There’s a new Chinese smartphone brand in the Philippines — and no, it’s not Xiaomi. (Honestly, we’re not sure anymore if Xiaomi will jump back into the local scene this year.)
Bluboo, the smartphone upstart from China we’re referring to, yesterday announced its entry into the country on Facebook. In its most recent post, the company said it would make the Bluboo S1 and S8 phones available in the Philippines starting in December, which is conveniently just a few days away.
Both devices will be initially sold on Lazada Philippines, with wider availability details likely to be revealed in the coming weeks. And that’s fine. Lazada offers nationwide shipping and multiple payment methods, including cash on delivery. On the downside, customers won’t be able to try out the items in-store, prior to making a purchase.
Nonetheless, the Bluboo S1 and S8 phones come with midrange specs and attractive, sub-P10,000 (around $198) price points. But perhaps more importantly is that they both look undeniably good — and familiar.
Bluboo S1 official product video
The Bluboo S1, which is priced at P8,399 ($166), takes after the original Xiaomi Mi Mix (and the Doogee Mix clone we reviewed a while back). It sports a boxy frame with almost zero bezels around its 5.5-inch display, with the exception of a rather thick chin that houses a fingerprint reader and an 8-megapixel forward-facing camera.
The primary camera system features dual lenses — 16 and 3 megapixels. The latter provides depth information while shooting in portrait mode. A MediaTek Helio P25 processor, the same silicon inside the Doogee Mix, runs Android 7.0 Nougat alongside 4GB of RAM and 64GB of expandable storage. Additionally, the fixed battery is rated at 3,500mAh and supports fast charging over a Type-C connection.
Complete specs can be found here.
The P7,999 ($158) Bluboo S8 closely resembles the Samsung Galaxy S8, scoring a major win in terms of aesthetics by keeping the bezels around its 5.7-inch screen consistent with the Galaxy flagship. It even seems to have a glass back, similar to that of Samsung’s narrow-bezeled beauty, though the panel is actually made of plastic.
And there should be no comparison with regard to performance, as Bluboo’s S8 uses a modest MediaTek 6750T chipset with 3GB of RAM. However, kudos to the company for getting the location of the fingerprint sensor right, which is right under the main cameras. Again, there are two — 13 and 3 megapixels. As with the S1, the S8 has fast charging facility over a Type-C port, so it shouldn’t take too long to charge its 3,450mAh battery.
Full specs can be found here.
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