Since the age of about 11 I have been a true Apple fanatic. Since then I have owned multiple iPhones, an iPod and a MacBook Pro - absolutely loving all of them. As sad as it sounds, my life completely revolves around my phone and after having some form of iPhone for over seven years, I couldn't imagine not having one. So when Microsoft got in touch offering me the opportunity to take part in their Lumia Voices campaign and trial one of their Lumia phones for two weeks - I jumped at the chance!
I was offered to trial the Lumia 640, one of the latest releases from Microsoft. I haven't had a Nokia phone (or anything else other than an iPhone for that matter) since I was 12 years old when I had a Nokia N95 so I knew it was going to take some getting used to. The opportunity was perfect timing as my existing phone is on its last legs and I was preparing to go straight ahead and buy an iPhone 6. As a blogger and a student, my phone is essential to my everyday life. It isn't just a phone, it's my personal assistant, my calendar, my alarm clock and my form of communication with the outside world. Apple is renowned for its sleek designs, amazing software and its ever-expanding app store having pretty much every app you could ever think of. So you can see why I couldn't see the point in checking out the competition.
When the phone arrived on my doorstep, I was shocked at how beautiful it was! The sleek design, the bright orange hardware and the impressive looking interface. I honestly wasn't expecting it to be as good as it is. I didn't want to compare it to my iPhone but, whilst using the Lumia, I couldn't help it! There were so many similar features, some features that Apple do not have and some features that Apple has and the Lumia doesn't.
Essentials // First lets talk about the most important stuff. It is extremely well designed. The sleek hardware makes it look so much more expensive than it actually is. I was shocked when I looked at the price!! I expected it to be about £300 but it is infact only £129.99 to buy outright/sim free!! It comes in a few different colours (black, white, blue and orange) and has the option to mix and match the different coloured backs which I thought was a nice touch! Alongside the impressive hardware is the brilliantly designed interface/operating system. After hating Windows 8 on my sister's laptop so much, I was really worried that I wouldn't get on with the tiled interface. I thought it would be so complicated to use but infact it was the complete opposite! Even my mum found it simple and she is pretty rubbish with technology (she gets impressed when she manages to attach a document to an email). Another impressive feature on the Lumia 640 is the battery life! My iPhone battery currently lasts 20 minutes (I'm getting a new phone soon thank goodness!!) so pretty much anything could top that at the moment! The specifications mention a 17½ hour battery life, but the most I managed to get out of it (with my normal usage) was 24 hours and 27 minutes!
Connectivity // Unlike the Apple iPhone, you don't have to worry about planning how much memory you're going to need (16GB, 64 GB, 128 GB. etc), as the phone is only available as 8GB. It has space to slot in a micro SD card (up to 128GB) which are relatively cheap to buy and certainly cheaper than buying the storage already built in. The phone uses a micro-sim and is 4G enabled meaning you can use super fast internet if it is part of your phone tariff. According to the Microsoft website, you can also use the new wireless chargers that are making a scene on the market! You do however have to buy them separately as the phone just comes with a basic wall-USB charger.
Camera, Video and Audio // This area was one of the biggest let downs to me personally. The phone boasts an 8MP camera and the ability to change the camera settings (ISO, shutter speed, aperture). The video was fine, but I didn't like the camera when it came to taking still photos. Although the quality of the images is pretty good, my real gripe was the fact that it does this strange thing where it takes a short video and clips the best frame to save as your photo. This annoyed me a little as I am so used to tapping the screen to focus and snapping a quick photo. As well as the camera, the audio bugged me a little because the speaker is on the back of the phone (rather than the front or sides), meaning that if you are listening to music or watching a video - you can't hear it if you put the phone down on the table! When holding the phone in your hand, you have to be careful not to cover the speaker with your fingers. As you can see in the second image, the speaker is positioned in the exact place where your hand would sit naturally.
Productivity // Cortana has to be one of the main forms of productivity with the Lumia 640. Similarly to Apple's Siri, Cortana is able to create reminders, set alarms and even open apps ("Cortana, play House of Cards on Netflix"). Microsoft have made sure that Cortana is fully integrated with everything on the phone - unlike Apple where Siri can only perform certain tasks. Alongside Cortana, there are all the usual smartphone features, including; a calendar, email and an alarm clock. There isn't however a built in stop watch or countdown timer which I use regularly on my iPhone to make sure I down burn my chicken nuggets or my soufflés.
Overall I have been incredibly impressed with the Lumia 640, but I don't think I'll be swapping my iPhone quite yet! I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would and I'm actually kind of sad to see it sent back to Microsoft now that my trial is over.
Would you consider buying this phone? Would love to know your thoughts and feelings in the comments!