Vivo 8L Launch Review

Adam Matlock

Trusted Member
Jul 24, 2015
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Following up from the recent launch of their new flagship Vivo 8 device, BLU has decided to add another device to the Vivo family tree, the Vivo 8L. The Vivo 8L is available today, the 24th of October 2017, and is available on Amazon for $199 MSRP, but you can grab one right now for $149. BLU is offering a limited-time only $50 discount, which makes the price of the phone much more appealing.

Hands-On Review -

This is the third BLU device that I have reviewed, and each new model keeps getting better and better. Each iteration of their devices has improved on something, whether it’s hardware, performance, quality control, and many other little areas that help to make the phones ship-shape, and enable them to deliver a consistent and reliable performance. The Vivo 8 is a well-made device and it has lots of appealing features that help set it aside from the competition, but the Vivo 8L takes that to another level in an entirely different price bracket. The Vivo 8L (the L stands for “lite”) retains the flagship moniker “Vivo”, but it trimmed a little around the belt and dropped the price, making an already affordable phone even more affordable. Where the trimming was done, there were carefully made decisions on hardware and implementation that really balanced out the device and make it run very well, and it looks sharp.


- An Octa-core MediaTek 6753 processor (and Mali T720 GPU), clocked at a top end speed of 1.3ghz
- 3GB of memory
- a 5.3” curved display, with 720x1280 HD resolution, made with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 (277ppi)
- A 4,000 mAh battery
- 32GB of internal storage (expandable; supports up to 64GB SD card)
- A 13MP f/2.0 aperture main camera with Sony IMX sensor and LED flash
- A 20MP front-facing camera, with LED flash (fancy!)
- Runs Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box
- Bonus --- it also comes with earphones, a clear TPU style case, and a screen protector (installation required)
- GSM Unlocked


Pricing: As I briefly mentioned above, the MSRP is $199, but BLU has partnered with Amazon for an exclusive limited-time sale price of $149. The device currently only comes in one color: Black.

Overview and Performance: The overall performance of the phone is solid. As soon as I fired up the Vivo 8L, I immediately started downloading a lot of my favorite apps and games to see how well they worked. I have to give a brief kudos here for the MediaTek 6753 processor, because I am very impressed with the performance, especially for a processor that’s rated at 1.3ghz. The lower clock speed for this processor is part of the developmental strategy for the device though. The 1.3ghz processor, plus 3GB of RAM and a 720p display, is a combination for winning! The phone's battery life is rated for two days of use. I haven’t tested that theory out yet because I always plug my phone in at night to ensure I have a full charge for the next day, but with mixed to moderate use, I can say that the device should last two days. You can’t watch YouTube for 48hrs straight, but with normal, blended use, the battery life is fantastic! However, with this balanced package, the device does suffer on top-end speed and intensive multitasking, which is mostly limited by the RAM. With one or two apps open, the devices consistently hovers around 1.3-1.5GB of memory available, which fills up quickly. The best way I found to optimize performance is to actively manage what apps you have running in the background.


Display: Overall, I have been very impressed with the graphics. The color saturation and sharpness are very good for a 720p screen, and the brightness is above average as well. I was initially disappointed when I opened the box and saw that it was only 720p, but the implementation is solid. 5.2” is the optimum display size for 1080p resolution, so dropping down to 720p is not as harmful to the resolution or experience as it would be if the screen size were larger. As I used the device, the balance between the screen size and display ratio became very comfortable and I didn’t really give it any extra thought after I started using the device. The additional benefit of the lower resolution is that it is less power consuming, which allows you to use your phone longer, and is less intensive on the processor!


Battery Life: The battery life on this phone is phenomenal. The MediaTek 6753 is a very fuel efficient chipset. I’ve hammered on the specs a few times already, in positive and negative ways, and the shiny ribbon that ties it all together is the battery life. This phone is built to last, and not only last, but give you a quality experience at the same time. Generally when a phone company is skimpy with specs, it’s in the wrong areas and they end up sacrificing performance for aesthetics. However, when BLU decided to make the “lite” version of the Vivo 8, they didn’t skimp on performance, they balanced it. The battery life is great, and it’s even further accented by the CPU and display ensemble that are paired well for performance, long life, and enjoyment! The phone also supports quick-charge and comes with a 5V/2A charger, which is still using USB 2.0.


