48 min read — jaleesa bustamante — Sep 18, 2019

Best BLU Phones

Years of observing smartphone advances and keeping track of the latest technologies have allowed us to choose the best budget phones from BLU. This company is pretty obscure, but there are a few gems in their lineup.

For big-brand quality at a fraction of the cost, we fully recommend the BLU Vivo XI+. It may seem pricey for a ‘budget’ phone, but it is well worth it. We looked for greater memory capabilities, larger displays, and both hardware and software that could rival some of the flagship phones from the more expensive brands.

Blu Studio Mega 2018 BLU R2 Plus 2019 BLU Vivo Go BLU Advance 5.2 HD
Blu Studio Mega 2018

Blu Studio Mega 2018

4/10
  • PROS:
  • Dual camera rear setup
  • Beautiful metallic finish
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Cons:
  • Battery discharges quickly
  • Prone to software issues
  • Type Smartphone
  • Internal Memory 16GB
  • RAM 1GB
  • Screen Size 6.0 in
  • Battery Capacity 2600 mAh
  • Front-facing Camera Yes
  • Rear Camera Resolution 13MP+2MP
  • MicroSD Card Slot Yes
  • Charger Type Micro-USB
  • Color Black

Our Review

BLU’s Studio Mega 2018 is a lightweight, beautiful phone that looks great from the outside. The curved glass screen is a classy touch. The performance is somewhat lacking, and it seems to move very slowly compared to other phones in its class. The included 3G LTE is outdated. You may want to search for an option with 4G LTE, at least. This phone does come with headphones, however.

BLU R2 Plus 2019

BLU R2 Plus 2019

5/10
  • PROS:
  • High-resolution front-facing camera
  • Comes with a case
  • Cons:
  • Poor performance
  • Preloaded software takes up a lot of the internal memory
  • Type Smartphone
  • Internal Memory 16GB
  • RAM 2GB
  • Screen Size 6.2 in
  • Battery Capacity 3000 mAh
  • Front-facing Camera Yes
  • Rear Camera Resolution 13MP+2MP
  • MicroSD Card Slot Yes
  • Charger Type Micro-USB
  • Color Silver

Our Review

The R2 Plus 2019 can be a bit slow, but it includes some premium features. The face recognition software and fingerprint scanner are nice features when they work. It tends to overheat while charging. For basic use, this is a solid phone.

BLU Vivo Go

BLU Vivo Go

5/10
  • PROS:
  • Curved glass screen
  • Minimal pre-installed software
  • Cons:
  • No notification light
  • Battery discharges quickly
  • Type Smartphone
  • Internal Memory 16GB
  • RAM 1GB
  • Screen Size 6.0 in
  • Battery Capacity 2600 mAH
  • Front-facing Camera Yes
  • Rear Camera Resolution 8MP
  • MicroSD Card Slot Yes
  • Charger Type Micro-USB
  • Color Black

Our Review

BLU’s Vivo Go would be a great starter phone for a child or teenager. It looks beautiful but performs at a disadvantage. The fingerprint scanner works quickly and is accurate most of the time, and the powersave feature helps to save battery life by closing background apps and processes. Still, it can’t handle multitasking very effectively.

BLU Advance 5.2 HD

BLU Advance 5.2 HD

6/10
  • PROS:
  • Beautiful color saturation on screen
  • Comes with a case
  • Cons:
  • The battery isn’t removable
  • Type Smartphone
  • Internal Memory 8GB
  • RAM 1GB
  • Screen Size 5.2 in
  • Battery Capacity 2600 mAH
  • Front-facing Camera Yes
  • Rear Camera Resolution 8MP
  • MicroSD Card Slot Yes
  • Charger Type Micro-USB
  • Color Black

Our Review

The Advance 5.2 HD suffers from a lot of the same performance issues as some of BLU’s other phones. It slows down quite a bit when dealing with graphics-heavy games, but the display itself is vibrant. For basic calls and texts, this cell phone will work great.

