Affordable BLU R1 Plus packs a large battery, old version of Android

Affordable BLU R1 Plus packs a large battery, old version of Android
If you're in need of a new and affordable unlocked smartphone, you may want to check out the R1 Plus, the latest handset released by Miami-based BLU. 

Priced at $159.99, the BLU R1 Plus succeeds last year's R1 HD, offering a larger display (5.5 inches with 720 x 1280 pixels) and a beefier 4,000 mAh battery. According to BLU, this battery should last "for more than one day" on a single charge. 

Built around an aluminum frame, the new handset is powered by a 64-bit, quad-core MediaTek MTK6737 processor, further featuring 3 GB of RAM, 32 GB of internal memory, and microSD card support. Also on board are dual SIM support, a 5 MP front-facing camera, and a 13 MP rear camera (both cameras have LED flashes). Sadly, the phone runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow, instead of the newer and better Android 7 Nougat. On the plus side, the device will be sold for $50 off on launch day - tomorrow, April 29 - so it's going to cost just $109.99. 

Like most other (if not all) BLU smartphones, the R1 Plus is a GSM/LTE device. This means it can be used on carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile, but it's not compatible with Verizon, Sprint, or US Cellular. Interested customers will be able to find the R1 Plus via Amazon and Best Buy.


source: Press release

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R1 Plus
  • Display 5.5" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor MediaTek, Quad-core, 1100 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 4000 mAh(22h 3G talk time)

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18 Comments

1. insmek

Posts: 6; Member since: Apr 26, 2017

Interesting. The R1 HD is one of the best phones for the money I've ever found. I use one as a secondary device and I've been consistently impressed by how good it is given how little it costs. Looking at the spec sheet on the Best Buy website, it doesn't list what SoC its using. If it's sporting an upgrade from the R1 HD, I'd be willing to give it a look.

2. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2277; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

Worthy advantage of MM over N: Xposed

4. sgodsell

Posts: 6897; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

BS. Nougat is much better. It brings real split screen multitasking, and if you have a GPU that can handle Vulkan graphics, then your looking at some major graphics speed increases. There is better AI and system integration with Googles Assistant with Nougat Also updates are faster, and smaller, well for Pixels and Nexus devices at least.

9. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Nougat should be 6.1 not 7. Vulkan is overrated too. Games with graphic intensive visuals barely scratch the bottom of the barrel.

10. epdm2be

Posts: 816; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

You mean "supposed graphics speed"? As usual with Android you need to take the "advancements" with a pinch of salt. Since the actual higher GPU-performance is wasted on more pixels instead of higher frame rates. As for split screen multitasking this is too overrated especially on phones (even the ones with a 5.5" screen.) It might be more useful on tablets though. Don't forget that some manufacturers already implement these features on older versions of android. Perhaps not BLU...

3. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

Funny, when it went through the FCC it had Amazon apps on it so it was suspected to be another Amazon Prime Exclusive phone, now it's not. I've been waiting for the Amazon version to drop for a couple months now to replace my secondary phone (first gen Moto G) with a R1 PLUS but it took too long. It's fine because I came across a BLU PURE XL on Craigslist for $60 and bought it 3 days ago. Lemme tell you, a 6.0" phone isn't a good "secondary" phone. It takes up a lot of pocket space but the bang for the buck at $60 was too good to pass up. It's too bad the PURE XL isn't going to get Nougat because with this huge screen it would have been nice to do multi window, but I'm starting to love this phone.

5. hurrycanger

Posts: 1756; Member since: Dec 01, 2013

Pure XL for $60? You're so far lucky.

6. hurrycanger

Posts: 1756; Member since: Dec 01, 2013

darn* lol

7. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

He bought an iPhone because the Pure XL was too big for his pockets. Obviously he didn't know the going rate on Swappa of what he had. I could barely believe the price he was asking.

8. Jason78

Posts: 281; Member since: Apr 10, 2013

I bought a Blu R1 HD about a month ago. After all the updates were done the newest security patch was over 6 months old. No thanks - it went back to Amazon / Blu.

11. epdm2be

Posts: 816; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

... oh please. As if that's such a big problem. I haven't encountered anyone with a malfunctioning phone due to using an older version of android. In fact I deferred from installing Nougat on my phone after reading all the reports of all the nasty bugs on it. Hell, i was even happy with kitkat. If I really needed security I'd install one of those anti-virus apps.

12. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

All the hype about these bulls**t security updates drive me up the wall. Everytime I'd get the monthly security update on my Nexus 6P my Screen On Time would plummet, new random Bluetooth bugs would pop up and I'd have to do a factory reset just to bring it back to normal. You know how maddening it was to do factory resets every month? I couldn't take that s**t anymore and sold the phone.

16. Jason78

Posts: 281; Member since: Apr 10, 2013

I haven't had any issues with my Nexus 5X, or Nexus 6, or Nexus 5.

17. Jason78

Posts: 281; Member since: Apr 10, 2013

This isn't about the version of android. It is about fixing known security problems in the original version of android installed on the device. Anti-virus apps are not a good substitute for fixing the vulnerabilities in OS. If you want to use a phone with known security vulnerabilities - fine by me. I don't and there are plenty of other phone manufacturers that do basic security updates for their phones.

13. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

Blu phones to my concern don't even get updated. One or two updates and it's done...

14. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

IMO Android smartphones should only receive one major version update which keeps the existing UI of the phone when it was initially launched. Then a bug fix patch or two for the new version. Because name me a phone that has a two generation or older processor that runs good with the newest Android version released by the OEM. My experience is that they all run like garbage. Each successive update slows the phone down more and more until a person can't take it anymore and they upgrade. OS updates are a way of bringing​ on planned obsolescence. Plus after a company puts money into updating to a newer version they rarely roll out the bug fixes needed to get it running perfectly because that's all additional money on a phone they're no longer gaining money from. In the end the option you're stuck with is doing a factory reset in hopes the update you just applied will run somewhat stable. From what I've experienced your average smartphone owner hates updates. They hate UI changes that often come with version updates, they hate the battery life changes which are due to orphaned or out of date data in the Android Data directly, and they hate new bugs that are brought with the new version. It's only phone geeks who love OS updates. I personally as well as my wife have had horrible experience with the Nexus monthly updates; bugs galore. But that's just my anecdotal opinion.

18. insmek

Posts: 6; Member since: Apr 26, 2017

Updates regularly ruin phones. I'd just as soon keep the software it shipped with, 9 times out of 10.

15. LyannaStark

Posts: 91; Member since: Apr 07, 2017

That phone is surprisingly gorgeous for how cheap it is!

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