BLU VIVO XI+ Launch Review

Adam Matlock

Trusted Member
Jul 24, 2015
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Unboxing Video:

Full Review Video:

If I told you that it was possible to get flagship performance and specs at the introductory price of $249.99 *while supplies last* (MSRP $349.99), would you be interested? By flagship specs I mean an Octa-core Processor clocked at 2.0ghz, an infrared facial recognition scanner with iris scanning technology, Full HD 1080p on a crisp 6.2” LCD display, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of internal storage space. If I told you this was real, would you believe me? Well, click your heels together three times Dorothy because it is real, and it’s available today! Welcome to the new BLU flagship device, the VIVO XI+.


Pricing and Availability: The BLU VIVO XI+ will have a limited time sale price of $249.99 on Amazon, while supplies last. The regular MSRP will be $349.99. The VIVO XI+ will be available in two colors: Quick Silver and Midnight Black.

Here's the rundown on the specs:


- An Octa-core MediaTek P60 Helio processor with AI technology, clocked at a top end speed of 2.0ghz
- 6GB of memory
- Qi Wireless Charging
- a 6.2” curved display, with 1080x2246 Full HD+ resolution, with adjustable 19:9 or 18:9 aspect ratio, and made with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 (402ppi) – It also has the popular notch-style display!
- A 3,050 mAh battery with Quick Charge technology (full charges in less than 2.5hrs)
- 128GB of internal storage (expandable; supports up to 128GB SD card)
- A dual 16MP and 5MP + PDAF laser focus camera setup, which takes phenomenal pictures and records video at 1080p @30fps
- A 16MP front-facing camera with a F2.0 aperture and LED flash
- A built-in encrypted fingerprint sensor
- Runs Android 8.1 Nougat out of the box (Will receive Android Pie in 2019)
- Dual Sim & GSM Unlocked 4G LTE for use with ATT/TMO, and other MVNOs
- Bonus --- it also comes with earphones, a clear TPU style case, a decorative TPU case and a glass screen protector (installation required)


Overview: Android is definitely back in black… or rather, back in BLU, with the brand new VIVO XI+. The BLU VIVO XI+ is the latest in the long tenured line of BLU flagship devices. VIVO of course means "life", or "living", and this time around, life has been brought back to BLU in a serious way. If the brief prelude at the beginning of this article didn’t catch your eye, then stay tuned... because you’re in for a real treat. The performance, specs, design, and support that BLU has put into this phone is impressive, which is a great understatement. In all honesty, I would be excited about this device at the full $349 MSRP, an even an extra $100 or two on top of that. After spending the last week with this device, it has seriously made me contemplate how a manufacturer like BLU can put so much into a phone at this price point, yet other companies are charging $600-800 for comparable specs. They even took one out of Nokia’s playbook and utilized a CNC precision-cut design that uses solid aluminum to create a one-piece all-metal chassis design! This phone checks all of the boxes and for the first time ever, I think I can solidly say that this device merits serious consideration as a primary device that even a power-user could consider toting around.


Performance: This powerhouse of a device is built from the ground up, with every intricate detail and feature wrapped around the MediaTek P60 Helio processor, with AI Technology, which clocks in at an impressive 2.0ghz. The benchmarks on this guy are on par with the Snapdragon 660, which is the flagship mid-tier processor for 2018, and most recently appeared in the BlackBerry KEY2. The MediaTek P60 is improved over the architecture of the SD660, at 12nm versus 14nm, and even supports AI functions like the facial recognition software that is incorporated into the VIVO XI+. As far as metrics goes, the P60 processor cranks out about as much power as the Snapdragon (SD) 820/821, which was the most powerful mainstream chip on the market and displayed in the Galaxy S7 (SD820), and the Google Pixel (SD821). This phone was able to handle everything that I could throw at it, and even allowed me to play World of Warships, War Robots, and Batman: The Enemy Within (TEW), which I would have never thought would be possible with a) a BLU phone, or b) a MediaTek processor. And as if all of this wasn’t enough, BLU also added Qi Wireless Charging to the device, which is sure to put a smile on many people’s faces – I know I’ve been enjoying it!


Display: The display on this device is brilliant and incorporates a faint curved-glass design that integrates seamlessly into the CNC cut solid aluminum body, and sports an 81% screen-to-body ratio! The display is made out of Corning Gorilla Glass 3, and the 6.2” LCD panel looks and feels like something straight off of an LG or Samsung device – the haptic feedback is also very responsive and makes the touch-interface more enjoyable. The colors are vibrant, saturation is realistic, and the screen put out an impressive 460nits of brightness, which is better than the OP5T, Pixel 2XL, and the Razer phone. The screen reigns in at an impressive 402PPI and includes the ever-popular notch style screen. The aspect ratio is 19:9, but you can change it to 18:9 with a quick swipe of the screen after you enable it in the display settings. Additionally, you can have your apps setup in the display settings to automatically switch to 18:9 when you launch them, for the optimum viewing experience.


Sound: The sound on the VIVO XI+ is the best that BLU has ever put into any of their phones that I’ve personally reviewed. Even though it’s only has a single, downward firing driver, it puts out excellent sound and plenty of volume. The volume is very balanced, and each area of the sound spectrum is represented well, especially vocals. This phone is a Netflix and YouTube machine, and even a pleasure to listen to if you just want to lay it on the table and listen to some tunes while you work. This time around, the device even has DTS technology, which really makes the phone sing (pun intended). Unfortunately, one feature that I’ve always loved in BLU devices has disappeared in this model; the 3.5mm headphone jack (RIP 2018). It was inevitable I think, in this brave new dongle world, but at least BLU included the USB-C to 3.5mm dongle so you can still plug in your earphones to listen to your tunes. However, it’s not all a loss since you can use wireless charging to top off your device while you’re using the USB-C port for your earphones.