BLU Vivo XL4

BLU Vivo XL4

7/10
  • PROS:
  • The screen is bright and vivid
  • Great build quality
  • Fast performance
  • Cons:
  • Poor outgoing call quality
  • Type Smartphone
  • Internal Memory 32GB
  • RAM 3GB
  • Screen Size 6.2 in
  • Battery Capacity 4000 mAh
  • Front-facing Camera Yes
  • Rear Camera Resolution 13MP + 2MP
  • MicroSD Card Slot Yes
  • Charger Type Micro-USB
  • Color Black

Our Review

The Vivo XL4 is one of the better choices from BLU’s lineup. It charges quickly and comes with two cases, a tempered glass screen protector, and a set of headphones right in the box. While it still has some quirks, it mostly rises above the performance issues that some of their other phones have.

BLU Advance A4

BLU Advance A4

4/10
  • PROS:
  • Compact
  • Comes with hardly any pre-installed software
  • Cons:
  • Second SIM card slot is also the MicroSD card slot
  • Slow performance
  • Type Smartphone
  • Internal Memory 8GB
  • RAM 512MB
  • Screen Size 4.0 in
  • Battery Capacity 1350 mAh
  • Front-facing Camera Yes
  • Rear Camera Resolution 5MP
  • MicroSD Card Slot Yes
  • Charger Type Micro-USB
  • Color Black

Our Review

The BLU Advance A4 isn’t a fast phone, but it is mostly solid for the price. It supports dual SIM cards and has a dual-camera setup. With most smartphones boasting a large screen, it’s a refreshing change to see a smaller screen. This could be a great phone for kids.

BLU Pure View

BLU Pure View

6/10
  • PROS:
  • Looks beautiful
  • Curved glass screen
  • Great camera setup
  • Cons:
  • Tends to overheat during use
  • Battery discharges quickly
  • Type Smartphone
  • Internal Memory 32GB
  • RAM 3GB
  • Screen Size 5.7 in
  • Battery Capacity 3000 mAh
  • Front-facing Camera Yes
  • Rear Camera Resolution 13MP
  • MicroSD Card Slot Yes
  • Charger Type Micro-USB
  • Color Black

Our Review

The BLU Pure View is a great-looking phone that performs well. It has better specs than the majority of the BLU phones we looked at and it works well for the most part. It charges quickly but gives off a lot of excess heat as it charges. It comes with a case and screen protector in the box.

Best Quality

BLU Vivo XI+

BLU Vivo XI+

9/10
  • PROS:
  • Slim and lightweight
  • Bright, vivid screen with no bezel
  • Cons:
  • Extremely expensive for a budget phone
  • Type Smartphone
  • Internal Memory 128GB
  • RAM 6GB
  • Screen Size 6.2 in
  • Battery Capacity 3050 mAh
  • Front-facing Camera Yes
  • Rear Camera Resolution 16MP + 5MP
  • MicroSD Card Slot Yes
  • Charger Type USB-C
  • Color Black

Our Review

The BLU Vivo XI+ is the highest-quality phone on our list so far. It has a price to match, but it delivers when it comes to features. It has wireless charging, fast performance, face unlock, and a fingerprint sensor. Overall, this is a great phone, if a bit pricey for a budget model.

The BLU Vivo XI+ is the best quality phone that BLU has made to date. This phone has a huge display, more storage than a few of their other phones combined, and enough RAM to keep multiple applications working flawlessly. It has a great combination of features, with a fingerprint sensor, face unlock, and the latest Android operating system that can be upgraded later this year.

It’s a large, beautiful phone that is comparable to phones from some of the bigger flagship brands. The price definitely reflects that, but it is well worth it for the features that you get. We also considered the BLU G9 and the BLU Pure View for this category, but the superior internal memory, RAM, and other specs allowed this phone to take the top spot.

