Low-Cost Device: Blu Win Jr

There is far more competition on the lower end of the price scale for Windows Phones now, with several companies launching devices this year. Going into this guide, people who follow Windows Phone might have guessed I would put the Nokia Lumia 630/635 here. The Lumia 630 is a good phone, and for the right price, it is not going to be a bad choice, but for me the 630 had too many compromises. There was no flash, no ambient light sensor, and on-screen keys. The Blu Win Jr delivers all of these features missing on the Lumia 630, and undercuts it on price as well.

Though we have not tested it here, the Win Jr is a lot of phone for the less than $90 unlocked asking price. The four inch display is a bit small compared to the norm now, but it makes the 800x480 resolution a bit sharper. The Snapdragon 200 is certainly low end, but carries the same quad-core Cortex A7 at 1.2 GHz as the higher priced Snapdragon 400 models. Although the GPU is not as strong, with only 512 MB of RAM the low cost phones are not going to be great for gaming anyway.

  Blu Win Jr
SoC MSM8212 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 200
RAM/NAND 512 MB LPDDR2, 4 GB NAND + microSD 32 GB
Display 4.0” 800x480 display
Network GSM/GPRS/EDGE/HSPA up to 42 Mbps
Dimensions 124.5 x 62.5 x 10.2 (mm)
Weight 122.5 grams
Rear Camera 5 MP CMOS, Autofocus, LED Flash
Front Camera VGA resolution
Battery 1950 mAh
OS Windows Phone 8.1
Connectivity 802.11 a/b/g/n + BT 3.0, USB2.0
Location Technologies Qualcomm IZat Gen7A
SIM Size Dual Micro SIM

 

There are certainly some corners cut to get to this price, but you still get a front facing camera, ambient light sensor, 5 MP rear camera with LED flash, capacitive navigation keys, and microSD to compliment the paltry 4 GB of onboard storage.

So there you have it. If you are a Windows Phone fan looking for the next flagship, it is there, or if you maybe just want to check out the platform, jump in for less than $100 with the Blu. The number of devices has expanded quite a bit since the last time we took a look at the platform, and hopefully this will continue into 2015 with some exciting new models.

Mid-Range Device
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  • JoBalz - Wednesday, January 7, 2015 - link

    I just purchased my first smartphone, a Nokia Lumia 635 (wanted to see first if I liked WP and that a smartphone would be useful before I plunked out a lot more money on a phone). Well, I love it! Sound quality, connection, wireless Internet, the apps, and CORTANA! Back to the point, I wanted to say I also noticed that there was a distinct gulf between low end and high end Windows Phones with little in the mid-range ($200-$375) range, after which there were quite a few phones to choose from at $400 and above. I admit the HTC M8 looked interesting but I just wasn't as familiar with the brand as I was with Nokia and a few others. I'm very happy with what I got, for now it's a good introduction to Windows Phone, and I feel certain I'll be replacing it in the future with another Windows Phone. Just hope Microsoft and other companies will develop more hardware in the mid-level price range. Reply
  • craighamilton - Saturday, December 6, 2014 - link

    Agree...M8 is truly amazing. Receive high review rating at http://www.topreport.org/phones/ based on consumer satisfaction. Reply
  • LarsBars - Tuesday, December 9, 2014 - link

    Brett, I really appreciate the Windows Phone coverage here at AT. Reply
  • Bobs_Your_Uncle - Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - link

    Second this. The inexplicable, self-imposed long-term embargo of WinPhone on Anandtech was a most unfortunate circumstance.

    To merely have had the blackout lifted marked a definite editorial improvement. That this void was filled with a voice such as yours, Brett, is distinctly positive & is very much appreciated!
    Reply
  • theKai007 - Thursday, December 11, 2014 - link

    it seems that Acer is preparing to present at least one new smartphones based on Microsoft’s platform. According to Focus Taiwan and sources close to the project, the Taiwanese company will unveil its return in 2015 with Acer Windows Phone, a device that could be mid-range or an entry-level, therefore cheap.http://bit.ly/1zU7zZj Reply
  • Ananke - Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - link

    I have all Windows phones on TMobile, but I am close to giving up and get most likely iPhones for the family. It is just a matter of cost - in US if I am to pay so much for a phone, it is going to be the most popular for applications, resell value and trendy device.

    Microsoft have the US market abandoned, there is no price choices, just very expensive devices that are competing with iPhone or S5 and have zero resell value, aka they are all overpriced with at least $200 a piece. Hence, MS phones are destined to oblivion, as of now.
    Reply
  • trivor - Thursday, December 18, 2014 - link

    I picked up a couple of ATT 520s during a sale ($50 each) to use as cheap MP3 players and also to become familiar with Windows Phone. My main complaints about it are very slow to task switch (penalty of 512 MB RAM) and 3.7" is too small. Otherwise a good value. Recently upgraded to a 635 (ATT) and nice 4.5" screen but on screen buttons makes it more like a 4.3 inch and the 840x480 resolution doesn't bother me. The app situation hasn't gotten any better than it was 2 years ago (you could argue about the top 50 or top 100 doesn't matter) because there are way too many categories that just arent' available - regional banking/credit unions, dedicated sports apps (Hockey, Football, Baseball, Basketball), limited choice for e-mail. calendar, todo lists, minimal support of Google services (MS has excellent support of their services on both iOS and Android and in many cases better than their WP counterparts), mediocre keyboard, no flagship or choice of multiple flagships (Android has Galaxy Note, GS5, LG G3, Moto X (2014), HTC One (M8), Sony Experia line (Z3 compact @ 4.3") up to a 6.0" phablet, Nexus 6. I think WP is going to bounce along the bottom at around 3-4% until MS gives it up. MS needs to be in mobile and 3-4% isn't enough for smaller organizations (like regional credit unions) to support the platform. IT's hard to see what would jump start WP in the US/Canada. There is no killer app or expansive eco system and saying WP is "better" than iOS or Android is a very subjective reason especially with Google upping the ante with KitKat and now Lollipop. Android is a mature, stable OS that has excellent phones at every price point (from the Moto E at $100 to the Galaxy Note at $700). There are a ton of MVNOs and the major carriers all have their own prepaid plans in addition to MVNOs for lower rates/better value. There are plenty of good phones under $300 that you can buy outright to get away from subsidized phones and higher monthly costs. Personally, while I find Windows Phone to be a decent OS it is missing too much (especially since I live about 50/50 in the Google/MS universe) for me to ever consider a WP for my daily driver. Reply
  • JoBalz - Wednesday, January 7, 2015 - link

    I bought my first smartphone, a Nokia Lumia 635 right after Christmas. Absolutely love the Windows Phone 8.1 OS on it. I haven't been a big Windows 8 fan (at least as far as using Metro) but I'm finding my way around quite easily and only a couple of quick looks at the users manual to figure how to do something. The little guy is responses and recoption & sound quality is great. Around the house use wi-fi instead of my 4G data plan for anything involving the Internet. And Cortana is the jewel of the package. So far I haven't been able to ask for anything that has thrown it, that it's misunderstood. I can see that Cortana and I are going to become good buddies! After using WP 8.1, I find it hard to believe that people won't give this OS the time of day, other than from personal animus against Microsoft. Reply

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