Camera: BLU has always had excellent cameras in their phones, and the VIVO XI+ is no different. In fact, I would wager to say that this device has the best camera that BLU has ever managed to put in any of their phones. The primary shooter is a combination 16MP + 5MP tandem, which incorporates a PDAF laser focus and has the ability to take portrait shots. The pictures that this thing takes are truly stunning and put many other much higher phone cameras to shame. The color saturation is excellent and can be seen across the spectrum in natural or artificial lighting settings. I have taken several pictures that I think really help showcase the capabilities of this device. From the first picture that I took, I was hooked and incredibly surprised, which is saying a lot considering I carry around the Note 9 and LG G7 to take pictures with. The front-facing selfie camera clocks in at 16MP as well and has an LED flash and F2.0 aperture, that allows you to take gorgeous pictures. In addition to this, the lens and BLU's integrated camera software allows you to take a 120-degree super selfie, which is very impressive – I have included a selfie-shot in here as well for demonstration purposes. In addition to the super-selfie capability, the software enhancements built into the camera interface are top-notch! Utilizing BLU’s integrated camera software, you can switch to Professional Mode, take Slow-Motion video, create panoramic images, take time-lapse photos and even do speech recognition! The possibilities are as endless as the level of impressiveness of the camera setup in this device. Topping it all off, you can even record 1080p video @ 30FPS.

IMG_20180824_191418 (1).jpg


Biometrics: There are two new features that are very noteworthy in the VIVO XI+, and that’s the Face ID sensor with integrated iris scanner. The phone display has the notch, and it’s not just for looks; it’s because it has a fully functional infrared sensor with live 3D scanning technology that ensures accuracy, as well as security. The IR facial scanner also works together with the iris scanner for even more security, and it works quite well. When you set it up though, if you wear glasses you should definitely register your facial scan with them on to ensure the highest level of accuracy for when you’re wearing them. Also, it works much better in well-lit areas than it does in low-light settings. However, if the facial recognition features aren’t your cup of tea, the VIVO XI+ also has a built-in fingerprint sensor on the back of the device, which also works well. I’m very happy that they decided to include the FPS in conjunction with Face ID, because it gives you more flexibility in those moments when it’s not convenient to use the face scanning feature *cough cough* (Take note Apple!).

Software: The software experience is a pure delight on the VIVO XI+. Not only is it running a near-stock version of Android 8.1 Oreo (which is impressive and a great addition by BLU), but they’ve also promised to upgrade the phone VIA OTA update to Android Pie sometime in 2019! One of the new commitments to excellence by BLU is assuring software updates and support, which has been a detractor from picking up one of their devices in the past. Well, worry no more because BLU is taking a huge step into further legitimizing themselves as a brand by promising to deliver ongoing software updates. Some of my favorite features in this new version of Android on the BLU device are removing the app drawer icon and allowing you to simply swipe up from the home screen to access the app drawer, much like the latest Samsung devices. In addition to that, the home screen also incorporates a page-flipping carousel so that when you reach the end of your home screen pages you ending back up at the normal home screen. I’ve been a big fan of this feature for a long time and it’s refreshing to see it again in this phone. Finally, BLU has the Google Assistant built-in, and a quick swipe to the right will get you to the Google Assistant live feed, and saying “Ok Google”, or holding the capacitive home button will enable voice prompts.

Conclusion: 2018 is definitely BLU’s year to shine, and they’ve really hammered their new mantra home with the stunning specs and performance of the VIVO XI+. I have been beyond impressed with this device and not only the availability of the additional flagship features, but also how well they work. Facial Recognition biometrics, Wireless Charging, the adjustable ratio notch display and Android 8.1 work together seamlessly. This device marks the next step for BLU in their path to further legitimize their brand and appeal to a more mainstream audience. If this is any indicator for the good things to come, then the future is bright for BLU, and it starts with the XI+. And on top of all of the bells and whistles and kitchen sink that BLU threw into this device, they somehow managed to do it all at the introductory price of $249.99, with a regular MSRP of $349.99, which is simply mind-blowing to me. Anything that even remotely compares to the features and quality of the XI+ costs at least $500-600, or even more in some cases. So… if you’ve been able to pick up on a bit of excitement on my part as you’ve read this, then hopefully after reading about all this device has to offer and seeing the price tag, you can understand why. It’s a marvel of economic proportions and flagship tier features rolled into one exquisite phone.

If you’re interested in picking up one of BLU’s new VIVO XI+’s then I suggest striking while the iron is hot! The introductory price of $249.99 will only be available for a limited time while supplies last, when it goes on sale at 10am CST on Wednesday, August 29th. After that the price will default to the regular MSRP of $349.99, which is still a steal of a deal. Here’s the link to the sale page on - The device also qualifies for Amazon Prime 2-day shipping!
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Adam Matlock

Trusted Member
Jul 24, 2015
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I did test out PUBG the other day and it ran surprisingly well. I was disappointed that it's not a "supported device" for Fortnite. However, it's handled anything I've tried to play on it very well, and overall I've been impressed with it.
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Jan 13, 2011
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Just got this Vivo XI+ and super impressed. I had returned a Note 9 back to T-Mobile that I was leasing under their JOD program.

The XI+ is just as fast, if not faster than the Note 9 at opening apps and stuff. For the price of around $300, it's the best bang for your buck for sure.

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