Best Overall

BLU G9

BLU G9

9/10
  • PROS:
  • Beautiful design
  • Curved notched glass screen
  • Cons:
  • Is not compatible with Verizon, Sprint, or Boost Mobile
  • Type Smartphone
  • Internal Memory 64GB
  • RAM 4GB
  • Screen Size 6.3 in
  • Battery Capacity 4000 mAh
  • Front-facing Camera Yes
  • Rear Camera Resolution 13MP + 2MP
  • MicroSD Card Slot Yes
  • Charger Type USB-C
  • Color Blue

Our Review

BLU’s G9 is another great phone from their line. With high-performing cameras and a beautiful display, this phone is one of their best releases to date. It performs well and is responsive, and the battery isn’t going to die over a day of use. It’s a great value for the price!

The BLU G9 is one of the top BLU products that we looked at. It’s a beautiful phone that blends aesthetics with superior hardware and software capabilities. This is a true budget phone, with a price that won’t break the bank but performance that will impress you.

A fully updated OS, curved glass, and a huge display put this Android phone at the top of its class for the price point. We considered the BLU Pure View and the BLU Vivo XL4 for this spot, but the overall improved specs pushed the BLU G9 past the competition.

BLU Studio X8 HD

BLU Studio X8 HD

5/10
  • PROS:
  • Dual SIM setup
  • Great for international travel
  • Could be a nice starter phone for kids
  • Cons:
  • Poor call quality
  • Terrible WiFi
  • Type Smartphone
  • Internal Memory 8GB
  • RAM 1GB
  • Screen Size 5.0 in
  • Battery Capacity 2000 mAh
  • Front-facing Camera Yes
  • Rear Camera Resolution 8MP
  • MicroSD Card Slot Yes
  • Charger Type USB-C
  • Color Black

Our Review

The Studio X8 HD is not a perfect phone by any means, but it gets the job done. It works well with video streaming apps and is compact and easy to use. It’s a great phone for travel, even if some of the functions don’t work perfectly.

BLU Tank II

BLU Tank II

4/10
  • PROS:
  • Compact and easy to use
  • Great battery life
  • Cons:
  • Doesn’t work with AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, Boost, or PagePlus.
  • The phone will not store pictures
  • Type Basic
  • Internal Memory 0GB
  • RAM 0GB
  • Screen Size 2.4 in
  • Battery Capacity 1900 mAh
  • Front-facing Camera No
  • Rear Camera Resolution VGA
  • MicroSD Card Slot Yes
  • Charger Type Other
  • Color Black & Red

Our Review

The Tank II is definitely named appropriately. This basic phone is one of the most durable phones that we looked at. It’s great for kids or tweens because it can’t use data. For calling or texting, this is a great phone choice. The exterior is nicely designed. Some customers have had issues getting it to work with their carrier, though.

Best Value

BLU Z5

BLU Z5

3/10
  • PROS:
  • Small and easy to use
  • Great first phone for kids
  • Inexpensive
  • Cons:
  • Uses only basic functions
  • No camera
  • Type Basic
  • Internal Memory 32MB
  • RAM 32MB
  • Screen Size 1.8 in.
  • Battery Capacity 600 mAh
  • Front-facing Camera No
  • Rear Camera Resolution VGA
  • MicroSD Card Slot Yes
  • Charger Type Other
  • Color Black

Our Review

The BLU Z5 is a nice choice for your older relatives, younger children, and basic communications. The battery doesn’t last very long and it won’t work with AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, or Boost. If you are only making calls or texting, or don’t want your children using data and getting on the internet, it works well.

The BLU Z5 is a budget phone that has only the basic features that you need in a cell phone. We picked this phone as our best value because it has the best call quality and service specs for BLU phones in this price range. It’s a great first phone for your kids because it can’t access the internet and doesn’t have a functioning camera. For communication only, this is a great, durable phone.

