What a surprise!
First off, you get all the following in the box: Plastic case (same color); battery, two (2) screen protectors (one pre-installed); headphones and wall charger. Once you plug it in, at least in my case, BLU automatically updates your phone to their latest firmware, which is impressive to say the least.
I came from the 6" Lumia 1520, which has been an awesome phone for me but I always felt it was one inch too big, and since I'm on AT&T, I have been waiting for a 5" like this to come out. I am pleasantly surprised with how this runs. I haven't had it long but have not noticed any lag at all. I absolutely love Windows 8.1 (I actually have the 8.1 Update version through the Preview for Developers app) and loved the option of 'changing the size and number of Tiles available on your Start screen', found under Start+theme. Even though this has a snapdragon 200 processor, it runs just fine for me.
There are two SIM card slots and the only annoying thing for me is that you cannot remove the icon at the top of screen for whichever slot you're not using (either 1 or 2). I've also noticed that when I'm looking at my contacts, there is a setting for SIM 1 and SIM 2 to make your call on, with the default being SIM 1. Again, no big deal unless you're using slot #2.
I cannot give you detailed information on the battery life yet but will update this within a few days.
So far I am very impressed and I'm pretty sure you will be too. In case you're wondering, I've used Blackberry, IOS and Android in the past, and am perfectly happy with Windows, as long as you're running 8.1 on it.
Fantastic Value! Great Phone!
I am impressed! I'm not a smartphone expert. This is my first, although I've helped my wife with her Android and her Iphone 5. I have built many computers and I am an IT specialist who provides help to others at work, but I had no real need for a smartphone. Most of the time, I sit in front of both work laptop and home desktop. However...friends had Blu phones and loved them, and I know all flavors of Windows, and I like the idea of sharing all my stuff between computer/tablet/phone/Mom's laptop, so I bought this. Runs everything quickly. Beautiful. Thin. Bright Yellow! Comes with flexi rear protector case, hands-free buds/microphone, installed screen cover and an extra and charging gear. Holds two sims, one micro, one mini. Unlocked. I like WP 8.1. Performs flawlessly with email, texts, calls, surfing, GPS, navigation. All this for $179. Stupid good value. For less than $200, I have something that outperforms my wife's Iphone 5. I've paid more for a meal for four. I'm a value-obsessed (read: CHEAP) person, and someone finally made a phone for me. I absolutely recommend this phone for anybody who wants a great value with everything you really need. Thanks for reading this!
So far so good, I am impressed with BLU Products take on Windows Phone
I felt like I stepped in a time machine when I opened the box and realized all the accessories that came with it, long gone are the days when the manufacturer would give you these type of extras: Case, screen protector and earphones.
The phone itself is pretty light weight, it has a removable back, expandable memory (up to 32gb) and dual sim card input one is a micro sim and the other is standard. This phone is not LTE but I have gotten HSPA+ most often and my avg DL speed is about 10mbps but I'm sure data speeds will wildly vary based on a number of factors, but for me its not that important.
Gaming on the phone is pretty good, I thought it would have performance issues since it has a snapdragon 200 processor but to my surprise it handles gaming pretty smoothly. The screen is also very vivid, and unless you are one of those over the top pixel peeping types you wont have any issues with this display.
It does not have a dedicated camera button which I have grown accustom to, (coming from Nokia) and the camera on the phone isn't all that great, in fact, max resolution for video is a depressing 864x480 but for a budget phone I really cant be that upset about it.
I don't much care for it displaying sim 1 and sim 2 options all over the place for your phone calls and text messages, but this is just a small inconvenience and I wish i had the option to remove or disable sim ports that I wont be using, but this is really more of a personal preference than a shortcoming of the phone.
After setting the phone up I was notified of available updates and I hope this is a sign of things to come with how Windows phone updates are supported, my previous carrier, tmo seemed to drop support almost as soon as they sold the device.
Overall I think this is one of the better lower mid range options for a windows phone if you are in the market for one and want to spend less than $200 I am considering handing this one off to my wife and purchasing one in white when they become available. I will update this review as needed if anything changes, after all I have only spent one day with it, so we are still in the honeymoon phase.
The Best Mobile OS at a Great Price
I work in the cellular industry, and I made the switch to Windows Phone a year ago. I love it more everyday. Now at this low price, others can love it too.
