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The Blackview BL8000 is not only rugged, but also supports 5G and has a second screen

Blackview reached out asking if I was interested in reviewing the BL8000. It's another chunky and rugged smartphone, and nothing much to write home about except perhaps for the rear display, along with 5G connectivity.

First up, let's dive into the specs:

Specification Blackview BL8000
Front Display: 6.78" 120Hz IPS 2460x1080, 396 PPI, 20.5:9 Aspect Ratio,
Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Rear Display: 1.32" IPS 240x240
Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Dimensions 179.5 x 82.6 x 17mm
Weight: 385 g
CPU: MediaTek Dimensity 7050 (6nm), Octa-core, Up to 2.6GHz
ARM Cortex-A78 cores @ 2.6GHz*2 ARM Cortex-A55 cores @ 2.0GHz*6
GPU: ARM Mali-G68 MC4


Storage: 512 GB (UFS 3.1)
TF Card Slot: No
Rear Cameras: 50 MP main camera
  • Samsung S5KGN5
  • F/1.89 ± 5% Aperture
  • 4K Video recording
8 MP Wide angle
  • Hi-846W
  • F/2.2 ± 5% Aperture
  • 117 ° FOV
2 MP Depth of field
  • GalaxyCore GC02M2
  • F/2.0 ± 5% Aperture
  • 81.4° FOV
Front Camera:

16 MP Selfie Camera

  • SK Hynix Hi-1634Q
  • 90° FOV
  • F/2.2 ± 5% Aperture
  • Face unlock
Battery and charging 8800 mAh,
33 W fast-charging wired
5 W reverse wired
Connectivity: Dual-Nano SIM, WiFi: 2.4G/5G (802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax),
FM, NFC, OTG, VoLTE, Bluetooth 5.1
Ports: USB Type-C
GPS: GPS(L1+L5), GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo
Durability: IP68, IP69K, United States Military MIL-STD-810H
Security: Face unlock, side-mounted fingerprint sensor
Material: Metal, Polycarbonate, TPU
OS: Android 13
Colors: Black, Gold
MSRP: $459.98

As you can see, we finally have a rugged phone that supports 5G. I've put the full bands it supports in a table below. Although the MSRP is listed as $460, as of writing, the official page has it knocked down to $349.99, but you can also get it shipped to the U.S. via AliExpress for just $226.78 if you use a $40 coupon code: AEUS40 on checkout. So it pays to shop around, given the massive cuts (-51%) on the MSRP already.

The colors offered on the product page are simply called "Black" or "Gold", but in the description materials (on the same page) they are called "Aurora Gold" and "Orbit Grey". Don't let this confuse you, because as you will see, the aforementioned colors are simply accents. Both options are a fully Black phone, but with gold or black trim options. Ours is the gold variant.

2G: B2/B3/B5/B8
3G: WCDMA: B1/B2/B4/B5/B6/B8/B19
4G: TDD: B34/B38/B39/B40/B41
FDD: B1/B2/B3/B4/B5/B7/B8/B12/B13/B17/B18/B19/B20/B25/B26/B28a/B28b/B30/B66
5G: N1/3/5/7/8/20/28/38/40/41/77/78/79

We're not getting flagship features here in terms of a display or processor power, but like we've seen in Doogee rugged phones, Blackview doesn't skimp on the rest. There's plenty of RAM and storage. However, unlike all the other rugged phones I've tested up until now, the onboard storage cannot be expanded with an SD card on this model.

Blackview BL8000 rugged phone

Day 1

The first thing anyone will notice when unboxing it is the weight. At 385 g, it is rather heavy. Switching between this and my Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra was a fun experience. I'm a big lad with big hands, but this presents a challenge to use one-handed for any length of time.

Like all the other rugged phones I've tested, I was allowed to throw this thing around, but I was more worried about the damage I could do to my own floors. Dropping it from about a meter did not result in any damage to the phone, which is the minimum expectation you should have for it anyway. There were also no scuff marks that I could see after dropping it a few times, which is good news for the metal and polycarbonate materials the company used. However, there was no TPU case in the box, but it did come with a preinstalled screen protector.

I made a few calls on it, and the call quality was excellent, but that's the minimum you should expect from any phone. The mono speaker was also loud enough when I switched the phone to hands-free speaker mode.


Blackview BL8000 rugged phone

On the rear, you will find the camera array which consists of a (top left) 50 MP main camera, along with a (top right) 8 MP Ultra-wide camera, and below that is the 2 MP Depth camera. To the left of the bottom camera is the LED flash with infrared night vision lights to the right. To the right of the camera array, there is the 1.32-inch secondary display which can be customized (more on that later). Near the bottom of the phone is a Blackview branding, which is actually a sticker.

The back has a plastic feel to it with a slightly textured finish. It feels good in the hand, if not heavy, the sides are slightly indented so it gives a feeling of a good grip when holding the phone, no complaints here.

Blackview BL8000 rugged phone

On the right side of the phone, you will find the volume rocker and a power key that doubles as a fingerprint sensor. The keys have a good height and are easily detected by feel. Only the power and fingerprint sensor button are completely smooth without any texturing, all the others have some sort of texturing.

