Posh Mobile L640 Review – Bigger is Better

Every so often I come across a phone that both delights and disappoints. It may be something like the original Moto X with its unique software experience but low-res screen. Or it could be the HTC One M8 with its nearly perfect design that was hampered by a decidedly imperfect camera. The Posh Mobile L640 is one such phone. It is beautiful, possessing a boldly large 6.4 inch screen wrapped in aluminum body. But it is flawed due to software support and some key hardware misses.

Posh Mobile L640

I usually structure my hardware, especially phone, reviews to cover certain aspects like design, software, battery, etc. This review will take a slightly different organizational approach. I’ll get the bad stuff out of the way first because some of it is major. If you find that the missing pieces are just too much to bear you’ll be able to skip the remainder of the review. The I’ll move on to the positive aspects of the review. Read on to see how the pluses and minuses shake out and whether or not you should consider the Posh Mobile L640. (Hint, I think you should consider it)

THE BAD

My biggest gripe with the L640 is the software. It shipped with Android 5.1 Lollipop and looks like it is going to be stuck there. I checked with a Posh representative and was told there is no upgrade for the L640. Could it see an upgrade in the future? Possibly but don’t count on it. While Lollipop isn’t the worst experience out there it does mean that the phone won’t receive security updates and, eventually, apps may not be compatible with it. The default launcher is called Phenix and it is a dreadful iOS style launcher – no app drawer, no sorting, icon backgrounds, long press to move/delete, etc. Thankfully it’s easy to replace it with your favorite home screen app. I used the Google Now Launcher for the duration of the review period.

There are also a few tweaks to the UI that are a bit strange.  One is the clear recent apps button. It shows up on the recents screen as a broom button but appears right on top of your recent screens. It blends in like crazy.

There are also a couple of significant misses on the hardware side. First, there’s no front facing speaker. There’s only a tiny rear speaker near the bottom of the phone. It’s very easy to cover up and mute when holding the phone. There’s seemingly plenty of room for at least one front firing speaker and on a large device like the L640 it would be really appreciated. The second big hardware miss is the lack of a fingerprint reader. Of course, we’re talking about a sub-$250 phone ($225 as of the time of writing) so the lack of hardware features is somewhat understandable. Comparing the L640 to a $600+ hero phone is a little unfair.

The other big letdown is the GPU. The Mediatek CPU/GPU pushing this phone just doesn’t cut it when playing graphics-instense games. It struggles. The phone scored 1354 in the Geekbench 4 RenderScript test. That puts it somewhere near the Asus Nexus 7. In practice, though, it seems slower. Take a look at the screenshots below from Hitman: Sniper. You can see the game on the L640 has dropped to a lower-poly mode. The game is just not as rich as it is on a more modern phone like the Moto Z. If you are not a 3D gamer, however, this won’t be much of a problem. For day-to-day tasks the L640 is fine.

Posh L640 Hitman: Sniper
The L640 just melts under pressure.
Moto Z Hitman: Sniper
The Moto Z Handles Hitman: Sniper with full detail.

THE GOOD

I want to be very clear – I really liked using the Posh Mobile L640. The 6.4 inch 1920×1080 screen is a real joy to use. The phone feels great in the hand and was not even close to the bulky oversized hulk I feared it would be.

Design

The front of the phone is all glass that’s dominated by the 6.4 inch display. The side bezels are small and the top and bottom are typical for today’s phones. Not quite iPhone large but not tiny either. The sides of the phone are encased in a beveled aluminum band which goes a long way to making the L640 feel like a premium phone. It’s not round like the iPhone 6 series or squared off like a Lumia 930 but rather somewhere in the middle. The edges help keep the phone from slipping out of your hand – something I worried about with a phone this size. It just feels great in the hand and slips easily into pockets thanks to its slim 8.1 mm body.

Posh Mobile L640

The side buttons on the L640 are placed well. They are about two thirds of the way up the sides – right side for power and left side for volume. There’s a microUSB port centered along the bottom edge and a left justified 3.5 mm headphone port up top. The back of the phone is mostly an aluminum plate with plastic near the top and bottom, presumably for antennae access. The overall look of the phone is stunning.

Posh Mobile L640

The phone is a little heavy but not extremely so. It feels well balanced and proportional to the size of the screen and the battery. That said, you won’t want to drop this phone on your face while reading or watching videos. It could do some damage. The phone could definitely be lighter with cheaper materials but I’m happy with the design decisions made.

