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Android Headliner: Forget the Chinese OEMs, the Manufacturer to Watch is BLU

May 26, 2014 - Written By Alexander Maxham

I’ve been following BLU for a little over a year now. Last year they sent out the BLU Life Play for me to review, and it was a pretty decent device especially given it’s price point of under $200. It wasn’t anything spectacular, but lately with Motorola targeting the low-end market, basically BLU’s market, the competition has begun to get interesting. While Motorola has put out the Moto G and Moto E, both sub-$200 smartphones with great specs and timely updates, BLU has been putting out all kinds of new devices. There’s the Life Pure series which are more high-end devices, and also the Studio series which are more mid-range. Recently I reviewed the BLU Life Pure, Life Pure Mini and earlier today, the Life Pure XL. All of which are pretty great devices. When I first used the BLU Life Play last year, there were a few complaints I had about the device, which most of those complaints have been fixed now.

Some of the complaints I had, were obviously the lack of internal storage, which with the Life Pure series, that’s been fixed. No microSD card slot, but we do have 16GB and 32GB models. Another was LTE. Now this isn’t completely fixed, but the latest Studio device – the Studio 5.0 LTE – does have LTE built in. However that is the only device from BLU with LTE at this time. The third complaint was software updates, as these devices don’t really get updates and don’t usually launch on the latest version of Android. But I think that’s something the company is working on. So we should see those changes in the near future, I believe.

After using the BLU Life Pure XL for a few weeks now, it’s become one of my favorite phones. Now it is a pretty big phone at 5.5-inches, but with specs like a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, 3GB of RAM, 16MP rear-facing camera, and a 8MP front-facing camera, it’s hard not to be impressed with this $399 smartphone. Although it is running Android 4.2.2. Which is one of two things I hope will change soon. The other is LTE. Otherwise the BLU Life Pure XL would be my daily driver replacing the LG G2. BLU has me really excited to see what they do in the future, especially with the market targeting the low-end and mid-range markets now. We’re seeing both Motorola and HTC move towards those markets these days. And I think BLU can be a real contender.

BLU already has a ton of great smartphones available – in fact they’ve been teasing a Windows Phone 8 device lately – and a tablet, which albeit isn’t my first choice for a tablet, as I’d rather have the Nexus 7, but it’s a start for the Miami-based company. I know we’re always waiting for Xiaomi, Huawei, ZTE, Meizu and all those other Chinese OEMs to come to the US, but BLU is already here and definitely making a splash with their devices. How many of you have already taken one of BLU’s smartphones for a test drive? What did you think about them? Let us know in the comments below.