24
Jan
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It's been nearly two years since Blu announced a new member to the Vivo line, but the company is gearing up to release the Vivo 4.3's successor, the Vivo 4.8. Stylistically, it has a similar look to the 4.3, albeit on a slightly larger scale due to its 4.8 inch display. Also like the 4.3, the 4.8 has a Super AMOLED panel with Blu's Nex Lens and Infinite View technologies. This is in contrast to other Blu devices of late, which all use IPS panels along with Nex Lens and Infinite View.

wm_IMG_0291

For the most part, the Vivo 4.8 is a mid-range device, featuring many of the same components we've seen in Blu phones before:

  • Display: 4.8-inch 1280x720 Super AMOLED with Nex Lens and Infinite View technologies
  • Processor: Quad-Core 1.5GHz MediaTek MT6589T
  • GPU: PowerVR SGX544
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Camera: 8MP rear shooter, 5MP front
  • Storage: 16GB
  • Ports: microUSB, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Wireless: 3G 850 / 1900 or 850 / 2100; Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • OS: Android 4.2.1
  • Dimensions/Weight: 138x70x6.9mm/146g
  • Battery: 2000mAh
  • Price: $249

In a nutshell, the Vivo 4.8 reminds me of a cross between the Life Play and the Life Pro with a slightly smaller display. That probably doesn't mean much to those who haven't used either (or both) of those phones, but Blu phones generally have a different feel to them than other manufacturer's handsets, so it's the only real comparison I can make. It's a thin and light device with squared-off corners and an interesting button layout: the volume rocker and power button are on the left side of the device, with the microUSB charging port and microSIM slot on the right. The 3.5mm headphone jack is all that's on the top, and there's nothing on the bottom. On the back, the 8MP rear shooter is in the top left corner, and the device's only speaker is in the bottom-left. The sides are tapered inward, which keeps the phone from feeling "sharp" when holding it.

wm_IMG_0285 wm_IMG_0283 wm_IMG_0284

The display is a Super AMOLED panel with Blu's Nex Lens and Infinite View technologies, but honestly it just looks like a straight-up SAMOLED to me (which isn't a bad thing). Like with all SAMOLED panels, blacks are deep and rich and colors are super vibrant and really pop, but whites/light grays tend to be sort of dingy looking. Still, if you're a fan of SAMOLED displays, you should be perfectly happy with the one on the Vivo 4.8, despite its 1280x720 resolution. Speaking of that, it's actually hard to tell that this display is only 720p – everything looks sharp and crisp (including text). At first blush I assumed it was 1080p until I actually looked at the specs.

The overall build quality is on par with past Blu offerings – it feels well put together. The back is one solid, non-removable piece, but it feels identical to the thin plastic back plate on the Life Play, which means it's probably somewhat fragile. I'm glad that it doesn't come off, because the Play's panel came off too easily. Either way, I'm a fan of the seamless construction, because it just looks clean. Oh, and if you're concerned about it breaking, Blu includes a case and screen protector in the box (along with a set of earbuds and the requisite charger and cable). Good guy Blu.

wm_IMG_0298

On the software side, this is a pretty typical Blu phone. Where the company took a drastically different approach with the Life Pure, the Vivo 4.8 is basically identical to the Life Play, One, View, and Pro. It runs a nearly-stock build of Android 4.2.1 (outdated, I know), which I actually covered in-depth in the Life Play review. Instead of repeating all of that here, I'll just send you that direction. I even linked directly to the UI section of the review. Like a pillow, guys.

Overall, the Vivo 4.8 is a nice handset for just $250. Of course, Blu has some stiff competition now with the $199 Moto G – the two may be spec'd fairly similarly, but the G is already running the latest version of Android (4.4.2), which is a pretty big deal. Still, the Vivo may be a good choice for anyone looking for an affordable phone with a larger display than the G's 4.5-inch panel; similarly, it's a good option for a first smartphone.

Blu hasn't yet announced a release date for the Vivo 4.8, but it should start hitting retailers soon.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, and musician. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6- or 7-string, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Martin Holička

    Moto G has got a 4,5-inch screen, not 4,3 as stated in the article.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      Yep, fixed.

  • Cherokee4Life

    Yo listen up here's a story
    About a little guy that lives in a blue world
    and all day and all night and everything he sees
    is just blue like him inside and outside

    I'm blue da ba dee da ba die....