Blackview BL8000 rugged phone

On the left, you'll find the SIM card tray which is protected against water ingress by a rubber seal around the SIM tray. Blackview includes what looks like a guitar pick in the box. This is actually a tool to access the SIM tray. It's a well-thought-out idea that will prevent scratches on the gold metal finish. A fingernail is also enough to pry it free from the bezel. Below that is the User-defined key, which has a textured finish. I will talk about that a bit later.

Blackview BL8000 rugged phone

On the bottom, you'll find a rubber tab access for the USB Type C charger port for the included 1 m USB Type C-to-USB Type C cable and 33 W Fast charger. There's no headphone jack here, so you would be limited to wired (USB Type C) or Bluetooth v5.1 connectivity. To the left of the tab is a mic hole, and to the right there is the single speaker grill.

The tab access was easy enough to use with my large fingers and short nails, which is great if you're in a hurry and on the job, which this phone is absolutely suited to in terms of usage.

Blackview BL8000 rugged phone

The top of the BL8000 does not have any openings and is mostly smooth except for the corners.

On the front of the device above the display, you'll find the 16 MP front-facing camera. There is no notification LED on this rugged phone, which is a bit of a letdown, since we have yet another rugged phone with an IPS screen that natively does not support an Always on Display, so having a notification LED would have been a good trade-off.

The BL8000 includes a 6.78-inch screen, which is only a tiny bit smaller than the Oukitel WP27's 6.8-inch screen. The extra 300mAh of battery capacity in the Blackview resulted in a 2mm thicker, and slightly taller phone overall, although it is almost half a cm less in width than the Oukitel, which will help fit it into more pocket sizes. The weight feels like it is distributed evenly across the phone.


Blackview BL8000 rugged phone

The 6.78" FHD+ display has a 2,460 x 1,080 screen resolution, with a 396 PPI pixel density, a 20:5 aspect ratio, and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection. Blackview claims the display has a 550 nit peak brightness. However, I found it difficult to view the screen in bright sunlight. It was perfectly fine when I was shooting pictures on a completely overcast day as you will see later.

It's not fancy by any means, but I don't plan to consume media at 4K HDR anyway. The display is bright and vibrant enough to look at. The 120Hz display is adaptive (switching between 60, 90, and 120Hz) by default. However, this can be changed to lock the display at 120Hz, 90Hz, or 60Hz in the settings.

There's also a "Colour temperature" setting that allows for a choice between three different color settings: Standard (default), Vivid, and Professional, which utilizes a slider between Warmer and Colder colors. The display settings tick all the boxes and dots all the i's.

As with most smartphones with a pinhole camera, media such as YouTube defaults to a 16:19 aspect ratio which puts black bars on the left and right of the video, but you can pinch out to fill the screen which you can view in the image up above.

Rear display

Ehhh.. when I see such things I always think they are gimmicky, but this could actually serve a purpose if it were a little more useful. For example, one of the widgets for the rear display is a compass, so I started using it, but after 15 seconds, the rear display turned itself off; this is the default setting which can be changed to 30 seconds, one, or three minutes. What's more, if the screen turns off, you have to swipe back to the widget you had open because it defaults to the clock when activating the display again.

I can't really think of a situation where it would be beneficial to use the rear display over the full, almost 7 inches of display on the front of the phone. I noticed that when I turned the phone flat down on its front display, it did not mute incoming calls. However, it is possible to enable "Flip to silence" in the Phone app, which mutes incoming calls when lying flat down on the display.


As I have said in previous smartphone reviews I've done, I am no camera buff. I'm a point-and-shoot kind of guy, but it is clear to me that smartphone makers seem to want to concentrate a hell of a lot on camera quality, sometimes at the expense of other features, and here it is also no exception. On the rear we have a 50 MP rear PDAF shooter with an F/1.89 ± 5% aperture and 81° FOV made by Samsung. There's also a (Hi-846W) 8 MP wide-angle camera with F/2.2 ± 5% aperture and 117° FOV, along with a 2 MP depth camera with an F/2.0 ± 5% aperture and 81.4° FOV.

Unfortunately, there's no optical image stabilization (OIS), which is a common omission on cheaper phones. However, it does include PDAF (phase detection auto focus), which is a high-speed automatic focus technology. None of the pictures I took were out of focus, which is a first from my previous experience with different rugged phones.

Google gets around the lack of OIS on its Pixel phones by using the gyroscope for stabilization, but if this tech is included here, it isn't disclosed. I will reach out to my contact and ask if they employ any sort of optical image stabilization.

My verdict on the camera is that it is the best one I have tested on a rugged phone. Point and shoot, that's all you need to do to get great-looking pictures.


The Blackview has DokeOS 4.0 (based on Android 13) preloaded with the November 2023 security update, which is quite some time ago considering we're now midway into March 2024. Blackview is no different from the likes of Doogee and Oukitel in terms of software updates and support. You can expect a security update maybe once every quarter, and a warranty that lasts for one year.

