BLU Pure XL Review

BLU Pure XL Review
BLU Pure XL Review
BLU Pure XL Review
BLU Pure XL Review
BLU Pure XL Review
BLU Pure XL Review
Introduction


We’ve seen a radical shift in the smartphone industry this year, as the focus has now been centered on value more than most things. It first started in the mid-range category, where devices like the Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3, Asus Zenfone 2, and Microsoft Lumia 640 XL gained attention early on in the year, only to be exacerbated by newer devices like the Moto G 2015. Only recently, we’ve seen this shakeup find its way into the high-end segment as well, evident in the value-conscious prices of the ZTE Axon Pro, OnePlus 2, and Moto X Style/ Pure Edition.

Well, now you can add yet another one to that list – the BLU Pure XL. Even though BLU is still etching out its place in the smartphone world, they’ve got a beauty in the BLU Pure XL, which surprisingly enough, might outclass those aforementioned devices. Is this finally the device that’ll elevate BLU into the major leagues?

The package contains:

  • BLU Pure XL
  • microUSB cable
  • Wall charger
  • Get start guide
  • Important information

Design

It’s wide, heavy, and ginormous in size, but its solid construction and substantial feel makes this feel like a well-built device from BLU.

We’ve encountered some low-end BLU smartphones before, and let’s just say that their build qualities weren’t necessarily the most solid – made obvious by how some of the seams weren’t tightly put together. Luckily, it looks as though BLU spent a lot of time and attention on the Pure XL, partly because it features a plastic rear casing accented by an aluminum metal trim bezel. And yes, the construction and build quality feel substantially superior this time around.

The design reminds us of the OnePlus 2 in a way, seeing that the casing has a slight curve on the back, but it meets at a sharp edge around the sides. Even though it’s touted to be a premium device, the plastic material of the rear casing doesn’t particularly reflect that. However, the gold color and its subtle shimmer does nicely to mimic a metal finish. It’s most definitely a phablet, too, since it’s very wide and difficult for one-handed use – so two hands are better than one for this.

Frankly, the BLU Pure XL is a decent looking “premium” phone, but it still has a long way to go before achieving the same level of prestige as some of the big boys. Nevertheless, this is a good foundation to start on that path.

Looking around the phone, it features all the common ports and buttons – they consist of the power button and volume controls on the right edge, microUSB port and mic on the bottom, and 3.5mm headphone jack on the top. Interestingly, BLU has fashioned on a dedicated two-level shutter key as well, which gives us more of that practical feeling when capturing a photo. Not stopping there, the back cover is removable and provides us access to its microSD and dual-SIM slots.

Fingerprint Sensor


What’s even more impressive, BLU has blessed the _phone_ with a fingerprint sensor directly below the camera – and it’s recessed to distinguish it, as we feel around with our index fingers. Unlocking the _phone_ is achieved by just resting our finger over the sensor. Unlike other phones, the fingerprint sensor here has a matte finish, so it's not as shiny, but doesn't get smudgy.

 

View As One Page »
View As Slideshow »

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

11.

12.

13.

14.

15.

16.


Front view | Side view
BLU Pure XL
BLU Pure XL
6.46 x 3.24 x 0.38 inches
164 x 82.2 x 9.6 mm
7.13 oz (202 g)

BLU Pure XL

ZTE Axon Pro
ZTE Axon Pro
6.06 x 2.95 x 0.37 inches
154 x 75 x 9.3 mm
6.17 oz (175 g)

ZTE Axon Pro

Motorola Moto X Style
Motorola Moto X Style
6.06 x 3 x 0.44 inches
153.9 x 76.2 x 11.06 mm
6.31 oz (179 g)

Motorola Moto X Style

Samsung Galaxy Note5
Samsung Galaxy Note5
6.03 x 3 x 0.3 inches
153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6 mm
6.03 oz (171 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note5


BLU Pure XL Review

Display

Going with Quad-HD resolution makes it a competitive player in terms of specs, but it lacks the other valued characteristics we see in premium phone displays.

Cementing itself as a high-end piece of tech, the BLU Pure XL is accompanied with a 6-inch 1440 x 2560 (Quad-HD) Super AMOLED display, making it a relevant player in the space. Naturally, the 490 ppi pixel density produces crisp and sharp details that make our eyes glaze over as we look intently on the display. And the spacious real estate means that we have more room to enjoy high-def videos and all sorts of games.

