If you’re in need of a new and affordable unlocked smartphone, you may want to check out the Blu R1 Plus. It is the latest handset released by the Miami-based smartphone manufacturer BLU. Blu is the quite well-known manufacturer from US which is trying to leave its footprint in the crowded mobile world.
Year after year we have seen Blu brand to bring us some of the best affordable smartphones. Last year Blu introduced Blu R1 HD, which is a best-seller in unlocked cell phone category on Amazon. This year Blu R1 Plus is here with larger display & bigger battery, with the price tag of $159.99. So, let’s get to the spec’s first…
Blu R1 Plus Specs
|Dimensions||153 x 76.6 x 10.5 mm|
4G LTE: 2/4/7/12/17
|Type||IPS LCD Capacitive( On-Cell touch panel)|
|Display Colors||16M Colors|
|Protection||Corning Gorilla Glass 3|
|Main||13 MP Main camera|
|Front||8 MP with LED flash|
|Operating System||Andriod v6.0 Marshmallow|
|Processor||1.3 GHz quad-core Mediatek 6737|
|Internal Storage||32 GB|
|Card Slot||Expandable upto 64 Gb|
What a difference …… a year makes
BLU R1 Plus is Crafted with the highest grade materials, rather the matte back finish of the Blu R1 HD. Holding the R1 Plus feels solid, comfortable & sophisticated. The phone allows decent grip & the back doesn’t attract finger print( that much).
As for the buttons & ports configuration, the volume rocker and power buttons are on the right side of the display. The headphone jack is at the top(left) & micro-USB port is at the bottom for charging and data transfer.
The rear cover is removable & It will give access to micro-SD & dual sim card slot. You can remove the cover but the battery is sealed(not-removable) 🙁 .
The Blu R1 Plus is a dual sim phone with 4G LTE & GSM Unlocked. As an unlocked handset you can use it with your favorite compatible carrier or for international travel. Only Verizon & Sprint are not available.
The Blu R1 Plus sports a 5.5-inch display with a 1280 x 720 pixel resolution. The display is bigger and better than the last-Gen R1 HD. The 720p screen isn’t super but it performs good in both indoors and outdoors settings. The display features curved on-cell glass panel, as a result you will enjoy vivid graphics and life like colors.
Blu R1 Plus is designed with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on front touch panel. With Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection the display is quite secured and it will survive against scuffs, scratches, and minor drops.
The Blu R1 Plus performance is quite smooth, as it is powered by a MediaTek 6737 quad-core CPU running at 1.3 GHz and a Mali T720 GPU. It offer’s 3 GB RAM and 32 GB internal storage, which is enough for most of the people. And if you need some extra storage, then you have option of Micro SD support for up to 64 GB.
On the software side the phone is running a very stock (kind of ) build of Android 6.0 marshmallow. Blu has done a good job of not messing with stock android, the interface is quite clean & simple. Though all Google apps & few amazon apps are Pre-loaded. At this time it is not clear when Android 7 Nougat update will arrive but Blu Had confirmed that there will be Nougat update. With Android 6.0 out of the box you will get latest protection & design from Google.
As with every MediaTek phone recently I’ve used, performance of Blu R1 Plus is good for day to day tasks. The 3GB ram is more than enough for general tasks & moderate gaming. Browsing, messaging, app opening, media experience is smooth. Things start lil bit lagging when you play high end games, as this is not the top tier phone. But still you can play casual games like…. Hill climb racing 2, Candy Crush Saga, Riptide GP & more.
And at this price tag you can’t expect anything more from this phone.
The Blu R1 Plus camera features a 13-megapixel rear camera with a f/2.2 aperture and a 5-megapixel front-facing shooter. Both cameras features LED flash to help users capture better shots in lower lighting conditions. I’m really happy with the sample shots. Given the cost of the phone, the phone performs very good. It takes little longer to capture photos in HDR mode, but i really can’t complain about that. You can just take normal photos & then convert it into HDR Images, that will be more convenient.
As for the camera app itself, there are various options for shooting, including panoramic, night, face beauty, sports, and professional. Each mode works well in their intended situations but Auto mode works best for on the go capture mode. There’s nothing much to say about camera. In good lightning condition camera performs really well but in night or low light condition pics may come out lil grainy. You cant expect flagship kinda pics from it but Blu R1 Plus definitely captures decent photos.
The Blu R1 Plus comes equipped with 4,000 mAh battery. Boasting a 30 day stand by time with 2-3 days of general usage ( battery life may vary user to user). With large 4000 mAh battery you will not have the problem of running out of juice. The battery is improved over the R1 HD’s 2500 mAh battery. Most of all the display is HD 720p, that helps the battery to last longer while using your phone rather than a FHD 1080p display. The power users may need to charge it at the end of the day, but basic users may get 2 days of battery life.
Blu R1 Plus – My Verdict
It is difficult to find issues in a phone that comes under price tag of $100-$150. Specially when it is Unlocked & 4G LTE supported. Blu R1 Plus offers decent specs with great battery life that will last all day and more. Blu has done a great job of packing decent specs into the experience without increasing the price that much. This is definitely the best affordable smartphone to buy in 2017.