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Review: Blu Pure View

Hardware Software Wrap-Up Comments  

Jul 27, 2018, 10:00 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

The Pure View is a rethink from Blu that updates the design with something more modern and appealing. This entry-level phone has a 2:1 screen, twin selfie cameras, and a clean build of Android. There are some things that don't sit quite right with us, however, so be sure to read Phone Scoop's in-depth review to be in the know.

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Is It Your Type?

The Blu Pure View is an affordable unlocked Android phone that features a modern metal-and-glass design. It's for budget-conscious buyers who want the flexibility of an unlocked phone that can be used in the U.S. and abroad.

Body

Blu has stepped up its hardware game a bit. The Pure View sees Blu adopting a sleek look with a metal frame sandwiched between two glossy panels. Gone is the tri-tone metal rear covering of Blu's older designs, which made the phones look a bit disjointed. This design flows seamlessly from side to side and around its fine curves.

The front glass has curved edges and folds into the metal frame snugly. The back panel is some sort of plastic, but you'd easily be fooled into thinking it's glass thanks to the high polish and ultra smooth texture. I appreciate the mirror-like black finish on the metal frame and the chamfered edges where it meets the front panel. The Pure View is a classy piece of hardware that could be mistaken for something much more expensive.

Pure View  

The Pure View is a mid-sized phone. It's not huge, but I wouldn't go so far as to call it compact. It stands exactly 6 inches tall and is a comfortable 2.82 inches wide. It's slim at 8.1mm thick. The majority of people should be pleased with the experience of using this phone day in and day out as far as the size, shape, and weight is concerned. It slips into pockets as silently as a thief's hand.

The phone's face is pure black from top to bottom, a look I prefer. Other than the slim slit carved into the forehead for the earpiece, and dual selfie cams, nothing marrs the black surface. There are no logos or buttons up front. The design of the Pure View is simple and clean.

Though the display adopts the 2:1 aspect ratio, the Pure View still has noticeable bezels. The framing along the side edges is relatively slim, but a forehead and chin are obvious when the screen is illuminated.

The screen lock key and volume toggle are on the right edge. The screen lock button is rather slim and has minimal travel and feedback. The lengthier volume toggle is easier to find, but it delivers the same so-so feedback.

The SIM tray is on the top edge. It accommodates two SIM cards, or one SIM card and one microSD memory card. The tray is plastic, but doesn't feel flimsy. Blu built the microUSB port into the bottom edge, which is where you'll also find the 3.5mm headphone jack and holes for the speakerphone.

Hand Fit  

The shape of the Pure View's rear panel reminds me a lot of the Galaxy S9. It's smooth and curved near the side edges. The shaping helps the phone sit deeper in your hand. The piano black finish looks great, when it's not covered in fingerprints. The camera and fingerprint reader are paired within a raised plastic element nearer the top. The reader is positioned a little high; I often had to stretch my finger to find it. The hard edge of its framing helps it stand out physically from the rest of the smooth plastic. You cannot remove the rear panel.

It's worth pointing out that the Pure View is not water-resistant.

Blu may be aping its competitors a little bit, but the payoff is a much more pleasing piece of hardware when compared to the company's earlier efforts.

Screen

The screen could be better. The 2:1-shaped display measures 5.7 inches across the diagonal at a disappointing HD+ (1,440 by 720) resolution. This leads to a pixel density of just 282 ppi, which means the screen looks a bit fuzzy at times. On-screen elements such as text and graphics could be sharper. On the plus side, brightness is very good. The screen puts out enough light so it's visible outdoors. It lacks an oleophobic coating, however, and that means the glass is quickly covered with nasty fingerprints. Colors look accurate and viewing angles are very good.

Blu's software includes a tool that allows people to configure the screen's color tint how they wish. Most phones offer several preset color profiles. The Pure View goes beyond other offerings by giving users full control over color, contrast, and more. In other words, you can really tweak the screen to suit your preferences.

Display  

Signal

Blu sells the Pure View unlocked via Amazon. It has rudimentary support for U.S. LTE bands, including AT&T and T-Mobile (2, 4, 5, 12, and 17). Disappointingly, the Pure View doesn't support AT&T bands 29/30, nor T-Mobile bands 66/71. Without these bands you might experience sub-optimal service when the network is busy, and you won't get the fastest data speeds.

I tested the phone on AT&T's network and found it performed about on par with other unlocked phones. The Pure View remained on 4G throughout the time I spent evaluating it. Most calls connected on the first dial, though the phone did drop several calls at highway speeds.

Data speeds were clearly slower than what you might get from a more capable phone. Streaming media over LTE meant low resolution and buffering were common. When you're ready to download apps, games, and media content, WiFi will be your best bet.

Sound

The Pure View is a solid voice phone. I was generally pleased with voice quality across the board as tested on AT&T's network. The earpiece puts out plenty of sound. I had no trouble hearing calls via the Pure View in noisy coffee shops, busy shopping malls, and in the car. Quality is very good. I didn't notice any distortion at high volumes, and voices typically had a warm tone. Those I spoke to through the Pure View said I sounded "close by."

The speakerphone is decent, but not the best I've encountered. It delivers a good punch in the volume department, but clarity suffers a bit, particularly at high volumes. It works in the car very well, as long as you don't mind some occasional distortion.

Ringers are loud enough that they should always get your attention. The vibrate alert was strong enough to make the phone move across hard surfaces.

Battery

Blu gave the Pure View what I'd call an average-sized battery at 3,000mAh. The Pure View pushed from breakfast to bedtime without fail. It never ran completely out on me, despite heavy use.

The phone supports semi-fast charging via the included charger. It takes about 2.5 hours to charge fully. There's no wireless charging.

Battery  

Bluetooth, GPS, NFC, WiFi

Bluetooth did a reasonably good job. The phone connected to several accessories I have on hand, but didn't want to play nice with my car. It took a lot of effort to get the two talking. Phone calls I took via headsets sounded good, but calls routed through my car almost always suffered from drops. Music via Bluetooth headphones was fine.

The GPS radio located me quickly and accurately enough. Google Maps was able to keep pace when navigating on the highway.

The Pure View does not include NFC.

The Wi-Fi did its job well, and was vital for big app downloads, but I've seen faster Wi-Fi speeds from phones in this price class.

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