BLU Vivo XL hands-on


As if $200 isn’t cheap enough for people to dish out for a smartphone, Miami-based BLU is going the distance with another phone announced during CES 2016. Known for its affordably priced unlocked smartphones, its latest smartphones are sure to impress those who are on tight budgets. The all-metal BLU Vivo 5 is a beautiful phone at $200, but we can also say the same for the BLU Vivo XL!


Just like its close sibling in the Vivo 5, the Vivo XL fashions the same svelte construction and lightweight figure that makes it stand out from a first inspection. Rather than having an all-metal body, however, the casing features what BLU called a “liquid metal finish” that coats the entire back in this almost tough plastic film. Honestly, it makes it look as though the phone is covered by a transparent case, but this material definitely gives it more of a grippy feel than the all-metal Vivo 5. Some will like it, some won’t, so it’s a matter of personal preference.


The specs of its display match the one found in the Vivo 5, a 5.5-inch 720 x 1280 Super AMOLED display. Even though it’s not a pixel crushing figure, its 720p resolution definitely fits its price point. Details are decent enough to make out with our eyes, plus, it’s accompanied with all the typical qualities of AMOLED technology – like its over-saturated color tones, pitch black color, and wide viewing angles. Needless to say, it’s a dazzling feast to the eyes with its brilliant glow, but more importantly, it has all the suitable traits to complement its design.


Running BLU’s custom Android 5.1 Lollipop experience, it follows in the same capacity as other affordable smartphones we’ve been seeing of late – in how it eliminates the apps panel from the interface. Of course, that means that the homescreen is saturated by a ton of icons, which can become a bit disorganized if you’re not constantly managing them. For what it’s worth, the basic function of Android are all present here, but don’t expect the same kind of experience that power users are exposed to on other custom experiences.

Processor and Memory

Flaunting the same spec’d screen as the Vivo 5, the Vivo XL is also powered by the same octa-core 1.3GHz MediaTek 6753 processor coupled with the Mali-T720. However, instead of getting the same 3GB of RAM as its sibling, it’s notched down to 2GB – a tally that’s still suitable for it. Basic tasks are handled in a smooth manner in our quick inspection, but the call is still out for its graphics processing performance.

Not only is the RAM stepped down over the BLU Vivo 5, but its internal storage is also reduced too. Specifically, it’s armed with 16GB of storage, which we find to be more than adequate, but that amount can be expanded thanks to its microSD card slot.


Also, it’s looking to be the kind of thing that’ll come in handy when it comes to snapping all sorts of photos on the fly, since it’s fashioned with a 13-megapixel rear and 5-megapixel front camera combination. BLU’s phones have never been known to be strong performers when it comes to their camera performances, however, things might hopefully change with the introduction of this smartphone. Let’s pray it does!


Comparing the two new phones announced by BLU, the Vivo XL differentiates itself by its slightly different looking design and specs reduction. Actually, the reduction isn’t too bad honestly, especially when it’s accompanied with a lower $149 outright price point. That’s obviously impressive, given the design, specs, and the fact that it’s unlocked and dual-SIMed. Those are naturally features that most entry-level phones don’t see, so it’s a special treat that it’s present here.

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