Once upon a time, Blu was pushing out low- to mid-range phones once every couple of weeks. Then a shift happened – the company stepped up its game and started putting out higher quality handsets, leading up to last month's release of the Life Pure XL – a Snapdragon 800-packing monster.
Fast-forward to now, with the launch of two new Blu handsets: the Vivo IV and Life 8. While the Life 8 is more of a "mid-range" octa-core device (1GB RAM, 1280x720 display, 8GB storage), the Vivo IV is another beast entirely.
In the past, Blu has offered budget-friendly phones with mid to mid-high end specs. The biggest issue that most power users have had with the company's handsets is a simple one: MediaTek processors. While these particular chips offer good bang for the buck, they are still mostly underpowered for heavy multi-taskers or anyone looking for lightning quickness from their handset.
It looks like we may be getting into a new era for Blu if the new Life Pure XL is any indicator of what to expect moving forward.
Can you make a smartphone without compromise? Is it possible to cram top-of-the-line hardware into a slim phone body, then fit it with well-regarded software, then sell it for about half the price of competing devices, and call the resulting product a "flagship killer?" Can you, as the ceaseless OnePlus promotion machine so succinctly puts it, "never settle?"
In a word, no. The OnePlus One, the maiden Android phone from a boutique manufacturer, is not completely without its shortcomings (or indeed, its compromises).
There it is folks, the Moto E has been announced. We've known about it for a little while thanks to a couple of leaks, one of which even included specs. Today, Motorola held an event in India to officially launch the budget handset, starting it at just 6999 Rupees (about $117 USD). Shortly after the show was over, US pre-orders also went live with a starting price of $129 without contract.
While Huawei's presence here in the United States has remained limited, the company's handset shipments in Asia and other parts of the world make it a serious mobile contender in the grand scheme. Today, Huawei announced its latest attempt to usurp its competitors at the high end of the market: the Ascend P7.
The P7 looks largely reminiscent of the P6, which is to say it looks largely reminiscent of an iPhone 4.
Someone at the Caterpillar equipment company had a lot of fun devising this promotional video for CAT's Android-powered, ruggedized smartphone, the B15. In addition to some dramatic drops using machines right out of a Tonka fantasy, the demonstrators set up a line of 600 smartphones, all powered on and running, then ran over them with a CAT 277D Multi-Terrain Loader weighing over 9,000 pounds. Let's watch!
Naturally the phones come out unscathed, or at least apparently so.
After all the teasing and big talk, the OnePlus One has been officially announced. Some of what wasn't revealed by the company in the lead up to the unveiling was leaked a few days ago, but now we've got all the details. This device is clearly going after the Nexus category of devices with a low price and solid feature set. Oh, and it has CyanogenMod.
I've said it dozens of times, but I'll say it again: there aren't enough eight-inch Android tablets. When the iPad Mini was announced, I assumed more manufacturers would jump on the form factor, but nope – there still aren't that many. Needless to say, when HP announced the Slate8 Pro, I was intrigued. It's an 8-inch tablet with a 4:3 aspect ratio, which treads directly on the iPad Mini's territory. Of course, we have to be realistic here – it's an HP tablet, and so far there hasn't been anything really remarkable coming from them.
Smartwatch fans now have a new Pebble to drool over: the Pebble Steel. This is functionally identical to the original pebble, but it's smaller, thinner, and of course comes in a steel wrapper. This new model of the Pebble comes in black or silver colors and demands a $100 premium over the standard plastic model, retailing for an impressive $249.
Pebble Steel comes with a matching metal band and a bonus leather band, custom made for the unique head (which may not work with interchangeable watch bands).