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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Blu R1 HD

Available through e-commerce giant Amazon, the Blu R1 HD costs $100 (8GB/1GB of RAM) and $110 dollars (16GB/2GB of RAM). But if you're an Amazon Prime Member and don't mind ads on the phone's display, those prices drop to $50 and $60.

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These ads appear only on the lock screen and can be as small as a notification that you can swipe away or as big as the whole screen. The device also comes preloaded with bunch of Amazon apps and a removable widget that displays daily deals on Amazon.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

In terms of specs, the handset runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow, has a 5-inch, 720-pixel display and a 1.3GHz quad-core processor.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The phone measures 5.65 by 2.83 by 0.34 inches. Though it has a battery door that collects fingerprint smudges, its solid build quality and metal trimmings lend it a polished look.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The back houses a small circular audio speaker. Unfortunately, sound quality is low, especially for phone calls. Although listening to music and videos came through a bit clearer, I thought it could definitely stand to be louder.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller

On the back is an 8-megapixel camera. A few features include professional mode where you can manually adjust ISO and exposure levels, white balance and color saturation. You can shoot panoramic and HDR photos, too.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

On the front is a 5-megapixel shooter.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

In the $100-plus price range, there are a lot of other alternatives aside from the R1 HD, like the $110-$180 Samsung Galaxy J3 (depending on the carrier), the $150 Motorola Moto G4 Play (which is also splash resistant) and the $100, 6-inch ZTE ZMax Pro.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

However, if you do get the version of the Blu R1 HD with the ads, the dramatic price drop (to $50 and $60) may be worth the compromise.

For more about the phone, check out our full review.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
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