series, owners have begun to notice some early inconveniences—things not working quite like they should, and the phone having issues with things that shouldn’t be an issue . With the quality control of HTC already in question, XDA Senior Member bigoliver has decided to showcase one of the biggest hardware faults of the HTC One X . It’s a pretty bad one too. (more…)