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blu

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Blu Vivo XL Quick Review: Breaking The Boundaries Of What A $99 Phone Should Be

AT CES earlier this month, Blu announced two new phones: the Vivo 5 and Vivo XL. Today, we're taking a closer look at the lower-end of the two, the Vivo XL, which is the first one to hit the market. This one isn't a dramatic difference from some of the other more recent stuff we've seen from Blu — like the Life One X, for example — but it does continue the company tradition of offering a lot of phone for the money.

Under the hood, it's actually a lot like the aforementioned Life One X, though it does have a slightly larger, lower-resolution display.

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[Deal Alert] The New BLU Vivo XL Is On Sale For A Sweet $100 On Best Buy ($50 Off)

The amount of technology and specs that you can get for less than $200 nowadays is staggering. Do you remember when we were gushing over quad-core processors and 720p displays in flagships that cost over $600 and $700? Well, now those specs count in the lower end of the smartphone market, or at best the lower midrange.

Take the BLU Vivo XL for example. It was just announced at CES at the beginning of the month.

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What We Use, 2016 Edition: The Stuff Cameron Can't Live Without

In 2012, we started a series called "What We Use," where we, the AP staff, talked about the stuff that we can't live without. It started off as something where we just discussed our Android devices and computers, but last year we took that a step further (at Artem's request, no less) and discussed a lot more than that, basically covering everything that we love in our lives. The most important stuff to us, as people.

It's been over a year since my last WWU post, and you probably know what that means: time for a new one. I actually really enjoy writing these posts, and I hope you enjoy reading it.

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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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[Deal Alert] Pick Up A Blu Vivo Air LTE For $150 ($50 Off) From Amazon For A Very Limited Time

Look, if you want a phone that won't break the bank, there are a lot of options worse than the Blu Vivo Air LTE. It's an upgrade over the original Vivo Air in many ways—the addition of LTE, more RAM, and on-screen buttons easily make the shortlist. I was kind of disappointed in the Snapdragon 410's performance overall when I reviewed it, but it's not atrocious by any standard.

For a very limited time—about five and a half hours at the time of publication, in fact—you can score the Vivo Air LTE for just $150. That's $50 off the normal price of $199, so it's a pretty solid deal.

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Blu Life One X (2015) Quick Review: The Perfect Balance Between Price And Performance

 

Back in January of 2014, Blu released what I then called my "favorite Blu phone to date"—the Life One X. At the time, it was a solid budget phone, but affordable smartphones have come so far since then. The last year or so has been great for the budget phone scene, and we've watched devices get more and more powerful while prices kept dropping.

Today, Blu announced the new version of the Life One X, and guess what? It's probably the best budget device I've ever used. One might even say it's probably "my favorite Blu phone to date," save for maybe the new Pure XL.

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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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[Deal Alert] BLU Vivo Selfie Is On Sale For $99 ($50 Off) Today Only In The Amazon Goldbox

How's your selfie game doing? Is it mediocre? I bet it is. What you need is a phone with a front-facing 8MP shooter with a flash. Yeah, that's the ticket. Amazon is selling the BLU Vivo Selfie for just $99, but this deal is good for today only.

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Blu Announces The New Pure XL: 6" QHD Display, 3GB RAM, 64GB Storage, NFC, 2GHz Octa-Core Processor, Fingerprint Reader, And More For $350

In May of last year, Blu released the Life Pure XL, its first large-screen device made to compete with some of the affordable flagships of the time (like the OnePlus One). Today, the company has announced the Life Pure XL's successor, simply called the Pure XL. This new flagship model is the most powerful phone Blu has ever produced, and it comes in at a price that makes it hard to ignore.

Specs

Display 6-inch QHD (2560x1440) Super AMOLED with Gorilla Glass 3
Processor 2.0 GHz 64-bit octa-core Mediatek MT6795 Helio x10
RAM 3 GB
Camera 24 MP f/2.3 sensor w/ sapphire +6p lens; 8 MP wide-angle front camera
Storage 64 GB, microSD card slot
Ports microUSB 2.0, 3.5 mm audio, fingerprint reader
Wireless GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, HSDPA 850 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100, LTE B2 / B4 /B7 / B17, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC
Dimensions 164 x 82.2 x 9.3 mm.
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Hands-On With The Blu Vivo Selfie, Energy X Plus, And Studio C 5+5

Earlier this week, Blu announced a handful of new phones: the Vivo Selfie, Studio C 5+5, Studio C 5+5 LTE, and Energy X Plus. Each handset has something that makes it stand out from the others, and all of them come in at the low price points that we've come to expect from Blu. In short, we've got a thin and light phone made for selfies, a pair of ultra-affordable devices with dual 5MP shooters, and one with a battery that's in it for the long haul.

I've had three of the four for the last few days, with the only exception being the 5+5 LTE since it's virtually identical to the 5+5, just with the addition of LTE.

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