Updated 05:05 PM EDT, Thu, Jun 21, 2018

Another Cheap Unlocked Smartphone, Blu Life Pro Released: “World’s Thinnest 5-inch” Phone for $299

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Affordable unlocked smartphones are coming out fast and loose now, just in time for the holiday season. On Wednesday, lesser-known smartphone maker Blu Products made a statement by announcing the "world's thinnest 5.0-inch HD smartphone," and pricing it under $300.

Called the Blu Life Pro, the smartphone comes with a 5.0-inch IPS HD display and is only 6.9mm (or almost a quarter-inch, at 0.27-inches) thick. To be sure, the smartphone is a mid-range device, which sells for $299.00 at places like Amazon.com, unlocked. That means you can use the Blu Life Pro smartphone on any GSM or HSPA+ carrier without signing a contract, so it could be perfect for someone who uses a pre-paid phone service.

Specifications and Features

One of the first things you'll notice about the Blu Life Pro is the body of the device, which is black aluminum. This gives the Blu Life Pro a more premium feel compared to other mid-range smartphones that use plastic construction to cut costs, like the recently announced (and similarly cheap and unlocked) Moto G by Motorola and Google.

"The BLU LIFE PRO is an accomplishment of engineering as much as one of design," said Samuel Ohev-Zion, CEO of BLU Products. "Every detail and material - particularly the sleek aluminum enclosure - has been meticulously considered and refined. It's made with a level of precision you'd expect from a finely crafted watch, not a smartphone."

The Blu Life Pro features a 5.0-inch display with an HD resolution of 720p (1280 x 720), which renders about 293 pixels per inch - a pretty nice for an inexpensive phone. The display is not AMOLED, so black levels will not be as clear or complete, but the IPS LCD will give you better white levels and more natural colors, and the full lamination technology will keep the sun from making the screen un-viewable with glare.

Probably the strongest point of the smartphone is the camera. With a 12-megapixel rear shooter with autofocus, LED flash, and the ability to record Full HD 1080p video at 30 frames per second, the Blu Life Pro sports an almost flagship-worthy camera. The 5-megapixel front camera, also capable of recording 1080p HD video in 30 frames per second, is not too shabby either. In fact, compared to the 2-megapixel shooters on the front of most Android smartphones, it might be overkill.

Other specs for the Blu Life Pro include a quad core 1.5GHz cortex A7, supported by 1GB of RAM. For storage, there's 16GB of internal memory, which is meager, but not minimum, and a 2,500 mAh battery pack powers the whole device. The essentials, like WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, and 3G connectivity (no LTE), are included as well. Like some of HTC's phones, there's an FM Radio also.

Unfortunately, the phone runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, which is not the most up-to-date operating system, but it's not Ice Cream Sandwich either.

The Blu Life Pro is selling at Amazon.com, and the company says it has "started shipping to distributors and dealers throughout the United States, Brazil and Mexico," though no official release date has been given yet.

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