-Great display
-Surprisingly good camera
-Snappy performance
-Exceptional storage options
-Excellent build quality
-High quality rear speakers


-Subpar battery life
-Limited 4G LTE support
-Bugs are still present in production firmware
-Inconsistent software design

Bottom Line

While not without its flaws, the BLU Pure XL does manage to offer features beyond what its price point would suggest, including a fantastic display, smooth and snappy performance, and an excellent camera, and there's no denying that this device is BLU's best smartphone offering till date.

BLU, the Florida-based company, has largely focused on solid, extremely affordable smartphones, but their latest offering is definitely an exception. Featuring flagship-level specifications but an affordable price point as well, does this new device from BLU prove to be a compelling choice? We  find out, in this in-depth BLU Pure XL review!

Update (10/15): This review was originally published a week ago, but now it’s finally available for ordering on Amazon. Keep in mind that the stock is currently listed as “temporarily out of stock”, but since the listing has just went live, we imagine Blu just hasn’t updated it with specifics on shipping dates just yet. Regardless, you can order now and Blu will alert you as soon as it is ready to ship.


BLU Pure XL-9

With a large 6-inch display, the BLU Pure XL is undeniably a huge phone, with dimensions quite similar to the Nexus 6. This size will certainly taking some getting used to, depending on which device you are switching from, and while the curves on the back do help with the grip and overall handling experience, the size does put it outside the realm of comfortable one-handed use.

BLU Pure XL-15

Also helping with the grip is the matte finish of the plastic back cover, which also makes it resistant to fingerprints. The cover did collect scuffs in unexpected circumstances however, which was definitely odd and surprising. The back cover is also removable, allowing for access to the dual micro-SIM card slots and a microSD card slot, even though the battery is not user-replaceable.

BLU Pure XL-5

Don't miss:

BLU Pure XL first impressions: hot damn!

September 17, 2015

There is an aluminium band that runs along the edges of the phone, resulting in a premium look and feel, while also making the large device easier to hold on to. The angular design of the phone makes for corners that are quite sharp however, and had an unfortunate tendency of digging into the hand. The Pure XL is also on a thicker and heavier side, with a thickness of 9.6 mm and weighing 202 grams, but some heft isn’t a bad thing with a large smartphone, allowing for a very substantial feel while holding the device.


Taking a look around the device, the power button and volume rocker are towards the top on the right side, positioned to be within easy and comfortable reach, and also offer excellent tactile feedback. There is also a dedicated camera shutter button on this side, which lets you launch directly into the camera application with a press, even when the device is locked. The headphone jack and the microUSB port are found up top and at the bottom respectively, and on the back, below the camera setup, is a fingerprint scanner. Up front, you will find three lightly outlined capacitive keys, and there is also a notification LED above the display.


BLU Pure XL-1

The BLU Pure XL features a 6-inch Super AMOLED display with a Quad HD resolution, resulting in a pixel density of 490 ppi. Everything that we love about AMOLED displays is to be found here, including saturated colors and deep blacks. The display is as sharp as expected given its Quad HD resolution, but the brightness isn’t great, making visibility in direct sunlight a little difficult.


The color temperature also does lean towards the cooler side, but you do have the option to adjust the setting to better suit your tastes. All said and done, you will be hard pressed to find a smartphone with such a high resolution display in this price range, and the screen is easily one of the biggest selling points of this affordable smartphone.

Performance and hardware

Performance is another area in which the Pure XL really shines

Under the hood, the BLU Pure XL comes with an octa-core MediaTek MT6795 Helio X10 processor, clocked at 2 GHz, and backed by the PowerVR G6200 GPU and 3 GB of RAM. Performance is another area in which the Pure XL really shines, with rarely any instances of stutter or lag. The device flies through the elements of the user interface, opening, closing, and switching between applications is a breeze, and overall, everything remains smooth and snappy. The device also handles gaming very well, which hasn’t always been the case with other smartphones with similar processing packages.

The Pure XL comes with 64 GB of on-board storage, which should be enough to cover the needs of most users. Power users will appreciate the availability of expandable storage via microSD card as well, for an additional 64 GB. The device comes with a standard suite of connectivity options, including 4G LTE support in the US, but is missing support for band 5 for AT&T and band 12 for T-Mobile, which could prove to be an issue for some users, depending on your region.

