The Chinese octacore smartphones presented during this year are really many, but the BLUBOO X2 intrigued me for the very competitive price. Today we therefore offer you the complete review of this smartphone poco known, which I tested thoroughly using it as a daily driver.
We want to thank you TopResellerStore.it for giving us the device used for this review, remembering that the store offers a discount on all products on sale reserved for readers of GizChina.it, which you can take advantage of at the time of purchase through the discount code GIZTOP.
BLUBOO X2 - Packaging
The BLUBOO X2 comes in a classic package, which shows below the partial technical specifications of the smartphone.
In addition to the smartphone, the equipment includes the USB-Micro USB data cable, wall charger, in-ear headphones, user manual, hard cover, paper clip for removing the SIM tray and protective film for the screen.
The supplied cover is made specifically for the smartphone, and protects its back and side frame.
The staple instead allows to extract the tray for SIM cards, which supports two SIM cards, one in Micro format and one in Nano format.
The budget is therefore more than good for an economic smartphone.
BLUBOO X2 - Technical features
The technical specifications of this smartphone are the subject of much confusion online. The company declares the existence of three different versions of the X2, with internal memory cuts from 8 / 16 / 32 GB, 1 or 2 GB of RAM and HD / Full HD display. The device on sale at various international retailers is almost always the X2 I received for this review, with HD display, 16GB of internal memory and 1GB of RAM. The advertising material of the three (alleged) versions still runs between the pages of the various retailers, generating a bit 'of confusion. Also with regard to cameras the web offers confusing data, advertising the pair of cameras from 8 / 2 mega-pixel of this X2 as a pair from 13 / 5 mega-pixel, values that correspond instead to software interpolation of which the software photographic is capable.
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BLUBOO X2 - Design, materials and photo gallery
The design of the BLUBOO X2 is quite pleasant. The entire perimeter of the smartphone is surrounded by a metal effect frame, but made with plastic materials. The design is made as a single block, and the back is not removable. On the front, below the Android navigation keys, we find a thin strip made of worked metal, which elegantly separates from the black that characterizes the entire front. The camera in the back is surrounded by a metal rim, and is slightly protruding. The design is generally satisfactory, even if the frames are a little too wide.
The construction does not reflect the judgment expressed on the design, as the smartphone, in addition to using plastic materials of not excellent quality, has several creaks and is not solid, giving the impression of yielding in case of bending. The power and volume keys, located on the left side, are also uncomfortable and poco practical to press. The aspect in which BLUBOO has saved to keep the price low is therefore the assembly.
As for the maneuverability, the BLUBOO X2 is particularly thin and light, resulting very practical in everyday use. Without a doubt, the market offers smartphones with a smaller 5 inch display, but this device with its 129 grams of total weight proved to be very comfortable.
BLUBOO X2 - Antutu performance and test
The smartphone offers the MediaTek octa-core MT6592 processor operating at a frequency of 1.7GHz, accompanied by 1GB of RAM and the Mali-450 graphics chip. The performance is in line with what we have seen in other smartphones with the same chipset. So let's talk about a good general power of the system, and the ability to use practically every application on the Play Store. As for gaming, it is possible to play any video game for Android, even the heaviest ones, taking into account that there will still be some drops in the frame rate and small slowdowns. This is not the best processor for video games, but the results will satisfy most users. The single gigabyte of RAM instead places the user in the position of having to periodically close open applications.
In general, the peculiarity of the smartphone from the performance point of view lies in its price range. On the Italian market the price is in fact close to that of a typical MediaTek quad-core, which is why the performance of this X2 is decidedly good when evaluated for quality / price.
As for the benchmarks, the BLUBOO X2 gets 26873 on Antutu 5.0.
BLUBOO X2 - Battery
The battery is unfortunately a sore point of this device. The house declares the presence of a 1700mAh unit, turned out poco more capacious during some tests. The autonomy is however insufficient for users who make intensive use of the smartphone, while discrete with average use. Speaking of a non-removable battery, it will also not be possible to use two different batteries. To use this smartphone intensively over a whole day it is necessary to have a portable charger or to recharge (even partially) during the same day.
On a typical day with 18 hours, 4 minutes and 48 seconds with the battery, with a screen time of 3 hours 22 minutes and 22 seconds, the smartphone has reached the 7% of remaining autonomy. The use in this period of time has been medium, with mixed internet connectivity between 3G and WiFi always active, web browsing, use of applications for messaging, watching some videos and using various other apps, such as Facebook, Google+ and Adobe Reader.
BLUBOO X2 - Cameras
The photographic sector of the BLUBOO X2 offers a rear camera from 8 mega-pixels and a front camera from 2 mega-pixels. The 2 mega-pixel front camera allows you to use all the applications that require it without problems, but it does not produce quality selfies, struggling to capture the light. Among the settings of the front camera it is possible to set the shot at 5 mega-pixels, obtained through software interpolation, but even in this case the shots are poco defined and with false colors.