The phone comes with its own dedicated home launcher called BvLauncher, which actually doesn't suck. It has plenty of options to customize the Home launcher experience, and there's even a dedicated peer support forum if you get stuck with a setting or don't understand a feature.

The User-defined Side Key can also be found in the Android Settings under "Gestures and keys". It lets you assign predetermined actions (see above image) or an app to the key on 'One click', 'Double Click', and 'Long Press'. I set 'One Click' to launch the camera, but it is nice to see that all actions or apps can be assigned to each key mode.

The "Toolbag" tool has a few apps grouped together like 'Compass', 'Mirror', which is literally just selfie mode, 'Sound Meter', and height and level tools. It certainly does not have the sensors to back these as professional tools. It's a fun mixed bag of quickly accessible tools in the absence of the proper professional ones.

Upon long pressing on the desktop, you get a menu to the BvLauncher settings, which as you can see from the above screenshots also adds the Google app on swipe right, if you should so desire. The Intelligent Assistant (IA) just seemed to be some sort of widget panel, which probably adds the most frequently used apps as you go, and has a bunch of other handy stuff you might like, the settings let you toggle on or off some of those cards, but it looks like you can't add your own (see below).

Performance and Battery Life

The phone offers charging through the wall charger at 33 W and no wireless option, and with an 8,800 mAh battery. Blackview claims that it is possible to juice up to 20% extra battery in 15 minutes, 50% (from nothing) in 38 minutes, and from nothing to 100% in just under two hours (114 mins).

This phone was not at 100% when I unboxed it (I forgot to check) but I think it was around 80% and after "3 days, 5hr, 53 mins" I still have 49% left. Normally I let the phone drain and then I charge it to see how long it takes, but my contact has me on a deadline for this phone, so I will have to come back to it at a later date.

The official web page claims 384 hours (16 days) on standby, 30 hours of call time, 35 hours of music, 10 hours of gaming or streaming, and 14 hours of video playback, but I haven't had this phone long enough to check. It's an 8,800 mAh battery though. Of course it's going to last a long time.

For those who love benchmarks, there are a few below. I started off with GFXBench which tests the GPU.

Blackview BL8000 rugged phone

It's good to see it can hold its own against ... quite old competition such as the 2015 released NVIDIA Shield Tablet, or the 2016 Samsung Galaxy S7. It's okay for light gaming, that's about it.

Next up, I ran Geekbench, which returned a score of 1081, up 351 points compared to the Oukitel WP27 with a Helio G99 SoC in Single-Core, placing it between the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE (1036) and the Xiaomi Poco F3 (1099) and 2,517 for Multi-Core, up 481 points. However, this only beats the Xiaomi Poco F3 (2461) for comparison, as there are no lower scores shown in that test.

Blackview BL8000 rugged phone

Last but not least, the AnTuTu benchmark tests, came in at 575,228 points, which is an impressive 173,775 points higher than the Oukitel WP27. I wasn't able to see how it ranks in comparison to other phones, because AnTuTu has removed that stat from the benchmark app.

Blackview BL8000 rugged phone

The Blackview BL8000 includes the MediaTek Dimensity 7050, which is an 8-core chipset that was announced on May 2, 2023, and is manufactured using a 6-nanometer process technology. It is comparable to the Snapdragon 778G, although it does not best it in any way. It's still far better than the two-year-old Helio G99.


Blackview BL8000 rugged phone

As with all rugged phones, this has a very specific use case. It is very good at completing tasks where you would be outside, on a building site, or in an otherwise dirty or dangerous environment. Dropping it in such areas, assuming you don't lose it in the process, will likely result in absolutely no damage to the device, although I do wonder how the plastic backplate will hold up after prolonged use and exposure to rough environments.

As I have said in previous rugged phone reviews, you can probably forget about using it as a main phone and sticking it in your Bermuda shorts or pant pockets. If you do, however, the ever-present risk of being pantsied by your own phone will haunt you. This is true even for a big guy like myself. It is properly heavy at 385 g. In fact, I opted to keep it in my backpack when I was out shooting pictures with it.

Blackview BL8000 rugged phone

The User-defined key allows me to map the Camera to it, so we can forgive the lack of a dedicated camera button in this case, and its massive battery is more than enough that anyone can ask for. But then there's the poor software support and only one year of warranty backing the phone. As I said earlier, this phone is mostly for specific use cases. I can easily recommend it to construction workers who find it important to have a smartphone on hand, they can toss it around and rinse it under the tap and it will still keep working.

This phone isn't going to break the bank at the (as of writing) discounted price of $349.99, which isn't the cheapest rugged phone I have tested, but it is the only 5G one I have been able to test. However, for that cost, you can only expect a year of support, plus only around four Android security updates in that year.

The absence of an AMOLED screen is disappointing, but you do get a decent mid-range SoC experience in a tough package. It's a meaningful device in tough working conditions, and I have to give praise for the camera, which is actually quite decent if not a bit over-saturated.

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Blackview BL8000
5G Camera quality Massive battery Good build quality
IPS screen No Night vision/IR camera No SD card slot Mono speaker
Jan 2024


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