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Blu Vivo 5 Quick Review: $400 Worth Of Phone For $199

Back at CES, Blu announced two phones: the Vivo XL and Vivo 5. While we've already taken a look at the former, the latter is the one we've really been waiting for. I've had it in-hand for about a week now, and there's honestly a lot to talk about with this handset. From the specs to the design, this definitely offers more than a $200 handset should, though there are definitely some quirks with the software.

But I'm getting ahead of myself now. Let's start at the beginning. And when we get to the end — stop.

Specs

Display 5.5-inch 1280x720 Super AMOLED with Gorilla Glass 3
Processor 1.3GHz octa-core Mediatek 6753 64-bit with Mali T720 GPU
RAM 3GB
Camera 13MP rear shooter, 5MP front
Storage 32GB, microSD card slot
Wireless 3G: 850/1700/1900/2100; 4G LTE: 2/4/7; Dual SIM
Ports USB Type-C, 3.5mm headphone
Battery 3,150mAh
OS Android 5.1
Dimensions 151.9 x 74.6 x 6.9 mm
Price $199
Colors Gold, Silver
Buy Amazon; Best Buy

The Good

Great performance for the money It's hard to argue with what this phone is capable of for just $200.
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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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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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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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Blu Announces Two New Phones In The Energy Series: The 5,000mAh Studio Energy 2 And 4,000mAh Energy X

 

Blu isn't really known for slowing down when it comes to announcing new phones, and the company is keeping the pace we've all come to expect with the arrival of two new phones in the Energy line: the Studio Energy 2 and Energy X.

The Studio Energy 2, like its name suggests, is the successor to the original Studio Energy, which hit the scene back in February of this year. The new model features the same 5,000mAh battery, but most of the other specs have been improved: 5-inch 720p panel protected by Gorilla Glass 3, 1.3GHz Mediatek 6735 Quad-Core processor, 1.5GB RAM, 16GB storage, microSD card slot, and Android 5.0.

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Blu Pure XL (2015) Finally Available For Pre-Order On Amazon

A few weeks ago, we spent some time with what's easily the most powerful phone Blu has ever released, the 2015 Pure XL. Not only is it packing the best specs we've ever seen in a Blu phone, but at $350, it also comes in at a great price point. And now, it's finally available for pre-order on Amazon.

In case you need a reminder, here's a look at what the Pure XL has going on under its hood:

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