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BLU Products

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Blu Pure XR review: Mostly decent hardware choked by bad software

I have in my hands the Pure XR, Blu's latest flagship. Teased back at the beginning of August, many noted that the phone bore some striking similarities to a few other phones from the front. Despite this, Blu was quick to express its excitement for this new device. Looking at the company's portfolio, notably the last member of the Pure line, the Pure XL, the reason for the fuss is pretty obvious. I have been using it for about a week now and I have a lot of thoughts on it. Foremost is that at the price of $299, this phone packs some good specs into a very nice frame.

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Blu announces the Pure XR, a $299 phone with an octa-core processor, 4GB of RAM, microSD slot, and a fingerprint sensor

Blu Products has done some interesting things in the affordable smartphone market. Oftentimes, you will hear Blu devices described as "great for the money" because the value that you get from them is rather surprising. Even on the lower end, I have found that Blu can do what I need a smartphone to do: make calls, check email, and use Hangouts. Ever since the Vivo 5 and Vivo XL, priced at $199 and $99 respectively, released earlier this year, Blu has really upped its game on its core value proposition. Recently, we saw the Energy XL, a mammoth of a phone with an equally large battery, for $299 that turned out to be quite a competitor in the market.

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[Update: Winners!] Win A Blu Life One X Or Vivo 5 (Six Phones Total) From Blu And Android Police

We've been working with Blu for quite a while now, and the company has been putting out some of its best phones to date over the last few months. With the release of the Life One X (2016) and Vivo 5, Blu has once again set the bar for what a "budget" phone can — and should — be. For $150 and $200 respectively, these are two of the absolute best phones that are available on the market today in this price range.

This contest is now over.

The final results are listed below. If you've won, you will be contacted in the near future.

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Blu Announces The Vivo 5 And Vivo XL, Feature Octa-Core Processors, 3/2GB RAM, And All-Metal Construction Starting At Just $149

I feel like the new Life One X was somewhat of a turning point for Blu—they've always offered good phones for the price, but the LOX is a truly great phone for the money. It launched at just $99 for the first three days, which was an absolute steal; even now at $149, it's still a great deal for a phone that performs much, much better than its price suggests.

Today, at the Consumer Electronics Show, Blu pretty much confirmed my thoughts (that they're going to start offering even more bang for the buck moving forward) with the announcement of the Vivo 5 and Vivo XL.

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Blu Announces The Massive 7-inch Studio 7.0 HD LTE For Those Who Want A Tablet Trapped In A Phone's Body

Sometimes in a person's life, they just need a huge phone. And I'm not talking Nexus 6 huge — think bigger. Like, sometimes you just want to be able to talk on something more along the lines of a Nexus 7, right? I mean, even if that's not something you actually want to do, it's now an option with the new Studio 7.0 HD from Blu. Yes, this is a 7-inch phone.

Seven. Inches.

Specs:

  • Display: 7-inch 1280x720 with Blu Infinite View Technology
  • Processor: 1.2GHz Snapdragon 410
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Camera: 8 MP rear camera; 2MP front
  • Storage: 16GB internal with microSD card slot
  • Wireless: 4G LTE bands 2/3/4/7/12/17/28; 3G 850/1700/1900/2100; BT 4.0, Wi-Fi, Hotspot; dual SIM
  • Dimensions: 190 x 99.8 x 8.5 mm; 266g
  • Battery: 3,700 mAh
  • OS: Android 5.1.1
  • Price: $199
  • Available Colors: Ceramic White, Midnight Gray, Rose Gold, and Navy Blue
  • Buy: Amazon

So it's a big phone with otherwise underwhelming specs.

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Hands-On With The Blu Studio Energy 2 And Energy X: All Day (And More) Battery Life On A Budget

There's an interesting line drawn in the sand between smartphone users and smartphone makers: for the longest time, many companies thought users wanted the thinnest, lightest phones on the planet (and for a time, I think they may have actually been right). But now, that's not how it is. Users don't care how thin their phone is most of the time — they just want it to last all damn day. All-day longevity translates in one way when it comes to form factor: thicker and heavier. That's basically the opposite direction the industry was heading up until recently, and now we're finally starting to see large batteries show up in phones.

