The specs of the new Blu R1 HD are almost too good for its price

The specs of the new Blu R1 HD are almost too good for its price
Blu, the US-based company that specializes in low-cost unlocked smartphones, has announced the Blu R1 HD, a handset that's priced starting at just $99.99 unlocked.

Given its price, some may hurry to dismiss the Blu R1 HD as a smartphone with horrible specs, but it turns out that this isn't the case.

Blu says that the R1 HD features a premium build quality at an entry-level price. While that affirmation might be an exaggeration, the handset does come with a metal frame that goes around the body as well as a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass on the front, a combination that's hard to find at the $100 price point. The back of the phone is made out of polycarbonate.

The body of the Blu R1 HD measures 8.8mm across the waist, although a downside of this slimness is the presence of a camera hump on the back.


The display of the Blu R1 HD is a 5-inch panel running at 720 by 1280 pixels, specs that are good enough for a PPI of 294. That's not a level of crispness that we'd be satisfied to see in a premium phone, but it will definitely suffice given the affordable price. Furthermore, Blu says that the display on the R1 HD features a brightness rating of 420 nits, which should mean that the panel is bright enough to be used in direct sunlight.

Under the hood beats the heart of a MediaTek MT6735 chipset, a SoC that integrates a 1.7GHz quad-core Cortex-A53 CPU and a Mali-T760MP2 GPU. In terms of processing power, the MT6735 should be on par with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 410, a chip that you'll find powering pricier phones such as the Motorola Moto G3.

When it comes to the memory, the handset will be offered in two versions. The cheaper one is priced at $99.99 and comes with 8GB of integrated storage space and 1GB of RAM. The second one, which is is the one we'd recommend, comes with 16GB of integrated storage and 2GB of RAM at a price of $109.99. Usually, smartphone makers ask for much more than $10 to upgrade your phone to 2GB of RAM / 16GB of storage.

In the imaging department, the Blu R1 comes with an 8MP primary camera on the back as well as a 5MP selfie shooter with 84° wide-angle capture. Both cameras are equipped with LED flash.

The Blu R1 HD runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box, which is a pleasant surprise on such a cheap phone. Better still, Blu says that it guarantees an update to the final version of Android N. 

If need be mentioned, the Blu R1 HD will work just fine with GSM carriers in the US (such as T-Mobile or AT&T) but is not compatible with Verizon or Sprint.

As we've told your yesterday, the Blu R1 HD is one of the two phones that Amazon offers for Prime members at a $50 discount if they agree to personalized ads on the lockscreen. What this means is that Amazon Prime members can get the Blu R1 HD for just $49.99/$59.99. 

We have yet to test drive the Blu R1 HD for ourselves, but the handset sure is promising to offer a lot of phone at a killer price. The handset will officially launch on July 12. 

source: Blu

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