Beyond its detail excellence, the screen here actually boasts several qualities that make it very similar to the 6-incher found in the Nexus 6. For starters, it has a peak luminance of 343 nits. While that’s not terribly good amongst the other things out there, it’s slightly better than the Nexus 6’s weaker output. There’s enough glow and iridescence for this Super AMOLED screen to stand out in regular, indoor conditions, but the weak brightness output makes it problematic for outdoor use when the sun is out.

Secondly, it has a very oversaturated color reproduction, which again, is almost similar to the Nexus 6’s panel. Putting the two displays side-by-side, they’re almost direct copies of one another, as they achieve the same overblown, over-saturated color tones. However, the BLU Pure XL’s screen exhibits a significantly colder tone with its ~8100K color temperature. Combine that with its over-saturated color reproduction, this screen harkens back to the old AMOLED displays from Samsung.

Needless to say, there’s the good and bad with the screen, with the Quad HD resolution being impressive, but the color quality and brightness levels being disappointing.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy Note5 470
(Good)
2
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
6722
(Excellent)
2.09
1.32
(Excellent)
1.94
(Excellent)
ZTE Axon Pro 466
(Good)
1
(Excellent)
1:1111
(Good)
7185
(Good)
2.24
4.36
(Average)
6.01
(Average)
BLU Pure XL 343
(Average)
5
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
8133
(Poor)
2.23
6.31
(Average)
6.38
(Average)
View all

The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.

Maximum brightness Lower is better Minimum brightness Lower is better Contrast Lower is better Color temperature Lower is better Gamma Lower is better Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
BLU Pure XL 48.4%
40%
unmeasurable
0.2%
2.7%
18.1%
3.6%
Samsung Galaxy Note5 60.4%
50%
unmeasurable
5.7%
2.4%
281.1%
128.9%
ZTE Axon Pro 85.4%
0%
84.1%
14.3%
7.6%
12.6%
34.6%
View all

The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

View all


BLU Pure XL Review

BLU Pure XL Review
BLU Pure XL Review
BLU Pure XL Review
BLU Pure XL Review
BLU Pure XL Review
BLU Pure XL Review
Introduction


We’ve seen a radical shift in the smartphone industry this year, as the focus has now been centered on value more than most things. It first started in the mid-range category, where devices like the Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3, Asus Zenfone 2, and Microsoft Lumia 640 XL gained attention early on in the year, only to be exacerbated by newer devices like the Moto G 2015. Only recently, we’ve seen this shakeup find its way into the high-end segment as well, evident in the value-conscious prices of the ZTE Axon Pro, OnePlus 2, and Moto X Style/ Pure Edition.

Well, now you can add yet another one to that list – the BLU Pure XL. Even though BLU is still etching out its place in the smartphone world, they’ve got a beauty in the BLU Pure XL, which surprisingly enough, might outclass those aforementioned devices. Is this finally the device that’ll elevate BLU into the major leagues?

The package contains:

  • BLU Pure XL
  • microUSB cable
  • Wall charger
  • Get start guide
  • Important information

Design

It’s wide, heavy, and ginormous in size, but its solid construction and substantial feel makes this feel like a well-built device from BLU.

We’ve encountered some low-end BLU smartphones before, and let’s just say that their build qualities weren’t necessarily the most solid – made obvious by how some of the seams weren’t tightly put together. Luckily, it looks as though BLU spent a lot of time and attention on the Pure XL, partly because it features a plastic rear casing accented by an aluminum metal trim bezel. And yes, the construction and build quality feel substantially superior this time around.

The design reminds us of the OnePlus 2 in a way, seeing that the casing has a slight curve on the back, but it meets at a sharp edge around the sides. Even though it’s touted to be a premium device, the plastic material of the rear casing doesn’t particularly reflect that. However, the gold color and its subtle shimmer does nicely to mimic a metal finish. It’s most definitely a phablet, too, since it’s very wide and difficult for one-handed use – so two hands are better than one for this.

Frankly, the BLU Pure XL is a decent looking “premium” phone, but it still has a long way to go before achieving the same level of prestige as some of the big boys. Nevertheless, this is a good foundation to start on that path.

Looking around the phone, it features all the common ports and buttons – they consist of the power button and volume controls on the right edge, microUSB port and mic on the bottom, and 3.5mm headphone jack on the top. Interestingly, BLU has fashioned on a dedicated two-level shutter key as well, which gives us more of that practical feeling when capturing a photo. Not stopping there, the back cover is removable and provides us access to its microSD and dual-SIM slots.