For the Best Value category, we also considered the Diva Flip and the Tank II, but the lower price tag and better basic features edged the BLU Z5 into the top spot.

BLU Studio Selfie 3

BLU Studio Selfie 3

4/10
  • PROS:
  • Beautiful exterior design
  • Camera works well
  • Cons:
  • Slow performance
  • Extremely expensive for the quality
  • Type Smartphone
  • Internal Memory 8GB
  • RAM 1GB
  • Screen Size 5.0 in
  • Battery Capacity 2200 mAh
  • Front-facing Camera Yes
  • Rear Camera Resolution 8MP
  • MicroSD Card Slot Yes
  • Charger Type Micro-USB
  • Color Gold

Our Review

The Studio Selfie 3 looks great, but performance takes a hit with these outdated specs. The camera works nicely and can take fair photos. The price of this phone has been inflated, however. There are a lot of phones on this list that gives you more for less. It also isn’t going to last very long, as the build quality is pretty poor.

BLU Diva Flex

BLU Diva Flex

4/10
  • PROS:
  • Large buttons
  • Simple, basic functions
  • Cons:
  • Cannot use with AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, or Boost Mobile
  • Type Flip phone
  • Internal Memory 32MB
  • RAM 24MB
  • Screen Size 1.8 in
  • Battery Capacity 650 mAh
  • Front-facing Camera No
  • Rear Camera Resolution VGA
  • MicroSD Card Slot Yes
  • Charger Type Other
  • Color Black

Our Review

The compact BLU Diva Flex is perfect as an emergency phone, or for someone who isn’t interested in apps and other smartphone features. Unlike a lot of basic phones, it has a camera and a notification light. The buttons are easy to press and large enough to see easily.

Best for Visually Impaired

BLU JOY

BLU JOY

5/10
  • PROS:
  • Great visibility for seniors or users with visual impairments
  • Large, easy-to-press buttons
  • Cons:
  • No speakerphone options
  • Does not include an instruction manual
  • Type Basic
  • Internal Memory 32MB
  • RAM 24MB
  • Screen Size 2.4 in
  • Battery Capacity 1450 mAh
  • Front-facing Camera No
  • Rear Camera Resolution VGA
  • MicroSD Card Slot Yes
  • Charger Type Other
  • Color Black

Our Review

The BLU JOY is the perfect cell phone for seniors and users with visual impairments or other health problems. It uses a unique SOS button that allows the user to immediately reach the police, ambulance, or other emergency services. The screen is clear and easy to see. If you can find a carrier that works with this phone, it’s perfect for older relatives.

JOY is BLU’s premier senior phone. Though it is marketed to older people, it can also be a great option for people with medical issues or visual impairments. The large buttons and clear display really put the BLU JOY at the top of our list for differently-abled users. The SOS button is also a nice bonus. The ability to instantly connect to emergency services can put your mind at ease for your loved ones.

We also considered the BLU Z5 and the BLU Diva Flip for their large buttons and simple layout, but BLU JOY won out because it is specifically made for seniors.

BLU Studio View

BLU Studio View

4/10
  • PROS:
  • Easy to use
  • Beautiful exterior design
  • Cons:
  • Battery discharges quickly
  • Poor performance
  • Type Smartphone
  • Internal Memory 16GB
  • RAM 1GB
  • Screen Size 5.5 in
  • Battery Capacity 2850 mAh
  • Front-facing Camera Yes
  • Rear Camera Resolution 8MP
  • MicroSD Card Slot Yes
  • Charger Type Micro-USB
  • Color Gold

Our Review

BLU’s Studio View is one of their more obscure phones. It was only produced for a short amount of time and didn’t garner much success. It has the same performance and speed issues that BLU phones from this era seem to have, though it looks absolutely stunning. It has mobile hotspot capabilities, and you can expand the memory by up to 64GB via microSD card.

