1. Adam Matlock's Avatar

    Every dog has its day… This phrase has been floating around for a long time, and with good reason. Regardless of the time period or setting, it still holds true. In this case, BLU’s day has arrived, on the polished and fantastic powerhouse coattails of the VIVO X. The X moniker was introduced by the iPhone, and rumored for the upcoming Samsung, but today, it’s here for the VIVO; and I happen to think it’s quite fitting. The previous BLU flagship device, the VIVO 8, was good, but in retrospect it really didn’t go far enough to separate itself from its own device lineups IMHO (in my honest opinion). However, all has changed and the mold has been smashed with the VIVO X!

    BLU VIVO X Review-mvimg_20180112_190529.jpg

    Pricing: The MSRP is $299, which is a steal of a deal for what the VIVO X brings to the table. Even more enticing is the limited time sale price of $199 (an amazing discount!), exclusively through Amazon. The VIVO X only comes in one color, which is Black.

    BLU VIVO X Review-mvimg_20180112_190539.jpg

    - An Octa-core MediaTek P25 Helio processor (and Mali GPU), clocked at a top end speed of 2.6ghz
    - 4GB of memory
    - a 6.0” curved glass display made with Corning Gorilla Glass 3
    - HD+ Resolution (1440x720p) with an 18:9 wide screen viewing experience (268ppi)
    - A 4,000 mAh battery
    - 64GB of internal storage (expandable; supports up to 64GB SD card)
    - A 13MP main camera with Sony IMX Processor & 5MP secondary shooter w/LED flash
    - A 20MP front-facing cameras and 8MP secondary selfie-shooter, with LED flash.
    - Runs Android 7.0 Nougat
    - Bonus --- it also comes with earphones, a clear TPU style case, and a screen protector (installation required)

    Overview and Performance:
    First and foremost, I want to say that this phone is a beast, which is an unprecedented jump in power, functionality and performance that I have not seen to-date, in a BLU phone. As I eluded to above, the VIVO 8 was a solid phone, but it just didn’t jump out at me as a “flagship” device. Many of the specs and accents were there, but it just didn’t have that “flagship” zip and wow factor; that all changes today with the VIVO X. When I first got the email on this device, I had to do a double-take because I didn’t believe what I was seeing. Octa-core 2.6ghz processor, 4.000mAh battery, 6” screen, and 4 cameras! If I said that out loud to a group of people, nobody would expect the follow up sentence to be “all of this is in the new BLU phone.” So, without further ado, let’s talk about it. Off the bat, the processor is phenomenal. I’m not going to run out and buy a MediaTek t-shirt anytime soon, but the power and speed in the new Helio P25 processor is definitely noteworthy, and carries a level of production that I wouldn’t have expected out of a MediaTek chip; job well done, MediaTek. The cameras are an absolute delight – which you can probably tell from my review video, which I spent a good bit of time showcasing the camera. The interface is on-point, the shutter speed is great and the capabilities are equally impressive. This is the BLU phone that finally earned a seat at the table of many of its esteemed colleagues, and has a couple of bragging points to drop on the table.

    BLU VIVO X Review-mvimg_20180112_191257.jpg

    Display: The screen size on this baby is a whopping 6”, with an 80% screen to body ratio, a PPI of 268, and an eye-catching modified 720p resolution of 1440x720p, which they refer to as HD+. The dynamic is a bit curious, but they were able to squeeze it all into an 18:9 aspect ratio, which is the backbone of the elongated aspect ratio. The main benefit to the modified resolution is that it ties in high-definition resolution with stellar power management - the scaled down hi-res display consumes less power and allows the phone to crank out the graphics. The screen is made out of Corning Gorilla Glass 3, which is still my favorite iteration to-date. It’s solid, scratch resistant, and works really well. All in all, the screen balance is great, and you can adjust the color temperature settings to your own individual preference. I think that BLU really hit a home run in creativity and design with this phone, and the screen really helps to showcase the effort that went into making such a great phone.

    BLU VIVO X Review-mvimg_20180112_191426.jpg

    Battery Life: I should have entitled this section “battery life for days”, but I think that’s mostly fitting with all BLU devices. If anyone were to try to say what niche that BLU has tapped into with their devices, it’s battery power, and the VIVO X is no different. The VIVO X is sporting a massive 4,000mAh battery, which will last you well into day two, with moderate use. One of the great things that really helps to stretch the battery life out is the modified HD+ resolution. Typically, a 6” screen with a 2k/4k phone resolution is going to burn through battery life because of the display size and amount of rendering that is required, but with the 2k/720p screen resolution combination, it helps to keep the power demands down, all while opening up the throttle on the processor to do things other than produce super high-res video that really, many people can’t tell the difference anyway. The human eye cannot even tell a difference between 2k and 1080p until you get over the 5.3” hurdle, so a 6” screen at a modified 2k resolution still looks great. To put a modified resolution on context, the iPhone 8 only has a 750x1334 resolution, and it still looks good too.