Fingerprint Sensor


What’s even more impressive, BLU has blessed the phone with a fingerprint sensor directly below the camera – and it’s recessed to distinguish it, as we feel around with our index fingers. Unlocking the phone is achieved by just resting our finger over the sensor. Unlike other phones, the fingerprint sensor here has a matte finish, so it's not as shiny, but doesn't get smudgy.


Front view | Side view
BLU Pure XL
BLU Pure XL
6.46 x 3.24 x 0.38 inches
164 x 82.2 x 9.6 mm
7.13 oz (202 g)

BLU Pure XL

ZTE Axon Pro
ZTE Axon Pro
6.06 x 2.95 x 0.37 inches
154 x 75 x 9.3 mm
6.17 oz (175 g)

ZTE Axon Pro

Motorola Moto X Style
Motorola Moto X Style
6.06 x 3 x 0.44 inches
153.9 x 76.2 x 11.06 mm
6.31 oz (179 g)

Motorola Moto X Style

Samsung Galaxy Note5
Samsung Galaxy Note5
6.03 x 3 x 0.3 inches
153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6 mm
6.03 oz (171 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note5


BLU Pure XL Review

Display

Going with Quad-HD resolution makes it a competitive player in terms of specs, but it lacks the other valued characteristics we see in premium phone displays.

Cementing itself as a high-end piece of tech, the BLU Pure XL is accompanied with a 6-inch 1440 x 2560 (Quad-HD) Super AMOLED display, making it a relevant player in the space. Naturally, the 490 ppi pixel density produces crisp and sharp details that make our eyes glaze over as we look intently on the display. And the spacious real estate means that we have more room to enjoy high-def videos and all sorts of games.

Beyond its detail excellence, the screen here actually boasts several qualities that make it very similar to the 6-incher found in the Nexus 6. For starters, it has a peak luminance of 343 nits. While that’s not terribly good amongst the other things out there, it’s slightly better than the Nexus 6’s weaker output. There’s enough glow and iridescence for this Super AMOLED screen to stand out in regular, indoor conditions, but the weak brightness output makes it problematic for outdoor use when the sun is out.

Secondly, it has a very oversaturated color reproduction, which again, is almost similar to the Nexus 6’s panel. Putting the two displays side-by-side, they’re almost direct copies of one another, as they achieve the same overblown, over-saturated color tones. However, the BLU Pure XL’s screen exhibits a significantly colder tone with its ~8100K color temperature. Combine that with its over-saturated color reproduction, this screen harkens back to the old AMOLED displays from Samsung.

Needless to say, there’s the good and bad with the screen, with the Quad HD resolution being impressive, but the color quality and brightness levels being disappointing.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy Note5 470
(Good)
2
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
6722
(Excellent)
2.09
1.32
(Excellent)
1.94
(Excellent)
ZTE Axon Pro 466
(Good)
1
(Excellent)
1:1111
(Good)
7185
(Good)
2.24
4.36
(Average)
6.01
(Average)
BLU Pure XL 343
(Average)
5
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
8133
(Poor)
2.23
6.31
(Average)
6.38
(Average)
View all

The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.

Maximum brightness Lower is better Minimum brightness Lower is better Contrast Lower is better Color temperature Lower is better Gamma Lower is better Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
BLU Pure XL 48.4%
40%
unmeasurable
0.2%
2.7%
18.1%
3.6%
Samsung Galaxy Note5 60.4%
50%
unmeasurable
5.7%
2.4%
281.1%
128.9%
ZTE Axon Pro 85.4%
0%
84.1%
14.3%
7.6%
12.6%
34.6%
View all

The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

View all


Interface and Functionality

The experience reminds us of the Samsung of old, where they go after that ‘more is better’ strategy.

For the Pure XL, BLU has decided to adopt a customized experience running on top of Android 5.1 Lollipop that visually looks like stock Android, but they’ve added several features that remind us of Samsung a couple years back. First and foremost, the notifications panel and native apps appear and function to what we get with stock Android. However, they’ve inconveniently eliminated the apps panel, which means that the homescreen can get rather disorganized with icons filling up every nook and cranny – it just becomes too maddening when there’s a lot of apps.