BLU Pure XL-8

The Pure XL features Hi-Fi audio and DTS Surround Sound when using the device with a pair of headphones, but while the audio does sound good, there wasn’t a noticeable bump in quality when compared to some other smartphones. The device also comes with a dual stereo speaker setup on the back, which gets plenty loud, and with almost no distortion. The rear-facing placement is unfortunate, but the overall quality of these speakers is definitely above average for the price.


BLU Pure XL officially announced – QHD display, 24MP camera and a fingerprint scanner for $350

September 8, 2015


The Pure XL also comes with a fingerprint scanner on the back, which is of the touch type variety. While it was possible to setup the scanner to read the fingerprint, and also use it to encrypt individual files, it unfortunately never worked when attempting to unlock the device. This may be the case only with this particular review unit, and is definitely an issue on the software side, as the scanner works perfectly fine in every other situation, so hopefully BLU has a fix in the works.

The Pure XL packs a 3,500 mAh non-removable battery, and while that capacity would suggest an impressive battery, this is unfortunately not the case. With the display brightness set to 50% and Wi-Fi off for the majority of the day, the device lasted up to 15 hours, with around two hours and forty-five minutes of screen-on time. While these aren’t terrible numbers, we were certainly expecting a little more out of this battery.


BLU Pure XL-14

On the camera side of things, the BLU Pure XL comes with a 24 MP rear shooter with optical image stabilization, phase detection auto focus, and a two-tone LED flash, along with a 8 MP front-facing unit. Of course, megapixel counts isn’t necessarily a good indicator of image quality, but the good news here is that the camera of the Pure XL does perform extremely well, at least in good lighting conditions.

BLU Pure XL-4

It may not be at par with the high standards set by devices like the Samsung Galaxy S6, but this camera is a really good performer when compared to other devices in this price range, with sharp images with lots of detail and good color reproduction. As expected however, the quality deteriorates considerably in poorly-lit situations.

As far as the camera application is concerned, it may look quite simplistic on the surface, but opening the Modes menu and switching to the Professional mode is where a lot of features pop up. Using this mode allows for manual control over aspects like exposure compensation, ISO, white balance, shutter speed, and focus settings, all packed into a single menu. Overall, it is a very nice app that allows for quick and easy capture when in automatic mode, but also includes more granular control over the settings for those who want it.


BLU Pure XL-3

As far as the software is concerned, the BLU Pure XL runs Android 5.1 Lollipop with BLU’s CareFree launcher on top. There are some aspects of the user interface that feature familiar Material Design elements, as seen in the lock screen, volume controls, notification center, and multi-tasking screen, but there is a sharp departure from stock Android in other key areas.

BLU Pure XL-2

For starters, this launcher does not feature an application drawer, leaving users dependent on folders to keep the homescreens from getting too cluttered. The default TouchPal keyboard is unfortunately not an impressive performer, and most system applications and the Settings menu have seen complete re-designs. It is quite difficult to gauge the direction that BLU is taking with their software, with each of their devices seemingly offering entirely different experiences. Of course, there are some interesting and useful additions here as well, including some nifty features like smart gestures, app permissions, and a few general setting options for adjusting things like the notification LED.

The Pure XL may not ever see Android 6.0 Marshmallow

The big concern with Pure XL, and any smartphone offering from BLU, is with regards to updates to future versions of Android, such as the recently-released Android 6.0 Marshmallow. BLU has claimed to have made software updates a priority, but have failed to deliver on this front, despite promising official Lollipop updates for their last two releases. The Pure XL is certainly one of the best smartphones that BLU has released till date, and can be considered the company’s flagship, which is why there is some hope as far as updates are concerned, but for now, the jury is still out on whether BLU will able to deliver.


Display6-inch Super AMOLED display
2560 x 1440 resolution, 490 ppi
Processor2 GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio X10 processor
PowerVR G6200 GPU
Storage64 GB
expandable via microSD card up to 64 GB
ConnectivityWi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 4.0
microUSB 2.0
Camera 24 MP rear camera with dual LED flash
8 MP front-facing camera
SoftwareAndroid 5.1 Lollipop
Battery3,500 mAh
Dimensions164 x 82.2 x 9.6 mm
202 grams


Pricing and final thoughts

The BLU Pure XL is priced at a very reasonable $349, with the available color options including black and gold.

