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BLU Vivo XI+ Review



By now, it’s pretty apparent what it takes to be considered a flagship caliber smartphone. From that all-screen minimal bezel look, to wielding dual-cameras, and wireless charging, these are just a few of the features that typically accompany today’s flagships. Then again, they’re also priced accordingly at roughly $650 starting – with several inching closer to the $1000 mark.

BLU has been a minor player delivering affordable smartphones to consumers, but they’ve never been in contention for being a flagship killer. Well, that may change starting with the introduction of the BLU VIVO XI+, which comes packed with all of the aforementioned features above, but at the fraction of the cost at only $350! Let’s dive in and see if this is really a serious contender.

Design

No shocker here, it’s a premium design without the premium cost.

BLU Vivo XI+ Review
BLU Vivo XI+ Review
BLU Vivo XI+ Review

BLU has always found a way to deliver quality looking smartphones at significantly lower prices, so there’s not much of a shock that we’re finding that here with the VIVO XI+. Flaunting a glass meets metal design, there’s no arguing that the VIVO XI+ is a stunning looking thing. Although, it really shares a close resemblance to the OnePlus 6 with its polished front/back surfaces and curved edges. Usually, phones in this price range tend to be poorly constructed, but that’s far from the truth here with its premium looks and solid construction.

What’s really impressive is how they’re able to cram so many things into its already thin 7.8mm body. For starters, there’s a fingerprint sensor slapped on the rear, followed by dual-cameras, built-in Qi wireless charging, and even sensors near the earpiece that delivers facial unlocking. We don’t see these kinds of things in a phone under the $500 mark, so to find them here is pretty impressive. If there’s one thing missing from its design, it has to be a headphone jack, but we suppose that’s the one single compromise BLU had to make – albeit, there’s an included adapter for it.

BLU VIVO XI+

BLU VIVO XI+

Dimensions

6.1 x 2.97 x 0.31 inches

155 x 75.5 x 7.8 mm

Weight

7.02 oz (199 g)

Motorola Moto G6

Motorola Moto G6

Dimensions

6.06 x 2.85 x 0.33 inches

153.8 x 72.3 x 8.3 mm

Weight

5.89 oz (167 g)

Honor 7X

Honor 7X

Dimensions

6.16 x 2.96 x 0.3 inches

156.5 x 75.3 x 7.6 mm

Weight

5.82 oz (165 g)

Motorola Moto E5 Plus

Motorola Moto E5 Plus

Dimensions

6.37 x 2.96 x 0.37 inches

161.9 x 75.3 x 9.35 mm

Weight

7.05 oz (200 g)

BLU VIVO XI+

BLU VIVO XI+

Dimensions

6.1 x 2.97 x 0.31 inches

155 x 75.5 x 7.8 mm

Weight

7.02 oz (199 g)

Motorola Moto G6

Motorola Moto G6

Dimensions

6.06 x 2.85 x 0.33 inches

153.8 x 72.3 x 8.3 mm

Weight

5.89 oz (167 g)

Honor 7X

Honor 7X

Dimensions

6.16 x 2.96 x 0.3 inches

156.5 x 75.3 x 7.6 mm

Weight

5.82 oz (165 g)

Motorola Moto E5 Plus

Motorola Moto E5 Plus

Dimensions

6.37 x 2.96 x 0.37 inches

161.9 x 75.3 x 9.35 mm

Weight

7.05 oz (200 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page



Display

The saturated colors do more bad than good

In keeping up with the trends, the BLU VIVO XI+ follows suit with an all-screen look. It’s a 6.2-inch HD+ 1080 x 2246 display protected by Gorilla Glass 3, with a 19:9 screen aspect ratio. That's certainly wider than most others, but we have to point out the substantial notch with the display, which is indeed a distraction because it’s just as wide as the iPhone X’s notch, but it can be at least masked through the display settings.

BLU Vivo XI+ Review

While the specs are favorable for a device of its caliber, we really can’t say the same for the display’s actual characteristics. Unfortunately, it has an extremely cold color temperature of over 9000K and it tends to favor an oversaturated color tone, making it far from producing realistic and true-to-life colors. The saturation in particular is a bit overkill, seeing that it does more bad than good. The one bright spot is its peak brightness output of 525 nits, which is undeniably bright for a phone of this caliber.

Interface and functionality


BLU’s custom Android experiences were never really polarizing. However, what really infuriated users in the past was the lack of support in the form of software updates – so when you got the phone, the software that was preloaded was pretty much what you were getting for the life of the phone. That’s pretty crummy when you think about it, but that was reality.

