Microsoft expanded its portfolio of smartphone devices with the launch of Lumia 540 at the iHub in Nairobi earlier today. Unveiled to the global public in mid-April 2015, the Lumia 540 is the sixth Lumia device from Redmond this year and is slated to replace the popular Lumia 535. Building on this foundation, the Lumia 540 ups the hardware ante with a better screen, bigger battery, improved build quality and larger rear facing camera.
Referring a recent white paper on smartphone use in Kenya, Microsoft Mobile Devices Managing Director, Mariam Abdillahi, stated that the Lumia 540 exceeds the four aspects that smartphone users in Kenya want in a smartphone: Long battery life, great imaging, a well known brand and affordability. She expounded on this by stating that the Lumia brand has a history of reliability, and with the lean Windows Phone operating system provides an user experience that is not compromised by affordable prices.
|Price In KES||KES 17,800|
|OS||Windows Phone 8.1 GDR2|
|Dimensions||144 x 73.7 x 9.4 mm|
|Colors||Black, Orange, Blue, White|
|Physical size||5.0 inches|
|Resolution||720 x 1280 pixels|
|Pixel density||294 ppi|
|Type||IPS LCD with Clearblack (Sunlight Readibility)|
|Features||Light sensor, Proximity sensor,|
|Settings||Full control of all Image settings|
|Camcorder||848 x 480 pixels 30 fps|
|Front-facing camera||5 megapixels|
|Video capture||848 x 480 pixels 30 fps|
|System chip||Qualcomm Snapdragon, 200 Quad core, 1200 MHz|
|System memory||1024 MB RAM|
|Built-in storage||8 GB (expandable via microSD to 128 GB)|
|Battery Capacity||2200 mAh|
|GSM||850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz|
|UMTS||900, 2100 MHz|
|Data||HSDPA+ (4G) 42.2 Mbit/s, HSUPA 5.76 Mbit/s, EDGE, GPRS|
|SIM TYPE||Dual MicroSIM|
|Wi-Fi||802.11 b, g, n|
The the 720P IPS display on the Lumia 540 offers a crisp viewing experience with vivid colors. This is a huge step up from the 540P screen on the Lumia 535. It also comes with Clearblack technology which improves readability in direct sunlight. The styling is very similar to the Lumia 640, in fact it is difficult to tell them apart at a quick glance. The Lumia 540 also sports the clear shot treatment that is in the Lumia 640. This treatment adds depth and translucency to the case sides as well as providing additional strength.
The Lumia 540 uses the same processor as the Lumia 535, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 1,2 GHz. This chip is sufficient for casual gaming and daily tasks. However, one disadvantage of this chipset is that it cannot record HD video. Videos are limited to 848×480 pixels at 30 frames per second. The Lumia 540 has a better camera than the Lumia 535, a 8MP Auto Focus camera. It retains the 5MP wide angle front facing camera that was was first seen on the Lumia 535. The 2200 mAH batter on the Lumia 540 is also a step up from the Lumia 535 (1905 mAH) but is below the 2500 mAH of the Lumia 640. With a less demanding chipset, the battery life on the Lumia 540 should be very similar to its big brother.
The Lumia 540 comes with the latest version of Windows Phone 8.1 GRD2 and Denim firmware. it will also be upgradeable to Windows 10 at no additional cost later on in the year. As with all Lumia’s, the 540 comes with Skype, Office, Outlook, Cortana and OneDrive (30GB Free) pre-installed.
Pricing and Availability.
The Lumia 540 is available at local distributors from today and is eligible for the Achieve More campaign that is raffling brand new vehicles to buyers of Lumia devices. Priced with a MSRP of KES 17,800, the Lumia 540 is only KES 2200 less than its upper tier sibling, the Lumia 640. This may leave users wondering which device offers the best value for their hard earned money. We will address this in the coming days with a Lumia Buyers guide.