BLU Energy X Plus

BLU Energy X Plus

3/10
  • PROS:
  • Extended battery life
  • Great display
  • Cons:
  • Very little internal memory left after pre-installed software
  • Charges very slowly
  • Type Smartphone
  • Internal Memory 8GB
  • RAM 1GB
  • Screen Size 5.5 in
  • Battery Capacity 4900 mAh
  • Front-facing Camera Yes
  • Rear Camera Resolution 8MP
  • MicroSD Card Slot Yes
  • Charger Type Micro-USB
  • Color Rose Gold

Our Review

The Energy X Plus is an upgrade from the previous BLU Energy, but it falls flat on features. With so much pre-installed software, you can only really install one app at a time before it’s full. The exterior of the phone is beautiful, with a rose gold backplate and a passable camera.

BLU WIN HD LTE

BLU WIN HD LTE

4/10
  • PROS:
  • Sleek design
  • Nice display
  • Cons:
  • Not very durable
  • WiFi is nearly unusable
  • Type Smartphone
  • Internal Memory 8GB
  • RAM 1GB
  • Screen Size 5.0 in
  • Battery Capacity 2500 mAh
  • Front-facing Camera Yes
  • Rear Camera Resolution 8MP
  • MicroSD Card Slot Yes
  • Charger Type Micro-USB
  • Color White

Our Review

The BLU WIN HD LTE is BLU’s foray into Windows phones. It uses Windows 10 Mobile rather than iOS or Android operating systems, which is refreshing. It can be difficult to use, and most customers report that it didn’t last very long. It can be a great phone for traveling due to the dual SIM capability. It’s not ideal for mobile games.

BLU Studio XL 2

BLU Studio XL 2

7/10
  • PROS:
  • Vivid design
  • Extended battery life
  • Cons:
  • Charging port on top of the phone
  • Speaker quality is lacking
  • Type Smartphone
  • Internal Memory 16GB
  • RAM 2GB
  • Screen Size 6.0 in
  • Battery Capacity 4900 mAh
  • Front-facing Camera Yes
  • Rear Camera Resolution 13MP
  • MicroSD Card Slot Yes
  • Charger Type Micro-USB
  • Color Gold

Our Review

BLU’s Studio XL 2 comes with a lot of features that make the price more than worth it. The beautifully modern design includes Dual SIM capabilities, as well as a great camera and a battery that will last forever. It comes with a screen protector, case, and a pair of headphones in the box.

BLU Studio View XL

BLU Studio View XL

5/10
  • PROS:
  • Great as a second or emergency phone
  • Wonderful display
  • Cons:
  • The battery will not hold a charge
  • Performance issues
  • Type Smartphone
  • Internal Memory 16GB
  • RAM 1GB
  • Screen Size 5.7 in
  • Battery Capacity 3000 mAH
  • Front-facing Camera Yes
  • Rear Camera Resolution 13MP
  • MicroSD Card Slot Yes
  • Charger Type Micro-USB
  • Color Black

Our Review

While the BLU Studio View XL has solid specs, it suffers from performance issues that might make it frustrating to use. It’s got a basic design but comes with a case and a great camera. You can extend the internal memory by up to 64GB via microSD if you want to store more pictures or music.

How we choose

This guide will help you choose which BLU phone is right for you based on value, available features, and your mobile phone carrier.

If you are looking for $800+ performance, none of the phones on our list are going to satisfy you. Adjusting your expectations might allow you to discover your new favorite cell phone.

Let’s get started.

Do You Even Need A BLU Phone?

BLU Phones are inexpensive, and sometimes quality suffers. You aren’t going to get the same build quality or performance from a BLU Phone that you might expect from a Samsung, iPhone, LG, or other top phone company.

While phones by these bigger manufacturers are almost three times the price, they are expensive for a reason. A BLU phone can be a great smartphone on a budget, but do you really need it?

If you don’t care about how your phone works and aren’t looking for a ton of features, a BLU phone is a good choice. However, you might be better off saving up for a more expensive, better-quality phone with more storage, more memory, and a better screen.

