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Home Reviews Blu debuts new premium Bold brand of phones with 6.4-inch N1

Blu debuts new premium Bold brand of phones with 6.4-inch N1

Blu Products on Monday introduced not just a new phone, but an entirely new brand. Called Bold, it’s a “premium” line of devices which are expected to launch around 1-2 phones per year.

The Bold brand is different from the standard Blu line and promises a “guaranteed Android upgrade” and two years of security maintenance. Moreover, it figure to offer phones made with a higher grade of materials — at least that’s what its first model, the N1, uses in its build.

The Bold N1, launching today, is a $250 affair which offers up an incredibly attractive bundle for the money. It’s comprised of mid-to-high end hardware features with some of the newest in phone trends.

The N1 is powered by Android 9 Pie and features a generous 6.4-inch display that runs edge-to-edge in all directions. Indeed, there’s no front-facing camera taking up bezel or eating into the screen. Instead, it pops up from inside the body of the phone much like OnePlus 7 Pro.

The 6.4-inch AMOLED screen has a 92% screen-to-body ratio and packs a 2,340 x 1080 pixel resolution. Moreover, it has Gorilla Glass 5 protection on top. The fingerprint scanner is also located in the display.

In terms of performance, the Bold N1 houses an octa-core processor at 2.1GHz with 4GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. This borders on the upper end of the mid-range, and ought to be more than sufficient for most users.

As for cameras, the Bold N1 employs a pair of shooters on the back, a 16-megapixel AI camera with f1.8 aperture and a 5-megapixel depth sensor. Software can help users get better images by automatically detecting various environments and subjects. Super Zoom can capture images up to 96-megapixels.

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The N1 includes a 3,500mAh battery that supports both quick (18W) charging and wireless charging. According to Bold, 10 minutes on the charger can add three hours of calling or 1.4 hours of web browsing.

Availability

The Bold N1 is now available for $249.99 at Amazon or directly through the Bold website at BoldPhone.com. Similar to Blu’s strategy of offering a limited-time launch discount, the Bold N1 comes with a $50 instant rebate for a short time. Indeed, it’s yours for just $200 while supplies last.

An unlocked phone that works with T-Mobile and AT&T networks, it potentially supports Verizon as well.

Review

Our team has a Bold N1 review unit in hand and has spent that last 7-10 days using the phone. Look for our review in the near future.

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Truly wireless headphones are pretty commonplace in 2020 as they come in all shapes, sizes, and unique designs. I’ve taken a look at many of the AirPods-styles units, but Soundcore (Anker’s audio brand) was kind enough to let me test out the company’s latest sport earbuds, the Soundcore Spirit X2.Let’s take a look at them.DesignThe Spirit X2 is a new form factor of wireless audio for me. The buds fit in your ear much like the older neckband style buds but are supported by a plastic loop that then spins around your ear. This makes them bulkier than other wireless earbuds, but thankfully, doesn’t lead to any decrease in comfort.It does lead to a learning curve on putting them on. After a few tries, you kind of get the hang of it. Soundcore even has a tutorial both in the manual and on its website, but it’s not the easiest fit to immediately handle.Each earpiece has a button rocker. The right allows for volume up at the top and play/pause on the bottom. Much in reverse, the left side controls volume down and play/pause. Hold the right volume button for one second and you’ll skip forward a track, and conversely, the left side sends you to the previous playlist selection.And you can’t have audio controls these days without consideration for voice assistants. Well, Soundcore has you covered on the Spirit X2. A long press of one second on the play/pause button of either earbud will activate Siri, Google Assistant, or even Bixby (if you’re that person I want to hear it in the comments).The exception of this long-press is phone calls. An incoming call will be rejected on the extended press of play/pause. And while on a call it has a neat little trick of swapping the call from the Spirit X2 output back to your phone speakers. One press of the play/pause will also answer and end phone conversations.AudioThe playback audio of the Spirit X2 is pretty solid. There’s a good mix of highs and mids. Bass is punchy but not overpowering. I like balanced earbuds on audio levels. I hate having one that sounds great on music listening but makes podcasts sound like they were recorded in a barrel.Qualcomm’s aptX audio codec is present and creates much of this superior balance. You don’t have active noise cancellation on music. This only presents passive cancellation through the earbud fit and design. You do get cVc active cancellation while on phone calls.These headphones are never going to make a true audiophile happy, but if you want them for casual listening you’ll be fine. Cubicle tunes or workout jams can easily be managed. Also, the looped design makes them great, and functional, for running.Battery LifeThis is another home run by Soundcore. That giant earloop also houses a much larger battery than most wireless earbuds. The Spirit X2 is estimated to last 9 hours on 50% volume and it’s dead on the money.I’ve consistently gotten a full workday in my home office with the Spirit X2 pumping out music and podcasts. Pair the great onboard battery with the charging case and you will get a maximum of 36 hours of total playback.The said case has a great design and magnetic charging system. When you do deplete the battery banks, you can recharge via USB-C. At the $80 price point, I’d love to also see wireless charging, but sadly, it’s missing.Final ThoughtsMy favorite earbuds by far in 2020 are the Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro. With a balance of comfort, great audio, and all-day battery life it’s hard to beat. However, the Spirit X2 is now in the running. They fall short on wireless charging and slightly weaker audio playback.Despite this, they beat the Liberty 2 Pro in battery life and offer a unique fit for more active consumers. If you are a runner or workout gym-rat, then the Spirit X2 could definitely be the wireless audio solution you’ve been searching for online.I’d also argue it’s a great value over offerings from big-box brands like Apple and Beats. The Souncore Spirit X2 is available in black with a price tag of $80. You can snag these earbuds from Soundcore’s website directly or its Amazon storefront.

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