Recently, we reviewed the BLU Life Pure which is a pretty nice high-end device from BLU. It was priced at $349, which is the same as the Nexus 5 which does make it a bit hard to recommend it over the Nexus 5. But now, we're looking at the BLU Life Pure Mini. Which is a slightly smaller version of the Life Pure, as expected. As far as specs go, we're looking at a 4.5-inch 1280x720 IPS display, powered by a quad-core 1.5GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, 3000mAh battery inside, 8MP camera on the back, 2MP shooter on the front, and Android 4.2 - Jelly Bean. It also supports HSPA+ 42mbps, unfortunately there's no LTE here. All this for just $249. Which isn't a bad price for this device, but what's interesting here is that the BLU Life Pure Mini has a bigger battery than it's bigger brother. Which means it's got some great battery life. So we won't complain about that.
The hardware on the BLU Life Pure Mini is actually pretty nice, especially since it's a mid-range device. It is made of the glossy plastic material, but it does feel pretty good in the hand. It has the curved edges on the back, which I think is a bit better in the hand than on the Life Pure. As far as the hardware tour goes, we're looking at the power button up top, volume rocker on the left side, micro SIM card slot on the right, and the microUSB port on the bottom. The speaker is on the back along with the camera and flash. So it's setup a bit differently than most smartphones these days, but it's still usable. It does also have capacitive buttons instead of on-screen buttons.
The software on the Life Pure Mini is the same as the software on many of BLU's other devices, with their own custom skin. Which is pretty colorful. There's also no app drawer, which some may like, others may not like. Otherwise, the device is still pretty snappy, even for running on a quad-core 1.5GHz Cortex A-7 processor with 1GB of RAM. Which isn't bad at all, but with custom skins you never know. What I really like about their skin is the fact that you can go ahead and customize quite a few elements on the device including the theme. It is running Android 4.2, so you've got all your quick settings, and BLU has included quite a few quick settings for you to use.
The battery life on the BLU Life Pure Mini is actually really good. But then when you pair a 3000mAh battery along with a 4.5-inch 720p display, you're bound to get great results in terms of battery life. You can see one of my battery cycles on the Life Pure Mini above, and it's definitely better than the Life Pure's battery was.
The Life Pure Mini does have a 8MP camera on the back, which is adequate in most cases, and we've got plenty of sample images down below for you to check out. The interface of the camera is actually really nice. It's very simple to use, which is something we really like to see. If you're buying this $249 phone, you probably aren't looking for a fantastic camera, so the camera on the Life Pure Mini is definitely good enough for Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, etc.
- Price: For $249, it's hard to find something better than this. A 4.5-inch 720p display along with a huge battery.
- Battery life: Great choice by throwing in a 3000mAh battery inside this device, giving it amazing battery life
- Build Quality: Sure it's glossy plastic, but it's not too bad, not too slippery either.
- Camera: It's not completely bad, but I would have liked to see the same camera sensor from the Life Pure, as it was really great.
- Capacitive buttons: Would have loved to see on-screen buttons, but capacitive ones are alright. Except for they are pretty hard to see since they are white like the Life Pure Mini is.
For $249, it's hard to beat this smartphone. Sure it's running Android 4.2, which is two versions of Android behind, but it's still a very capable device. If you're looking for a relatively small phone, then the Life Pure Mini is the one for you, unless you want to grab the Moto G which is $179. Of course they also have the slightly larger Life Pure available as well for $349.