As we’ve reported numerous times, Microsoft just can’t get over budget smartphones. While we understand the need for Microsoft to embrace the entry-level market, it seems like this is the only market that the company is interested in these days. Over 70 percent of Windows Phones out in the wild have just 512MB of memory or less, and nearly 33 percent of all Windows Phones sold are the lowly Lumia 520.
And just like fans of a losing sports franchise sitting in the stands hoping that a new star comes to lead their team to a championship (or at least the playoffs), Windows Phone users are looking towards a new flagship to set the tone for the Windows platform. Unfortunately, that won’t happen for at least another six months or so, because today Microsoft announced two more budget smartphones.
First up is the Lumia 640, which incorporates a 5-inch, 1280x720 display that is covered with Gorilla Glass 3. Powering the device is a low-end, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor backed by 1GB of RAM. You’ll also find 8GB of internal storage, a microSD slot, an 8MP rear camera with LED flash, a 1MP front-facing camera, and a 2500 mAh battery.
The Lumia 640 XL lives up to its name, stretching the screen to 5.7-inches while retaining the same 1280x720 resolution. Like its little brother, the Lumia 640 XL features the same Snapdragon 400 processor, 8GB of internal storage and microSD slot, but ups the ante with a 13MP rear shooter (with Carl Zeiss optics), a 5MP front-facing camera, and a larger 3000 mAh battery.
And since Microsoft seems to be in a giving mood these days, both new smartphones will come with a free year of Office 365 complete with 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage space. That’s a nice bonus for smartphones that will retail for around $250 or less off-contract.
Lumia 640 XL
Speaking of pricing, the Lumia 640 and 640 XL will be available in 3G and LTE versions priced at 139 euro ($156) and 159 euros ($178) respectively for the former and 189 euros ($212) and 219 euros ($246) for the latter. There will also be dual-SIM LTE and dual-SIM 3G models available, but pricing hasn’t been announced at this time. The Lumia 640 will ship in April, while its bigger brother will be available later this month.
As for the MIA flagship, Microsoft says that you’ll have to wait until the release of Windows 10. “We remain completely committed and focused on new flagship products," said Neil Broadley, Microsoft’s director of phone marketing, in an interview with The Verge. "That said, certainly we believe the best time to bring those flagship devices to market is when we have our very latest flagship software experience available. We’re focusing our flagship development for slightly later when Windows 10 is available."