In differentiating its experience, they’ve included a laundry list of tools and ways to customize the look of the interface, but none of them brings back the apps panel. Instead, we can choose from a variety of transitioning effects and preloaded themes to modify the layout of the homescreen. There’s also the Chameleon app, which uses the camera to create a custom color arrangement for the UI by drawing colors from the scene. It’s cool, but not really diehard.

Over on the software side, they reintroduce some of the many redundant features that Samsung notoriously advertised with its smartphones a couple years ago. In particular, there are the various Air gestures that allow us to wake up the phone, navigate through the gallery app or homescreen, and pause/play a video by simply waving our hand over the display. Nevertheless, it comes equipped with some other features that are more practical and relevant – like the double tap feature to turn on/off the screen and automatically accepting a phone call by placing the phone next to our ear.

What’s missing, though, are some useful multi-tasking and one-handed modes that would’ve been beneficial for a phone of this size. To that degree, it lacks the necessary depth to make it an experience befitting for power users. Rather, the entire experience here with the BLU Pure XL harkens back to the days of Samsung old – where it follows in that ‘more is better’ strategy. Unfortunately, the lack of an apps panel combined with all of those unwanted and redundant software tricks, makes for a somewhat daunting experience.

Processor and Memory

The MediaTek Helio X10 chip puts out an impressive real-world performance, dishing up a nice and tight performance.

Making for a compelling argument, the BLU Pure XL comes at us with a 64-bit based octa-core 2.0GHz MediaTek Helio X10 MT6795 chipset based on the 28nm manufacturing process, which is paired with 3GB of RAM and the PowerVR G6200 GPU. And boy does it impress us with its high level of snappiness just running through the interface! Quite simply, there’s that tight control with its action, so launching apps and navigating around the homescreen are accompanied with those buttery smooth responses. In fact, it evem feels faster than some of the big names in the industry at times.

Meanwhile, the synthetic benchmark tests indicate that it’s just a smidgen behind the performances of its main rivals – namely the Snapdragon 810 and Exynos 7. While its real-world performance is undoubtedly tight and responsive, it achieves lower scores in several of the processing benchmark tests. Over on the graphics processing side, the Quad-HD resolution takes its toll by being extremely demanding, which is evident in how it produces less frame rates than that of the Note5 in the GFXbench tests. Regardless of that, it’s still certainly more than equipped to handle most of today’s demanding gaming titles to a certain degree of enjoyment.

Thankfully, this is one of those phones when storage is never a concern because it comes by default with a generous 64GB capacity, which is backed up by the fact that it comes with a microSD card slot as well.

Performance benchmarks

AnTuTu
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note5 67207
ZTE Axon Pro 53535
BLU Pure XL 49277
Vellamo Metal
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note5 2532
ZTE Axon Pro 2136
BLU Pure XL 1407
Vellamo Browser
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note5 5476
ZTE Axon Pro 3533
BLU Pure XL 2378
Sunspider
Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy Note5 677.7
ZTE Axon Pro 1018.9
BLU Pure XL 1146
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note5 37
ZTE Axon Pro 36
BLU Pure XL 18
GFXBench Manhattan on-screen
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note5 15
ZTE Axon Pro 15
BLU Pure XL 7.1
Basemark OS II
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note5 1765
ZTE Axon Pro 1351
BLU Pure XL 1134
Geekbench 3 single-core
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note5 1431
ZTE Axon Pro 761
BLU Pure XL 912
Geekbench 3 multi-core
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note5 4717
ZTE Axon Pro 3204
BLU Pure XL 4913
View all

Internet and Connectivity


Really, there’s nothing we can’t like about the BLU Pure XL when it comes to surfing the web. Much like the other handful of phablets out there, its generous screen size allows pages to fit nicely without the need to do some heavy scrolling – and it helps too that its Quad-HD resolution produces crisp details. Secondly, its processing punch enables it to deliver quick page loads, smooth page rendering, and fluid navigational controls. The only strange thing about it all, is that it tries to promote the Opera web browser. Luckily, we’re not forced or tied down to it.

Similar to the other phones in its portfolio, the BLU Pure XL is an unlocked GSM smartphone with LTE connectivity – though, it doesn’t have nearly as much LTE-band support as its rivals and it tops out at Category 4 LTE. Moreover, there are no CDMA radios with this one, so it won’t work for Sprint or Verizon. Besides that, it comes with all the usual connectivity features in its package, so that includes aGPS, Bluetooth, dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, and NFC.

Camera

A specs-monster indeed, it handles the task well, but it’s still below the quality we get in other high-end phones.