Superficially here with the VIVO XI+, BLU’s skin running on top of Android 8.1 Oreo still looks plain and generic just as before, but the saving grace this time is BLU’s commitment in getting those updates. In fact, it’s being promised that it’ll get treated to Android 9.0 Pie when it arrives, which is a totally new and different strategy for BLU. Even though the experience suffices enough for basic things, the prospect of getting real software updates is definitely an unprecedented offering for BLU.

Processor and performance


Powering the BLU VIVO XI+ is an octa-core 2GHz MediaTek Helio P60 chipset coupled with a generous 6GB of RAM. The horsepower is enough to handle basic phone operations, such as the occasional email reply, surfing the web, and social media posts. We do notice that it’s not quite as tight with its responsiveness, but it’s not terrible either. However, it’s simply underpowered when it comes to gaming! The choppy frame rates make it nearly impossible to recommend for any form of 3D gaming.

AnTuTu Higher is better
BLU VIVO XI+ 138383
Motorola Moto G6 70490
Honor 7X 57970
Motorola Moto E5 Plus 56592
JetStream Higher is better
BLU VIVO XI+ 48.247
Motorola Moto G6 22.512
Honor 7X 30.948
GFXBench Car Chase on-screen Higher is better
BLU VIVO XI+ 6.7
Motorola Moto G6 3.2
Honor 7X 4.7
Motorola Moto E5 Plus 5.6
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
BLU VIVO XI+ 11
Motorola Moto G6 5.8
Honor 7X 2.8
Motorola Moto E5 Plus 11
Geekbench 4 single-core Higher is better
BLU VIVO XI+ 1507
Motorola Moto G6 750
Honor 7X 909
Motorola Moto E5 Plus 613
Geekbench 4 multi-core Higher is better
BLU VIVO XI+ 5799
Motorola Moto G6 3928
Honor 7X 3381
Motorola Moto E5 Plus 2030

Call it being extra generous, the VIVO XI+ is packing a whopping 128GB of storage, which is a ridiculous amount to wrap our heads around. We’re appreciative of it, but even more so when there’s an expansion possibility courtesy of its microSD card slot.

Camera


BLU Vivo XI+ Review

BLU has dabbled in the dual-camera configuration before, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we’re given the same here with the VIVO XI+. Being a bit more specific, it breaks down to a 16MP and 5MP combo, which like other implementations, conjures up depth perception and object focus to get those snazzy looking portrait shots. Meanwhile, the front-facing camera features a pixel crunching 16MP sensor. As for the shooting experience, it does come with an assortment of modes that diversifies its package.

We’re not sugar coating anything here, the camera’s performance is predictably disappointing – in comparison to what flagships produce with their cameras. The biggest thing about it is quite simply the lack of fine detail, it’s just devoid of any of it. When lighting is abundant, shots are more than sufficient for sharing on social media, but that’s about it! Under low light situations, the camera continues to exhibit weak details in the shot, which tends to give it a soft and hazy appearance. Making matters worse, images come out extremely dark – while colors appear dull and washed out.

Taking a pic Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec) Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
BLU VIVO XI+ 1.89
No data
463
309
Motorola Moto G6 2.15
2.50
667
679
Honor 7X 2.8
3
401
362
Motorola Moto E5 Plus 1.72
4.86
597
335

The camera’s video performance doesn’t get any better, seeing that it suffers from the same issues that plague its still shot performance. Topping out at 1080p, which by itself is a disappointment considering there’s no option for Quad-HD resolution, videos once again lack any distinguishable fine details. Additionally, there’s far too much noise in the shot when shooting under low light, and when you combine the choppy frame rate, makes the footage almost unusable.


Battery life


Surprisingly enough, the VIVO XI+’s 3000 mAh battery delivers great longevity – something we really weren’t expecting to find. Our real-world usage easily eclipses a full day, with the battery at roughly 25% capacity by the end of the night. Meanwhile, it manages to reach a mark of 8 hours and 14 minutes in our battery benchmark test, which is a fine result.

BLU Vivo XI+ Review

Over on the recharge side, the VIVO XI+ requires 122 minutes to get back to full capacity. That may not be the fasting time, but it’s nonetheless still swift. Even better, this is the first BLU smartphone we’ve come across to feature Qi wireless charging, which is a nice addition considering the budget nature of the phone.

Battery life (hours) Higher is better
BLU VIVO XI+ 8h 14 min (Excellent)
Motorola Moto G6 8h 25 min (Excellent)
Honor 7X 8h 14 min (Excellent)
Motorola Moto E5 Plus 15h 8 min (Excellent)
Charging time (minutes) Lower is better
BLU VIVO XI+ 122
Honor 7X 146
Motorola Moto E5 Plus 315

Call Quality


At least it’s not downright terrible in this area. Placing phone calls with the VIVO XI+, voices exhibit some distortion through the earpiece, but the volume output is still loud enough to use in noisy conditions. Conversely, our callers mention that we sound a little distant on their end, which leads us to believe that the mics on the phone may be struggling to pick up our voice. For most people, the experience should be tolerable, but it’s certainly not the best either.

