Review: CC-3090 Microsoft Cover for the Lumia 640 XL
Yes, yes, I know I just reviewed the equivalent product for the Lumia 640, but a) this is in black, b) it's Friday, and c) there's a chance to have a dig at Microsoft over Qi charging again... This is the black official back cover replacement and it's for the larger device, the Lumia 640 XL, transforming my 'consumer' white 640 XL phablet into a mean black business machine...
From the review of the 640 version:
The problem with flip covers, usually, is that they add a lot of bulk, clipping over an existing (usually sealed) phone body, and then adding the thickness of the flip as well. For many people, it's all a little too much, so that you really have to want to have a flip cover to even consider it in the first place.
The Microsoft cover here takes its cues from a handful of designs in the past, mainly for Samsung's Galaxy Note series, in which the back of the flip cover is a whole new back for the phone itself. In other words, there's no extra bulk (in theory) around the back of the device. Moreover, because this case is 100% official, it fits absolutely perfectly. And with the cover replacing (mostly) the only coloured parts of the original phone, this flip cover has the potential to not only provide protection at minimal increase in size, but also to effectively change the colour of your phone and case in one go, whenever you like.
Again, I'm not good at telling today's leathers and faux leathers apart, but looking at the price and feeling the quality/texture here, I'd say that this is the real thing, around an internal hard plastic screen protector and covered inside with a 'microfibre' lining, helping keep the Lumia 640 XL screen pristine. The flip lining also has two slots for credit cards or similar, though this will make the flip thicker, of course, plus I'd be worried about the physical elements of the cards that remain showing, leaving imprints on the phone screen. Despite being called a 'wallet case', I'd suggest that the slot remain unused.
Of particular note, given the presence of the Lumia 640 XL's ostensibly exposed panel of four electronic contacts, shown here to be wired up to the charging circuits, is that there's no Qi charging coils in this flip cover. I contacted Microsoft and was told, unequivocally, that the device doesn't support Qi charging. It's not clear whether this is stonewalling until a suitable case is created or whether there isn't yet supported in the firmware. Or perhaps Qi charging backs were planned (hence the contacts) but then the whole idea was scrapped after testing. Either way, we should be told, and I live in hope that a suitable, working Qi-enabled case will emerge in the future.
[In fact, I might even have a play with an aftermarket coil, a multimeter and some suitable wires, as a rainy afternoon project. What's the worst that can happen?! PS. Don't try this at home!]
Of note, and perhaps you can see it in the photos, is that the replacement back is ever so slightly thicker than the original, by about a millimetre. This is mainly so that the material of the leather hinge can be integrated into the back, but it does also mean that thicker plastic (sorry, polycarbonate) can be used, adding extra protection in the event of a drop and, on this 640 XL version effectively removing the camera 'hump' from the phone and giving you back an almost 'flat' back.
Put it all together though and the Lumia 640 XL is transformed, and not just in colour. The fit and finish here is great and justifies the £20 price in my opinion.
Flip covers are loved or hated, of course, their use is very much subjective. I'm not normally in the 'love' camp, since the flip gets in the way more often than not (e.g. when taking photos), but it's hard to argue with the cover here, given that the 640 XL won't be used for much serious imaging and given that there's very little increase in bulk, while providing significant extra protection.
As with the 640 version then, definitely recommended. You can buy this from the usual stockists - we got ours from Mobile Fun here. Although ours was a professional and business-like black, you can also get this in blue and (shocking) orange. Gulp!
Reviewed by Steve Litchfield at