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Hands-on and Overview: BLU Life Pure

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We have never talked in length about BLU devices, but as off-contract pricing for budget phones is now a growing issue thanks to the Moto G, BLU is a major contender in this arena. They have been a round for some time, based out of Miami, creating sleek hardware designed for people in the market for affordable phones. Usually you can find a BLU device through online retailers such as Amazon for about $150 and up. Regardless of preconceptions of “cheap” phones, the newest device in their lineup, the Life Pure, is being marketed as a competitor to the Nexus 5 and even the Galaxy S4. And on paper, it could definitely get away with that. 

For specs, the Life Pure sports a few good ones, including a 5″ Full HD display (1920×1080), a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 13MP back-facing camera with a few BLU proprietary software tweaks, a 5MP front-facing camera, and Bluetooth 4.0. Now, while those are great sounding specs, the Life Pure also had to cut a few corners to meet an acceptable price of $349, so the device comes with only a 2,000mAh battery, no 4G LTE connectivity, and comes running Android 4.2.1. Why they had to opt for 4.2, and not even 4.3, who knows. If you are a fan of MIUI or other various OEM skins that don’t resemble stock Android, then BLU has you covered on that as well.

Impressions

I have only had the phone for a couple of days, so I can’t provide a full review at this time, but I can give a few initial impressions. The hardware is fantastic. It feels a lot like a Nexus 5 in hand, which is pretty great. It even has the same type of volume rocker and power buttons, so going back and forth with these two devices wasn’t much of a challenge. The display was surprisingly awesome, as you wouldn’t expect that type of pixel density on a phone at this price range. To sum it up, I have been impressed.

Other highlights for me were the camera and the “app manager” app that allows you to shake the device to clear up device memory. It was a cute idea, for sure. As for pictures and picture software, the Life Pure was very impressive. Even after the update that the Nexus 5 camera received, the Life Pure easily takes more focused shots with better clarity. I mean, come on, Google – you’re getting schooled by BLU. Sad.

Once I get a few more days with it over the Christmas break, I will have a better idea if this device is worth the $349 (off contract) for buyers looking to hop onto a prepaid plan. Until then, if you have any questions, hit us up in the comment section below.

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Unboxing and Hands-on

  • duv

    Bought Life Pure after my iphone 4 died on me couple days ago. Amazing phone, fast, very easy to use, beautiful picture, a lot of memory and much more. I’d want a longer battery life but considering the quality and size of the screen it was well expected from me. If you are like me and want simple easy to use phone with ton of features definitely check this phone out! :) Getting another one soon as a gift.

  • Eric G Canoy

    Tim, what’s your thoughts about this?

  • Ivan Gonzalez

    Well if we think about it the average consumer does not care for Processors and ram. What the average consumer looks for is Camera, features, and a nice looking phone. So with that said when the average consumer hears 8 or 13 mp, they are more likely to get the 13mp phone. Besides camera, design looks a bit better on the Life pure. Just because its simple, elegant, chocolate bar looking phone, and it also looks like the most popular phone on the market, Iphone 5s. Unfortunately the nexus 5 can not offer what the average consumer is looking for. I personally would get the Life pure phone just because the advertise it pretty freaking cool lol.

  • novybajwa

    DOWNLOAD GAMES FOR BLU PHONES http://WWW.APKNEXUS.COM

  • http://www.DavidPat.com David Pat

    I’d rather get a used Droid RAZR HD. Best deal since Android phones depreciate so fast.

    • Nolan Antonucci

      @patfactorx:disqus, interesting — I’ve been considering several off-contract options to keep my unlimited data, but hadn’t thought of the RAZR HD. My big concern would be buying a used phone with the non-removable battery. Obviously all used versions would have different mileage, but have you noticed any battery deterioration? (But anything will be better than my GNex…)

      • http://www.DavidPat.com David Pat

        You can always get a warranty replacement since Verizon customer is really good about things. That’s true even if you didn’t buy the phone from them.