BLU Pure XL-7

So there you have it for this comprehensive look at the BLU Pure XL! While the Pure XL is not without its flaws, including limited 4G LTE support, disappointing battery life, and a software experience that may never be updated, the device does manage to go beyond what its price point would suggest, with its beautiful, large, Quad HD display, excellent performance, and a very good camera. However, this price category is far less forgiving than the sub-$200 range that BLU is usually a part of, and there are some great options out there, including the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, ZTE Axon, and the Moto X Style or Pure Edition.

  • Daggett Beaver

    Does it have contacts for a wireless charging receiver?

  • Halid

    I love how most sites say Blu is a Florida company that puts out these great cheap phones. There is no phones made in America period. It is Chinese company Gionee that blu imports and puts their label on it and sells as Blu mobile. So why won’t review sites give a few mentions and explain who’s behind these cheap pretty good for price phones. GIONEE ELIFE. That’s that. Company from Fl lol. Maybe oranges.

    • Anthony Kurban


    • LALinMN

      The Gionee Elife E8, which this phone is based off of, has a retail price of about $640. So Gionee is not the one behind the key price point; Blu deserves credit for making this available for a low price.

    • VersedNJ

      Seems you don’t care that every other company is sourcing their products from China? Doubtful I’d buy this phone, but for $250 it seems a decent deal.

      • Halid

        My comment was taken out of context. I am not saying its a cheap product i am saying gionee should be given the recognition. Blu just stamps their name on it. I think they’re great for the price. Also price is not reduced because of blu. Retail price was higher but its lowered to compete with one plus, moto pure etc.. Minus the old amoled screen tech and battery life its a pretty good phone. So is the blu air lte. Review sites make no mention of gionee and make you think there is company in Fl that makes these phones. FYI blu studio energy 2 is also listed now which adds half a ram and lte. 5000 mah battery. A very good price. Blu is adding extra ram and lte capabilities now and i will definitely recommend their products.

        • Tejas

          Gionee doesnt need any recognition here because, Gionee sells the same product for <= $650.. You are lucky as Blu is the one owning the product and selling it to you and you get it for $350. I totally support Blu's branding here.. Gionee need not be mentioned..

          • Halid

            Dude this phone ” retail” was 600? About 4 or 5 months later price drops to around half that especially in China since there are so many competitors such as xiaomi that start off much cheaper. On top of that just about every phone blu sells is missing necessary bands for better coverage and most phones lack lte altogether. So you deduct these unfortunate flaws plus phone depreciating and you aren’t exactly getting savings you think. Heck even here in usa best phones such as lg g4 go from 600 plus bucks to 450 in few months and in China competition is much bigger. Oppo, Meizu, xiaomi, huawei, zte… They sell much better phones there for cheaper price than they do here in usa. Display is old amoled tech, battery is below average, cameras are decent. 350 seems about right.

          • balcobomber25

            The Elife E8 is currently selling for over $500 on Chinese resllers, if your actually in China or India you can find it for around $450. I have yet to use a Blu phone which was missing bands for great coverage. Every phone I used from them (and i have used a lot of their phones) has had no issues working on ATT or Tmobile 3G. Most of their newer phones support LTE and those that don’t are priced well under $200. You get tremendous savings by breaking away from the $80 cell plans most people get locked into with their “free” iPhone or Samsung. I pay $30 a month for unlimited everything on Tmobile. My Blu Vivo Air LTE cost me $199. Over the course of 2 years (most peoples contract term) I will have paid $919 for my phone and service. Those people with a “free” Samsung will pay at least $900 in the first year alone, some even more than that depending on their data plan. Not sure how you say you aren’t saving anything.

            As for the E8, that “old” AMOLED tech is the same tech found in the Samsung S6. It doesn’t need new tech because AMOLED displays still look excellent and are good on batteries. The camera in this phone is one of the best you can buy, it is a lot better than “decent”. 350 is a steal for everything you are getting in this phone.

          • Halid

            None of Gionee or blu phones have band 12 for tmobile. Essential band that helps with signal in buildings. There is suppose to be blu selfie coming to tmobile with this band soon.

