Windows phone market is limited with few choices. When it comes to buying of a Windows powered 4G phone in budget price, good choices are almost none. Recently, American brand Blu has come forward with two decent smartphones powered by Windows operating system available for an affordable payment.
New Windows smartphones from Microsoft and other brands are on hold for a complete roll-out of the Windows 10, which is considered the last version. According to tech buzz, in coming days, frequent update will be ensured to improve Windows Eco-system according to new edge innovation, features demand and security aspect.
The BLU Win HD LTE at a price of 7999 rupees and the BLU JR LTE at a price of 5999 are the next generation two Windows phones exclusively available at Snapdeal in India. You can buy these phones without registration.
Both smartphones look beautiful have compact comfy shape that feels good to hold in the hand. All features are similar except display size and camera sensor. These phones are good choices at current selling price.
Unfortunately, both of them do not support Indian 4G band. Indian users will be limited to access only 3G, 2G and 1G. In spite of failed support to LTE network in India, these are solid gadgets available below 8000 and 6000 rupees respectively.
User should not try to compare Windows gadgets with Android devices. Android market is large has huge competition that translates into better choices for the end users. According to IDC statics Android is three fold ahead than Windows in global smartphone market. Windows pocket device market is still going through a progressive phase.
BLU Win HD LTE
The smartphone is designed by an American brand has “Made in China” tag available worldwide just for $199. Going by the stiff competition in Indian market, the brand has made it more affordable to Indian consumers at current price of 7999 rupees.
These are highlights feature mention on the cover of the phone.
- 5 inches IPS HD Display
- Snapdragon 410
- 8 MP Camera
- 2 GHz Quad core processor
- 1GB RAM
- 4G LTE ( author note : Indian 4G band is not supported)
- 64 GB SD card support
- Xbox Music
- Microsoft Office
- One Drive free Cloud storage
- Cortana assistance
What we have noticed, the Blu has even approach in terms of sales box content. Whether someone buys in USA or Indonesia, sales content remains the same. In India, official e-retailer Snapdeal ships Phone, Battery, Travel Adapter, in-ear Earphone, Silicon back-cover, Screen guard, Warranty card and user manual.
Built and Design
I really like cool candy design of this phone. Lots of colour is used making a rainbow design goes well according to today’s demand. The brand is targeting young buyers with shiny deep colours that appeal anyway. Windows interface is very different from Android platform. While Android smartphone use wallpaper, Windows UI offers live tiles shows the latest updates from social media, weather, finance, camera, music and other applications. The phone is a good choice for those looking refreshment from boring Android without adding much burden on monthly budget.
Its outer shell is made with quality plastic, stiff in nature, solid colour and glossy finish across the board. The rear has Matt finish not quite reactive to fingerprint or touch marks.
Colours are quite deep over HTC One M9 type looks making it an eye catcher attractive smartphone. I am sure the phone will get lots of attention when using it in public. In spite of lacking toughness, mostly seen in Microsoft devices, the Blu Win HD LTE does very good in terms of look, design and attractive shiny premium colours.
Let me offer few words on button and ports placement. On its right side, volume rocker and power button are placed side-by-side following the top rests micro USB data syncing and charging port. It’s left and bottom remains free. Main speaker grill and primary camera with LED flash goes to the rear. SIM and SD card ports are congested alongside battery space right below the back-panel.
Much similar to Android, three hardware buttons are placed at the front for better navigation. All three control keys have usability logo lacks LED backlit.
Operating system and User Interface
Windows Eco-system does not allow mounting a custom user interface. Therefore, a smartphone based on Windows operating system remains free from mess usually created by a third-party UI. User can check the OS version in setting –to-about section. The Blu Win HD LTE runs on 8.10.14234.375, which is upgradable to Windows 10. For internet sharing, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth tethering options are enabled.
I prefer Windows OS over Android phones. Sadly I do not own a Windows pocket gadget. Actually, I demand for 6 inches screen that is not a choice available in Windows phone list.
Since Windows mobile operating system is designed with precision, it requires 40 to 50% less hardware support than Android. Whatever you get from a 1GB RAM and Quad core processor of an Android smartphone is equivalent to 512MB RAM and dual core processor in a Windows phone.
“Oh my god my phone is heating”. “My smartphone has superior hardware still lag occurred frequently“.
These are statements for an Android Smartphone, not quite right for a Windows phone.
Features of Android are quickly adopted by Windows. New advancement will come in tiny updates regularly released by Microsoft. Therefore, user should never think of the phone being outdated compare to Android progress.
I would like to add few words on Keypad experience. Although it does not have a number row yet very fluent, responsive and easy to type. Compare to the junior (BLU Win JR LTE), the big brother offers fast typing with big keys.
The American brand Blu has made the device free from bloatware. There are few preinstalled apps – Amazon Indian shopping, MS Office, One Drive and help center. I commend the brand for being sensible towards buyer’s ultimate experience.
