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BLU R1 HD returns to Amazon after spyware controversy fades

The BLU R1 HD has returned to Amazon after claimed "supply constraints", though the issues surrounding spyware claims probably equally had something to do with its temporary absence.

Published onDecember 16, 2016

About month ago, a story came out which put the Chinese smartphone manufacturer BLU in quite a bad light. The story revealed that the company, along with a number of other OEMs, was taking data from people’s devices and sending it back to China. This raised a number of privacy concerns for its customers, and the company stated that the software was completely accidental and it would be deleting all information taken from user’s handsets.

The BLU R1 HD was the company’s most popular device on Amazon for many months due to its price to spec ratio, even beating out the Moto G Play for best selling unlocked smartphone. The device was taken off the market about 3 weeks before the controversy arose, which the company attributed to supply constraints, though some users aren’t so sure. The device missing from Amazon for that long caused it to miss Black Friday as well as Cyber Monday in the US, and has forced it to be be dethroned as the most popular unlocked device.

BLU sets the record straight on security

The R1 has once again returned to the popular e-tailer, but is now outranked by other BLU devices, as well as the Moto G Play, in the list it used to sit atop. There were rumors that Amazon was looking to rid itself of the company’s devices after the controversy, but it seems that they have enough trust in BLU that they are willing to sell the product once again. For BLU’s part they’ve been pretty transparent and have worked hard to help make things right.

One of the biggest reasons the company was able to sell the device so cheap was due to the “Amazon Exclusive” lock screen. Just like with “special offer” kindle devices, the hardware is made cheaper due to the Amazon ads that are shown on the device. While BLU has definitely lost some amount of credibility from its customers over the incident, it is probably going to make it out just fine. While the R1 HD does not currently hold the title it once had, there is a decent chance it will climb its way back up over the next couple of months.

Do you own a BLU device? Was the controversy a deal breaker for you? Let us know.

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