Screen

It bears repeating that the screen is massive at 6.4 inches. It is a FHD LCD and comes in at a respectable 344 PPI. Upon initial setup the color seemed a little off. I chalked this up to the difference between AMOLED (my normal choice) and LCD. Fortunately there’s a MiraVision utility in settings that really lets you customize things. There’s a standard and vibrant mode plus a user mode that allows you to tweak just about everything – contrast, brightness, saturation, sharpness, temperature, and dynamic contrast. The tool works great and I was able to find a setting that looked perfect to me.

Posh Mobile L640
The L640 dwarfs the 5.2 inch DROID Turbo

Battery

The L640 packs a huge 5,800 mAh battery. This phone got bar none the best battery life of any phone I’ve ever used. I easily cleared 2 days of regular use. If battery life is one of your primary drivers when considering a phone then the L640 is worth a look.

Posh L640 Battery Life

Software

So, yes, it is a bummer that the phone is likely stuck on Lollipop. But, the phone is nearly stock once you replace the launcher. All of the settings are in their standard stock layout. Menus look like Android. The lock screen is stock. Even the on-screen buttons are in the stock layout. Many budget phones ape the Samsung layout and swap the back and recents buttons.

Posh L640 Recents Screen

Camera

As expected in this segment the cameras on the L640 are only middling. It isn’t the worst camera experience you’ll ever have but is far from the best. The rear camera is 13 MP while the front camera weighs in at an impressive 8 MP. As is typical, daylight pictures are fine but low-light shots really suffer. You won’t buy this phone for its camera but it will do a good enough job to get by in most scenarios.

The camera app is customized and has features like panorama, live pictures, picture-in-pitcure, and more. There’s even a wrinkle-remover option and, oddly enough, a face whitener. They all work but I had a hard time getting past the Android 2.3 Gingerbread look of the app.

Performance

As mentioned above, the phone suffers when running 3D applications like games. But the general purpose CPU does a good job overall. It’s an octa-core MediaTek 6753 and feels every bit as capable as the Qualcomm 600 series that other mid-range phones run. The CPU scores 2338 on the Geekbench 4 Multi-Core test. That’s about in line with the Samsung Galaxy S5 and that seems like a fair comparison. There’s 3 GB of RAM which is a surprising bonus at this price. Internal storage is 32 GB (about 23 GB usable after app updates). There is no microSD expansion option.

I watched a lot of video on this phone and never once saw any stuttering or lag. Chrome worked well and everything loaded normally. Using the phone in general was smooth. Overall I was pleased with the daily performance of the L640. It didn’t crawl like some other MediaTek based phones I’ve used. I pretty much forgot I was using a phone with a “lesser” CPU. It was a good experience.

Value

Bang-for-buck is one of Posh Mobile’s biggest selling points with the L640. The phone comes in under $250 (slight variance depending on color) and is a great value at that price. It’s going head-to-head against the Moto G4 Plus and BLU Vivo 5R at that price point. You’ll have to weigh the pros and cons of each for yourself but I’d be hard pressed to not choose the L640.

Miscellany

  • There’s a reboot option in the power menu!
  • The horrible Lollipop audio profiles are replaced by silent, vibrate, normal, and extra loud (outdoor) modes.
  • There’s a notification light that shines for notifications and during charges.
  • EVERYBODY asked me about this phone. If you like attention then this is the phone for you.
  • I used this phone exclusively with Ting using T-Mobile’s network

CONCLUSION

I really liked the Posh Mobile L640. It’s a phone with a lot of upside and, to be fair, a few problems. For me, however, the positives outweigh the negatives. I found myself coming back to it even when I had other options like the Moto Z available. Check it out on Amazon. It’s available in black, white, and rose gold variants.

SPECS

CPUMediaTek 6753, 1.3 GHz octa-core
GPUMali ???
RAM3 GB
Internal Storage32 GB
MicroSD SupportNo
LTE Bands2, 3, 4, 7, 17
HSPA Bands850/900/1800/1900
Dual SIMYes
Battery5800 mAh, non-removable
OSAndroid 5.1
Display6.4 inches, 1080×1920, 344 PPI, LCD
Main Camera13 MP with LED Flash, HDR
Front Camera8 MP
Bluetooth4.0 LE
Fingerprint SensorNo
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Robert Daniels

I'm a long-time tech and gadget enthusiast that currently uses Android, Windows 10 Mobile, and iOS devices. I'm always interested in ways to improve my family's life with new devices and services, though my beautiful wife might just say I'm addicted to playing with gadgets.