I cannot miss the Cortana and the great office (Excel, Word, PowerPoint and more) program in the Blu Win HD LTE. User gets these applications free of cost.
We are planning to have a dedicated article on Cortana experience in Indian context. I recommend this phone for a great Windows experience, which has become more robust along with Cortana assistant. Buy this gadget to experience the Cortana features. I am sure you will be amazed and slowly habituate in daily usages.
The smartphone is powered by a 64bit chipset of Snapdragon 410 in quad core architecture clocked at 1.2 GHz. This is very first processor of Snapdragon to support dual 4G LTE network. Windows phone forbid a reviewer saying words on device performance. Lag, application crash, frame drop, heating are terms best suitable in Android Eco-system.
The Blu Win HD LTE offers smooth usability, gaming and HD media playback. I am sure user would love decent performance of this phone.
In my family and friend circle, I used to force acceptance of Windows phone. Initially, they accused me for poor suggestion, now they want only Windows gadget. This is the power of Windows platform. I can make a claim those have used Windows mobile OS will never return to Android or something else. Windows adaptation in the pocket device segment has been hampered by fewer choices in the market.
I had research for buyer’s response in India, USA and other countries. One statement caught my attention that sums up the processor review of the Blu Win HD LTE.
“No creepy think like lag or crash.”
The smartphone comes with decent memory management. For apps installation, out of 1GB of installed RAM, the end user gets share of 360 to 400 MB free after the first boot. Yes, it is less than a stock Android smartphone if you look at pure technically. In reality, my assessment says 1GB RAM in Windows phone is equal to 1.7GB RAM in Android phone. For Similar task or gaming, Android demands more memory than the Windows operating system. 360MB free RAM is equal to 550 to 600 MB free RAM in Android phone. My recent review of Meizu M2 Note has installed 2GB RAM, but user share is only 780 MB.
8GB of internal storage is for user media gallery and document collection. Also, the phone has a dedicated microSD card port, which takes SD card support upto 32GB.
I really miss Lumia camera module in the OS. The Blu Win HD LTE packs 8MP primary and 2MP selfie shooter camera. You can record 1080P FHD video at 30 frames per second. Simple easy interface that is very good in day-to-day usages. This is a good looking smartphone for regular usages do not get much influenced for camera enhancement. You will be neither stunned nor horrified with FHD video and HD image quality. I mean its camera management does fair in regular photography. Also, the 2MP front facing selfie shooter takes nice shots with good background details.
I wish the brand could have placed main speaker at the front. That would have made whole lots of difference in multimedia experience. I had recently reviewed the Samsung Galaxy A8 – a pure metal phone in slimmest craft failed to impressed just because of average main audio.
The main speaker is just good for music, video and live FM experience. Online audio and video contents are biggest source of entertainment nowadays. This phone does really good in playing of YouTube video in 720P quality with loud audio.
Windows offers countless feature- one of them is easy operating on low-end hardware. 720P display of this phone looks awesome, crisp, vivid and bright. Vivid colours spread well across 5 inches display. This is an IPS LCD panel has HD resolution and 294 PPI pixel distribution. In terms of cons, slight distortion in brightness is noticeable when it is tilted at stiff angle.
With power saving features, conservative nature of operating system and brand new Snapdragon chipset ensures 2500 mAh battery to last longer. According to official fact sheet, 30 hours of 2G and 22 hours of 3G talk-time are confirmed. I can predict for 45 to 55 hour of battery backup on basic usages.
In spite of 4G LTE support worldwide, the phone does not comply with Indian 4G bands. The first SIM port is dedicated for 3G and the second port is for 2G and 1G network. Other connectivity options are Wi-Fi, mobile Hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS (A-GPS), and USB port.
User can choose from four different colour variants. I would recommend Cyan or Gray over yellow and white.
- Good looking Dual SIM Windows Phone upgradable to the next version of operating system
- Quad Core Snapdragon 410 Processor
- 8 MB Camera with FHD recording
- Long Lasting 2500 mAh battery with Power saver feature
No Indian 4G LTE Support
I am disappointed for not having Indian 4G LTE network support. Notwithstanding the Blu brand is limited to fewer service centers in India, my verdict is “PICK”. This is a great candy gadget for casual easy usages. Its overall built and funky colours make it a good affordable for Young and females. The phone is more suitable in a ladies purse than into a tight jeans pocket.
|Magic Box||Handset with Built-in Battery, Charger, USB Cable, Earphone, Silicon Back cover|
|SIM||Dual, GSM, 3G+2G|
|Processor||Quad core, 1.2 GHz, Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916|
|Memory||1GB RAM, 8GB Memory, 32GB SD card Support|
|Screen||5 inches, 720 x 1280 Pixels, IPS LCD, 294 PPI|
|Camera||8MP[P] Auto Focus, 2MP[F], LED Flash, ZOOM, FHD@ 30 FPS|
|Battery||2500 mAh, Li-Po, Non-removable, Talk-time:30 [email protected], 22 [email protected] Standby: 400 hours @ 2G|
|Connectivity||BT 4.0, USB 2.0, FM, 1G, 2G, 3G, Wi-Fi, GPS (A-GPS), Cortana|
|Sensors||Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Light, Proximity|
|Body||136 gram[W], 8.2 mm [Th]|
BLU JR LTE
The brand Blu has also launched a junior smartphone packs lower specification at 5999 rupees. In 6000 rupees price bracket, it faces stiff competition from some of most innovative new launches like Micromax Canvas Xpress 2 and Karbonn MachFive.