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Hands-On With The Blu Life One And Life 8 XL: Two Upcoming Budget Smartphones With A Lot To Offer For The Price

Back at CES earlier this year, Blu announced a handful of phones, including the Vivo Air, Studio X, and Studio Energy. Today, we're looking at the final phone from that announcement, the Life One, as well as another handset Blu has coming out in a few weeks, the Life 8 XL.

Let's jump right in with specs.

Life One

Specs

Display 5-inch 1280x720 display with Gorilla Glass 3
Processor 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 with Adreno 306
RAM 1GB
Camera 13 MP rear shooter, 5MP front
Storage 8GB with SD card slot (up to 64GB)
Ports microUSB, 3.5mm headphone jack
Wireless LTE, HSPA+, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Dimensions 143 x 72.1 x 7.5mm, 125g
Battery 2420mAh
OS Android 4.4.2 (Lollipop coming next month)
Price $149 ($99 for one week during pre-orders)
Buy Amazon (Pre-order; release date: June 19th)

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The first thing worth noting about the Life One is the processor - it's a 64 bit Snapdragon 410.

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Hands On With The Studio C, Blu's First Lollipop Phone - Available Today For $99

I've spent time with a lot of Blu handsets over the past couple of years, and one of the biggest downsides (to me, at least) is always the outdated software. In fact, every Blu phone I've looked at so far this year has been running KitKat. Fortunately, Lollipop is set to hit a few of the company's handsets starting this month, and it also just released the Studio C - its first offering to run Lollipop right out of the box.

The Studio C is a modest midranger with specs similar to some of Blu's other more recent devices (like the Studio Energy):

Specs

Display 5-inch 1280x720 with Blu Infinite View Technology
Processor 1.3GHz quad-core Mediatek MT6582 with Mali-400 GPU
RAM 1 GB
Camera 8MP rear, 2MP front
Storage 8GB internal, microSD Card slot
Ports microUSB, 3.5mm headphone jack
Wireless 850/1700/1900, Dual SIM
Dimensions 144 x 72.4 x 9.4 mm, 172 g
Battery 3,000 mAh
OS Android 5.0
Price $99
Buy Amazon

Powerhouse?

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[Deal Alert] Grab The Dual-SIM BLU Advance 4.0 For Just $50 On Today's Amazon Goldbox

I've been a long-time fan of Blu phones - they are, generally speaking, solid handsets for the money. Whether you're looking for an affordable daily driver for yourself, a backup, or a cheap alternative for someone else, I feel like Blu is a great place to start the search.

2015-04-09_10h48_16

Today, Amazon is offering a good deal on one of Blu's older handsets, the Advance 4.0, for just $50 as part of its Goldbox deal. Don't get me wrong, this isn't a super-expensive phone in the first place - it retails for something like $90. And as you'd expect, the specs aren't anything to really be impressed by:

  • 4-inch 480x800 display
  • Dual Core Mediatex MT6572 1.3GHz processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • 4GB Storage, microSD card slot
  • 5MP rear shooter, VGA front camera
  • Android 4.2

Like I said, it's nothing to get excited about.

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Hands On With The Blu Studio X Plus And Studio G, Available Now Exclusively From Best Buy

 

Back at CES in January, Blu announced a handful of upcoming devices that were all basically slated to hit shelves in the first quarter of 2015. We've already taken a look at two of those phones: the super sleek and thin Vivo Air, as well as the massive battery-packing Studio Energy. Today, I have the Studio X Plus (which is exactly like the Studio X, just larger) and the ultra-affordable Studio G, two more devices that were announced in that same lineup.

Both phones are from Blu's Studio line, which is basically Blu's midrange series of devices. You typically find slightly slower processors and lower-quality displays than what you'd see on the company's higher-end devices, but they also have prices to match.

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