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Review: Blu R1 Plus

Hardware Software Wrap-Up Comments  

The Blu R1 Plus is a mediocre handset with only a few truly redeeming qualities. If all you want is an unlocked phone with a big screen and killer battery life, then perhaps you'll be happy with the R1 Plus. I generally want more from my phone, which is why I find the R1 Plus hard to recommend.

The 5.5-inch screen offers plenty of viewing space, but the 720p resolution prevents the phone from being the best video tool (and you can forget VR). The R1's compatibility with AT&T and T-Mobile is below average, and I saw dropped calls and slow mobile data speeds. Voice quality is just barely adequate unless you're using HD Voice on T-Mobile. Thank goodness for Blu the R1's huge 4,000 mAh battery lasts for days.

The core Android platform runs fine, but I do have to chide Blu a bit for shipping a phone with Android 6 Marshmallow mere days before Google unveils Android 8, and for its lack of security updates. The camera application works well, though I think tweaking the layout a bit could help. The phone captures average photos at best.

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The R1 Plus from Blu costs $160 and is available from Amazon and BestBuy. If you're in the market for a simple, unlocked Android handset with support for two SIM cards, then this device might make sense for you. Most everyone else will benefit by sticking with low-cost handsets from the likes of ZTE, Motorola, and Samsung.

Our Ratings

Battery Life
Hardware Usability
Hardware Quality
Interface Speed
Audio Volume

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