Microsoft has had a strange year. It seems like yesterday, but it’s been more than a year since the company formally acquired Nokia’s Devices & Services division. What with the way the wind seems to be blowing and the way they are waiting for Windows 10 to launch a new flagship – their first since the acquisition, and the first in more than a year – quite a few things have changed since that time.
From a unique OS vibe to a platform intent on giving its services for use on all platforms, there’s been a complete U-turn in direction.
One might make the point that since they have a Plan B, the upcoming Windows 10 could fail and Microsoft would shrug and move on.
Is that correct? No idea. We do know this, though: that they can’t close the shop just yet, they can’t stop releasing new phones, they have to be here, they have to be in this field for the long haul. Even with 3% market share (10% in countries like India) globally, they have to compete.
Which is why we’re seeing budget phone after budget phone releases, with the occasional mid-range phone or two. They have to fill in the gap, cater for the markets where there are some chances.
In this case, with devices like the Lumia 640 XL.
The successor to the Nokia Lumia 1320, this phone can do well in certain markets. The US? Nope. The EU? Maybe some degree of success. But the real chances are in Asia, and Microsoft lost no time in launching it in India. The price tag is INR 15,000 with the major feature being a mid-range Windows Phone having a 5.7-inch display and a capable camera.
That INR 15,000 price tag places it in the mid-range category, with tough competition from the Android world with devices like the Xiaomi Mi 4i, the Asus Zenfone 2, the Huawei Honor 6, and from budget phones like the Yu Yureka, the Redmi Note and the Lenovo A7000.
Can this Lumia stand out in such a crowded market? The answer to that is found in the full preview below.