Lumia 640XL even worked in Popanyinning

Per the previous post, I went on a picture-taking drive to Popanyinning (Popo) on the weekend. In the previous post I put up some of the pictures I took on the drive to Popo, and in a future post I will put up some of the pictures I took on the way back. But this post is about my 'new' Lumia 640XL smartphone.

I am amazed, truly amazed, at how well the Lumia 640XL performed on my Popanyinning trip.

Early in the journey to Popo you travel through about 50 kilometres of forest; known as the DRA or disease risk area—because of the risk of die-back infecting the trees. Once you get away from the suburbs and over the hill near the Rock Inn and into the forest most (practically all) smartphones get no cell signal, except for a few small patches here and there where there is enough cell signal making it through on the higher hilly sections for them to pick it up. But not so with the Microsoft Lumia 640XL. Every time I checked for signal on the 640XL, which was at every photo stop and four or five other times, I had a signal. In some cases three out of five bars of signal. And just to make sure the signal strength was not some kind of aberration I made a call to a friend; and it worked.

This was a very impressive performance by the 640XL. But there's more . . .

When I arrived at my destination in Popanyinning I was able to get two to three bars of signal in the house where I was visiting. With all my previous phones I have had to go outside and stand near the north-east fence under a tree up on a bit of rise to get sufficient signal strength to make a call; and considering using 3G for data was just out of the question. Also I often had calls drop out, even in the signal strength 'hot spot' near the fence.

But this trip—with two bars of signal—I was able to connect to 3G data from within the house! Seriously. I kid you not. So there I was in Popanyinning, in the house, with the nearest Telstra cell tower being in Pingelly some 20 kilometres away over hilly terrain, using my 640XL smartphone to surf the Web and look for a DVD on the JBHIFI site and then on the EzyDVD site.

I think Telstra should probably have given the 640XL, and probably also the 640 (although I cannot speak from personal experience about the 640), TWO blue ticks.