Fingerprint Sensor: The Fingerprint Sensor (FPS) on the Vivo 8L works well. Changing things up a little bit from the Vivo 8, BLU decided to position the FPS on the back of the phone this time, which is perfectly fine. The FPS is very responsive and doesn’t have much of a delay when unlocking the phone. The only downside to the FPS is that it is slightly less forgiving than some other flagship phones that I have used, but again, I can’t imagine many other devices that have a FPS for $149, much less one that works well. The accuracy and speed of the FPS isn’t a problem. The only limiting factor is when it comes to partial prints and improper placement of the finger, which is more of an operator error issue than it is a function issue of the FPS, I’ve just been spoiled by the iPhone and Note 8.


Sound: The sound on the phone is very good, and the volume is pretty good as well. Another functional change for the Vivo 8L is that BLU decided to put their more traditional rear-firing speaker back on the device, which I am actually happy about. You will be able to see more of the reasons why I like it in my review video, but as I’ve stated before in the BLU R1 HD review, the back-firing speaker works well because a) your hand doesn’t cover it up when you’re holding the device horizontally, and b) the speaker position takes advantage of the natural grip that you have on the phone and redirects the sound off your hand, helping reflect it back toward you for an enjoyable sound experience. Oh, and bonus…. It has a 3.5mm jack, which also makes me a happy camper. This recent trend of no headphone jack and requiring a converter is for the birds, unless you are lucky enough to have Bluetooth everything for all your audio needs. If you’re a person who still likes to jam out with your 2015/16 era headphones or uses an auxiliary cord, you will definitely appreciate that BLU held onto this feature in the Vivo 8L.


Camera: The camera on this phone is the same 13MP camera and Sony imaging processor that’s in the Vivo 8, which is pretty darn good for an economy level, unlocked phone. However, BLU decided to up their game even more with the Vivo 8L and bumped the front-facing selfie camera up to 20MP (yes… a 20MP selfie!) Also making an appearance on the Vivo 8L is the LED flash setup on the front-facing selfie camera, which allows you even more flexibility when trying to snap selfies in any environment. The interface incorporated the same gesture swiping for the camera interface as the Vivo 8, and went a step further and added tons of new features and camera modes, enabling you to take excellent photos in just about any climate or condition. One important thing that I’d like to reinforce is that if you like filters, you are going to love this phone. BLU included tons of built-in features and filters straight into the camera interface, such as: professional mode, night time mode, slow motion, time-lapse, text recognition, HDR, and so much more. In fact, the camera natively defaults to HDR mode, which can be turned on/off, or left on Auto. I have definitely been impressed with the enhancements that were made to the camera suite, which is built into the camera this time and allows you to make adjustments on the fly and doesn’t require an additional app to tweak the camera or add enhancements.

Software: I am happy to report that the device comes with Android 7.0 Nougat, which was a welcome surprise, especially since other mainstream devices still don’t have it. The inclusion of Android 7.0 in the Vivo 8 was a great step in the right direction, and it still works well for the 8L. I know a lot of people are starting to expect new devices to have Android Oreo on them now, but… this is a $149 phone and there are hardly any phones with Oreo on them presently, so I don’t think there's anything wrong with choosing to launch with Nougat. BLU brought over many of the features and gestures from the Vivo 8, such as swiping from the bottom to get to the menu settings, and the top-down swipe is reserved for notifications only. The stock android experience isn’t modified too much, but you will notice little enhancements or changes here and there. One feature that I really like on the Vivo 8L is that BLU incorporated Google Assistant into the interface, which you can access simply by swiping left from the home screen, much like Bixby on the Samsung 8/Note devices. Another feature that I like is you can unlock your phone with Google Assistant, simply by saying “Ok Google.” Of course, it opens straight to Google Assistant, but I have found it helpful because I never really used Google Assistant before this phone. All in all, I think the software experience is improved over the Vivo 8, and I like the UI features that were added. It makes the phone feel almost like a cross between the iPhone and Android together, but it’s done well – they even brought the app drawer back!


Conclusion: All in all, the Vivo 8L is a fantastic phone. I have been very happy with it and I think that it’s one heck of a catch for $149. It’s more than adequate for day-to-day use, and it even allows for some moderate gaming, excellent pictures, and it’s a great phone for someone who is heavily engaged in the social media scene. I have no hesitation in recommending this phone at all. The Vivo 8L is a great device that really balances price and performance, and is an excellent addition to the Vivo family.

If you’re interested in picking up a Vivo 8L device, you can find them on Amazon’s website today, 24 October 2017, with a limited-time sale price of $149 immediately available on launch. The normal price is going to be $199, but during the sale they are discounting it by $50, which is a fantastic deal. Here is the direct link to the Amazon sale page:

As always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comments section. If you want some more information, here is the link to my unboxing video on YouTube:

Unboxing Video -


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