While it's true that most people would rather have a contract phone than actually paying the full price of these devices, many others actually choose to not be tethered to a contract. It's amongst this set of users that BLU has really flourished with great phones delivered at great prices. Today we're going to tackle one of the company's most prominent new flagships; the BLU Life One X (2016 edition).
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BLU Life One X (2016) Pros and Cons you can't miss
Blu Life One X Cons
Android 5.1 on a new phone?
While it's not that common amongst "brand names" it's certainly not unheard of when you look towards the lesser known manufacturers. Unfortunately, this seems to be the case with the Blu Life One X which seems stuck in the past with the previous version of Android running the circus.
That said, having Android 5.1 spearheading the show does have its upsides, mainly the fact that you can get away with having 2GB of RAM running everything very smoothly. If this phone featured the latest and greatest iteration of the Google OS then the hardware would also have to be up to the challenge, increasing the price substantially in the process.
An odd screen size
To be clear, this isn't necessarily a con of the Blu Life One X but rather a curious choice of display. Specifically, Blu chose to give this phone a 5.2 inch Full HD display with Gorilla Glass 3 protection.
All in all, we're not complaining, we like the 5.2 inch form factor but many will find it a bit confusing since it's not quite a smartphone yet not quite a phablet either, living somewhere in the middle of these definitions. That said, it also provides the user with the best of both worlds; a relatively hand-held phone and a big enough screen for most tasks.
The battery isn't what we'd call "great"
The battery has two issues; its non removable and it's not very powerful. Specifically, we're looking at a 2900 mAh battery which according to the records would provide up to 15 hours of talk time over a 3G network. That roughly translates into about 8 hours over a 4G network which, all in all, isn't that great.
We don't have any info regarding battery life for video streaming but my guess wouldn't place it beyond the 5 hours. Overall, it seems that the Blu Life One X would have a battery life that doesn't surpass the 20-24 hours of average usage which means that daily charging is a must.
The speakers are small and in the back
This isn't something that people usually notice nor talk about when assessing a phone's pros and cons but personally I find this to be one of the Blu Life One X's biggest drawbacks next to the battery life.
I like to listen to music using my smartphone but with this phone I must remember to put it on its back if I want to get any sorts of sound quality, covering up the speakers on this phone is a big no-no in this case.
No fingerprint sensor
In a day and age where most asian manufacturers are placing fingerprint sensors onto most of their mid level smartphones not having one of Blu's latest flagship seems like a bit of a step backwards. We can understand this in big brand companies but a company like Blu should strive to remain competitive and that would've been a fairly easy way to gain market share.
Pros of the Blu Life One X (2016)
A stock android phone
Curiously enough, it's not very easy to actually find a phone that works without customizations. Most branded smartphones come with their own layer on top of Android which mostly just gets in the way of things.
However, a huge pro of the Blu Life One X 2016 model is that it comes with Android 5.1 with barely any changes applied to it. Sure, there's a couple of extra apps that Blu added to try and make a difference but you can always choose to uninstall them and have the "pure android experience".
Good build quality
We're not gonna say that it's a premium handset because it's not. However, there is something to be said about the virtues of the phone's build quality. We especially liked the pleather back which was reminiscent of the Galaxy Note 4. What i'm getting at is that it doesn't "feel cheap" when you handle it and you can also handle it pretty easily with one hand thanks to its aforementioned 5.2 inch display.
Crisp display and fluid performance
What we absolutely love about this phone is the 5.2 inch Full HD gorilla glass protected display. It's colours are bright and lively but if you want more bleak colors you can always adjust them easily. The performance is also amongst the phone's biggest advantages.
Sure, when you check benchmarks it's not as fast as the top-tier models but for everyday usage, everyday ACTUAL usage, it performs pretty well, handling multitasking very well with its 2 GB of RAM and delivering an overall solid performance with its octa core CPU.
It's not really a gaming phone if that's what you're looking for but all the general play store apps work well and without the dreaded lags present on other low cost options.
A great set of cameras with a front-facing flash
The set of cameras on this Blu phone aren't gonna rival the iPhone 6s anytime soon but they're pretty good in most lighting situations. We especially like the fact that the front facing 5 megapixel camera has its own built-in flash which means selfies don't have to suffer the consequences of low lighting.
The price is it's biggest pro
Coupled with the rest of the things we mentioned today we wouldn't even be talking about this phone had it not been for its very interesting low-cut price. At the price this phone is sold for you're getting a great value for your money with an octa core CPU, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage and a crisp clear 5.2 inch display. You really can't beat that in our current market.
What's the consensus? To buy or not to buy?
Once we've finished wrapping up the pros and cons of the Blu Life One X 2016 edition it's crystal-clear that this phone has all it takes to be a great phone for those who don't need all the bells and whistles that companies charge a huge premium for.
Sure, battery life could be better and a fingerprint sensor would've been a welcome addition but even with this set of drawbacks it's clear that the Blu phone has way more advantages than it doesn't. Overall, if you don't want to mortgage your house to afford a good smartphone then this is the way to go.