In June of last year, Blu released its sleekest phone yet, the Vivo IV. This ultra-thin, super-svelte handset really put an emphasis on design, something that no other Blu phone before had really done. At CES, the company announced the newest member of the Vivo line, the Vivo Air. At just 5.1 mm thick, this is the thinnest smartphone you can currently buy in the US. It's stupid-thin, but it also weighs under 100 grams, so it's equally as light.
Blu isn't a company that's typically known for pushing out the highest-end flagship devices, but rather a solid company offering unlocked budget handsets. It's always releasing new handsets, giving potential customers a lot to choose from. At CES this year, the company took wraps off of seven new handsets (to be fair, a couple of those are from the same line), none of which cost more than $199 off-contract. Powerhouses? Probably not.
Guys, the smartphone world is getting crazy. Phones just seem to keep growing, and Blu's Studio 7.0 is the biggest I've seen yet. Before we get into the meat and potatoes of what this massive phone is all about, I want to get one thing out of the way: this is not a tablet with telephone capabilities. Stylistically and functionally, the Studio 7.0 is a massive smartphone through and through.
I think the real appeal of the Studio 7 (you know, for those who are actually looking for a 7-inch smartphone), is the price: this oversized handset only costs $150.
When it comes to affordable, off-contract handsets, BLU is one of my favorite phone manufacturers on the market. The company offers a myriad of devices to fit a wide range of budgets, and today's release features a couple of new handsets for those looking to pick up a smartphone for around $150 or less. As always with BLU, that's an off-contract price.
These two new phones – the Studio C Mini and Studio 5.0 C HD – are made to compete directly with Motorola's budget devices, the Moto E and Moto G, respectively.
Basically all of Blu's phones as of the last year or so have been released with Android 4.2.2, leaving users waiting for any sign of an update to put them past Jelly Bean. We've known that the company planned on pushing KitKat to a number of devices towards the end of June, and it has now released the initial devices that will be the first to get 4.4, along with a statement on Facebook.
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.
Not everyone likes big phones, of that there is no question. Those who do, however, usually love them. Among those who fancy said behemoth handsets, the almost-a-tablet-but-still-also-a-phone nature of the "phablet" is likely what is most appealing; especially for those who don't already own one of each. Of course, there aren't a whole lot of options outside of the Galaxy Mega, Sony's Z Ultra, or the Galaxy Note 3 (which, arguably, doesn't even fall into the same category any longer).
Back in December, Blu released its first 1080p phone, the Life Pure. It's a drastically different device than other Blu phones, in that the launcher and primary interface are very iOS-like. While most Android users probably scoff at that, it's actually a pretty good option for anyone looking to make the leap from iPhone to Android, as it eases the transition. With that said, the five-inch display may be one thing holding some users back from making the jump to the Life Pure, and with that, Blu released the Pure's little brother, the Life Pure Mini.