One gig of ram is excellent on this OS. You'll run every app. The apps can be installed on Sd card, so the storage doesn't even matter. Further, Cortana is the best assistant I've ever had, period. Real humans included
Take this pro's word; this is a great phone. :)
Very good display , amazing responsible no lag.
Slot for SD card
Good battery life
Beautiful design Windows is the best!
What a beautiful designed phone and at a great price. Windows Phone 8.1 is so much more polished that iOS and Android. Glad I made the switch from both the other operating systems!
It's not an iPhone 6+. Yay!
Dear Apple: you can keep your top-of-the-line four-figure pocket brick. To me, a phone is a commodity and a consumable, not an investment. I'm thrilled to see a new player in the Windows Phone Market. Not that I haven't enjoyed my Nokia Lumia 521 (T-Mobile) (now "un-branded" as a *Microsoft* Lumia), but it's competition in the marketplace that brings and keeps prices down to earth.
An aside about the Windows Phone OS: I happen to love it, for as much as I initially hated (and still don't much like) Win 8 for desktop. Being able to integrate my Win desktop world with my phone is an undeniable gift of convenience, as is being able to use Outlook with both.
As slick and responsive as the iPhone? HAHAHAHAHAH. No way, no how. Compared to entry-level Lumias or the budget-priced Android phones I've tried? Certainly. I've had my hands on this one for nearly a month and am very impressed with the long battery life - based on my own typical usage, about 4 days. Where "typical" usage has given way to recording a school concert or heavy Pandora use with headphones, I can still generally get through the day without needing to recharge.
The Win HD can take a 32 GB memory card and *two* SIM cards - the latter doesn't mean much for my purposes, but is very handy for a second business line or for travel where it's sometimes financially advantageous to pick up a separate account.
Size: this Is where the Win HD stands unmatched in its price range. The Win HD is very slightly smaller "in hand", width and lengthwise, than the iPhone 6+ and I'm not sure these bifocaled eyes will ever voluntarily go back to a smaller sized screen. The larger form factor allows for three columns of tiles across your home screen, no magnifying glass required. I didn't realize how hooked I could become on a "phablet" before - considered the larger Galaxy phones and so on to be needlessly cumbersome. Now, I see hauling around a tablet as its own kind of cumbersome, and have invested in a couple of carrying options for my "travel light" days, including (that pouch.)
There are some reception dropouts with my Bluetooth headset and portable speaker, but these toys are budget end and I've had the same issue with Bluetooth from my older Lumia. For plug-in headphones, it's very nice with more than adequate volume capability. Reliability and signal clarity on the T-Mobile network, for me, has been top notch.
The 8 MP camera presents some disappointments. I'm getting some nice outdoor shots, indoors under low light ranges from poor to unacceptable. Brightness, hue, saturation and overall quality appears to vary somewhat capriciously from shot to shot. Social media buffs will appreciate the second, front facing camera. Realistically, I can see why that's a "must" for a younger demographic, but I'd happily trade Skype capability for better snapshots. Similarly, the video is just okay, for whatever HD capability claimed in the specs.
Software-wise, I haven't thrown anything Win Mobile 8.1 approved at this phone that it hasn't handled with aplomb. I'm really noticing that it's a bit more reliable in this area than it's more basic sibling in the product line, BLU Win JR 4-Inch Windows Phone 8.1, 5MP Camera, Unlocked Cell Phones-White (used by my daughter), but it's also got the beefed up specs to account for a performance difference.
One concern: Nokia Windows Phones have been around for a while, and a variety of stylish and/or protective cases are available for most models. The cases I'm finding for the Win HD are indicated as "compatible" vs. customized for this specific model, excepting one flip case from a third party vendor, that has a custom camera cutout, and no customer reviews I can find as of yet. The headphones, screen protectors and case included with this phone add indisputable value to the package here, but no options for more protective or customized cases make purchase of this model - for now - a little more speculative. When the current case wears out, I hope to report this situation has changed.
Bottom Line: This a large form factor WinPhone that's good for the consumer and even - I'd argue - for Microsoft. On the one hand, it lacks the polish of the Lumia Line (now struggling to succeed under direct Microsoft branding.) On the other hand, if you need an unlocked affordable phone that is compatible with the major cell carriers, if you want the bigger screen without the much bigger price tag, and if you are willing to take a chance on the continued viability of Window Mobile, here's your list of choices: BLU Win HD.