Conclusion


BLU Vivo XI+ Review

The BLU VIVO XI+ is a promising new smartphone from the company, mainly for the fact that they’re committed to finally delivering timely software updates. Beyond that, it embodies all of the practices that we’ve seen BLU put to strategy with its previous smartphones. On one hand, it certainly has a compelling package filled with flagship caliber features, like its Qi wireless charging, dual cameras, and premium construction, but its performance is still what’s holding it back from truly being a flagship contender.

Without a doubt, the $350 price of the phone certainly undercuts many of the major players out there, including the OnePlus 6, but its performance in many key areas will probably keep most people from deciding to buy it. Two of the big ones include its choppy graphics processing performance, as well as the subpar results from its cameras. When we look at the overall picture, the BLU VIVO XI+ paints a picture of being a disruptive smartphone, but underneath the sharp looks and ample features, it’s still a phone that’s indicative of its low-cost price.

Hey, at least there’s an introductory discount for the phone, which drops its price to $249.99, but it’s only for a limited time.

Pros

  • Premium design
  • Low-cost price point of $350
  • Better than average battery life
  • Qi wireless charging enabled
  • Promise of software updates (upgradeable to Android 9.0 Pie)
  • Fingerprint & Face Unlocking
  • Generous 128GB storage with expansion

Cons

  • Not ideal for gaming due to choppy frame rates
  • Oversaturated looking display makes colors unrealistic
  • No NFC
  • Disappointing camera performance

PhoneArena Rating:

6.0

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10 Comments

worldpeace

Posts: 2969; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

What's next? BLU OPPO Xl+? BLU ONEPLUS Xl+? or will VIVO release VIVO BLU Xl+?

BullaBoss

Posts: 141; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

They HAD the Vivo line for years now so stop whining. Maybe it means something? Spanish? Idk

ishaqthkr

Posts: 135; Member since: Mar 26, 2015

Come on Pocophone F1 review needed.

worldpeace

Posts: 2969; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

It will get 6.5/10 because it's no available in US.

kotan24

Posts: 287; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

Why woud you pick this over the Pocophone or the Essential phone? Even the LG G6 is way better than this and a lot cheaper.

eugenefing

Posts: 3; Member since: Sep 27, 2018

WHY????? UMMMMMM MAYBE BECAUSE U CAN BUY IT FOR 300$ ????

TechDaddy

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 25, 2018

I know I'm a bit late but as of today, this phone is the best option out there. I've played pubg on this phone at high settings and have experienced ZERO lag. Gaming is not an issue. ALL IPS LCD screens will have a blueish tint, that's the nature of the best. It can be corrected with a screen calibration app which will remove the tint. As well, I have experienced ZERO lag from day to day tasks. Obviously, this is an early release review. This phone is exceptionally good as of now.

eugenefing

Posts: 3; Member since: Sep 27, 2018

TOTALLY AGREE, GREAT PHONE... WORST REVIEW WITH BUNCH OF LIES.... THIS PHONE EASILY DESERVES 10/10.

eugenefing

Posts: 3; Member since: Sep 27, 2018

WOW!!! what an awfull review... "The choppy frame rates make it nearly impossible to recommend for any form of 3D gaming." LMAO , really ???? This phone is the best I ever had, and I had a lot of phones. THE REVIEWER NEEDS TO REMEMBER THAT THIS PHONE IS 3-4 TIMES CHEAPER THAN IPHONE X OR GALAXY 9, SO I REALLY DONT UNDERSTAND HOW YOU CAN COMPARE ...... I PLAYED ALL GRAPHICALLY INTENSE GAMES, AND THEY ALL WORK GREAT....HOW ON EART IS 6GB OF RAM AND HELIO P60 IS NOT ENOUGH TO "recommend for any form of 3D gaming" ????

cliveren13

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 26, 2018

I have this phone and i have no complaints got 2 of them my 10 year old son plays all his games on them including fortnite and no complaints he had an iphone 7 and he complained all the time fortnite wasnt workin right plus i use it has a backup with mintmobile and i find myself using it alot i put the new pixel 3 launcher on it works perfect.
VIVO XI+
  • Display 6.2" 1080 x 2246 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 16 MP front
  • Processor MediaTek Helio P60, Octa-core, 2000 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3050 mAh

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