Two of the United States’ largest wireless carriers are confirming that they have plans to release at least one of the new Windows Phones that Microsoft Mobile announced this week. The AT&T Lumia 640 has been confirmed along with the T-Mobile Lumia 640.
T-Mobile confirmed the T-Mobile Lumia 640 and MetroPCS Lumia 640 in a post on its news blog Monday afternoon. The company’s post about the T-Mobile Lumia 640 calls out its version as being the only one available in the United States with Wi-Fi calling. Built-in Wi-Fi calling is one of the ways T-Mobile hopes to overcome its coverage disadvantage when compared to the other three big national carriers.
Visiting the T-Mobile Lumia 640’s store page doesn’t reveal any specifics and release date details. For example, when the T-Mobile Lumia 640 will be available for purchase remains unclear. It’s also unclear how much the handset will cost. The page does reveal that T-Mobile plans to make the white version available to its users. Metro PCS doesn’t have any new information about the Lumia 640 on its website.
For now, T-Mobile is only confirming that its users will be able to purchase the Lumia 640, but that isn’t the case for AT&T. Yesterday, the United States’ second largest wireless carrier confirmed that both an AT&T Lumia 640 and AT&T Lumia 640 XL were in the works. In releasing two devices with almost the same name and features with a bigger display Microsoft is following a tactic pioneered by Apple with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Both of those are also available on AT&T and T-Mobile too.
Like with T-Mobile there’s little to no release date details for the AT&T Lumia 630 and the AT&T Lumia 630 XL. For right now, AT&T is only confirming that its stores and websites will have the device.
The Lumia 640 and the Lumia 640 XL are Microsoft’s best chances at shoring up sales and giving the iPhone 6, Moto X and Samsung Galaxy S6 any sort of competition until the end of the year. Neither is a high-end device, but both have high-end features buyers will appreciate.
The Lumia 640 as a modestly size iPhone rival with a 720p 5-inch display. Its rear-facing camera doesn’t include the PureView imaging technology that won the Lumia 1020 awards, but it does have a full 8 megapixel sensors with flash. That’s something most Microsoft devices in this price range are simply missing. There’s a Snapdragon 400 processor and 1GB of RAM inside with 8GB of storage and the option to add more through a MicroSD card slot. There’s a 1 megapixel front-facing camera. Based on European prices, most are expecting the Lumia 640 to cost less than $200.
The Lumia 640 XL has a 5.7-inch high-definition display, but uses the same Snapdragon 400 processor as its smaller namesake. Beyond display size, Microsoft is hoping that stuffing a high-end camera in this model along with the super-size display will shore up sales of Windows Phone. The Lumia 640 XL drops the 8 megapixel sensor in the Lumia 630 for a 13 megapixel rear-facing camera with autofocus. There’s also a 5 megapixel front-facing camera for taking wide-angle selfies. Users will also be able to add storage to the Lumia 640 XL. It’s expected that the Lumia 640 XL will cost around $250.
During its event at Mobile World Congress Microsoft confirmed that it did have plans to debut a true flagship smartphone and feature by feature rival to the iPhone 6 Plus. Unfortunately, it won’t have any news to share about the flagship smartphone until its Windows 10 operating system is ready for phones. That isn’t expected to happen until very late in the year.