    BLU VIVO X Review-mvimg_20180112_191036.jpg

    Fingerprint Sensor: While the FPS functionality of a phone may not be that important to a lot of people, I tend to think of it more as a “sleeper” spec. It’s not something that you really pay too much attention to at first glance, but it is something that can start to wear on your over time. Well, the VIVO X definitely won’t be causing you any headache. I have tested a lot of fingerprint sensors throughout my time doing reviews, and I’ve certainly reviewed a lot of BLU phones and I can tell you with absolute certainty that this is the best FPS BLU has ever used, and it’s one of the fastest I’ve ever used before. The fastest I believe is the Pixel 2, but the VIVO X is tied with the BlackBerry KeyONE, in my opinion. It’s fast, and it works in a jiffy. I was very impressed with it, and I’m sure you will be too.

    BLU VIVO X Review-mvimg_20180112_190904.jpg

    Sound: The sound is arguably the best that BLU has produced in a phone before. The VIVO 8 did do a really good job with its dual downward firing speakers, but the VIVO X gives it a run for its money, especially for a mono-speaker configuration. The speaker is much the same as the latest Samsung devices, with the speaker installed on the bottom-right side of the phone. It works and it produces solid sound. The only hang-up I have is that like most phones with speakers installed in this position, it’s very easy to slide your hand over the speaker and muffle the sound. Other than that mild complaint, the speaker compliments the phone really well. Volume and clarity are top-notch for BLU, and of course, I’m happy to report that BLU went ahead and threw in the 3.5mm headphone jack (score!)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Camera: And now for something completely different… This phone has four cameras! Not two, not three, but four (4) cameras! So what does as phone with four cameras do exactly? Well, it takes tons of awesome pictures, and including wide-lens photographs for front-facing selfies, as well as with the rear-mounted primary shooters. The front-facing cameras are 20MP (f2.0 aperture) and 8MP, while the rear-facing cameras are 13MP (also an f2.0 aperture) and 5MP, and each respective pair works in tandem to help you catch some truly creative and epic pictures. The BLU Final Touch software on this device is the best I’ve ever seen, and it shows on both sides of the lens. The coolest feature I think is the wide-lens photo mode, which is built into the camera app. Instead of taking a one-click wide-angle photo, you put it on wide-angle photo mode and hit the shutter button, and then the camera app instructs you to pan the camera to the left and right margins to envelop the whole viewing angle, which creates the wide-angle photo; it’s really quite novel! In addition to the new wide-angle picture feature, the video recording department upped its game as well and incorporated a slow-mo video recording mode, which is fun to play with. Finally, making another appearance in the Final Touch software are all of the cool filter options and the "beauty mode" that allows you to fancy up your pictures for social media. All in all, the software suite is technical enough to create some high-class photographs without requiring technical expertise or difficult maneuvering to pull off. Simply put, the cameras are very capable, take great pictures and help even the most novice of photographers take some fantastic shots!

    BLU VIVO X Review-mvimg_20180112_190923.jpg

    Software: The VIVO X is running Android 7.0 Nougat, straight out of the box. This wasn’t very surprising since all of BLU’s new phones in the past 6 months or so have launched with Nougat. I do wish that they have went ahead and upped their game and launched the X with Oreo, but when you’re living in a sub-$300 world, it’s a nicety and not really an expectation. The version of Nougat the comes on the VIVO X is near-stock and very clean. For reasons unknown to me, BLU keeps bouncing back and forth with the UI features and locations of the quick-settings and notification menu. The VIVO X switched back to the same interface as the VIVO 8 and has the notifications drop-down on the top, and a swipe-up from the bottom pulls up the quick-settings menu. It works just fine and isn’t an issue, but I’d really like to see some consistency moving further into the year. The Google Assistant is just a right-swipe away, and is still a great addition to the OS. All in all, it runs smooth and isn’t cluttered up with bloatware and other stuff, which has been a great step in the right direction for BLU throughout the past year. They have cut back on software suites and third-party apps, and really whittled everything down to a very near-stock experience, which I think is great!

    Conclusion: All in all, I thoroughly enjoy using the VIVO X, and it gets a very solid recommendation from me. The VIVO X is a massive powerhouse in the budget-tier sector, and even reaches up past many mid-tier offers from many other manufacturers. As I said in the beginning, this is a real breakout device for BLU and I really raises the bar for what we should expect from the VIVO flagship series in the future. This is not an incremental upgrade; it’s a huge step forward for BLU and their VIVO series of devices.

    If you’re interested in picking up a VIVO X device, you can find them on Amazon’s website today, 21 January, 2018, with exclusive pricing on Amazon while supplies last. The normal price is going to be $299, but during the sale, they are discounting it by $100, for a grant total of $199, which is one heck of a deal for what this phone brings to the table. Here is the direct link: https://www.amazon.com/BLU-VIVO-Display-Smartphone-Cameras/dp/B0795W4SRD/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1519225240&sr=8-3&keywords=vivo+x&dpID=41ftij8famL&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

    As always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comments section.

    Here is my video review on my YouTube Channel - TechOdyssey:

    02-19-2018 10:56 PM

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