Google wasn't the first one to release good hardware for a low price. BLU has actually been doing that for a few years now. Last year, I reviewed their Life Play smartphone, which was on par with the Nexus 4 spec-wise. It was actually a pretty decent little smartphone, especially for under $200. Now BLU has announced and launched the Life Pure smartphone, which is actually a pretty nice looking phone. It's sporting a 5-inch 1920×1080 Full HD display, quad-core 1.5GHz processor, 13MP camera on the back with a 5MP shooter on the front, 2GB of RAM, 2000mAh battery and 32GB of internal storage. It does support HSPA+ 42mbps, so it supports T-Mobile's HSPA+ network, but no LTE support.
As far as the build goes on the Life Pure, it seems like a mix between the iPhone 5C and an Xperia Z or Z1. Let me explain why, it's pretty much all plastic – which is why it feels like an iPhone 5C – along with some pretty big bezels on both the top and bottom. The software on the BLU Life Pure has changed a bit since the Life Play released last year, it reminds me a bit of Huawei's Emotion UI mixed with HTC's Sense UI. It's actually not that bad at all. But I do like having an app drawer. It is running Android 4.2.1, so there is support for lock-screen widgets, but I actually really like the lock-screen as is.
Over the next week or so, I'll be putting this through it's paces for the full review. And of course, I'll be comparing it to the Nexus 5, since it is in the same price range as the Nexus 5. It's available now from Amazon for $350 unlocked, and off-contract. So will it be good enough to beat out the Nexus 5? Probably not, since it doesn't get updates from Google and it doesn't support LTE, but it seems like a pretty decent phone. Compared to some of the other offerings out there.