The BLU R1 HD is an entry-level smartphone that launched last year for about $100 and up. It was also one of the first phones available as an Amazon Prime Exclusive, which means you can still buy the phone for as little as $50 if you’re willing to put up with ads on the lock screen and in the notifications.

Possibly the most surprising thing about the phone is that it doesn’t stink, despite the low price tag… although it’s probably worth spending an extra $10 on a model with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, which is twice as much as you get with the $50 model.

Earlier this year BLU added a 5.5 inch model with better specs called the BLU R1 Plus. It currently sells for $158.

And now it looks like the company is getting ready to update the family with two new BLU R2 smartphones.

Update: The phones are now available for purchase.

The BLU R2 features a 5.2 inch, 1280 x 720 pixel display, a 1.3 GHz MediaTek MT6737 quad-core processor with Mali-T720 graphics, Android 7.0 Nougat software, an 8MP rear camera, and a 3,000 mAh battery.

An entry-level BLU R2 smartphone features 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, and HSPA speeds. But there’s also a BLU R2 LTE with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, a 13MP camera, and… you guessed it, 4G LTE support. A 3GB/32GB option also seems to be in the works.

Update: BLU has updated its spec sheets: the cheaper phone features an MT6580 processor and Mali-400 graphics, while the 4G model has an MT6737 chip with Mali-T720 graphics. 

For the most part the new BLU R2 phones seem like modest updates to the 2016 BLU R1 HD. They have bigger batteries, slightly bigger screens, slightly faster processors, and the same amount of memory and storage.

So the best reason to opt for the new R2 series phone may be that they ship with Android 7.x Nougat.

There’s no word on whether the BLU R2 or BLU R2 LTE will be part of the Amazon Prime Exclusive program. But if they do join the Prime Exclusive family, they’ll have to compete with a growing number of discounted handsets from Alcatel, Motorola, and Nokia.

via FCC

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9 replies on “BLU launches R2 smartphone lineup with bigger screen and battery”

  1. Brad, just interested in your methodology how you learned on the 21th of July this phone was approved by the FCC – on the 21th of July? Do you have to browse a specific section of the FCC site, or do you have to sign up for their newsletter (do they have one?), or do they have news feed? Or you didn’t really learn about it from the FCC in the first place, either? 🙂

    On your note that the R1 Plus being better because of the larger screen (it being stuck on Marshmallow notwithstanding); one is a phone, the other is a phablet, so they really compete in different categories. 🙂

    You missed the fingerprint reader. Do you know if BLU phones tend to get any kind of software updates or bug fixes ever? I don’t think so. Otherwise, my next phone! 🙂 It comes in a global LTE flavor as well.

  2. the BLU product page seems to indicate that there will be a 3GB/32GB version available of the BLU R2 LTE. That could be interesting.

      1. The BLU line of phones are pretty good and well-priced. It’s a shame that they’re USA exclusive.

        I know other countries like Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand would want them too.
        Not to mention other countries like Mexico, France, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Russia.

        Basically like a cheap Xiaomi smartphone for the western nations. I guess there’s less-polished alternatives from China coming with a different badge.

        1. @Kangal, have you checked the UK and German Amazon sites for BLU phones recently? You would be in for a surprise. As for the expected international availability of this particular model, my other comment might give you a hint. 🙂

  3. Had two R1 HD’s and one R1 Plus. Great phones. Daughter just lost one of the R1 HD’s so I’ll be interested in this new model. I personally love that 5.2″ size, though my current phones are 5.5 and 6.0″…
    wish they would have done a bit better on the camera though

    1. sorry, 13mp camera is fine. i had mistakenly read that it was 8mp. Not interested in the low end model.

    1. Per, $109.99 for the R2 LTE 16/2 version and $79.99 for the R2 8/1 version.

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