  • Prem Sanaye

    Hey this is Gionee ELIFE E6,….. same device is already available in Indian and Chinese market around the same price only the difference is in packaging and all remains the same. But don’t worry guys this is a awesome device with that price and it has really a marvelous display.
    Gionee is OEM manufacturer from China now they have launched ELIFE E7

  • abdelrahman

    1- its not a new interfcae its amingo interface call amingo thats belong to gionee
    2- his face look like alcatel idol x face and huawei d2 face
    3- his back look like gionee elife e6
    4- his spes is the same of alcatel idol x with 1 thing change (the front camera is 5 mb )

    i don’t see any thing wrong in learn from anther companies but i could be wander if they put in it snapdragon 600 / 800 / 805 not mediateck

  • Kyle Cordiano

    This should have came with 4.3 at minimum.

  • StankyChikin

    LTE isn’t necessary for a $350 phone. Nexus 5 is the exception not the rule.

  • Vats

    This is Gionee Elife E6 rebrand

  • jose

    I have recently purchased two blu devices. The life one and the life play. They are both running on T-Mobile networks. I average about 13 down and 3 up one my life one. The life play averages about 6 down and 2.5.I don’t need
    Lte with those results

  • Tom Z

    Who’s going to buy a phone named after a cigarette?

    • Matthew Merrick

      Well, AFAIK, it’s actually the same company.

  • gphillimo

    This phone is not worth $350. I don’t care how good the camera is. A $350 phone should have lte, and this doesn’t. That should be a standard. Secondly, it doesn’t have the bands to even work on T-Mobiles HSPA. No lte, no bands for t mobile hspa, tiny 2,000mah battery, no android kitkat. This phone is overpriced by $200

    • hkklife

      Overpriced by $200 is pushing but I would definitely say it’s overpriced by $100-$150ish.

      Also, don’t all of the Blu phones skimp horrible on internal storage?

    • NeedName

      they totally missed a few things for it to be considered in the US. . . I’ll certainly give you that.

      In other parts of the world where LTE is limited and the Nexus is priced much higher I can see it doing pretty good. . . though i think, personally, I would still go with the Moto G over this.

      • psychoace

        They already sell this around the world under different names. In India it’s known as the Gionee Elife E6

        • NeedName

          yeah, caught that. . . and it’s roughly the same price ~$340
          thxs

          thus, I really don’t get this rebranding and bringing to the US market at all. . . at this price, Nexus 5 kills it and a Moto G is nearly as good. but to each their own I guess.

    • Jordi

      It has got the bands forma HSPA+ con T-Mo. And con june-july they’ll release KitKat con the entire Life lineup and other devices

      • NeedName

        this thing does NOT have HSPA+ for T-Mo. . . it will be edge ONLY for T-Mo. The Moto G has HSPA 21Mpbs for T-Mo & AT&T, not 42Mbps.

        Not sure what your comment is actually referring to, and don’t want anyone confused. :)

        • Jordi

          It has got the same bands that the whole Life series has and they allí work with T.Mo

          • NeedName

            Checked T-Mobile’s info a little further and frequencies for this device

            http://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-4988

            Thought the refarmed 1900Mhz was HSPA, not HSPA+. . . I’m wrong, it is HSPA+. However, from reviews that frequency is not very ubiquitous.

            Furthermore, T-Mo LTE/HSPA+ used 1700/2100 as their main bands, thus you really don’t have true T-Mobile support on this device. You will go from 1900 to edge, thus I would urge people to ensure they have good 1900 in their area.

            supported frequencies of this device:
            GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
            3G Network HSDPA 850 / 1900 – L240a
            HSDPA 850 / 2100 – L240i

            So, you can use the 1900Mhz band, supposedly, for T-Mobile, but I wouldn’t really say this is a great device for T-Mobile HSPA+ as it doesn’t support 1700/2100 bands.

        • Phone Savy

          I have it running on T-Mobile and there is a H showing on my signal bar, so either you are wrong in stating that it does not have 4G on T-Mobile or my phone is telling me lies. I think I will base it from my own experience with the phone on T-Mobile.

    • [A]dri[A]n

      Why does it HAVE to have LTE? Just because the Nexus 5 does? Please show me any other phone at $350 other than the Nexus 5 that has LTE.

    • Phone Savy

      This phone does in fact come with 4G on T-Mobiles network. You just need to make sure that you purchase the right model for access to T-Mobile’s 4G network. If you have doubts, then contact BLU’s technical support. I always send them an email to [email protected] and they have always been able to answer all of my questions. :)

      • Guest

        I said it doesn’t come with LTE or HSPA on T-Mobile, which it does not, so don’t come to me with this BS “It does in fact blah blah blah” You’re wrong. It only works with HSPA on AT&T.

