Blu Pure XL

Blu recently announced its latest large phone, the Pure XL, and we were able to get our hands on one for a brief period to see what it offers at just $350 unlocked. The Pure XL is a big phone, and it builds on the major offerings that Blu offers in most of its phones — an affordable price, big specs for the money and a few neat features all with a simple, if a bit uninspired design.

The Pure XL is a bit on the thick side and has notable bezels around the screen, but with a screen size of 6-inches — and a screen that looked quite good, especially for the price — it's going to be tough to make this phone feel small no matter what you do. The metal around the edges is a nice touch, and the gold model we held had a solid feel to it, though the removable back knocks it down a couple points. There's also a one-touch fingerprint sensor on the back, but there isn't much that can be taken away from just using it briefly in terms of recognition or quickness.

Of course we were simply using the phone in a demo setting, but the MediaTek processor and 3GB of RAM didn't have any issues pushing the software around, which seems relatively light and only basically customized from what you'd find in stock Lollipop. The biggest changes are some included apps, a different look to the settings and a camera app (which gives you access to a 24MP camera sensor) that strays a bit from stock but seems to have some solid features.

Compared to its previous low-end offerings the Pure XL seems like a serious step up overall for Blu, but of course the price has also jumped compared to its cheapest unlocked phones. At $350 it's competing with some big names, but we wouldn't completely write this one off in the large unlocked phone category.