Quick Tips

In a hurry? Here are the most important things to consider when you’re looking for a BLU phone.

  • BLU  has a lot of smartphone options, but they have basic phones and flip phones if that’s more your style.
  • An unlocked phone is the best option for all carriers.
  • If you want a decent smartphone, go with these minimum specs:
Internal Storage: 16GB
RAM: 1GB
Screen Size: 5.2”
Battery Size: 3000 mAh
Camera Resolution 10MP
  • The higher these numbers are, the better the phone will be.
  • Don’t spend more than $350 for a phone from BLU.

BLU Phone Features and Options

BLU has a lot of phone options, and each phone has a different blend of features and value. We’ve hand-chosen these basic features as a starting point for your phone search.

Type

Options: Smartphone, Flip phone, Basic

BLU sells a few different cell phone types.

  • Basic phones. These phones were popular over a decade ago, though they are still nice for someone who doesn’t want a lot of features. A basic phone won’t include a touch screen. Instead, they have a keypad where each number occupies its own button and a small screen for displaying information.

The appeal for these phones is that they are simple. They are still useful for phone calls and even text messages. Some even allow you to browse the web in a super-simple browser. You can’t install apps on basic phones, and some won’t even include a camera.

  • Flip phones. Flip phones are the next step up from basic phones, though they are also pretty simple. They also include a keypad and have call and text functions. Most flip phones will have a basic, low-resolution camera. They have limited internal memory so you can’t store many pictures or videos, but you can still take them in a pinch.Like basic phones, most flip phones include a web browser for basic web surfing, though they don’t contain apps like smartphones. The appeal of having a flip phone over a basic phone is more about form rather than function. Some flip phones have an external screen on the front of the phone that displays notifications and the time.
  • Smartphones. Smartphones are the most popular type of phone right now, and there are numerous versions on the market. These phones function like small computers. You can install apps and use the internet much more effectively. Smartphones have a touch screen that you will use to select items on the screen. While you are using the text message feature, a keyboard will appear on the screen and you can type by tapping the keys.Smartphones don’t have a keypad because you can access everything right from the touch screen. Some have a front facing camera for taking pictures of yourself as well as a rear camera that takes pictures and shoots video at a much higher resolution than a flip phone would. Calls are easy to make, and you can even perform video calls.Some smartphones have facial recognition software (to keep others from using your phone) or a fingerprint scanner to unlock the phone for use. When it comes to smartphones, the features can increase the price nearly exponentially.

Internal Memory

A phone’s internal memory determines how much you can store on the phone. The internal memory is used for storing photos, videos, music, and all of your apps. This is the basic amount of storage space that your phone has available to use.

Storage Capacity for Cellphones

The more internal storage you use, the slower your phone may become. It will take longer for apps to open or load. That’s because your phone also uses your internal memory to load pages and apps. It may even store temporary versions of websites so you can access them more quickly.

Internal memory is usually measured in GigaBytes (GB). A smartphone with 16 GB of storage will be less expensive, but most phones have significantly more. 16 GB of storage is at the lower end of the current market.

Storage space is measured in KiloBits (kb), MegaBytes (MB), and GigaBytes (GB). Here is a handy explanation of how these units work together.

GigaBytes are the third-highest common unit of measurement for digital space. KiloBits (kb) are the smallest unit, and MegaBytes (MB) are in the middle. Here are some handy conversions for understanding these storage units.

  • 1,000 kb = 1 MB
  • 1,000 MB = 1 GB

As you can see, your phone’s internal memory can greatly impact how much you can use your phone. It may seem like 16GB can store quite a bit, but when you start installing games and taking photos of all of your favorite things, it can be quite limiting.

For smartphones, we recommend going with at least 32GB of internal storage, especially if you want to use a lot of applications or use your phone for listening to music. The more GB the phone’s internal storage is the better off you are.

