BLU sent me three of their most recent budget smartphones—the BLU Energy X Plus, the BLU Vivo Selfie, and the BLU Studio C 5+5. In this video, we’re going to take a look at the BLU Vivo Selfie to see if it’s worth its $150 off-contract price tag here on PhoneDog.com.
BLU sent me their latest flagship budget smartphone, the BLU Vivo Selfie (not to be confused with the BLU Selfie that we reviewed not too long ago here on PhoneDog). The BLU Vivo Selfie features some pretty high end specs in a more minimal build costing just $150 off-contract. One of the most impressive features is the Super AMOLED display and the dual Sony camera sensors on the front and back of this device that we will definitely take a closer look at here in a moment. The packaging though is kind of noteworthy. It’s jet black and we have this peel-off film that reveals this reflective panel where the display would be on the Vivo Selfie. It’s kind of cool.
Some of the specs of the Vivo Selfie include a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection, a 1.3GHz quad-core processor and 8MP rear and front-facing camera sensor, 4G HSPA+, 1GB of RAM, and this device runs Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box; one of the first (if not the first) BLU device to run Android Lollipop.
To get inside this box, all we need to do is use the trusty Beau HD official unboxing knife to cut off all four pieces of tape. Once we do that, we can slide off the top and we’ll find the Vivo Selfie sitting right on top.
So this is a relatively small device. We will take a closer look here in a sec. we do have several accessories underneath. So first of all, we have a micro USB charging cable here, there’s a pair of earphones with removable tips and some basic SIM card Removal Information and a Quick Start Guide. As if that’s not enough, we also have a screen protector and an included hard plastic clip-on case, which is always nice to have especially included here in the box. The last two items are the US wall wart and I actually didn’t realize this was included but BLU includes a full on selfie stick here. How hilarious is that? I mean, what’s a selfie phone without a selfie stick right? It can be extended and we have a dedicated shutter button above the handle to capture all of your selfies. So you have a selfie phone and a selfie stick bundled together in the same box.
But let’s take a look at the Vivo Selfie and take off all that plastic. It’s a pretty sleek and simple device. Once again, it’s fairly small. Not everyone likes large smartphones so it’s pretty nice to see BLU release a more compact smartphone with a 4.8-inch display. If we take a closer look around the device, we’ll find a volume rocker on the left hand side, a Power/Sleep On/Off button and dedicated camera button. Nothing is up top and there’s a micro USB port and 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom. On the front, we have an 8MP camera sensor with a flash—you don’t see that every day. Below is the 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display which relies on software navigation buttons. The back is also home to an 8MP camera sensor and flash with a speaker grille and BLU logo. It has a plastic matted finish that doesn’t feel terribly premium but it provides some grip and doesn’t feel too bad especially considering the price tag. A big perk of the plastic back cover is the fact that it is removable and it will give us access to not one, but two SIM card slots and a microSD card slot for expandable storage. The 2300mAh battery is non-removable though.
The display on the Vivo Selfie is really nice. It’s bright, it has pretty good viewing angles and colors are very vibrant and sharp. In general, I love how much contrast there is with AMOLED displays and the fact that black colors aren’t being powered so you do save a little bit of battery life. This is not a bad 720p panel at all. Arguably, a feature that’s even better than this display is the software. It’s running Android Lollipop and it’s a very pure, unaltered Lollipop experience. All of the Material Design animations I fell in love with over the past several months—they’re all here. The only thing missing is Google Now on the home screen but as always, you can install the Google Now launcher to retrieve this feature. If you’re a huge fan of stock Android like I am, you’re really going to enjoy the software experience on the Vivo Selfie.
Performance, on the other hand, is okay. It does feature a quad-core processor but with 1GB of RAM. It doesn’t offer the fastest experience, apps open up quick and multi-tasking is definitely still possible but I did notice some stuttering here and there. With basic tasks like navigating the device, checking and updating social media, this phone works pretty well. It seems like it will work just fine. It’s the demanding apps that will really put this processor to the test.
What’s really neat about the Vivo Selfie is its two camera sensors—we have two 8MP camera sensors one on the back and one on the front. The front camera sensor even has a flash, which you don’t really see often and it’s not terribly bright but it kind of gives a tiny bit of illumination. It’s safe to say that if you take a lot of selfies, you will like this device all the better.
Overall, I love the display, I love the near stock Android experience. There’s not a lot of bloatware, you have two decent camera sensors, a microSD card slot for expandable storage and form factor is pretty universal. For $149 off-contract, the Vivo Selfie is a very capable budget smartphone. 2015 is shaping up to be the year of the budget smartphones. There’s a lot of competition so let me know how you think this device stacks up to the competition.