            Elife does not have same display as galaxy s6. Its 2 different generation displays. Same goes for nexus 6. It is not same display. Only nexus 6p has same display as galaxy s6 with less brightness due to poor optimization by Google.

          • balcobomber25

            Both the S6 and the E8 use a Quad HD Super Amoled display. Gionee sources the display directly from Samsung.

          • Halid

            Both of the phones might have amoled display but as one reviewer said in the early review of this phone, it has a blue amoled display that reminded him of early galaxy displays from 2012. Lol if you think galaxy s6 and this gionee phone have same displays.

          • balcobomber25

            I can tell you have very little clue of how displays actually work. You should look up things such as PPI/Pixel Density vs Screen Size, GPU capabilities, display optimization and Samsung display types.

            What that review you linked to says “it harkens back to Samsung old AMOLED displays”. That doesn’t mean it uses an old display. Samsung only makes one QHD Super AMOLED display, the same display used in the Note 4, S6, Note 5 and E8. it means it reminds them of an older display based on the way it is displayed on the Blu.

          • Halid

            Not every amoled display is same. They use different generation of amoled displays. Note 5 and note 4 are both super amoled but note 5 uses newer generation. It is a much brighter display among other improvements. Elife e8 does not have current gen amoled display possibly to save money on manufacturing. It is a fine display just not the newest. Old gen displays were known to be dimmer compared to ips and colors way over saturated.

        • balcobomber25

          Gione and Blu are partners as are about a dozen other companies around the world. They all split the R&D costs for the phones and Gionee manufacturers them, and usually releases them first. Blu always sells the phones for less than Gionee, it was like that with every model they brought over from the Vivo Air (Elife S5.1) to the Life Play (Elife E3). Why does it bother you so much if people think the phones come from Florida or China? Blu isn’t getting the phones for free, they follow the same process that most other companies follow. Apple is a company from California, not a single one of their products is made in California. They are made in Chinese factories. Should they mention the Chinese factory when reviewing an Apple product?

          • Halid

            No because Chinese company does not have their own version of apple iPhone sold under a different name and iphone is not a sub brand sold in usa.

          • balcobomber25

            Blu isn’t a sub brand either. They are a completely separate company from Gionee. They just share manufacturing costs. Blu uses several OEM’s to manufacturer their phones.

  • 404

    Moto X Pure for life

    • alixetjon

      Moto Life Pure for X?

  • patstar5

    Oh Oneplus, why didn’t you put nfc in the Oneplus 2?

    • Marty

      Exactly. I would have gone through with the purchase of the One+ 2 I managed to get into my cart that one hour sale day not too long ago. Man! I’m glad I didn’t buy it like I was going to before I knew it didn’t have NFC.

      • Tim

        Same here! This has my eyes hooked.

  • TekBoi

    Amazon link?

    • LALinMN

      Release has been delayed

      • TekBoi

        Just buy the Axon 7

  • Note4

    3500 mAh Battery and 3.5 Hrz of OST .. Crappy Optimization :(

  • Chris D. Jackson

    That’s the wrong product on Amazon. That’s the “Pure Life” XL. They have delayed the Pure XL from being released per Twitter.

  • Steve Brain

    Only disagreement I can make about this article is that 2h 45m on screen time truly IS terrible :-P
    I’m sure with rooting and a whole bunch of screwing around that number will be brought up a bit.. But still, Android is a battery killer whichever way you look at it. In particular Lollipop.

    • Halid

      Due to amoled display easiest way to add battery life is make themes darker. Anything dark added will add to battery life thanks to amoled. If there are roms available but will probably be tough cause of mediatek than it will have workarounds for battery.

  • fansanjan

    HUAWEI MATE 7 Octa-core Kirin 925 6 inch FHD LTE 32GB Android phone—399 USD

    The product is discount for sale during china 2015 National’s Day , purchase to visit : http://www.honorsell.com

  • fansanjan

    Huawei P8 4G Octa Core 3GB 64GB Android 5.0 Smartphone 5.2 Inch 13MP camera Gold—-560 USD

    The product is discount for sale during china 2015 National’s Day , purchase to visit : http://www.honorsell.com

  • Marty

    Can’t find this phone for sale anywhere. Anyone know where to get one?

  • Stephen Chen

    Dinosaur age GPU…..

