Featured Review: BLU Energy X

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Once you consider smartphone producers, you in all probability know Samsung, LG, HTC, and Motorola, no less than on the Android aspect. However there are lots of others on the market, particularly smaller ones. BLU is a smartphone firm situated in Miami, Florida, who makes very low-value smartphones, however are literally fairly respectable. Earlier this yr, BLU got here out with their Energy line of smartphones. Principally, low-spec units with large batteries. And the Energy X continues that development. At the moment, we’re right here to speak all concerning the Energy X. Priced at simply $ 109 unlocked (works on AT&T and T-Cellular), is the Energy X well worth the cash? Let’s discover out.

Within the Field

Contained in the field, BLU consists of the Energy X, which is wrapped in plastic. Together with the USB to micro USB cable, a wall adapter, a set of headphones, a silicon case, screen protector, and documentation. So you understand how to insert your SIM card and microSD playing cards and such. In comparison with many flagship units, you get fairly a bit out of the field within the BLU Energy X. And that really goes for all of their units. You possibly can take a look at our unboxing video above.

Specs

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So far as specs go, BLU did a reasonably respectable job right here. We’re taking a look at a 5-inch 720p IPS display, powered by a MediaTek 6580 quad-core processor clocked at 1.3 GHz, 1GB of RAM, 8MP camera round again and a 2MP front-facing camera. It’s additionally powered by an enormous 4,000 mAh battery inside. Which is non-removable. There’s 8GB of storage inside, and also you get round 3.7GB out there out of the field. Fortunately there’s a microSD card slot on-board which helps as much as 64GB of further storage.

So far as connectivity goes, we have now Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, WiFi Direct, WiFi Hotspot, A-GPS, and Micro USB. Sadly there isn’t a NFC right here on the Energy X, which suggests no Android Pay.

So far as bands go, on 2G networks it’s GSM 850/900/1800/1900 and that’s for each SIM 1 and 2. On 3G it’s HSDPA 850/1700/1900/2100. It does help as much as HSPA 21.1Mbps. Which suggests it gained’t help the quickest speeds on T-Cellular’s HSPA+ network, however nonetheless fairly satisfactory.

Hardware

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For a smartphone that prices simply $ 109 unlocked, you wouldn’t anticipate the construct high quality of the phone to be all that nice, proper? I imply they’ve to chop corners someplace to hit that price level. I’ll say the Energy X doesn’t look superb, however it’s additionally not the most cost effective feeling phone I’ve used. The again of the phone type of looks like aluminum, however it isn’t. It’s fake aluminum. Which isn’t a nasty factor, as a result of aluminum can intrude with sign for WiFi, Bluetooth and lots of different radios contained in the phone. The again is removable, nevertheless the battery just isn’t. Beneath the duvet, you’ll discover the dual-SIM playing cards slots and the microSD card slot as properly. You even have that 8MP camera within the middle of the again of the Energy X together with the flash. And a single speaker on the backside of the again.

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Now BLU has each the volume rocker and the power button on the best aspect of the device, and when placing the again cowl again on, it’s a must to watch out as you would knock out the volume rocker. The buttons are in about the fitting spot. I by no means had any points making an attempt to get to the buttons to make use of them in any respect. There’s nothing on the left aspect, and the microUSB port is on the underside with a microphone gap and a 3.5mm headphone jack socket up prime.

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The front seems to be a bit bizarre, and that’s as a result of the chin and brow are coloured, to match the again of the phone. Along with that, there’s one other black bezel between that and the screen. So whereas this can be a 5-inch device, it does really feel a bit giant for a 5-inch device. You’ll discover on the prime there’s a earpiece that resembles the Nexus 5 a bit. The place it’s spherical, and appears fairly good. There’s additionally your 2-megapixel front-facing camera and different sensors there.

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Energy X truly felt actually snug within the hand. In fact, its smaller measurement did undoubtedly assist there. I’ve been carrying this phone with me for a few week, and I’ve been fairly glad with the construct high quality. Is it higher than the Galaxy S6? Nope. And for $ 109, I wouldn’t anticipate it to be. However in comparison with different telephones on this price vary, I feel it’s undoubtedly higher.

