To say that BLU had a miserable summer would be an understatement. The Miami based company was hit with several privacy concerns and malware issues on their phones which, at one point, was so bad that Amazon removed their products from their site.
Yeah, it was bad.
But BLU has rebounded with a vengeance. They have patched up all of their issues, committed to more scrutiny of their firmware build and have even come out with a few new phones. The latest, the BLU VIVO 8L, was released yesterday and it is Today’s Deal.
The 5.3″ VIVO 8L is on an introductory price of $149.99 on their Amazon storefront and will work with GSM carriers here in the US. Here is what you get for that price.
The phone is powered by the MediaTek 6753 octa-core processor that is clocked at 1.2GHz. It is coupled with the Mali-T720 GPU for graphics performance. Onboard is a healthy 3GB of RAM and it comes with 32GB of Storage built in but that can be expanded up to an additional 64GB thanks the the MicroSD slot. Powering all of this is a 4000mAh battery that supports Quick Charge technology.
As for cameras, the main camera is a 13MP shooter with Sony optics while the front facing selfie camera is a whooping 20MP shooter with screen flash.
Today’s Deal is on the powerful yet budget friendly Honor 6X. Honor is the sub-brand of Huawei and the 6X is one of their late-2016 models. I reviewed the phone back in March and it was the first Honor product I’ve reviewed. I was impressed, especially for the price point. That price has gone down to $179 on Amazon and that makes it an even better deal.
The Honor 6X measures 150.9 x 76.2 x 8.2 mm or 5.94 x 3.00 x 0.32 inches in old money. It weighs 162g or 5.71 ounces. The display on the phone measures 5.5″ and renders a Full HD resolution of 1080 x 1920. That gives you an approximate pixel-per-inch count of 403. It has 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, which can be expanded thanks to the MicroSD slot.
I’ve been reviewing mobile devices for the better part of 15 years now. I’m often asked, “What is the best phone to get?” My answer is always the same: The phone that works best for you. For some, that’s iPhones. For some, that’s Android. But when it comes to any phone, rarely do you find one that ticks all the boxes when it comes to performance, a solid camera, good battery life and user experience. I’ve found one of these rare phones in the Huawei P10. It’s not perfect, but it is close and this 5.1″ phone is once to seriously consider.
I’ve had the opportunity over the past few weeks to use the Huawei P10 as my daily driver and it has not disappointed. It has the power to get me through the day and the performance to do anything I need it to do – from email, to streaming music and video, to playing a game or two. It is a device that I have no reservation in recommending. Yes there are some things to get use to with it, most notably the multi-function fingerprint scanner, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll really unlock this phone.
When it comes to mid-market Android phones, there are a huge number of options at under $300. Most of those devices have compromises of some sort to keep that price point, some of which are painful to overlook. That’s not so much the case with the Honor 6X. The follow up to last year’s 5X, the Honor 6X brings a lot of power and features in its 5.5″ frame and has the features that you would expect for this price point. But it is not perfect and does have some blemishes, most of which will be addressed when this phone sees its impending Android Nougat update. With that update, there is no reason to overlook the 6X if you are wanting a good sized, mid-range phone.
I’ve been spending the last few weeks with the Honor 6X and without giving away the plot, I don’t have a problem recommending it. It performs well, has a good camera and plenty of battery power to get you through the day. Here is my review and thoughts on the latest phone from Honor.
Over at Amazon you can still pick up the Nextbit Robin for $149. I reviewed the Robin a few months ago and at the time I said it was a pretty good deal at $299. At $149, it is one of the best deals on a phone with these specs out there right now. Over the holidays the phone was $169 on Amazon so this price drop makes it the lowest price the phone has ever been available.
For those that don’t recall, the Nextbit Robin has some great features and offers a unique device-meets-cloud storage solution. It has 32GB of onboard storage merged with 100 GB online storage, so you always have the space you need. Robin seamlessly backs up your apps and photos, intelligently archives the stuff you’re not using, and easily restores items when you need them. The idea is that you never run out of space. Those less used apps are backed up into the cloud but then are instantly available when you want them. You’ll know an app has been backed up into the cloud as it will be grey on your Robin. You can read my review of the Robin to see all my thoughts on this great little phone. I also think it is perhaps one of the most underrated phones of 2016.
Today’s Deal is on the all new BLU Life One X2 Mini. This new 5″ phone was announced on Friday and for a phone priced at $180, it is reasonably well appointed. BLU has made a name for themselves for offering good spec’d phones at a reasonable price and the X2 Mini is another example of this go-to-market strategy. The 5″ X2 Mini has a curved Full HD display that renders at 1080 x 1920. That gives you roughly 435 ppi for excellent color and detail while being easy on the eyes. The display is protected by Gorilla glass 3 while the chassis of the phone itself is made of solid aluminium construction.
Internally, the phone is powered by the Octa-Core Snapdragon 430 processor running at 1.4GHz. It is coupled with 4GB of RAM and has 64GB of internal storage. That storage can be expanded a further 64GB thanks to the MicroSD slot. The phone is sold unlocked at a Dual-SIM configuration that supports a wide range of GSM and LTE bands here in the United States. You should be able to run this phone on the likes of AT&T, T-Mobile and Cricket to name a few. Unfortunately for Verizon and Sprint customers, this phone is not compatible with your service. Here are the frequencies
and bands that the X2 Mini supports:
4G LTE, (2/4/7/12/17)
4G HSPA+ (850/1700/1900/2100)
Powering all of this is a 2,300mAh battery that recharges via a MicroUSB cable. The phone supports Quick Charge 3.0 technology for rapid charging. For security, the X2 Mini has a fingerprint scanner
Rounding out the specs of the BLU Life One X2 Mini is a solid camera configuration. The main camera is a 13MP shooter with PDAF (Phase-Detection Auto Focus) while the front facing selfie camera is an 8MP shooter with a wide-angel and a flash. Front flashes are a bit rare still so it’s nice to see it pop up on a budget friendly device like this one.
If there is one knock on the X2 Mini it likely will be that it ships with Android Marshmallow and not Nougat. Even for a budget phone this is a bit of a head scratcher.
Currently the X2 Mini is available for $179.99 in Gold, Rose Gold and Grey. If you are an Amazon Prime customer, shipping is free and all three colors at the time of this post were in stock. To get more details & to order, head over to Amazon.
The new LG G6 is coming to T-Mobile on April 7th. The carrier announced that the latest LG flagship would be coming to them at a price of $26 per month for 24 months & a $26 down payment. That roughly works out to $650 for the phone which is about what expected to the street price. The G6 has already caught a lot of people’s attention with its 5.7″ display that has an 18:9 aspect ratio. Having held a near-final version of the phone, it feels long in your hand but is comfortable.
The specs of the LG G6 are solid. It is powered by the Snapdragon 821 processor and is coupled with 4GB of RAM. Storage wise, it has 32GB onboard which can be expanded up to an additional 256GB thanks to the MicroSD slot. It is powered by a 33oomAh battery and supports Quick Charge 3.0 technology for rapid charging. The G6 has a fingerprint scanner in the back which is also the
physical power button for the device. Finally, do remember that the G6 is the first phone to ship with Google Assistant out-of-the-box and runs Android Nougat 7.0.
For those of you who are wanting to pick up the G6, if you place your order at T-Mobile before April 30th, you will also get a Google Home at no additional cost. That’s a $129 value so not a bad deal at all. Head over to T-Mobile to get all the details.