  • Kelly Martin

    Here is something to pay attention , a great opportunity for work for those who want to use their free time to make money using their computers… I have been doing this since last two years and I am making 40 to 70 dollars per hour … In the last week I have made 12,245 for almost 18 hours sitting ….

    ?There are no special skills required just basic typing and an internet connection ….

    ?There are no time constraints … You may do this any time when you are free ….

    ?Here is what I’ve been doing….

    < ->>w­w­w­.­y­o­u­c­a­n­a­l­s­o­c­h­a­n­g­e­y­o­u­r­f­a­t­e­l­i­k­e­o­t­h­e­r­s­a­r­e­.­b­l­o­g­s­p­o­t­.­c­o­m >


    • Here’s something to pay attention: a great opportunity to go fuck yourself. For free!

  • EQ

    Man the front and sides are almost a 1:1 ripoff of the Xperia Z1 white. No wonder I thought it looked so good in the news feed photo!

  • Marty

    The one troubling thing I see is the sim card format. When all the popular brands are using the nano sim format, Blu uses the larger micro sim making it impossible to conveniently switch from my current device to this without having my carrier issuing me a new card. Then if I want to switch out from this back to my current device, I’d need to get another card.

    Troubling. And I refuse to use a sim slot-destroying adapter.

    • Coach Ryan

      Nano Sim adapter. I put my Nano Sim in a micro sim adapter to put it in my LG g4.

      • Marty

        I don’t trust adapters. They have the potential to damage the the connectors in the card slot when removing the adapter. Some slot styles have sharp contact points that can get caught in the gap of the adapter between the card and adapter.

  • Terry A Marks

    Will the Blu Pure XL have NFC?

    • Tim

      Yes, so you can use android pay (:

  • Terry A Marks

    Will NFC be available with the Pure XL?

  • Steve Brain

    Never would I buy a device that doesn’t support their own devices. Shame on you Blu, FOOOR SHAAAAAME! I’d totally buy a Nexus 6P if I didn’t already have a Oneplus 2.. Next phone will be the Priv (worst name ever)

    • balcobomber25

      I have owned a few Blu’s they were all supported…

  • liangxiao

    Price is probably gonna go up soon just like the BLU Pure Life one did (299 to 350+). Everything is pretty smooth, the only thing is that the battery kind of drains fast just like the article says. Hoping it will get better and that it’s been because of reception, etc. but I doubt it. Link to amazon is http://amzn.to/1Mn0hX1

  • vision33r

    Just got one and this is pretty good phone for the price. It beats the heck out of HTC Maxx and nearly matches the Note 4 in performance in Antutu. What new phone has fingerprint sensor, 8Mp front camera, and QHD display for this price? The only fault I say is the software, I really need to root this thing and hack it.

  • Clayton Olson

    Anyone know why they would leave off LTE support for AT&T and T-Mo?

    • balcobomber25

      It works fine on Tmobile LTE for me.

  • Karthick Raju

    Best bang for the buck :D

  • J. S. Lavenstein

    Anyone who says this is a bad phone is only deceiving themselves. Just because you wish it weren’t so. Doesn’t make it not true. My kindergarten teacher once said, “If ninety-nine people jumped off a bridge. Should you?” As in the case of all those who don’t even have their own opinion. They disavow anyone who disagrees. And slanders them unto destruction. Simply because they aren’t willing slaves. Which is the definition of those who are led by their nose in the name of public opinion.

  • benayahu

    nice i liked the fingerprint sensor its good

  • John Watkins

    It looks cool but it doesn’t work on the internet not if you the largest carrier in the USA. AT&T doesn’t let you use the phone it’s about as fast as dial up I’m sending mine back to Amazon.
    May be in 2017 that’s when Blu said it get at&t.
    Oh and I tried to get a Blu to help me thy didn’t even email me back!!!!!! I my have to reboot it was all the time too.?

  • John Watkins

    Doesn’t work NO WI-FI SPEED you have to reboot it all the time don’t waste your time and and money!!!
    AND THE BLU company doesn’t even reply to your emails I tried I sent it back to Amazon got my money back…

    • balcobomber25

      It works fine on every WiFi network I tested it on and on Tmobile LTE. I have used a few Blu devices over the years they always answer my emails right away.