Show

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So after utilizing full HD and even QHD shows for a couple of years, going again to a 720p display was a bit fascinating. It’s a 5-inch 720p display on the BLU Energy X. So it’s not horrible, in reality it’s the identical PPI because the Moto G third Gen. And that’s 294ppi. Utilizing this phone as my day by day driver, I used to be fairly glad with the display. I didn’t come throughout any situations the place I might truly see a pixel on the display, the colours have been additionally fairly correct, I discovered. They weren’t saturated, a minimum of to my eyes. Nevertheless, it’s an IPS display and never an AMOLED display, in order that might be why.

One of many greater points I’ve discovered on these “cheaper” smartphones is that the display wants a bit extra strain to register your touches when navigating by means of the OS and such. Nevertheless, that was not a problem right here on the Energy X. Didn’t have any time the place it didn’t register my finger touching the display. Which is a superb factor. One other situation is often brightness. The Energy X does get good and brilliant, vibrant sufficient for use outdoors in direct daylight (or as near direct daylight as we get within the Detroit space in October). The Energy X additionally makes use of Gorilla Glass 3 to guard it, so it ought to be fairly protected from drops and such.

Performance

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That is the world that all the time appears to be the Achilles heel when it comes to sub-$ 200 smartphones. And that’s efficiency. BLU has the Energy X right here on a MediaTek 6580 quad-core processor. That’s 4 Cortex-A7 cores clocked at 1.3 GHz. On paper that appears considerably slower than most of the different processors out at the moment. However it’s not too dangerous truly. It’s paired with simply 1GB of RAM nevertheless, which isn’t perfect. In on a regular basis use, I didn’t discover many points with the phone getting sluggish or lagging in any respect. In truth, a lot of the points have been on account of me operating out of RAM. Today, 1GB of RAM doesn’t go so far as it used to.

Performance isn’t the brilliant level right here on the Energy X, for heavy customers. Nevertheless for people who don’t do a lot, besides perhaps examine Fb, ship some emails, and such. The Energy X performs fairly nicely. It might undoubtedly profit from a more moderen chip, particularly the Helio X10 from MediaTek.

Sound

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As said earlier, the audio system right here on the Energy X are on the again of the device. Which is a bit unlucky. Particularly for these occasions you’re watching YouTube with the phone sitting on a desk. Because the rear speaker can be muffled. And that’s certainly the case right here with the Energy X. Nevertheless, when the phone isn’t sitting on a desk or desk, the speaker is sort of good. It will get good and loud with out distorting the sound. Nevertheless, the bass isn’t that deep, like we’ve seen on different telephones. Additionally the sounds aren’t as wealthy. I’d undoubtedly advocate utilizing a Bluetooth speaker if you need some superb sound with the Energy X.

Name High quality & Knowledge Speeds

We’ve been utilizing the Energy X on the T-Cellular network right here within the US. We’ve made calls in addition to utilizing it on “4G” HSPA+ for knowledge connections. All the individuals we talked to when utilizing the Energy X stated that we sounded nice on the opposite finish. There’s no HD Voice on the Energy X, however customers nonetheless sound good. We didn’t expertise any dropped calls both, all the time a superb factor. Knowledge speeds have been about what we’d get on different units that don’t have LTE connectivity.

Battery Life

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The Energy X battery life is just superb. Let’s take a look at the specs once more. We’ve got a 5-inch 720p display, a decrease-clock velocity quad-core 1.3 GHz processor and a 4,000 mAh battery powering the present. So it ought to final for a number of days, proper? Proper. We’ve been utilizing the Energy X for over every week and haven’t as soon as needed to cost it each night time. It sometimes final a minimum of two full days for us. That was on combined utilization of mobile knowledge and WiFi.

We additionally ran PCMark benchmark on the Energy X to see how good the battery life is, and you may see these outcomes down under. Over 15 hours within the battery life benchmark. That’s a number of the highest numbers in current memory from this benchmark. And with our every day expertise with the Energy X, it appears to be proper on par. So far as battery life goes, I’m unsure something can prime the Energy X.

