The Race to the Bottom: The BLU Vivo 5 and Vivo XL Starting at $149

Recently at the Dark Android Project we talked about the Xiaomi Redmi 3 Android smartphone with an all-metal body and an impressive octa-core processor…that only cost $100. It’s incredible to consider that such well-built and well-specced phones can be had for so little money, but the Xiaomi Redmi 3 did come with one little flaw if you live in the United States: It’s not being released here and it can be a challenge to buy it internationally, perhaps to the point where it costs a lot more than $100 USD.

Another little known company in the US–BLU Products–may have just saved the day for you, though. Granted, their not selling you an all-metal bodied, octa-core processor phone for $100, but they are selling you one with even better specs than the Xiaomi Redmi 3 for only $149! How about them apples..err…or should I say Androids (wouldn’t want you to think this is somehow an iOS blog)? Hey, I think I just coined a new phrase, “How about them Androids?”. No? Well, anyways…

Say hello to the BLU Vivo 5, and the BLU Vivo XL.bluvivo

Despite one of them being named “Vivo XL”, both the Vivo 5 and Vivo XL feature the same 5.5-inch 1280×720 Super AMOLED displays, as well as the same 1.3GHz Octa-core Mediatek MT6753 processor with Mali-720 GPU, 3,150mAh battery, USB Type-C 2.0 charging (with Mediatek Fast Charging Technology), and 13MP rear/5MP front cameras.

After that, though, the Vivo 5 takes the lead as the flagship device, with 32GB of storage plus a microSD card slot, 3GB of RAM, and unibody metal construction. The Vivo XL, on the other hand, will ship with 16GB of storage (and microSD card slot), and just 2GB of RAM. It also features a patterned metal body, though it’s not full unibody construction like the Vivo 5. Both devices will run Android 5.1 out of the box, but Blu is already planning on Android 6.0 updates shortly after release. And, for the privacy-minded among you, these phones have neither a fingerprint reader or an iris scanner, and it’s a good bet at their price point that they don’t have an “always listening” voice co-processor like other phones do. So these would make great Dark Android-styled devices.

As far as price, the Vivo 5 will be released in February 2016 for just $199, and the Vivo XL in January 2016 for $149. Obviously, the Vivo 5 is the better of the two, and you’re getting a lot of phone for very little money in the grand scheme of things. You’ll be able to grab these on Amazon (and thus, buy them with Bitcoin via!), and do keep in mind these phones will likely never be available through your carrier, but you want to be buying unlocked phones anyway, and it’s not a bad idea to try out an MVNO carrier that would accept these inexpensive devices.

I’d still recommend getting an ASUS Zenfone 2 considering that you can get a refurb of that phenomenal phone with 4GB of RAM (!) for close to the same price. But these two offerings from BLU make for very well made, octa-core process-loaded, inexpensive options.

Carpe lucem!