​Microsoft's Lumia 640 and 640 XL heading to the UK this month

Microsoft's new Lumia 640 and 640 XL should be available to purchase outright or on-contract by the end of April.

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The Lumia 640 XL. Image: Microsoft
Brits who don't want to spend big on a new smartphone will be able to get their hands on Microsoft's affordable Lumia 640 or 640 XL by the end of the month.

Microsoft is gradually ramping up availability of the new Lumia 640 or 640 XL, announced in March at Mobile World Congress.

Sales are set to start this month in Europe - home to a number of Windows Phone-friendly markets - Microsoft confirmed, while a date for the US release is yet to be revealed.

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The Lumia 640 has been available for pre-order in the UK, France, and Germany for about a month, and Microsoft UK has now confirmed the phablet will also be available for purchase by the end of April. According to Microsoft's UK website, the devices will arrive by 28 April.

Microsoft has also revealed which retailers and carriers in the UK will be stocking the two devices, as well as contract pricing.

Pre-order pricing in the UK for the Lumia 640 is £170 including VAT, however it will also be available from £99.99 or £15.50 per month on contract with Dixon Carphone Group, EE, O2, Vodafone, Three, Amazon, Tesco, and Virgin.

At the moment, it looks like the XL won't be heading to physical retail outlets and won't be available with the same monthly tariffs. Microsoft said the device will however be available from a range of online retailers starting £219 SIM-free. It will be available in matte cyan, orange, and black, as well as both matte and glossy white.

In Germany, Deutsche Telekom will be promoting the Lumia 640 under its recently signed partnership with Microsoft.

The Lumia 640 is a five-inch HD device with an eight-megapixel rear camera sensor, and a 2500mAh battery, available in either single SIM variants for 3G and LTE, as well as dual-SIM LTE. The 3G version is priced at €139, the LTE equivalent at €159.

The 640 XL is a chunkier 5.7-inch phablet, with a 13-megapixel camera, Zeiss optics, and LED flash, as well as a 3000mAh battery. Accordingly, it's slightly more expensive at €189 for the 3G and €219 for 4G.

It looks as if Microsoft is running a little behind schedule with its release. In March it said the 640 would be available from April and 640 XL from March. Besides Deutsche Telekom, the device will also come to AT&T, T-Mobile, Telefonica, and Orange.

The devices will also get the Windows 10 update when it becomes available later this year.

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