Benchmarks

As is typical with critiques, we ran 3DMark, AnTuTu and Geekbench 3 on the BLU Energy X. Which you’ll be able to see these outcomes down under. With AnTuTu it didn’t rating terribly high, taking a look at a rating of 19,388. Which is on the backside of the pack, when it comes to present flagships. Not too shocking given the hardware inside, in addition to the price. For Geekbench 3, the Energy X scored a 351 within the single-core and a 1143 in multi-core. Once more, not superb outcomes, however not horrible both. In 3DMark it scored 1985

Software program

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Right here we now have Android 5.1 Lollipop on the BLU Energy X. For probably the most half, it’s a Vanilla Android expertise. There are a number of modifications right here however not many. We do have on-screen navigation buttons. Making it straightforward to swipe up from the house button and leap into Google Now. The app drawer is just about vanilla Android as properly. We’re taking a look at a 4×5 grid, and it swipes horizontally, as an alternative of vertically like the newest replace to the Google Now Launcher. When it comes to bloatware, BLU has a number of apps pre-put in. Together with Amazon, Amazon Kindle, Amazon AppStore, BLU Assist, FM Radio, Google Information & Climate, Opera, and TouchPal 2015. Not a ton of bloatware right here, and all of it may be uninstalled. All the time a very good factor.

One of many features that BLU consists of of their telephones, which is a reasonably neat feature truly, is the power to schedule a time for the phone to show off and on. So you would ideally have it flip off once you go to mattress and switch on shortly earlier than you get up to download all of your notifications from the in a single day hours. This manner you continue to don’t miss your alarm. As a result of our boss wouldn’t recognize lacking our alarm, proper?

The BLU Assist app is actually a shortcut to a webpage, which lets you register the device, checkout the guide and in addition get service on the phone. So in case you are having points together with your BLU Energy X, this can be a nice approach to get assist from BLU. That is all the time a query for people who purchase units from lesser-recognized producers. So it’s good to have this shortcut constructed-in to the device.

Digital camera

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The camera on the Energy X isn’t implausible, nevertheless it isn’t horrible both. Have in mind we’re taking a look at a 8MP camera right here on the Energy X. We now have a couple of modes right here within the camera app. Together with a traditional mode, reside photo, movement monitoring and face magnificence mode. The camera can do HDR, which appears fairly good as you possibly can see within the gallery down under. For the front-facing camera, you’ve got the option of utilizing the peace signal to take a picture. It’s a pleasant and straightforward gesture to take a selfie. The Energy X can do 1080p video at 30fps. Which additionally has EIS included for higher stabilization in your movies.

So far as the gallery goes, it’s fairly barebones right here. You’ll be able to take a look at your footage by album, in addition to edit them from inside the app. You’ll be able to select totally different filters, frames, and even crop the photographs. In fact, if you would like some extra modifying instruments, you possibly can download Snapseed and edit to your coronary heart’s delight.

The Good

The display right here is sort of good. It’s undoubtedly not the best, however nonetheless respectable sufficient to make use of on a regular basis. Battery life is certainly one of many good issues about this phone. With the ability to get by means of a minimum of a full day is one thing you don’t see typically lately. To not point out it’s operating vanilla Android 5.1 Lollipop.

The Dangerous

Storage is certainly a problem right here. Some apps might be moved to the SD card slot, however not all. And that 3.7GB will probably be used up fairly fast. One other difficulty is the shortage of LTE. It’s 2015, each smartphone ought to have LTE, for my part. The camera is respectable, however it’s actually not all that nice. We’ve undoubtedly seen worse, however I wouldn’t purchase this phone based mostly on the camera.

Last Ideas

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Whenever you’re taking a look at smartphones which are round $ 100, it’s onerous to seek out one which checks all the bins. Nevertheless, I feel BLU have accomplished an excellent job at checking most of these bins. Positive the shortage of LTE isn’t an awesome factor. However HSPA+ continues to be lots quick (particularly on T-Cellular who makes use of HSPA+ 42, in comparison with AT&T’s HSPA+ 21). When you want a phone that may final you thru the day, regardless of how lengthy your day is. And also you don’t play loads of games, or use numerous apps. Then the Energy X is certainly one to try. You should purchase the Energy X proper now from Amazon

Buy the BLU Energy X on Amazon.