Microsoft Launches the Lumia 540 In Kenya: First Impressions

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Lumia 540
The latest Lumia device, the Lumia 540.
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The latest Lumia device, the Lumia 540 is now available in Kenya.

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.

Lumia 540
Microsoft Mobile Devices East Africa Excutives, Mariam Abdilahi and King’ori Gitahi, show of the Lumia 540

 Specifications

Device Lumia 540
Price In KES KES 17,800
Officially announced 14-Apr-15
Design
OS Windows Phone 8.1 GDR2
Dimensions 144 x 73.7 x 9.4 mm
Weight 152 g
Colors Black, Orange, Blue, White
Display
Physical size 5.0 inches
Resolution 720 x 1280 pixels
Pixel density 294 ppi
Type IPS LCD with Clearblack (Sunlight Readibility)
Touchscreen Capacitive, Multi-touch
Features Light sensor, Proximity sensor,
Camera
Camera 8 megapixels
Flash LED
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
Hardware
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)
Sensors Accelerometer
Battery Capacity 2200 mAh
Radio FM
Speakers Earpiece, Loudspeaker
Technology
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
Connectivity
Bluetooth 4
Wi-Fi 802.11 b, g, n
Mobile hotspot Yes
USB USB 2.0

 Device Build

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.

Software

Lumia 540
The Lumia 540 comes with a 5 inch 720P IPS display.

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.

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