Pokemon Go Phone for $3! A BLU R1 HD Review!

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As many will think this sounds too good to be true, I’m going to share with you tonight a story about an amazing deal for amazing phone (if it were 2013) for an amazing price and how I came to find this!

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The Story…
First off, I was packing a still somewhat high end LG G3 that pretty much handled anything you could throw at it like shooting a fly with a nuke.  Needless to say, my G3 died.  From there, I was using my backup phone.  That was my trusty LG Nexus 4 16GB ROM/2GB RAM with Android 6 (CyanogenMod 13).  Kids managed to smash it and broke the charging board.  Since the phone was top of the line around 2013, I deemed it not worth fixing, so I looked for a deal on a budget and I found this.

The Deal…

First off, the BLU R1 HD with Amazon Ads is an exclusive for $59, and free 2 day shipping with prime membership.  The second part is if you opt for standard shipping, you get a $6 credit.  The third part is if you apply for a credit card, you recieve a $50 gift certificate via email a few days after aproval.  So, I signed up for prime, something I was going to do anyways.  I purchased the phone with the gift card and standard shipping $59-$50-$6=$3.  It couldn’t get better than that!

The Specs…

The BLU R1 HD (16GB/2GB Version)

  • Android OS M / 6
  • MediaTek MT6735 Quad Core 1.3GHz Cortex-A53 CPU w/ Mali T720 GPU
  • 8MP Rear Cam, 5MP Front Cam
  • Dual Sim Slot
  • MicroSD Supporting 64GB
  • 5.0″ 720P HD IPS LCD Display
  • 2500mha Battery

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The Review…

After using the phone for two weeks, I found that it really does feel like a high end device from the 2013 era with just a few hiccups… First of all, the ads are annoying but not really all that intrusive.  Secondly, I found that some apps create pauses and lag.  One such pair being Facebook and Facebook messenger.  Third, it does have some annoying bloatware and apps that I don’t use.  And for all those wondering, it seems to play my games including Pokemon Go fluidly without stutter.  The battery may be small, but the doze feature in Android 6 makes the battery life comparable to my LG G3 with my extended 5600mha battery and Android L/5.  Despite 64GB SD only being supported, the deviced recodnized my 128GB microSD (but it has a custom partitioned filesystem only Linux can read, and Android “IS” a Linux Distro).  So here is my advice to make this a smooth phone…

  1. Activate developer mode and increase animation speed.  It makes the phone seem snappier
  2. Get rid of Facebook and Facebook Messenger and Install a 3rd party app such as facebook lite.  Basic functionality is there but it runs more fluid on this device.
  3. Don’t waste your time trying to get rid of ads with a lockscreen.  Only flashing a custom rom will get rid of the ads, and I won’t recomend anything that will brick your phone.
  4. Download a startup manager, and disable everything possible from startup and reboot.
  5. Install Google Experience Launcher.  It’s fast, lightweight, and google now just works.
  6. Disable all bloatware that you can disable that you don’t use.

Benchmarks…

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Not the best device out there, but the user experience is nice, and stock ROM is mostly AOSP apps.

Conclusion…

All in all, the device is making a great temp phone until I can afford a new high end phone.  If you are looking for something cheap for pokemon go, take your next $5 bill and order a BLU R1 HD!

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