Review by Sunetra Chakravati,11/23/2016 5:11:13 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
Fantastic build quality for the price; case and screen protector in box
No NFC; limited colour availability
Blu (Bold Like 'U') are very well known in the US and Latin America. They are leaders in the unlocked phones market over the pond and have now decided to dip their toes into the murky waters of the UK smartphone market by launching their flagship product in the UK via Amazon.
Sold exclusively on Amazon, Blu Vivo 6 costs under-£200 and is a cat amongst the pigeons in tht segment where consumers have to either make do and mend with under-powered handsets or grudgingly upgrade every year because once again, their handsets have gotten too laggy to use.
When you are paying less than £200, choice is really limited to plastic-y phones with iffy build quality. The Blu Vivo 6 instantly got our attention with its full metal body and style. Although the fact that it is only available in gold and pink severely restricts its appeal, its slim form (7.6mm) and beautiful build quality make up for it.
The phone is supplied with a clear plastic case and TWO screen protectors incase you are especially butter-fingered.
The power button on the right is far enough away from the volume toggle so you don't confuse the two and The SIM holder tray also has a microSD card slot and is perfect for any spillover content you might have that will be over the 64GB internal memory that the Blue Vivo 6 has.
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There are 13-MP and 8-MP snappers on here and even though they sound great on paper, they drag an otherwise great phone down. While in well-lit conditions, you will get good to average results, in low-light conditions, the phone really struggles.
There are quite a few add-ons here as well which should make taking selfies a breeze but if yu wanted to buy this phone only for its camera capabilities then maybe look elsewhere.
Even in the ultra-competitive online only budget market, 4GB of RAM for £200 is an impressive stat for the Vivo 6. On paper this puts it alongside flagships such as the Huawei P9, the LG G5 and the Samsung Galaxy S7.
It’s also a great example of why headline stats don’t always translate into headline performance. While Blu’s choice of a MediaTek P10 octa-core CPU does give the handset a boost in battery efficiency and is a stable (if not a little dated) choice, it just doesn’t have the power to make the most out of 4GB of RAM. With tasks such as loading the camera showing just enough delay to be a hindrance if you’re used to the aforementioned flagships.
When it came to the really heavy lifting (courtesy of standard device review game, Asphalt 8 Airbourne) the device did hold up quite well, with most of the performance loss coming from loading time rather than jittery in-game performance.
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With budget handsets, the real test isn’t always how they handle out of the box, but how well they continue that performance once internal memory feels the squeeze. By generously providing 64GB of internal memory, Blue have ensured that with even basic device storage management, a user should retain enough free space to not cause the usual array of crashes, glitches and delays that come with buying a budget device with 16GB and filling it with a year’s worth of baggage.
This means that despite the slightly old processor, the high RAM, high internal memory and resilient design gives it a good choice of making it to the ripe old age of three, which I’d say is about 95 in phone years, if such a thing existed.
A respectable yet arbitrarily sized 3,130mAh battery is going to give a high intensity user what they need to make it through the day just fine.
For those that go for more sparse mobile consumption, you can eek another day of it before the petrol light flashes. Charging is your standard Type-C USB affair located under the home button and will give you zero to one hundred in 90 minutes, a feature somewhat misleadingly described as fast charging.
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Not that 90 minutes is particularly slow.. it’s just not particularly fast either compared to others such as Oppo’s F1 Plus (71 minutes) or the LG G5 (78 minutes).
Running Marshmallow with a custom Blu overlay, the developers have done a good job balancing- adding enough differentiation to make the device fun and memorable while avoiding bloating the phone with cobweb gathering apps. These fun new features include ‘Chameleon’ which uses the camera to come up with new colour schemes for the device’s menus and home screen. The colour gauging is a bit inaccurate with a large margin of colour spectrum error, but if anything the trial and error nature this gives actually makes it a little more entertaining by adding an element of chance.
When we saw an app called Theme park we were pretty excited, expecting something along the lines of Samsung’s Game Launcher, but it turned out to be one of the few times in our life we’ve been disappointed by a pun, Theme park is actually just a holding pen for phone themes… sigh…
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Our favourite differentiating bit of kit on this device though is the dummy call, a new weapon in the war against people you just really, really don’t want to speak to. Pressing the button from the slide-up home screen gives you 15 seconds to bury the device in a bag or pocket before it a fake call comes through, pick it up and an American woman asks you over and over again for you to send over a file, the perfect ruse!
Except for the lack of neutral colour options and a camera that struggles in low light, it’s hard to find fault with this device, especially at the price point. Even in the crowded room that is sub-£200 online exclusive handsets, the Blu Vivo 6 does a good job of out-speccing the competition and also living up to the this spec. Built solidly and well finished, the manufacturer with their first UK handset has delivered a bolt from the Blu
Operating System: Android™6.0 (Marshmallow) + Bundled Amazon and other apps
Dimensions: 153 x 75.3 x 7.6mm
Resolution: 1920 x 1080, 401ppi
Processor: MediaTek octo-core chipset, 4GB RAM
Camera: 13-MP; 8-MP selfie camera
Memory: 64GB storage with microSD
Battery: 3130mAh lithium-ion battery
Fingerprint sensor: Yes
Misc: NFC; USB Type C
Colours: Pink and Gold