This is the $300 Energy XL smartphone from BLU, the latest device of theirs to hit the market and one of their most high end smartphones at that. I think what really defines the smartphone is its size. It’s a massive smartphone. It features a 6-inch FHD Super AMOLED display and it is being powered by an octa-core chipset with 3GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage. I think the other spec that stands out that’s worth mentioning right off the bat here is the 5,000 mAh battery that doesn’t really sacrifice portability. The device still measures in at 8.4mm thick. So with that said, let’s not waste any time. Let’s unbox this smartphone.
If we slide off the top of the box ever so carefully, we will find the Energy XL sitting right on top. We’re going to set it off to the side for a moment because underneath we have many other accessories that we’ve come to expect from BLU smartphones. First of all, there is a USB wall wart, a USB Type-C cable, a full-sized USB to USB-C adapter here which is nice to see included and also a pair of earphones. Underneath those goodies, you’ll find a SIM card ejector tool, a hard plastic protective case, a SIM Card Installation Guide and Quick Guide for setting up the device, and then finally a screen protector.
So upon sliding the phone out of the plastic bag and peeling off the plastic film scattered around the front and the back, we’ll see that yes, indeed this phone is large. But it appears to have very thin bezels. There is also an aluminum unibody housing that makes up the build construction so you have that really cool to the touch feel of course, it’s pretty durable metal that won’t scratch easily. The only drawback is that it appears to be very slippery.
Let’s talk about that display. It’s a 6-inch FHD Super AMOLED display with a 1080p resolution, 368ppi and curved Corning Gorilla Glass 3. You’d think at a 1080p resolution stretched out to 6 inches, that’s not optimal. And while it may not be optimal (a QHD resolution display would be nice), it’s really not that bad at all. I think its contents still appear very crisp. But it’s really the AMOLED display that stands out to me. It’s very bright and the colors just absolutely pop. They’re extremely vibrant, some might not like that. But I think it looks great. I will note that there is a slight black bezel around the display. The display isn’t quite edge to edge with the bezels.
And you might have noticed by now there is a fingerprint scanner by a multi-tasking and back capacitive navigation button. The fingerprint scanner is built into a physical button so you do have to physically press down for it to register. I think it’s absolutely great to see a fingerprint sensor here. It’s certainly a selling point. But it’s not the fastest sensor out there. As you can see, there is a noticeable delay between when you press the home button and when the screen’s actually unlocked. You might be able to speed up via a software update though.
The software experience is pretty straightforward for a BLU smartphone. The notification tray swipes down from the top and a separate tray swipes up from the bottom providing all your quick settings icons and brightness toggles and whatnot. There is no app drawer so all of your apps will be placed on your home screens. But you can change that with a third party launcher, of course. For the most part, it’s a pretty basic launcher. The hardest part to really get adjusted to (if you’re completely new to this skin) is I think the slide up quick settings menu.
The phone is being powered by an octa-core processor with not 2 but 3GB of RAM. It seems to perform well. It’s snappy and I have yet to notice any lag or stuttering based of first impressions. On the back of the phone, we’ll find a 13MP camera sensor with face detection auto-focus. And on the front, there’s a 5MP selfie camera. The speaker on the rear of the phone gets pretty loud and is very crisp, running lots of highs and almost no lows. There’s really no bass to be heard here. And the fact that it’s rear-facing is a little bit of a turn-off for me.
I mentioned the 5,000 mAh battery is under the hood and should provide for some serious power, lots of use, lots of screen on-time. I look forward to testing it on my full review. But if you guys have any questions or concerns, let me know in a comment down below and I’ll do my best to answer them. I’ll continue to test this phone and bring you a full review in the coming weeks. The phone is priced at $300 on Amazon so you do get quite a lot for the price. If you like big phones, it’s all the better.
BLU Energy XL on Amazon: