This is BLU’s new $199 Pure View smartphone. As a product reviewer that has reviewed dozens of BLU smartphones over the years, I always find it fascinating to see which flagship-like features the company decided to adapt in its budget devices.
The Pure View borrows that metal and glass build construction that is unanimous in the high-end smartphone market. There’s glass in front and the back features a glossy, pitch black UV battery cover, which is a fancy way to say plastic. But it looks and feels just like glass. I even dropped this phone on the streets of Portland and it only picked up minor scrapes and scuffs. It is a fingerprint and smudge magnet and it is super slippery but it does have a premium appearance that some will really cherish.
There’s a dual SIM card tray that supports a microSD card up to 64GB, a micro USB charging port that is a bummer to see here, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. There’s a fingerprint scanner that works well and is located just underneath the 13-megapixel Sony IMX 278 camera sensor and flash in a similar configuration to the Galaxy S9. This was my preferred method to unlock the phone during my testing but you can use Face Unlock, which is an option but it is less secure.
Another feature that we tend to see in higher end smartphones is an 18:9 display. What we have here is a 5.7-inch 720p 18:9 display with bright, vibrant colors and good viewing angles. There is a lot more that I would want in a display but for the price of the device, I like what I am seeing.
Under the hood, there’s a 1.4GHz octa-core processor with 3GB of RAM and it’s plenty of power to run basic social media applications, browse the web, and make phone calls. You can certainly game on this handset but the more graphic intensive the game, the more difficult of a time it’s going to have running it. With that said, I did notice frequent frame drops and stuttering when navigating the phone. But there is a very light skin on top of Android 7.0 Nougat, which does help keep this phone running fairly smooth overall. It has all the specs necessary for Android Oreo but BLU doesn’t have the best track record for delivering updates so I would buy this phone with the real possibility that it won’t receive an Oreo update.
The 13-megapixel main shooter features an f/2.2 aperture that can capture some good results in well-lit environments. It’s not going to excel in low-light. It tends to overexpose images slightly and the detail can be hit or miss. I found that, in general, BLU smartphones have a little bit more of a difficult time focusing on a subject and that could largely be due to the camera app, which is poorly developed. You might find better results by downloading the Google camera app.
What I really liked to see here is actually on the front of the smartphone. We have two 8-megapixel selfie cameras, one of which is a wide-angle lens with a 120-degree field of view. The selfie camera really comes in handy when you want to take selfies and capture the environment around you or when you have a group of friends you’re trying to take a picture with.
The specs of this smartphone are fairly energy-efficient when compared to the high-end flagships from the likes of Samsung, LG, and Apple. So the 3000mAh battery inside here is able to keep this phone alive for a full day with moderate to heavy usage. Fast-charging is a huge win here. I do, however, wish BLU opted in for a USB-C port instead of an antiquated micro USB port.
Last but not least, we have the speaker. It is a bottom-facing speaker and it is in a better place than on the back of the phone. The sound quality is very high-pitched and there are very little lows. It’s not the best sounding speaker but it should get the job done for video consumption. You will, however, want to use an external speaker for long periods of media consumption.
So the Pure View retails for $199. But for a limited time, you can get it for $129.99 via Amazon. For that price, the Pure View is absolutely worth it. It’s actually quite impressive what $129 can get you nowadays in the smartphone market. Just keep in mind that the sale will not last long so act quick.
The glass and metal design, 18:9 display, and dual front-facing camera sensors are certainly my favorite features of the Pure View smartphone but I’m curious to hear your thoughts. Will you be purchasing the Pure View? What do you like or dislike? Let us know in a comment down below.