Okay, so we’ve seen a handful of newer phones that break the 20-megapixel mark. Now, the Blue Pure XL joins this same club. Ensuring its place in the grand scheme of things, the BLU Pure XL impressively comes equipped with a 1/2.3” 24-megapixel rear camera sensor. The fun doesn’t end there, since it also features an f/2.0 aperture lens, dual-tone LED flash, OIS, sapphire lens cover, and yes, a dedicated shutter key as well. The front camera gets treated to a wide-angle 8-megapixel one, so that tally is impressive in its own regard.

Catering to both novice users and enthusiast, the camera interface is filled with an array of shooting modes and controls, which are complements to its camera hardware. Usual shooting modes are present here, such as HDR, panorama, and face beauty, but it’s deepened thanks to its magic focus, ultra pixel, and professional modes – where the latter even offers us up to 12 seconds of shutter speed. At first glance, the interface might seem generic, as most of the layout is reserved for the viewfinder, but there are guidelines and a level meter that give it that camera-like operation. Now the only thing missing here is support for RAW capture.


Image Quality


We’ve said it before, and we’ll keep saying it: just because there’s a high megapixel count camera on board, it doesn’t automatically make it a strong performer. This is certainly true here with the BLU Pure XL! Even though it’s backed by a beefy camera and a range of useful shooting modes, its performance is average at most, definitely not in the same caliber as brand name high-end phones such as the Note5 or LG G4. For a device with a monster 24-megapixel camera, you’d think it would deliver resounding fine details over its 16-megapixel rivals, right? Well, it actually produces the same level of detail, so it’s nothing extraordinary with its compilation. This means that we’re still able to crop photos to our liking, without diminishing the quality of the cropped shot.

One issue we do find problematic is how it favors an over exposed composition with outdoor, sunny shots. Not only does that mitigate some of the details in the shots, but it just throws off some of its balance. Luckily, colors come out realistic for the most part under this condition, favoring a neutral production more than anything else. With the HDR mode, however, it boosts the contrast and exposure to the point that photos sometimes appear washed out.

Fortunately, the camera’s f/2.0 aperture lens helps to improve its performance under low light, as it’s able to draw in more light to expose details that would otherwise be lost. Although there’s still some noise speckling evident in some of our shots, it’s toned down for the most part – and it’s able to reasonably retain a decent level of detail and colors. Using its professional mode and setting its exposure to its longest setting, while keeping the phone still, it delivers crisp looking photos that breathe a lot of life. You can see it in how well each blade of grass are individualized in one of the photos.

If it’s too dim, its dual-LED flash does nicely to cast even lighting throughout the shot. The 7 feet mark seems to be its sweet spot, mainly because the light is cast evenly – whereas at 3 to 5 feet, we sometimes get an over-exposed composition.


Camera speed

Taking a pic (sec)Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec)Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note5 2.1
2.7
842
No data
ZTE Axon Pro 2.4
No data
534
423
BLU Pure XL 2.8
No data
559
514
View all

Video Quality


Equally as well, the BLU Pure XL is equipped with a degree of video recording resolutions that can go up to 4K UHD. And just like its still shot performance, the video recording quality is average at best. There’s a decent amount of detailed captured by it, but its color reproduction favors a colder tone. Despite that, the overall production still looks visually appealing – and it helps, too, that a digital zoom still reels in some acceptable footage.

Some of our issues with the performance, however, include its lack of continuous auto-focus, which means that adjusting it is done through touch interaction with the screen. Secondly, its audio recording is a bit unpleasant to the ear due to the thin toned voices it captures and the overall sharpness of the audio quality. And finally, the digital zoom doesn’t operate in a smooth and fluid manner. Rather, it jumps to certain zoom levels, so the end result looks choppier.


Multimedia

Prepared to have your ears blow away, the audio experience is one of the best!

The gallery app can be arranged in timeline and folder views, so it follows in the same manner as other phones with its implementation. And just like them, it comes packaged with a multitude of editing tools and filters to enhance captured footage. All told, the gallery app functions to what we’d expect out of any phone.

While there’s the Google Play Music app for our music listening needs, BLU also packages in its own custom music player. On the surface, it appears pretty conventional, but we do like how it employs some of Material Design’s traits with its bright and bold color scheme, which can be customized too. There’s even a section where lyrics are displayed as a song is playing, but the rest of its functionality is generic.

