With what appears to be more and more people looking for low-cost iPhone rivals, every smartphone maker is hoping to offer something akin to the iPhone without the heavy price tag. It may be Microsoft who is closest to delivering on that dream. This week the company accidentally revealed the price tag for the T-Mobile Lumia 640, and it’s ridiculously low for what users are getting.
According to a report from Windows Central, Microsoft’s own retail store revealed some Lumia 640 release details on its website. Though now removed, the Microsoft Store page had a price tag of $89 for the T-Mobile Lumia 640. To be clear, it and the iPhone’s price tag aren’t even going to be in the same league. To get a reasonably priced iPhone 5s or iPhone 6 users need to sign up for a two-year contract. The T-Mobile Lumia 640 is $89 without a two-year contract of any kind.
When the T-Mobile Lumia 640 arrives it’ll come in white, with a black bezel around its 5-inch display. That’s important as the Lumia 640 also comes in shades of orange, blue and green. Removable shells allow users to switch their Lumia 640’s color.
Device cost has never been more important than it is today. T-Mobile recently split the cost of their service plans from the cost of smartphones. Now it allows users to pay for their new smartphones in monthly installments tacked onto their bill. With these charges clearly visible, people are finally realizing that their iPhone is costing them a lot more than the thought it was. AT&T and Verizon offer similar programs.
Microsoft has spent the better part of a year, hoping that there are large numbers of users out there looking for a cheap iPhone rivals with extras. A lot of that time has been spent getting the formula right, learning what shortfalls users are willing to except in the name of a discount and what they aren’t. For example, early budget iPhone rivals from Nokia, now Microsoft Mobile, didn’t offer front-facing cameras and rear-facing cameras with flash.
That’s not the story with the T-Mobile Lumia 640. What users get with the device is directly comparable to what’s available with the iPhone.
The Lumia 640 has an 8 megapixel rear-facing camera, which is practically unheard of in low-cost smartphones at this point. The front of the device is dominated by a 5-inch 720p display that users Microsoft’s ClearBlack and Sunlight readability technology. That’s a long way of saying Microsoft has engineered the display so that colors pop and it’s actually readable in direct sunlight, which is a problem for most smartphones – including the iPhone sometimes.
At the heart of the Lumia 640 is a quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor and 1GB of RAM. That 1GB of RAM seems to be the bare minimum for Windows Phones at this point. There’s 8GB of storage, with the option to add more using a MicroSD card slot. Also, the Lumia 640 boasts a front-facing 720p camera that’ll do fine for video calls and self-portraits. The Lumia 640 also features LTE data network compatibility, meaning users get the very best speeds on T-Mobile that they possibly can. That LTE support isn’t something that all low-cost iPhone rivals have built-in either.
Despite this leak on pricing, T-Mobile is still pretty quiet about the handset itself. The company posted a teaser entry in its online phone store for the Lumia 640, but hasn’t said much of anything about it yet. It’s possible that we aren’t that far off from a release of the T-Mobile Lumia 640 if Microsoft is posting store entries already.
AT&T has a Lumia 640 set for release too. Unfortunately, we don’t know anything about pricing or availability for that device just yet.