Instead of another Lumia 13xx phablet, Microsoft chose to position this in the 6-series. With a bolstered 5-series and the new 4-series, the Lumia 6xx models are no longer an inch off the entry-level.
The Microsoft Lumia 640 XL is very impressive for a mid-ranger and will give similarly priced Androids a run for their money. It's bigger than the Moto Gs and Xperia E4s of the world with a 5.7" screen though.
The phablet has the familiar Lumia feel in the hand. The white color version we handled was made of matte polycarbonate, a quality material. It's reasonably thin at 9mm (a Moto G is 11mm), but has old-school Nokia weight, a whopping 171g. That's essentially the same as the Galaxy Note 4, which also has a 5.7" screen but also a metal frame.
The screen measures 5.7" big and has 720p resolution, giving it a decent 259ppi pixel density. The Windows tiles and typography UI looks quite good at this density.
The display is an IPS LCD with good viewing angles. It has a polarizing filter, ClearBlack, which cuts down reflections and further improves the image quality. There's Gorilla Glass 3 protection.
Going back to the flip side of the Lumia 640 XL, this is where the magic starts to happen. Microsoft had already brought a Zeiss lens on a mid-ranger, but the Lumia 830 is noticeably pricier than the 640 XL.
This one has a higher resolution sensor (13MP vs. 10MP) and it's bigger to boot (1/3" vs. 1/3.4"). There's no optical image stabilization, but it has an f/2.0 aperture and records 1080p videos.
The selfie camera is a 5MP shooter that can also record 1080p video. It seems to be the unit from the Lumia 735 as it matches the other specs too, f/2.4 aperture on a wide-angel 24mm lens.
Microsoft has further enhanced the camera software aside from the Lumia Camera and Lumia Selfie features we've seen before. A new feature called Living Image is similar to HTC's Zoe in that it records a 1 second video that leads up to the photo (that is the end of the video matches the photo).
Since the Microsoft Lumia 635 has an LED flash (Lumia 63x phones didn't) it can take advantage of Rich Capture. The phone takes two photos - one without flash and one with flash on - and you can adjust the strength of the flash after the fact.
The one disappointing feature of the phablet is the chipset - a Snapdragon 400. That includes a 1.2GHz quad-core Cortex-A7, 1GB of RAM and Adreno 305 GPU. Windows Phone 8.1 runs smoothly, but we're yet to see how Windows 10 will handle on the device.
There's a 3,000mAh battery sealed inside the body of the phablet, which Microsoft claims is enough for 24 hours of talking on a 3G network or browsing the web over Wi-Fi for over 14 hours.