Unlocked smartphones designed and sold by Miami-based company BLU Products hailing largely from Chinese ODMs are known primarily for delivering great bang for one’s buck. So great that it doesn’t seem like US sales were impacted in any way by last year’s data privacy scandal and more recent security concerns.

BLU had it going on just a few weeks back, when its first Sprint-compatible device was officially launched with irresistible introductory deals, but the latest controversy may instantly ruin a reputation that’s taken years to build.

According to a distressingly high number of online reports from enraged BLU Life One X2 owners, the surprisingly popular 5.2-inch Android handset was rendered useless by a routine software update.

What should have been a reason of great joy for users stuck with ancient Marshmallow since the One X2 saw daylight more than a year ago quickly turned into a nightmare. We’re not talking about irksome bugs or any sort of system instability caused by the update, as the system itself refuses to boot until users enter a password that doesn’t exist.

Worse yet, if you try to guess the alphanumeric passcode, you get a limited number of attempts before the device is wiped clean. That means you’ll be saying goodbye to any and all data locally stored on your BLU Life One X2, which is obviously also what happens if you choose to perform a factory reset to escape the endless loop of entering nonexistent passwords.

But wait, there’s more. It appears some hard resets have ended in complete bricking of the phone, so if you don’t want to give up on it entirely, the best course of action is likely to do nothing for the time being. Unfortunately, BLU isn’t saying when, if or how the problem will be fixed, replying to angry Facebook fans with a bland apology and generic “we are investigating and trying to fix the issue” assurance.

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