RAM

RAM stands for Random Access Memory. It is also measured using GigaBytes (GB). We’ve just explained how internal memory stores all of your media and information. RAM allows your phone to access that information quickly, without sorting through all of it at once.

For example, a compact disc or CD has to cycle through the same tracks in the same order every time. Each second of each song is accessed in sequential order, and you can’t cut directly to the specific second you want without significant hassle.

RAM allows your phone to access all of the data in its storage without going through the same sequential order that a CD has to when playing a song. If you want to get to a photo, for example, you won’t have to wait several minutes for the phone to sort through your music, videos, and apps to find it.

So why is more RAM a good thing? When you have more RAM, you can access things extremely quickly. You can have multiple apps open while you’re trying to find a photo, or you can play a song while you make a grocery list. RAM allows your phone to perform multiple tasks at the same time without bottlenecking the speed of any one task.

In short, more RAM means that you can do more things with your phone. Apps will run better and multi-tasking will be much easier.

How much RAM you need depends on how you plan to use your phone. 1GB is great for calls and some app usage, while 6GB is great for multi-tasking across the board. More is always better, in this case.

Screen Size

The size of your phone’s screen can determine how easy it is to use, and how well your phone displays websites and other information. Larger screens are, of course, easier to see than smaller ones.

Basic phones will have the smallest screens, at about 2.0” – 2.4” measured diagonally from corner to corner.

Smartphones, on the other hand, might have screens reaching up to about 6.5” diagonally from corner to corner. Smartphones need bigger screens because all of your navigation is done by touch, and the screen also contains the keyboard when texting or typing.

Battery Capacity

Battery capacity is measured in mAh, or milliAmp hours. This value determines how long the battery will last while it’s being used, and effectively tells you how much power the battery stores from a single charge.

For example, a smartphone with a 4,400 mAh will stay charged for a longer amount of time. You’ll be able to use your phone for a while before you need to charge it again.

Battery capacity values are a great way to compare phones because it can mean the difference between being able to use your phone all day or constantly having to recharge throughout the day. If you use your phone more, play games, or make a lot of phone calls, your phone’s battery is going to discharge a lot faster. If that’s the way you want to use your phone, choose one with higher battery capacity.

When it comes to this value, a larger number is always better. 3,000 mAh is a good sweet spot for budget phones and should allow you to use your phone throughout the day without needing a charge.

Front-facing Camera

The front-facing camera is located above the phone’s screen. It allows you to take ‘selfie’ pictures. When using the front-facing camera, the picture from the viewfinder is displayed on the screen. This means that you can see what you’re taking a picture of and how it will look.

Using a front-facing camera for selfies or photos with friends ensures that you’re getting the perfect photo each and every time.

Rear Camera Resolution

When you’re taking photos of your vacation, family and friends, and even photos of your day, you’re probably going to be using the rear camera on your phone. The resolution, measured in MegaPixels (MP) is a selling point for a lot of phone manufacturers. The bigger the resolution, the better your photos are going to look.

Low-resolution photos sometimes don’t display color correctly, or can’t properly sort out the edges of things in your photo. This leads to blurry photos that may be difficult to see.

When you take a photo with a high-resolution camera (10-13MP is a good middle ground for smartphones), the photos appear crisp, closer to real colors, and display more detail. Rear cameras, in most cases, have a higher resolution than front-facing cameras.

MicroSD Card Slot

Using a MicroSD card is a great way to expand your phone’s internal memory. While you can’t use it to store apps, you can transfer photos, music, videos, and other media to the MicroSD card to keep your phone’s internal memory free.

These small cards range in size from 4GB to 256GB. Most phones can only expand their memory so much, so you can usually find a guideline for the type of MicroSD card you can use in the manual.

Usually located under the back panel or on the sides of the phone, these slots allow you to do more with your phone by providing additional memory.

