BLU R1 HD Review

By Adrian Cruce

If you are looking for a stellar smartphone, the BLU R1 HD will definitely not be something of interest for you but with a price tag of $60 we are faced with an option that needs to be looked at, especially if you are looking for a burner handset. The main version is the Amazon Prime one but we are looking at software that is a little bit buggy, call volume that is a little low and a battery that takes a little too much to fully charge.

The Amazon Prime BLU R1 HD is ad-supported. This is why it is so cheap. The 16 GB model is fully priced at $110 but with the ads version you go down to $60. A Prime member will definitely be interested and ads will not be such a huge problem but we are looking at an overall quality that is lower than what many need.

What is interesting with the ad supported version is that it is normally good enough for a guest, a child or as a backup. Modern smartphones are never available for $50-$60. However, when you pay a little more you can go for something better, like the Galaxy J3 (around $120) or the Motorola Moto G4 Play ($150).

The Ads

Amazon ads and how they are implemented should have an impact on the buying decision. What is interesting is that the ads are not at all intrusive. Even if you really cannot stand ads and you really want to put in an ad blocker, the Amazon ads will be handled really well. They do not intrude on your interface and most will just appear on the R1 HD’s lock screen.


BLU R1 HD is solid in design, is quite pocket-friendly and very comfortable to hold. We see a 5 inch display that only has a 720 pixels resolution but icons and text will be easy to read. We have a plastic back cover featuring a matte finish. This will easily collect fingerprints and smudges. However, the design is not at all that bad. It fits its purpose.

The big problem with the overall design is a technical one since performance of the audio speaker is low. That is especially the case when looking at the phone calls. Hearing video and music is better but if the environment where you use the phone is loud, you will have problems.


You get an 8 MP camera that is not great but that is suitable for most users, especially when you are not necessarily interested in taking pictures. When you do shoot a photo though you should expect blurred outlines, a subtle blue hue in photos and focus troubles on all that is way too close to the camera.


The smartphone will be a little buggy and slow and finger taps will not immediately register at times. Some apps can be slow to fully load and physically rotating the gadget is sometimes needed as keyboards have a wrong orientation. If we look on paper we should have something that is better but the truth is that the performance of the BLU R1 HD is not at all that great. If you are highly interested in performance, you will want to consider the ZMax Pro.

Speaking about battery life, the nonremovalble model is inconsistent. Full use will be possible for around 11 hours, which is great but when you are mildly using the smartphone, drain rate is much more than it should be, around 1 percent per minute. Also, when you charge your phone you will need to wait more than with other similar devices on the market. It takes around 2.5 hours to fully charge. In most cases you just need a maximum of 2 hours for similar gadgets.