Blu Life Pure XL arrives, offers Snapdragon 800 CPU and starts at $349

by: Andrew GrushMay 1, 2014


With devices like the Moto G, OnePlus One and Motorola’s rumored low-cost handset, we are seeing a growing number of devices (outside of the Nexus camp) that prove that good specs don’t always make for high prices.

Now Blu is hoping to join this growing category of affordable-yet-still-solid devices with the introduction of the Blu Life Pure XL. While Blu is no stranger to low-cost devices, most of the time their products sacrifice SoC, RAM, display resolution or other specs to get there. The Pure XL seems to be a game-changer in that regard, offering reasonably affordable pricing while still offering near-best-in-class specs.

See also: Best Blu pure life cases

Although most Blu devices tend to favor Mediatek CPUs, the Blu Life Pure XL is powered by a 2.2Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (MSM8274) with an Adreno 330 GPU. Other specs include a 5.5-inch 1080p IPS LCD display, a 16MP rear camera with a 1/2.3” sensor, 8MP front cam, an FM tuner, A-GPS, HSDPA 850/1900/2100, GSM 850/1800/1900, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, and a 2500 mAh battery. The phone will come in two versions, one with 16GB storage and 2GB of RAM with the other offering 32GB storage and 3GB RAM. Update: The Blue Life Pure XL actually offers HSPA+ 42, not the +21 seen in the image below. Additionally, there is NFC support for the device.


Overall, the specs sound pretty good, but there are some downsides as well. First, the handset will only offer Android 4.2 Jelly Bean out of the box, though they plan to offer a KitKat update “sometime in the future”. Also missing is LTE and NFC (there is NFC after all), all of which could prove to be deal breakers for many folks.

For those that can look past some of the Pure XL’s deficiencies, the handset has a decent processor, more than enough RAM and should provide a fairly solid Android experience. Best of all, the handset is priced at just $349 for the base model, with the 32GB/3GB-RAM model coming in at $399. You can grab the handset starting today from Best Buy, with more retailers to follow shortly.

From what we can see so far, the Pure XL is a step in the right direction for Blu, and hopefully a sign of more good things to come. What do you think of the Blu Life Pure XL, interested or does the lack of LTE and its other downsides turn you off?

  • Fk-U-C

    Rebranded Gionee Elife E7

    • Tuấn Ankh

      BLU do what they do best, slapping their logo on Chinese phones.

  • J.G.

    Respectable, but rather buy a N5

    • MasterMuffin

      Or OnePlus One (if it ever comes available)

  • So sad they are still launching devices with 4.2, Damn. Why can’t they just load the current software? Lol Good looking device, old software.

    • Airyl

      It works, doesn’t it?

      • S|Someone

        But not as well as Kitkat

    • Fritz

      they are updating it to KitKat 4.4 in june, calm down

      • lol, calm down huh? lol…anyway. I’m not buying it, last I got from them was the life play…which they promised 4.3. Does it have it yet? Nope

  • Ryu

    Eh… Skin plus old version of android makes me not want it. Plus you can get a one plus one 64gb (eventually) for the same cost.

    • Andrew T Roach

      Correct me if I’m wrong but the one plus one also is skinned and there’s no guarantee of updates there either. Stable versions of cyanogen mod are never up-to-date.

      • Ryu

        There is no skin for the One Plus One. It is completely customizable out of the box. The One not getting Android updates is honestly the biggest caveat for it to me, but it is to be expected with CM.

  • wezi427

    I like the looks. How hard is it to release a new device with the current software? Lack of LTE is also a deal breaker. Blu doesn’t have any LTE devices, that I know of. I like that they are an American company and seem to make a quality product.

    • [A]dri[A]n

      They actually just announced an LTE device, but the specs are less that appealing. As far as software goes, BLU is supposed to update most of their phones to KitKat in June I believe.

  • S|Someone

    Since when did the snapdragon 800 become just a decent processor :P
    Still agree that the Nexus 5 is a better buy though

    • Airyl

      But why?

      • S|Someone

        The Nexus has newer software, it will get direct updates from Google and it has stock android which will offer you pretty much the smoothest experience out of every Android phone out there.

        • Airyl

          It is arguable that once a brand adds it’s own skin to a phone, Android updates become way less relevant while software updates become much more useful, no? And if that don’t work, Nova Launcher gives almost the exact same experience with a few more customisation options. Also, those cameras….

          • S|Someone

            A launcher won’t make the phone become as smooth as a phone on stock android. Also updates are still very much important and they can improve the user experience greatly. For example, look at how much quicker the LG G2 is after the update to Kitkat. Also, this phone also lacks 4G,whilst the Nexus 5 has it

  • Billy Bob

    Seems a bit of a letdown compared to the Oneplus specs.

  • Satellite

    Snapdragon 800 is only ‘decent’ nowadays? Jeez.

    • Andrew T Roach

      Seems pretty dumb since the 801 is exactly the same thing. In fact even the Snapdragon 800 is barely any different then the Krait cores inside the Snapdragon S4 from years ago. Same architecture but more cores at a higher clock speed.

  • Will S.

    Beyond the price, there really isn’t much appealing about this device.

    • Airyl

      What about the cameras?

  • wric01

    No SD or microsd = no buy.

    • Lisandro O Oocks

      I wouldn’t trust SD to anyone but Samsung really.

      • Airyl

        What about Oppo and Sony?

        • Lisandro O Oocks

          I don’t trust SD cards period.

          • Airyl

            You mean?

  • Sal

    The phone lost me at 4.2 jellybean. Really why not the latest software? Oh well. I’m not going to buy it anyway but still.

  • Rooney-

    $349 and $399? Hmmm.. One can opt for nexus 5 and SD 800 decent processor? So then Note 3 is having a decent processor imo :p

  • Groud Frank

    The Snapdragon 800 is just a “decent processor?” Lol, okay…. Anyway, it’s a good device for a good price. The Jelly Bean thing is a deal breaker and the UI are deal breakers. Also a 2500 mAh battery is far too meager for my level of usage. All things considered it is a device somewhere between decent and solid. I hope more OEMs follow this trend.

  • Tuấn Ankh

    I would chip out a little more and get the LG G2 if I need a s800 phone.
    $400 vs $450 (32gb g2 from T-Mobile).
    This Pure XL lacks t-mo 1700mhz hspa+ and t-mo LTE band.