If you’re ready to forgive US-based unlocked smartphone specialist BLU Products for the whole Life One X2 debacle, but perhaps the $250 Vivo X feels too rich for your blood, there’s an eye-catching new handset available on Amazon for 60 bucks less with thin screen bezels and a trendy 18:9 aspect ratio in tow.
Priced at $189.99 with nationwide US compatibility on all GSM networks including AT&T and T-Mobile, the BLU Vivo XL3 should be quite comfortable to hold in one hand with its relatively small (by 2018 standards) 5.5-inch display.
The resolution is far from stellar, at 1440 x 720 pixels, aka HD+, with a modest-sounding quad-core MediaTek processor under the hood, as well as 3GB RAM for decently smooth multitasking, and 32GB internal storage space.
The Vivo XL3 is one of very few BLU-branded phones to run Android 8.0 Oreo on the software side of things, while the 13MP rear and 13MP front-facing cameras don’t sound so bad for the sub-$200 price bracket.
The ultra-affordable device amazingly supports both fingerprint and facial recognition, looking very nice at the back, thanks to a “premium shiny metallic finish”, not to mention a “gorgeous electrolyzed metal effect that gives a mirror-like coating to the middle housing.”
If you like your phones a little bigger, the BLU Vivo XL3 Plus adds half an inch of screen real estate while retaining the non-Plus version’s HD+ resolution and extra-wide 2:1 aspect ratio.
Listed on BLU’s website, but unavailable to buy at the moment, the 6-inch mid-ranger packs quad-core Snapdragon 425 processing power, the same 3,000mAh battery as the “regular” Vivo XL3, 3GB RAM, and 32GB storage.
Less shiny and eye-catching, the Vivo XL3 Plus is still made of premium metal, combining a 13MP rear-facing camera with a 16MP “Super Selfie” front shooter.