  • coopere

    It looks like a Lumia 620

    • Torres

      Whats lumia 620
      wp is a joke

  • http://www.arcane.org Mystech

    No memory expansion slot?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      Nope.

  • ProductFRED

    It's a good looking phone with a nice display, but the Moto G has it beat in just about every category except screen size and camera:

    - Moto G has AWS support for T-Mobile; this does not. Being that this is meant to be a prepaid device, that's a big deal considering you'll be on EDGE most of the time on T-Mobile without that 1700 MHz band.

    - Moto G has swappable back covers

    - Moto G is $50 cheaper for the same 16GB

    - Moto G has KitKat 4.4, with steady updates rolling out at Nexus-speed. This is running 4.2.1. KitKat has low-memory optimization (1 GB isn't "low", but it isn't 2 GB), so you'll be missing out on that.

    - Moto G uses the now-standard microSIM (yes, you can use a converter though). This uses the old-school "mini" SIM (iPhone 3G-era; the longer SIM)

    - Moto G has a bottom USB port. This has a retarded side USB port

    - Moto G comes with a Motorola warranty. This comes with a Blu warranty. Nothing against their company, but one is highly reputable and the other isn't.

    - Moto G has a Snapdragon 400 processor, which sips battery, and whose source code is freely available (affects the development of custom ROMs and kernels). MediaTek doesn't publish the source code for its chips.

    - Moto G's camera is just ok. This one has an 8MP camera that is probably better, along with a 5 MP camera. This also has a larger screen than the Moto G, but the Moto G has a higher pixel density because it has a smaller screen (sharper picture).

    • Simon Belmont

      Yeah. All very good points (and well laid out, too, I might add).

      It's a shame none of the Blu line has AWS, or I'd actually consider them as a phone to mess around with (that and the use of MediaTek who hates documenting their source code). Oh well.

      • j

        blu quattro series does have 1700/2100 i thought, maybe im wrong

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      Actually, the Vivo 4.8 uses a microSIM too. I just derped in the article. (I realize that's minor, but I wanted to point it out anyway).

      The rest of your points are completely spot on.

      • ProductFRED

        Thanks, edited accordingly.

    • Victor Garcia

      Being on edge all the time is only going to be an issue if you are with a T-Mobile based service provider in a non refarmed area (most cities have 3G & HSPA+ on 850/1900Mhz). If you're going to be with an AT&T SIM card 3G & HSPA+ is not going to be an issue.

  • APlack1960

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  • Vivek Goel
    • Ricardo Neves

      It's just a generic design, picked up and branded by other companies. But for some reason Android Police likes Blu. Is the screen technology proprietary?

      • psychoace

        It's not generic, these are just rebranded Gionee devices. I would understand if this was the first time this happened but most of blu's devices are just rebranded Gionee devices. All specs, sizes and weights are exactly the same. So Blu doesn't make squat. They just resell international phones to America. If you look at CT Miami's (Blu's owner) website you can see that is exactly the statement they give about the business they do.

        • Dalladubb

          Gionee doesn't make these just like Blu doesn't make these. These are unbranded handsets from a nameless manufacturer(s) in China that work with MediaTek. Gionee is the Blu of India.

  • Ryan Callihan

    I like the Nokia look to the device. I've been pretty impressed with Blu as of late. That Blu Life Pure? Beauty... I'll be keeping my eye on them

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/pamela-hill/ Pamela Hill

    "Like a pillow, guys." Awww, that joke never gets old! :D

  • Michael Fontenot

    And no lte

  • Shomari

    I don't know what treatment BLU applies to its display tech, but it works very well. Even their qHD panels are highly satisfactory, they're actually the best qHD panels I've seen. The 720p screens on their phones look much crisper than the many LG phones that are out. They're excellent bargain phones for sure.

  • [A]dri[A]n

    BLU's displays are among the best. Best I've seen when I'm in direct sunlight. With any other phone, I always have to crank up the brightness when I'm in the sunlight. With my Life Pure, I can see the screen perfectly fine at it's lowest brightness :) Great job BLU :)

  • Cuco

    Does anyone know if it supports OTG to add storage? If yes, then can use Meenova MicroSD reader to expand storage: http://goo.gl/2iJ6gf