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Microsoft's Lumia 640 and 640 XL launch in the UK, priced from £99.99

Just over a month ago, at Mobile World Congress 2015, Microsoft announced two new additions to its Windows Phone range: the 5-inch Lumia 640 and 5.7-inch Lumia 640 XL. Like so many of the company's recent handset launches, both devices are aimed at the lower end of the market - but Microsoft aims to offer big value with its two enormous devices, at a price that won't trouble those on more modest budgets.

Microsoft began selling the smaller Lumia 640 on its UK store earlier this week, but today, the company announced further details of pricing and availability across UK carriers and retailers.

Key specs of the Lumia 640 include:

  • 5-inch ClearBlack IPS LCD with HD (1280x720px) resolution and Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • Quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB onboard storage (plus microSD support up to 128GB)
  • Backside illuminated 8MP rear camera with LED flash and 1080p video recording
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • NFC
  • Ambient light sensor, accelerometer, proximity sensor, magnetometer and SensorCore
  • Replaceable 2500mAh battery
  • 141.3 x 72.2 x 8.8mm; 145g

The Lumia 640 XL shares many of the same specs, but differs in these aspects:

  • 5.7-inch ClearBlack IPS LCD with HD (1280x720px) resolution and Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • Backside illuminated 13MP rear camera with ZEISS optics, LED flash and 1080p video recording
  • Replaceable 3000mAh battery
  • 157.9 x 81.5 x 9mm; 171g

In the UK, both handsets will include 4G LTE connectivity, whereas internationally, a 3G-only version of each device will also be available. However, no dual-SIM capability will be offered on the devices in the UK, although this option will be offered in many other markets.

Significantly, the Lumia 640 and 640 XL are the first handsets to come with a free one-year Office 365 Personal subscription worth £59.99. This also includes 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage - and additionally, 60 minutes of international Skype calls per month are also bundled with the device.

And as a side note, for those wondering about Microsoft's naming scheme for its devices, the company said that the decision to name the larger device 'Lumia 640 XL' (rather than giving it a distinct number of its own) was intended to make it easier for customers to make sense of its growing handset range.

The Lumia 640 will be priced from £99.99 off-contract in the UK with stock already available at some retailers, while the Lumia 640 XL will be priced from £219, with availability beginning later this month. Pricing will vary depending on retailer and carrier, with many big names in the UK having committed to stocking both devices, including Carphone Warehouse, EE and others.

Expect to see a massive marketing campaign across the UK beginning later this month, with print ads in many leading magazines, and online promotions on many popular UK websites. Special in-store promotional materials will also appear in the coming weeks to help promote the devices.

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