Apple, Samsung and a few other manufacturers seem to have the cell phone game locked down. Yet, there are a handful of companies that have challenged all of the high-priced, must-have phones with low-cost phones which do the same for less.
Ok, maybe not exactly the same, but close. Isn’t the main function of a phone to make a call? Yes, but more people are relying on their phones to replace laptops and tablets. Some are as large as tablets.
If you don’t care about the best specs or being tied to a specific network. There are some options. There are bunches of unlocked phones to be had with good to excellent performance and darn near cut rate prices.
One option is Blu, a Miami-based company that started in 2009. That year, the company sold some 70,000 units. Four years later it was up to 4.1 million in 2012. The company’s sales have continued to rise offering Android phones for nearly half what the big guns sell phone. Now it’s gotten into Windows, seemingly dying platform but Microsoft is selling Blu Phones in its stores.
Blu doesn’t do Apple’s operating system, but it sure can copy an iPhone. It’s new Vivo Air is a could pass for an iPhone 6, better so than the Samsung Galaxy S6 clone.
Blu bests both the S6 and iPhone 6 by making it thinner. Yep, the Vivo Air is 5mm thick, making it the thinnest phone currently sold in the US (according to Blu). Will it bend? Sure, if you put it in a machine to do so or carry it without a case.
I’m not so sure I’m with this “i’m thinner than you” war, however. These are phones, not supermodels.
Anyway, the Air has a 4.8 Super HD ambled screen. It has an eight core, 1.7 GHz processor as well.
The phone will run on 4G HSPA+ networks. It has 1 gig of Ram and uses the 4.4 Kit Kat operating system.
The camera is 8.0 megapixels on the back and 5.0 mp up front. Lots of selfies to be had. You can also record video in 1080p @ 30 frames per second.
The phone comes boxed with a wall charger, usb cable ,earphones, screen protector, gel case and another cable (don’t know what it’s for nor could I find it in the manual).
I didn’t spend a lot of time with the Blu Air but the time I did was well spent. The phone feels good to the touch, forged from a single piece of aluminum. The white and gold color scheme used is very Apple’ish. So is the fact the phone is sealed, so no SD card use. Currently, the phone is only available with16 gigs of memory.
I made a few phone calls, hooked up to Wi-fi and snapped a couple of pictures. Everything was great. Pictures looked as good as my iPhone 5. The screen was much better. I watched the Arrow/Flash Fight Club video on YouTube and that 4.8-inch screen came to life. The depth and width of the colors was wonderful. Didn’t notice any lag, either.
I’m still gunning for an iPhone 6 or 6 plus (yes, I’ve succumbed to the large phone thing), but my carrier wants everyone to pay full price for phones these days. The Vivo Air almost convinced me to go Android, if for nothing more than its excellent price of $299. You can find even cheaper on line.
Notice I said almost. I’m still an Apple head but I can give credit. The Android system has become more uniform on each phone – you get the same experience regardless of phone used. That wasn’t a few years back. If I buy my phone on price next time and I can’t get my Apple, I’d consider Blu.