The rear camera from 8 mega-pixels allows you to shoot up to 13 mega-pixels, also in this case through software interpolation. The shots produced by this camera are not of high quality, but are adequate for use with social networks and for some occasional shots. During the day the photos taken are decent even when viewed on the computer, while the shots taken in the evening are much worse. If you take a photo at a short distance from the subject, allowing the single LED flash to do its job, the results will be decent, but if you take photographs in large spaces in low light you will get very disappointing results.
The use of these cameras is therefore recommended, as already mentioned, for social networks and for some occasional shots, but not adequate to replace a compact camera.
The photographic application is the standard MediaTek one, which offers various options to change the resolution, some simple filters like black and white or sepia, and some color and exposure adjustments. Among the features of this software we find the possibility of taking pictures in panorama mode, in multi-angle view mode and also in 'beauty of face' mode. The various modes work quite well, except for panoramic photos that do not bind the various elements of the final image well.
Photos taken in environments with artificial lighting
Photos taken in the daytime with natural light
Photos taken in low light conditions
BLUBOO X2 - Software
The smartphone software is Android 4.2.2, enriched with many customizations of the manufacturer. The ROM installed on this smartphone has many features reminiscent of the MIUI of Xiami, such as the lack of the application drawer. The various icons can be arranged among the various home pages and organized in folders, which open and close with a pleasant personalized animation. Pressing the menu button (on the chin of the device together with the back and home keys, all backlit) in the home screens gives access to a number of options, such as changing the theme, changing the appearance of the lockscreen, reordering the home pages, to change backgrounds and insert widgets.
Among the options there are really many different transition animations between home pages. The animations that we find in this BLUBOO X2 are incredibly fluid and fast, and make the navigation between the various applications the smoothest ever found on smartphones with MediaTek processor. Without a doubt, the MIUI inspiration is all there, even in the appearance of apps such as the voice recorder, but the various animations and customizations are still better than those found in smartphones of this category.
The rest of the software is simply Android, unfortunately still in the 4.2.2 Jelly Bean version that, with Android L at the door, begins to be obsolete. The system is quite stable and fluid, more fluid than many MediaTek smartphones, even those with 2GB of RAM. However, some times I found some system blocks in managing the Whatsapp application. This is a problem that has occurred 3 times in over two weeks of use, in which Whatsapp has been used every day constantly.
BLUBOO X2 - Display
The BLUBOO X2 display is a 5 inch panel with HD resolution. The flaw of this display is the brightness is not very high, but in general the panel is of good quality. The colors are reproduced well, and the readability is discrete even under the sunlight.
Considering the price range of this smartphone and the presence of an octa-core processor, the HD resolution is definitely adequate, and allows a good multimedia experience and a good read.
BLUBOO X2 - Connectivity and GPS
From the point of view of connectivity, the smartphone offers dual SIM support, with a SIM format in Micro and one in Nano format, and 3G connectivity compatible with home networks. 4G connectivity is missing. The smartphone also offers WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0 and GPS.
Connectivity works well overall. The WiFi signal is not very powerful, but not problems, while the reception in 3G is stable, although not excellent compared to the reception of other smartphones. The call quality is quite good.
On the other hand, GPS is a problem that, like many other MediaTek smartphones, offers a disappointing surfing experience. During the navigation tests and with various applications I managed to hook the satellites without problems, even quite quickly after the first time (slower) but the navigation is unfortunately full of inaccuracies. The best results were obtained with the Copilot software, but not satisfactory to the point of using the smartphone as a navigator, while with the Google Maps software there are obvious problems in following the position.
BLUBOO X2 - Audio
Audio playback using the system speaker of the BLUBOO X2 is discreet, considering that we are talking about a single speaker of standard quality, but compared to other smartphones in this category the audio was not particularly croaking even at maximum volume. There are no volume problems in the headphones and, although it is not the highest volume seen on a smartphone, even in noisy environments I have not encountered any problems.
The quality of the audio in call is also discreet, with an average loud speakerphone volume. On the other hand, the microphone does not record a particularly strong and faithful voice, and the interlocutor may hear a slightly distorted sound.
BLUBOO X2 - Conclusions and price
We come to the price of the smartphone: 160 euro (less with discount code GIZTOP) with 2 years of warranty Italy at TopResellerStore.it (pre-orders will be available soon). The price is close to that of many smartphones with quad-core processor, making it a strong point for this BLUBOO X2.
Summing up, we are faced with a smartphone with some defects, such as poor GPS, the battery is not excellent and some imperfection in the assembly, which offers a powerful octa-core processor, an HD display, a fairly fluid system, a pleasant design and good handling at an affordable price.
The octa-core processor and the computational and graphic performance that derive from it are undoubtedly the main strength of the smartphone, especially in relation to the selling price. If the defects listed and Android still in 4.2.2 version are not a problem for you, you can take home a powerful smartphone at a very competitive price.
We want to thank you TopResellerStore.it for providing us with the device used for this review.