FTC mandated disclaimer: Complimentary product was provided for review by BLU Products.
Great phone! I've had it about 2 months now and dropped it twice. The first time, I dropped it from my pocket onto the sidewalk. I didn't have the case on it and there is a very small scratch on the top corner. The second time, I had the case on and nothing happened to it, not even a scratch! It takes a little while to get used to the Windows OS, but I like it.
An amazing phone without having to use a contract!
The BLU Win HD phone that I received is a nice bright yellow (Not surprising when BLU is an acronym for Bold Like Us). It measures 69.9mm wide, 144.8mm high and 7.75mm thick (approx. 2-5/8" x 5-5/8" x ¼") and weighs about 5 ounces. It fits nicely in the hand, has very good clarity and is extremely customizable.
For those that have never used a data type phone or those that are new to Windows 8, there is a little learning curve. The phone comes with a user's manual that is not very helpful and some of the features or phone capabilities are not terribly easy to find. With a little time and patience, one will be using this phone like an expert in no time.
Don't expect to be downloading apps from the Google Play or any other type of app store for android. This is a Windows phone and uses Windows type apps from the Microsoft store. There are many apps available and many are fantastic, but one won't find the amount that you'd find elsewhere. I've read online that it is because the platform for phones is just too new yet.
Cortana is a wonderful addition to the BLU Win HD phone. She has a humorous side to her and has some hidden fun features that I won't divulge since part of the fun is finding them. If you want to put a face to her voice, just search online (hint: Halo game) and you will find her. What is nice about Cortana is that she is a learning assistant and will learn from you the more you use her. In no time, she'll be helping you complete tasks and you'll wonder what you ever did without her.
The camera works well and takes quite nice photos. The front facing camera is not as impressive as the rear facing one, but I think it works quite well. There is also a built in QR reader, a text scanner that can translate the page you scanned into another language. I scanned a page out of the Spanish side of the instruction manual and it translated over top of the scanned image.
The speaker on the BLU Win HD is located on the back and isn't very impressive for music. It's just the basic speaker. It does produce clear voice though and works great for the speaker phone and Cortana. Ear phones are recommended for the best music listening experience. It produces a very good sound when listening to Spotify over my OnlineShopDealer Premium Headphones.
I am just touching on all the things this phone can do. I'm VERY impressed and am pleased that this phone is not only affordable but allows one not to be locked into a contract. I'm doing the monthly prepaid option right now and am going to be trying out different services until I find the one I'm most satisfied with.
BLU Win HD is an affordable phone with an amazing amount of options:
5" HD Display screen (720 x1280 ) 293 PPI
8 MPSback facing camera
2 MPS front facing camera
Picture resolution: 3253 x 2449 pixles
Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.2 GHZ quad core processor
Data speeds to 42 MBPS
8 GB internal memory + 1 GB RAM
Allows up to 32GB micro SD
Unlocked - so allows you to us any carrier you'd like as long as it is GSM
3G with 3 bands, 850, 1700, and 1900
Dual SIM capabilities - allowing to use in other countries. One device - 2 phone numbers
Micro USB v2.0
Cortana (personal assistant)
Included with the phone:
Would I recommend this to family or friends? YES! In fact, my brother likes it so much that he is looking at ordering one for himself!
a good choice for a nice, affordable, unlocked windows phone
I've had this phone for about a week now and love it. I've been using it on Tmobile and everything has worked fine. You can use 2 sims (1 is regular sized and the other micro) but i only used one. Before this i was using a Samsung Galaxy S2.
The battery of this phone is very good. It lasts me roughly 2 days. I was barely getting through a day with my old phone. My usage isnt too heavy but a general day probably has: 4g is always open, 2-3 hours worth of reading, <1 hr talk, <1 hr of music, and roughly another hour of general usage.
The screen is gorgeous, it clocks in at 294ppi ; my iphone 4s was at 326ppi i believe (though of course much smaller screen) ... but still not bad for a brand i never heard of before getting this phone. It is quite huge though and most definitely not for everyone because of that.
The phone is lightweight and thin though; slips in and out of my pocket easily. I got the yellow one and it is pretty eye catching in a good way in my opinion. The camera quality could be better but it is OK.
Overall for the price, I would highly recommend this phone package (comes with many nice extras!) to anyone looking for a good affordable unlocked Windows phone.