The Good The Amazon Prime Edition Blu-ray R1 HD has a sturdy construction and is very cheap.
The Bad The software may be incorrect, its audio volume for calls is too low, and it takes a long time to charge the battery.
The Bottom Line The Blu R1 HD is not a very good phone, but for $ 60 on Amazon Prime it’s a pretty good starter or backup device.
Is a $ 60 phone too cheap to be good? And is it so cheap that you do not care?
This is what I wanted to know about the Amazon Prime ad version of the R1 HD Blu phone, which lowers the original retail price – initially $ 110 for the 16GB model and $ 100 for the 8GB version – by showing ads on the phone lock screen. That would be a tempting price for Prime Members who turn a blind eye to advertising with one exception: the R1 HD is not very good. Its camera is average, its performance is inconsistent, and the volume of calls to audio is too low to listen comfortably.
Sixty dollars (or $ 50 for an 8GB version of advertising), however, is cheap enough to justify buying a phone for a baby or overseas guest, or perhaps even as a backup. You seriously can’t find such a low price on any modern smartphone. But for a little more, you have better, more reliable budget options, such as the Samsung Galaxy J3 ($ 110- $ 180, depending on the carrier), the Motorola Moto G4 Play at $ 150 (which is also splash-proof – and is $ 100 Amazon A basic version of this, too) and a $ 100 ZTE ZMax Pro. So go ahead and get the R1 HD if you have a specific purpose for it or are looking for a discarded phone – just don’t expect much.
The inexpensive yet polished Blu R1 HD phone
Ad not-so nauseam
How do Amazon ads look? They appear alternately on the lock screen and can be as small as a notification banner (swipe) or as large as the entire screen. Ads change every time you wake up on the display and can vary from Amazon’s own services to other products like Fitbit.
In general, I can’t stand advertising – I even apply an ad blocker (though never to news sites that I like to read, of course, like CNET). But Amazon handles these phone ads well. They do not interfere with the interface, and I like that it is limited only by the lock screen. If you can live with advertising, you can use this $ 50 savings on so many other things.
No design fuss, but audio needs work
The R1 HD has a durable, pocket-friendly design. Although its 5-inch display does not have the sharpest resolution of 720 pixels, text and icons are still easy to read. I’m also a sucker for displays that bend smoothly to the edges, and along with the metal finish of the device, it has an overall polished look.
The back cover is made of matte plastic. It collects stains and fingerprints, so be prepared to spend time wiping them if they have eyes for you. The back panel houses a small circular audio speaker. One of the drawbacks is the volume of the phone. The audio speaker is just too low, especially for phone calls. I can barely hear the other side as I reach for the device at arm’s length. Although it is a little easier to listen to music and video, there is not enough backup volume for noisy environments. The two audio enhancements that Blu offers to increase the volume are almost irrelevant.
Camera and still image quality
The phone’s 8-megapixel shooter was passable but not large. Although the objects were easy to distinguish, they also showed blurred outlines. White shades often had a subtle blue tint, and the lighting was tricky to pin down too. If I wanted to avoid the blurry, overexposed focus photos of touch, I usually had to settle for a dim image with noticeable graininess. It was problematic in the camera to focus on something remotely close to her, so close-up shooting took a few tries. To find out more about the quality of your photos, check out the images below and click on them to view them in full resolution.
Productivity: Battery equipment and running time
The phone can sometimes be slow and buggy – my fingers don’t register right away, apps load slowly, and the keyboard sometimes shows up in the wrong orientation, so I physically rotate the device to get it right. Apps like the camera will also come out on their own without requiring me, which is particularly annoying.
On paper, it was priced on par with other devices at a price range of ~ $ 100 (without a prime discount). This won the Moto G4 Play on all of our benchmark tests, as well as the Galaxy J3 on 3D Mark’s Ice Storm Unlimited (we were unable to run the Geekbench test on J3 after updating the program). However, ZMax Pro significantly handles all comparable phones, including the R1 HD.
Our lab tests on a 2,500 mAh non-removable battery did not answer what I personally observed. During our tests for continuous video playback in Airplane mode, the device lasted an average of 11 hours 13 minutes after two trials, which is a great time.
But anecdotally, the battery was quickly discharged. With little use, it seemed to drain at about one percent per minute – so if I used the handset for only 10 minutes, it would drop from 90 to 80 percent of the battery and so on. Although this rate slowed down by about 70 percent (which may be why it could have lasted 11 hours during our lab tests), you still do not need to waste as much battery power at any time during use.
Charging the phone also took some time. It took about 2 hours 30 minutes for the battery to fully drain. Most phones of this caliber typically take about one and a half to two hours.
Comparison table for the Blu R1 HD specification
|Blu R1 HD||Motorola Moto G4 Play||ZTE ZMax Pro||Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016)|
|Display size, resolution||5-inch; 1,280×720 pixels||5-inch; 1,280×720 pixels||6-inch; 1,920×1,080 pixels||5-inch; 1,280×720 pixels|
|Pixel density||294 ppi||294 ppi||367 ppi||294 ppi|
|Dimensions (inches)||5.65×2.83×0.34 inches||5.7×2.8×0.39 inches||6.50×3.30×0.35 inches||5.6×2.8×0.3 inches|
|Weight (ounces, grams)||5.01 oz.; 142 g||4.83 oz.; 137 g||6.7 oz.; 190 g||4.87 oz.; 138 g|
|Mobile software||Android 6.0 Marshmallow||Android 6.0 Marshmallow||Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow||Android 6.0 Marshmallow|
|Processor||1.3GHz quad-core processor||1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410||1.5GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617||1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410|
|Expandable storage||Up to 64GB||Up to 128GB||Up to 128GB||Up to 128GB|
|Battery||2,500mAh (nonremovable)||2,800mAh (removable)||3,400mAh (nonremovable)||2,600mAh (removable)|
|Fingerprint sensor||No||No||Back cover||No|
|Price off-contract (USD)||$110 (16GB), $100 (8GB); $60 (16GB, with ads), $50 (8GB, with ads)||$150||$100||$110-$180 (varies by carrier)|