      • gphillimo

        No, you’re wrong. I’ve already checked the bands. It’s a terrible phone that only works on AT&T with hspa. On T-Mobile it’ll only get 2G, unless in a refarmed area. The whole country is not refarmed on 1900, therefore it’s only 2G in areas with 1700,2100 bands.

  • Matthew Ross

    I love my N5 but had I not bought it I would pick this over the N5 from what little I have read.

  • duke69111

    Skip anything, it doesnt matter, but not the battery.

  • Intellectua1

    “I don’t want to make it Google”.. Lmao.. Funny review..

  • Blue Sun

    Before clicking on my Feedly link to this article, I was confused & expecting to find an E-cig review article.

  • dom

    Wow. I know it’s ridiculously close to the iphone, but I’ve never minded their looks. That’s a very pretty phone.

    • OligarchyAmbulance

      It looks like an iPhone and a Nexus 5 had a baby. And I like it.

  • 7h3_4pp12en7ic3

    But with the Nexus 5 at the same price point, why would someone buy this? Specs are pretty close, but the N5 get’s stock (updated) Android, 4G, and a bigger battery. Looks to me like they’re about 6-8 months late on the release for this to be a killer device.

    • James Devenberg

      The iPhone like interface makes me tempted to get this for my wife. She is an iPhone user who is interested in coming back to Android, and this halfway step interface could be what make the jump a little easier.

      • Kevin

        Why not just get her a moto g put nova launcher and apply an iPhone theme to it.

        Edit: or a even a galaxy since it has that home button like an iPhone.

        • James Devenberg

          A Moto G is another option I’m considering (I love my X) but this device is decidedly more high end than a Moto G.

          • gphillimo

            Then get a Nexus 5.

          • James Devenberg

            I’m really not into the Nexus 5. I know, I know, it is the annointed Google phone and as an Android fanatic, I’m supposed to love it, but I just don’t. I’m not sure why.

          • Kevin

            Maybe because the ugly design or horrible battery life?

          • James Devenberg

            Those certainly don’t help the situation. With the exception of the camera, I think the Moto X is superior to the Nexus 5 in nearly every way.

          • Paris Carter

            Probably because it is really a really thick device, don’t get me wrong it is the best looking Nexus so far IMO but when I held it in the store I knew I couldn’t use it. The screen seems small even though it is 5in.

          • Derail Doax

            I have a Moto G and a Galaxy Note 3 and honestly the biggest shortcoming the Moto G has when comparing the two phones is the camera is inferior to the Note 3. Otherwise the experience feels like a flagship. The quad core Snapdragon 400 runs great and I’ve still yet to see lag even with 70 apps installed.

            If your wife wants to give Android a try again just get her a Moto X. Their prices are cheap right now with the $150 off due to the Today Show code. If you’re thinking the Moto X isn’tisn’t good enough just leave her on iOS. No offense but if she’s that computer illiterate that she cannot figure out the desktop page design of stock Android she doesn’t belong anywhere but iPhone.

          • Nate

            Duh the camera is worse on the Moto G. The Note 3 costs $600+ off contract. The G, only $180. You can’t compare a G to a Note 3. They aren’t going after the same market.

      • MKader17

        Don’t try to recreate the iPhone. Your going to have to get her to buy into the features/ interface or it will just be a cheap iPhone clone and make her wonder why she doesn’t just have an iPhone. If you can find things that would make Android superior in her eyes, sell them.

      • Patrick Smithopolis

        I don’t think this phone is right for an iPhone user. The interface looks very confusing. The Moto G or Nexus 5 is a better option.

    • Severo Rivera

      Nexus 5 FTW!

    • master94

      Some people might want to get as much storage as possible and pay as little as possible. $50 is a lot of cash in some areas since $350 is the price for only a 16 GB nexus model.

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    • Paris Carter

      You don’t get 32GB of storage though. No NFC killed it and I don’t know if I could deal with no LTE, but I will pick one up because of the price. I can’t use a phone with only 16GB of storage.