To compete with Samsung, BLU launches cell phone for less than a thousand reais

The BLU cellphone brand has officially arrived in Brazil, with three models: B3, B6 and B9, produced here and exclusive to the Brazilian market. With prices between R$950 and R$1,699, the models range from basic to intermediate. The objective is to compete with the “cheap” from Samsung and Motorola.

The company also wants to win over consumers by selling smartphones with more accessories included (the so-called “complete box”), contrary to the trend of big brands, such as Apple. In addition to a cable and charger, all phones come with an anti-impact cover and bluetooth (wireless) headphones.

The releases are 4G, run Android 11 and can have expanded memory by microSD card of up to 64 GB.

They are light and well finished, with textured plastic backs.

Find out more about the devices below.

B3: the “cheap”

smartphone BLU b3 - Marcella Duarte - Marcella Duarte

For R$ 999 (10x), BLU B3 comes with a bluetooth headset and case

Image: Marcella Duarte

The cheapest cell phone is very cute and really basic. It has a 6-inch HD screen, 13MP dual rear camera and 8MP front camera.

The processor is a Quad-Core 2.0HGz, from Chinese manufacturer Unisoc; the battery is 3000 mAh.

With 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, it costs R$950 (in cash) or R$999 (in 10x).

Nowadays, 32 GB is very little — especially for those who like to take photos and videos. But it is worth remembering that the memory is expandable by card and that launches in Brazil below a thousand reais have become rare.

In May, for example, Samsung brought the Galaxy M13 for R$1,399 — but today it can be found for around R$1,000 (this rapid devaluation is common in the brand). A superior device, with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, in addition to a battery of 5000 mAh and triple camera. but no phone bluetooth — which can be a differential for those who want to spend as little as possible.

Blu smartphone B3 - Disclosure - Disclosure
Image: Disclosure

BLU B3 technical sheet

  • Display: 6″ 720 x 1440 269 PPI HD Plus Curve
  • Chipset: Unisoc Quad-Core 2.0HGz
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Storage: 32GB (expandable)
  • Operating System: Android 11
  • Frontal camera: 8MP
  • Rear camera: dual 13MP
  • Video recording: 1080P@30FPS
  • Battery: 3000 mAh
  • Unlock: Fingerprint sensor on the back
  • Price at launch: BRL 999 (BRL 950 in cash)

B6: the middle brother

The middle brother is a “plus” version of the entry-level model, equipped with the same cameras and processor as the B3.

The screen and battery are slightly larger — at 6.5 inches and 4,000 mAh. This usually guarantees a full day of use without needing to recharge.

With 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, it costs BRL 1,330 (in cash) or BRL 1,399 (in 10x).

Once again, the comparison with competitors from the last few months is difficult. The Samsung Galaxy A13, launched in March for R$1,799 and now retails for around R$1,100, comes with 128GB of storage. It has a quadruple camera system of up to 50 MP, in addition to being compatible with memory cards of up to 1 ALSO.

blu b6 - Disclosure - Disclosure
Image: Disclosure

BLU B6 technical sheet

  • Display: 6.5″ 720 x 1600 270 PPI HD Plus Infinite
  • Chipset: Unisoc Quad-Core 2.0HGz
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB (expandable)
  • Operating System: Android 11
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Rear camera: dual 13MP
  • Video recording: 1080P@30FPS
  • Battery: 4000 mAh
  • Unlock: Fingerprint sensor on the back
  • Price at launch: BRL 1,399 (BRL 1,330 in cash)
BLU B9 case - Marcella Duarte - Marcella Duarte

B9 box contents

Image: Marcella Duarte

B9: the eldest son

The more intermediate and expensive model has a faster processor, Octa-Core 1.6HGz, also from Unisoc.

The rear camera is triple, 13 MP, with image processing by artificial intelligence. The company did not detail how the algorithm works or the specifications of each lens/sensor.

The screen is the same as the 6.5-inch B6, but the battery is bigger, at 5000 mAh. It is the only one of the three with color options: black, blue and grey.

With 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage, it costs R$ 1,616 (in cash) or R$ 1,699 (in 10x).

We haven’t analyzed its performance yet, but the settings are slightly lower than competing models in the same price range.

For comparative purposes, the Galaxy A23, launched in March for R$1,999, is now sold by Samsung for R$1,499 — and even cheaper on marketplaces. It has the same RAM and storage, but it is equipped with a better processor, Qualcomm SM6225 Snapdragon, and quad rear camera with 50 MP main sensor.

At Motorola, the Moto g42 (also for R$ 1,699) has an OLED screen, with more contrast and vivid colors, a 2.4 GHz octa-core processor, a 50 MP main camera and a 16 MP front camera. It also comes with a case, cable, charger and headphones (but wired).

blu smartphone b9 - Disclosure - Disclosure
Image: Disclosure

BLU B9 technical sheet

  • Display: 6.5″ 720 x 1600 270 PPI HD Plus Infinite
  • Chipset: Unisoc Octa-Core 1.6HGz
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 128GB (expandable)
  • Operating System: Android 11
  • Screen Resolution:
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Dual rear camera: 13MP with AI
  • Video recording: 1080P@30FPS
  • Battery: 5000 mAh
  • Unlock: Fingerprint sensor on the back
  • Price at launch: BRL 1,699 (BRL 1,616 in cash)

BLU has already been to Brazil

With the slogan “From Miami to Brazil”, the company refers to its origins: the CEO is Brazilian Samuel Ohev-Zion, who has lived in Florida (USA) since childhood — Blu’s main market. In 2021, the company earned US$ 250 million (R$ 1.3 billion) and, this year, should reach US$ 420 million (R$ 2.2 billion), according to him.

Blu cell phones, manufactured in China, were already sold in Brazil for a few years — by independent importation from some electronics distributors and also in the parallel market. The difference, this time, is that it is an expansion plan of the company itself, with the devices being assembled in the Free Zone of Manaus (AM), with national and imported components.

For this, there are two partners: electronics manufacturer Luxpay and retailer Allied, which distributes the devices. The sale to the final consumer is carried out through an official store in the Free Market. Ohev-Zion says he has invested “a few million reais” to set up the operation in the country.

Its aggressive objective is to conquer, in the Brazilian market, “a slice between 4% and 5% until 2025”. Today, Samsung and Motorola together account for more than 80% of cell phone sales in Brazil, in terms of volume (out of a total of around 40 million units). Blu wants to be the “third way”.

5G for less than BRL 2,000

In a press conference with journalists, the CEO said that Blue should launch three more models in Brazil by the end of the year; one of them will be a 5G smartphone, which “will cost less than R$ 2,000”, guaranteed Ohev-Zion. It will likely be the F91, which is already sold in other countries.

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