Placing a lot of emphasis on the audio experience, BLU has endowed the Pure XL with some outstanding qualities that make it quite immersive. Starting with the rear-firing speaker, it’s undoubtedly commanding with its 80.8 dB output – a tally that’s remarkably potent and powerful, so it’s extremely deafening with its tone! Not only that, but the ample bass and treble that accompanies the output gives it impeccable dynamic range.

Now, the same level of attention has been placed on the 3.5mm headphone jack too. Despite putting out a weak 0.406 V of power, the various DTS equalizer settings it offers enhances the quality considerably. By choosing the correct device adapter and effects volume settings, it achieves poppy and thumping tones that make it equally compelling.

And it certainly can stand its own ground when it comes to watching videos on its AMOLED display! Due to its vivid color reproduction, videos just look fancy watching them on the phone, even if colors tend to be off. Adding to that, there’s also a multi-tasking function that’s available that puts the playing video into its own window, which can then be positioned on top of whatever we’re doing.

Audio output

Headphones output power (Volts)
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note5 0.609
ZTE Axon Pro 0.583
BLU Pure XL 0.406
Loudspeaker loudness (dB)
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note5 70.7
ZTE Axon Pro 80.3
BLU Pure XL 80.8
View all


BLU Pure XL Review
Call Quality

It’s reasonable enough to use, but there’s this subdued quality with the speakerphone.

Phone calls are handled decently by it, evident by how it’s able to mute background noise fairly well, the strong output of its earpiece, and the clear voices we hear. On the flip side, there’s just a subdued quality on the other end of the line, as well as with the quality of the speakerphone. It’s not terrible or anything, but it just doesn’t have the same level of fidelity we get through the earpiece. Like we said, it suffice enough for the task at hand.

Battery

For a 3500 mAh battery cell, we expected a lot more juice out of it.

BLU Pure XL Review
There’s a reason for its thicker-than-average chassis, that’s partly due to the 3500 mAh battery they’re able to stuff inside. No doubt, that’s a hefty capacity considering its screen size, but its performance is rather average to tell you the truth. By that, we’re greeted to an all-day battery life performance – one that requires nightly charging. The average performance is further confirmed by its 6 hours and 13 minutes tally in our custom battery benchmark tests, which puts it in the same scope as the LG G4 and OnePlus 2 – so yeah, it’s nothing worth writing home about.

BLU claims it features rapid charging as well, but its 150 minute charge time says otherwise when using it with a fast charging wall charger. To be fair, though, we’re dealing with a 3500 mAh battery, which is pretty substantial. However, it’s rather concerning knowing that Lenovo PHAB Plus packs the same capacity, but only takes 109 minutes to achieve full charge.

Battery Benchmarks

Battery life (hours)
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note5 9h 11 min (Excellent)
ZTE Axon Pro 6h 15 min (Average)
BLU Pure XL 6h 13 min (Average)
Charging time (minutes)
Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy Note5 81
ZTE Axon Pro 85
BLU Pure XL 150
View all

Conclusion


What do we get with the BLU Pure XL? Indeed, it’s a monster of a phone because it features a 6.0-inch Quad-HD Super AMOLED screen, a formidable octa-core MediaTek Helios X10 chip, 24-megapixel camera, dual-SIM slots, 64GB of internal storage, and even a fingerprint sensor. Most phones with these specs would accumulate a price point generally in the $600+ range, but the BLU Pure XL undercuts the competition by flaunting a full price of $349.99.

By comparison, phones of the same caliber, the ZTE Axon Pro and Motorola Moto X Style/ Pure Edition, sport prices of $450 and $400 respectively, but they don’t offer the vast storage and fingerprint sensor we get with the BLU Pure XL. So, it’s undeniably attractive from a cost point of view.

This is by far the most ambitious smartphone BLU has come up with to date – it exudes many of the specs and features of a premium smartphone, but at a significantly lower cost. Indeed, there are still some opportunities with it, but we can’t deny that its lower cost helps in giving it that meaningful value. Naturally, it’s an inviting option if you’re really concerned about the cost. Quite honestly, BLU has a superior offering over some of the other cost-conscious phones out there, so that in itself deserves recognition.

If you’ve been waiting for that high-level smartphone without having to fork over the premium cost, this is it finally!

Software version of the review unit:
Android Version: 5.1
Build Number: BLU_P0010UU_V03_GENERIC
Kernel Version: 3.10.72+




post from sitemap