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Here's what a $150, big-screen Android phone looks like (hands-on)

For the 5.5-inch Blu Vivo XL, low cost is the name of the game.

Jessica Dolcourt Editorial Director, Content Operations
Jessica Dolcourt's career with CNET began in 2006, and spans reviews, reporting, analysis and commentary for desktop software; mobile software, including the very first Android and iPhone apps and operating systems; and mobile hardware, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica began leading CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of practical advice on expansive topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
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Jessica Dolcourt

If you absolutely must have a large-screen, low-cost phone, the Blu Vivo XL announced here at CES in Las Vegas is throwing its hat in the ring. Its $150 price tag (or about £100 or AU$210) is ridiculously low for a 5.5-inch screen, and that's how Blu is building its brand.

We don't know yet when it goes on sale.

Blu's 5.5-inch Vivo XL promises to keep your wallet fat (pictures)

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Although Blu phones mostly sell throughout Latin and South America, it is only one of many lesser-known phonemakers taking advantage of US customers' growing opportunities to buy lower-cost phones without a contract by going through third-party stores or directly through vendor websites.

In the case of the Vivo XL, cost matters more than the performance, but the specs are higher than they could be for a phone at this cost, and it looks promising in person, thanks to a fresh interface that takes a different spin on Android than many we've seen out there.

The Vivo XL is very similar to the all-metal Vivo 5, but has a smaller internal memory bank while being made with plastic rather than a metal chassis. The Vivo XL here also comes in more colors: midnight blue and rose gold in addition to silver and gold.

The smartphones that matter at CES 2016 (pictures)

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Hardware specs:

  • 5.5-inch 1,280 x 720-pixel AMOLED display
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop (upgradable to Android 6.0 Marshmallow)
  • 13-megapixel rear camera, 1080p HD video capture
  • 5-megapixel front-facing camera
  • 1.3GHz octa-core Mediatek 6753 processor
  • 16GB internal storage, 2GB RAM
  • Dual-SIM card slots
  • 3,150mAh nonremovable battery