This is a dual SIM Windows smartphone has noble built, compact form appearance and metal looking plastic made stiff body.
Much like its big brother, the sales box contains regular stuff those are phone, battery, charger, earphone, and user manual along with warranty card.
Built and Design
This is a nice craft has astonishing looks, lots of colour and a perfect twisted finish that is good to hold in the hand. Both sides fluent metal type silver painted plates adding more beauty to the grand built. Windows phones are mostly light-weight that is more at slimmer side.
The phone is 133mm long, 67.5mm wide and only 9.5mm thick. Its gross weight that includes battery is just 130gram. Available in four colour options, I would suggest going either for Cyan or Gray colour model. For female buyers Cyan colour variant is most appropriate.
Its rear does not have Matt finish instead made to be slippery and glossy. Yes, fingerprint or smug attraction is present, but that could be easily cleaned up by wiping it genteelly.
The 4.5 inches FWVGA display has a resolution of 480P and a pixel density of 218 PPI. I feel display to be in sub-standard quality. I am agreeing for 2000 rupees price difference than the senior, but there are huge downside in terms of overall quality, colour reproduction, viewing angles and sharpness factor. For 6000 rupees budget, display is really in average quality.
Operating System and UI
Windows Eco-system offers uniform experience whether you are on a low-cost hardware or using a high-priced gadget. The phone runs Windows 8.1 also called Windows Blue with the latest active version in commercial usage. According to official input, its OS is upgradable to the next version Windows 10.
As I have mentioned in the introduction, this phone is separated by display-size and camera modulation. The rest of specifications in both smartphone are the same.
There are few preinstalled apps to help users in day-to-day usages. Take benefit of Amazon India shopping app, One Drive cloud storage, Microsoft Office and Blu on-time support.
Yes, Cortana, Bing search (can be changed to Google) and file manager features are also there for improved smartphone experience.
The gadget is meant to be a suitable choice for regular and casual usages. Therefore, 512MB RAM does not seem to be less making a co-relation with equivalent 1GB RAM in an Android Smartphone. 4GB internal storage does not go well for me followed by 32GB microSD is a relief.
RAM has much bigger role over the processor for boosting a device performance. Even if the phone is backed by the latest Snapdragon quad core processor clocked at 1.2GHz, multitasking speed is not going to be improved. A processor requires RAM space to queue up tasks for faster execution.
I am just trying to explain whether user should consider this phone a mind-blowing device when the Snapdragon processor is at the best. It offers lag free smooth multitasking and gaming experience. Create, edit and save office document in MS-Word or Excel format with much more ease and save them securely either in internal storage or at One Drive cloud.
The Blu Win HD JR LTE begs 5MP auto focus primary and 0.3 (VGA) front facing camera. User can record HD video at 30 frames per second in good quality. I am sure Lumia Camera module could have been a better choice here, but the default module is not bad either. I am OK with image and video quality.
When it comes to IT technology trust American, for automobile trust German, for cheap goods trust Chinese and for Jugaad technology, Indian is the best.
Since the brand Blu originated in the USA much like Infocus, it does not struggle in basics. In terms of quality, both camera offer better result than Indian designed smartphone camera in the same price band.
Front facing VGA camera in 6000 rupees phone? In a close comparison with VGA camera of an Android phone, the 0.3MP camera of this device delivers much better, clear and crisp snaps. However, the bigger fact is, VGA camera no longer features in budget smartphones.
2000 mAh battery is absolutely fair with backup against regular multitasking and entertainment purpose.
The smartphone packs today’s connectivity options for data syncing, content sharing, network optimization and Internet based real time assistance. User could take benefit of Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 1G, 2G, and 10X faster 3G along with GPS and mobile Hotspot services.
Buy a quality earphone for better experience from Xbox Live. Clear, loud and better sound output with essence of naturality makes you feel Lata Ji and Kishor Da is singing only for you. It also features Stereo FM and loud speaker out.
Microsoft and Sony have lot to offer, but due to hypocrisy or arrogant approach, both have been failing to reach users compare to other brands in the market.
For a price of 5999 rupees, the Blu Win JR LTE is not a decent choice. At this price point, there are much better Windows phones available from Lava, XOLO and Micromax.