Almost a month ago to the day, it was revealed by The New York Times that BLU - a smartphone manufacturer that largely sells rebranded handsets from Southeast Asia in the US - was among a group of smartphone OEMs with software on their devices sending private user data like text messages back to a company in China. The offending software's behavior was quickly patched with an OTA update to the phone, but the damage, it seemed, was done. BLU and the company who created the software both claim the data theft was entirely accidental, and that all user data the company in China received was promptly deleted. Read More
Blu took a substantial hit last month when security firm Kryptowire discovered a pre-installed service on several of the company's phones was sending users' data to a server in China. The offending service was part of the OTA update module provided by third-party company Adups. Blu has now promised to get rid of the Adups software after previously neutering it. Read More
BLU doesn't have a particularly great reputation for its phones' software, and the recent discovery of spyware on its phones, including those sold in the US, certainly didn't help it. However, the company's popular R1 HD, best known for costing Amazon Prime members only $50, has just received an update with some nice improvements for T-Mobile customers. Read More
Mobile security is a huge issue, but most consumers tend to think that at least a brand new phone is safe. That assumption may be in error, according to security research firm Kryptowire. In a new report Kryptowire documents the inclusion of software tools collectively called Adups, which allegedly shipped on phones like the Blu R1 HD and other devices sold internationally, including the US market via Amazon and Best Buy. Read More
Blu has a history of making phones with excellent specs for extremely low prices. We recently reviewed the Blu Pure XR, and while the specs on that device were good for a $299 phone, the software experience left a lot to be desired. Blu has just revealed their newest device, the Life One X2, and it is very impressive at the price point. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
BlackBerry's phone sales have been on the decline for years, and its switch to Android may have been too little too late. The company's first Android phone, the PRIV, has not made a significant impact on the market. BlackBerry CEO John Chen made an unusual and potentially troubling statement on the company's May earnings call. He said he was in "patent licensing mode." That means lawsuits, and one of the first targets is budget phone maker BLU. Read More
The BLU R1 HD is a cheap Android phone, made even cheaper by its release as an Amazon Prime Exclusive device. You pay $50 (or $60 for the 16GB/2GB RAM version) for the phone instead of its original $100 price tag, but you get Amazon's apps pre-installed and its ads on the lockscreen. It's not that bad really: David has been trying to live with it for a month and hasn't faced many issues beside the "slowening", ie. the fact that the phone gets slower the more you use it.
If you've had an eye on this device either as your main phone or maybe as a Pokémon GO phone (hey, we understand), but you just can't bring yourself to accept Amazon's bloat, there's good news for you. Read More
Aziz Ansari's cultishly popular Master of None is a show you should watch (and also a Netflix exclusive). Ansari plays Dev, a not-convincingly-struggling actor in New York City. At one point, he is cast as a doctor in a film called The Sickening. Which, in the words of the show, is a "black virus" movie. The plot is familiar: there's some kind of unstoppable super-plague that turns everyone into not-zombies, and Dev's character is the one man who is trying to stop it. He, too, of course, succumbs to The Sickening in the end.
The purposely generic and vague namesake of that fake movie, though, I find is perfectly fit to be coopted and molded for use in describing a common Android smartphone phenomenon: the slowening. Read More