BLU Products has unveiled a new range-topping handset, featuring premium specs at an affordable price. It follows in the footsteps of several other devices launched in recent months - such as the OnePlus 3, ZTE Axon 7 and Honor 8 - that promise flagship-class specs without needing to spend a small fortune.
At $299.99 unlocked and off-contract, BLU's new Pure XR is an even more affordable option than those devices.
The new handset features "solid metal construction with invisible antenna lines", along with these key specs:
- 5.5-inch Super AMOLED with Full HD (1920x1080px) resolution and Corning Gorilla Glass 3
- 64-bit 2.0GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio P10 SoC
- 4GB RAM
- 64GB onboard storage (plus microSD card support up to 64GB)
- 16MP rear camera with phase detection autofocus/laser focus, LED flash, 'real-time HDR', and 1080p video recording at 30fps
- 8MP front-facing camera with wide-angle lens
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
- Bluetooth 4.0
- 3000mAh battery
- Quick-charge support (30 minutes to charge battery to 50%)
- Fingerprint scanner
- Gold and gray color options
- 154.3 x 74.9 x 7mm; 147g
BLU has also implemented '3D Touch' on the handset's display, which it says operates "based on the sensitivity of your touch". But despite the implementation being a fairly obvious rip-off of Apple's 3D Touch feature - right down to the design of the pop-up menu on the homescreen, including the background blur effect - it's not clear if the BLU device actually has a pressure-sensitive display, like that on Apple's iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.
Confusingly, BLU's press release also claims that the rear camera is capable of "3D HD Video Recording", although nothing in the handset's spec sheet, or on its promotional site suggests that the camera is actually capable of recording in 3D.
BLU says that the Pure XR "sets a new standard for flagship smartphone[s] at just $299.99". That's perhaps debatable, but at that price, its range of specs is certainly competitive.
The device is available now from Amazon and Best Buy, and ships with Android 6.0 Marshmallow onboard. BLU has not yet detailed its plans to upgrade the device to Android 7.0 Nougat, which began rolling out to a handful of devices last week.
The launch of the new Android handset comes as BLU appears to be distancing itself from Microsoft's mobile platform. BLU previously offered Windows Phones, some of which are eligible to upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile, but the company recently removed any mention of Windows from its homepage.