BLU cell phones are not very popular in most countries around the world. The company behind them does not have a brand name that is a commodity. You might think that this is another Chinese brand, or perhaps Korean or even Indian. But surprise: BLU cell phones are made by an American company called BLU Products. This makes them one of the few American cell phone manufacturers left in existence.
Headquartered in Miami, Florida, BLU Products have been manufacturing feature phones and Android phones since 2009. They are a budget brand with a fairly large portfolio of products. Being a budget brand means that their smartphones are available at more affordable prices than what competing cell phone brands offer.
The company started out targeting the Latin population and now services a wider audience. The word BLU stands for Bold Like Us.
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Features of BLU Cell Phones
BLU smartphones run Android OS. They are often budget phones covering a wide range of prices. This makes BLU cell phones and smartphones suitable for individuals in search of value phones at affordable prices.
BLU phones run a stock version of Android. That is, Android OS without any customisations. That also means that there are no custom pre-installed apps clogging up those phones. The only apps preloaded on the phones are those that come built into Android.
The company also has a history with Windows phones, producing and selling a handful. Its Windows phones lineup has since been discontinued.
The company manufacturers cell phones and smartphones under a range of categories. In 2020, the G Series devices are the top end smartphones made by BLU. The Vivo series are also top end devices.
The BLU Studio and BLU Advance series are lower end devices. Other series under the BLU brand include: Dash series, Energy series, Grand series, Life series, Neo series, Tank Xtreme series, Touchbook series, Pure series, R series, and S series.
The Tank Xtreme series are “rugged” phones designed to withstand the rigours of the outdoors. They are waterproof and dust-proof.
Screen sizes available range from smaller, basic models with 4-inch touchscreens to bigger models with over 6 inches of screen size.
It has also been said that BLU Products sells Gionee smartphones that are rebadged under the BLU brand name. That appears to be a practice that has been done away with, as newer BLU cell phones have their own distinct design.
BLU cell phones are primarily GSM devices. The brand has flirted with CDMA, but it primarily produces GSM phones. This means that the average BLU phone will work on US nationwide GSM carriers like AT&T, T-Mobile, Cricket, Metro PCS, and others. BLU phones are not compatible with CDMA Networks like Verizon and Boost Mobile.
Some of the most popular BLU smartphones in 2020
Some of the most popular BLU smartphones of 2020 include the following:
Are there 5G BLU cell phones yet?
2020 has been the year of 5G. 5G networks have rolled out in a number of countries around the world, including in the United States. Cell phone manufacturers have released quite a number of 5G devices this same year.
Does BLU have a 5G phone yet? No; they don’t. As at November 2020, there were no 5G BLU phones in the market yet. But by October 2023, there are now a small set of 5G smartphones made by BLU. They include: BLU Bold N3, BLU F92e 5G, BLU F91 5G, and BLU Bold N2.
Where are BLU cell phones manufactured?
While the company, Blu Products, is American, its products are manufactured at facilities in China. They are then shipped to the regions and countries for sale. As at 2020, BLU cell phones are now sold in countries across the United States, Central America, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe.
Are BLU smartphones sold carrier locked or unlocked?
In the United States, many cell phone models are sold carrier locked. This means that they can only be used on the carrier where they are purchased. To use them on another carrier, the user would have to unlock them first.
BLU cell phones, however, are sold unlocked across the United States of America, and so can be used on any compatible carrier of your choice.
As a matter of fact, one of BLU’s unique selling propositions is what it calls the “unlocked revolution”. Cell phone and smartphone users who want to stay free of carrier restrictions and pre-installed apps are BLU’s primary target market.
Buying an unlocked phone means that you can use your device on any carrier and switch to another without the need to go through the process of unlocking. User freedom at its best.
What carriers are BLU phones compatible with?
BLU cell phones are compatible with GSM-based carriers like T-Mobile, Metro PCS, and MVNO’s that run on the infrastructure of these listed carriers everywhere in the United States where they have coverage. BLU cell phones are not compatible with CDMA Networks like Verizon and Boost Mobile.
Prices of BLU feature phones and smartphones
BLU cell phones cost as little as $24, while the brand’s Android phones will be found selling for between $40 for entry-level models like BLU Advance and BLU Studio models, and $250 for their top-end models like the G90 Pro and G9 Pro, both of which were released in 2020.
BLU’s Premium Phone Brand: Bold
In 2109, BLU Products launched a new sub-brand called “Bold”. The new brand is a premium one and offers higher end, premium flagship quality phones that cost more than traditional BLU cell phones cost. Bold phones also offer Android software updates.
The first phone model of this line up is the Bold N1, which was introduced with a $250 price tag.
Where to buy BLU phones
BLU cell phones are available unlocked from the Amazon website, as well as other independent retailers in the different countries where the brand has sales channels. These include feature phones and Android phones. Such retailers include Walmart in the United States.
The American phone brand has recorded remarkable growth and acceptance, such that, beyond their primary markets in North, Central, and Latin America, a number of its phone models are also now sold in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
Europe has embraced the concept of unlocked phones more than teh United States has, but many mobile users resident there still patronise carriers for their smartphone purchases. In many other regions around the world though, including Asia and the Middle East, unlocked devices are the default. BLU’s range of unlocked smartphones sold at pocket-friendly prices have a certain attraction in those countries.
As at 2020, over 60 million BLU phones have been sold since the inception of the company. If you are resident outside of the countries where BLU has sales channels, you can always buy a BLU phone from say, Amazon and have it shipped to you in your country of residence.