Charger Type

Options: Micro-USB, USB-C, Other

The type of charger that your phone uses is important for charging times, most of all. Most older phones still use the Micro-USB charger, while USB-C is becoming more and more popular. Older iPhones use a proprietary charger that is unique to that device style.

When we speak of charger type, we are referring to the shape of the plug that you insert into the phone’s charging port. A micro-USB charger will be quick, but a USB-C plug will charge your phone quicker.

Other charger options include proprietary chargers and wireless charging. Wireless charging is a newer technology that allows your phone’s battery to charge by simply placing it on a charging surface with no cords required.

Color

Options: Blue, Red, Multi, etc.

BLU offers phones in a variety of different colors. The back of the phone can be a host of different colors, though black is standard.

When choosing a color, keep in mind that you will be using this device every day. Choose the one you like best. If the phone only comes in black, you can always find a case to put on it for protection and style.

Which BLU Phone Will Work With Your Plan?

When choosing a BLU phone (or any phone that isn’t purchased directly from your carrier), you need to make sure that the phone is going to work with your current phone plan. You don’t have to get a new number and go through a ton of hassle, either. In most cases, if the phone you purchase is compatible with your carrier, you can simply take the SIM Card out of your current phone and place it in your new phone.

Unlocked phones can be a little more expensive, but they are universal and can work on mostly any carrier. The ‘lock’ refers to a restriction placed on the phone by a carrier so that the phone can only work when used with their network.

How do you check this? In the listings for each phone, there should be a section that informs you which type of network is best for the phone (GSM or CDMA). It should also tell you which carriers will work best. Here is an example:

“3G: (850/1700/1900/2100): US compatibility Nationwide on all GSM Networks including ATT, T-Mobile, Cricket, Metro PCS, Straight Talk, and others”

If the phone only states that it works on either GSM or CDMA networks, you should be able to perform a quick Google search to determine what type of network your carrier uses. The numbers listed above are essentially network sub-types and should be listed when you perform your search.

If you can’t find the information online, you can also call your phone carrier’s customer service line to find out.

Special Considerations

Smartphones are great for most people, but what about users who experience visual impairment or have trouble operating a smartphone? If you have certain considerations, you should absolutely put them at the forefront of your phone search. You don’t want to purchase a cell phone that you aren’t going to be 100% comfortable using.

For example, people with visual impairments might be better off looking for a basic phone with larger buttons. Sometimes, even zooming in on a smartphone doesn’t help someone see it any clearer. If you have a visual impairment issue, definitely keep this in mind.

Some people have problems operating smartphones or other technologies. Age doesn’t really matter in this regard, as there are users of all ages that may find smartphones overwhelming or unnecessary. If this is the case, look for a basic phone or a flip phone. If you want a smartphone anyway, there are simple smartphones available that don’t use all of the extra features you don’t want.

Cases like these should give you an additional pause when considering your BLU phone purchase. BLU has a phone for just about every use case, and even sells basic phones that some other companies have abandoned.

How Much Should You Spend?

BLU is known as a budget brand, so most of the phones they have available are a fraction of the cost of high-end name-brand phones. They aim to offer comparable features and standards as brands like Samsung, Apple, and LG at a reduced price so that these technologies are available for everyone.

For basic phones, you should never pay more than $20. These phones don’t have many extra features, and technology hasn’t changed that much over the last decade. You can probably push this budget for a ‘luxury’ basic phone, but those are rare.

Flip phones might run you a little more. Usually, this is because they have two screens (one on the front for notifications/time/message display and the other inside for the rest of the functions). We wouldn’t suggest paying more than $35 at the absolute most for a flip phone.

When it comes to smartphones, however, the price can get a little more complicated. BLU is a budget brand, but they are competing with companies that sell phones for between $800 and $1500. We definitely don’t recommend paying that much for a BLU phone. For a phone with great features, hearty specs, and the latest updates, we would recommend spending between $200 and $400.