Verdict

The Blu Life Max is a solid budget phone, but one that constantly fails to clear that final hurdle. It excels in some areas, but falls short in others.

Yes, it’s a phone that’s pushing boundaries, but it could benefit more from putting added focus on the basics rather than the innovation.

Sure, its integrated fingerprint scanner is a welcome addition on such a wallet-friendly phone, but if we could scrap that in favor of a sharper screen and smoother user experience, we would.

Who's this for?

The Blu Life Max is a phone for anyone on a budget. Barely more expensive than an old-school feature phone, it brings smartphone skills, albeit largely basic ones, to the masses.

Despite its price, it still gives the full smartphone experience, however, with a large screen and near-stock Android interface creating a foundation that’s friendly to smartphone fans and technophobes alike.

Should you buy it?

In terms of core specs and overall performance, the Blu Life Max isn’t the most engaging of phones available. It’s hard to argue with a sub-$110/£90 (around AU$145) price tag though.

If price is your defining purchase factor, then there’s little else as cheap that offers such a comprehensive array of specs.

You won't find many decent smartphones that are cheaper than the Blu Life Max, but spend a little more and you can get a lot more, as the competition below shows.

Moto G4

Still the king of the affordable phones, the Moto G4 features a similarly plastic design to the Blu Life Max, along with a 5.5-inch screen of its own. 

Unlike its cheaper rival, however, this sub-$200/£200/AU$330 handset adds a 1080p resolution and more grunt to the mix.

If you can afford the difference, you’ll get a smother, more engaging and photo-friendly experience from the Moto G4 in the long run.

Honor 6X

Another step up the price ladder, this slick metal handset possesses a number of things the Blu Life Max lacks - most notably a high-end metal build.

A phone that can match the Max for battery life, its cameras (including a dual-lens one on the back) are in a totally different league. Though thanks to a heavy overlay you won’t get such a smooth user interface.

First reviewed: February 2017