Three steps ahead, two steps again

Patrick

Blu continues on its quest to ship gaming telephones in a extremely inexpensive bundle. At $249, the Blu G91 Professional seems set to supply loads of worth for finances cell players, however it’s lacking some options you’d anticipate from a standard gaming cellphone. Can Blu make up for it with a aggressive price-performance ratio and a few notable upgrades over its predecessor? Discover out extra in Android Authority’s Blu G91 Professional evaluation.

About this Blu G91 Professional evaluation: I examined the Blu G91 Professional for 5 days working Android 11 with a Could 5, 2021 safety patch. The G91 Professional evaluation unit was supplied to Android Authority by Blu for this evaluation.

What it is advisable to know in regards to the Blu G91 Professional

Luke Pollack / Android Authority

  • Blu G91 Professional (6GB/128GB): $249

Following up on final 12 months’s G90 Professional, the G91 Professional ships with the Mediatek Helio G90 processor, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage, which is expandable as much as 256GB. The gadget ships in two colours: Graphite and Moonshine. Within the field, you get the cellphone, a rubber case, a 30W charger, a tempered glass display screen protector, 3.5mm headphones, and a USB-A to USB-C cable.

The gadget prices $249, however Blu is at present working a limited-time promotion for $100 off for early adopters. It’s not clear how lengthy the deal will final, so should you’re on this cellphone, hop on the promotion quick. The G91 Professional goals to compete with telephones such because the Moto G Energy ($249), and the OnePlus Nord N200 ($240). The G91 Professional is at present obtainable within the US, however Blu has but to element any plans for a worldwide launch.

How does the design maintain up?

Man holding Blu G91 Pro in hand

Luke Pollack / Android Authority

Final 12 months’s mannequin, the G90 Professional, noticed a reasonably respectable design for the time, and this 12 months it’s no completely different. There have been some small upgrades over the earlier mannequin, however probably the most vital improve right here is the brand new show. The G91 Professional comes with a 6.7-inch Full HD+ show. Its decision is marginally higher than final 12 months’s G90 Professional, however the massive distinction right here is the inclusion of the punch-hole digicam. Because of this, the display screen feels extra immersive. Take into account that is an LCD panel so it gained’t have the deep blacks of an OLED display screen. It’s additionally locked to 60Hz so don’t anticipate probably the most fluid animations. With these caveats in thoughts, it’s nonetheless a reasonably good display screen for a finances cellphone. Colours are correct, distinction is nice, and sharpness is nice too. Fortunately this panel doesn’t endure from any oversharpening results that another finances cellphone shows have.

The one different notable change is the digicam module, which has been repositioned from the middle over to the highest left of the gadget. As an alternative of a singular candybar-like digicam module, Blu opted for a sq. design extra consistent with present smartphone traits.

The again encompasses a matte glass end, whereas the edges are shiny plastic. The G91 Professional additionally features a helpful Google Assistant button on the left rail. It’s not customizable, although. All in all, the design is modern-looking sufficient. Nevertheless, it’s fairly thick and doesn’t evaluate to different finances units just like the OnePlus Nord N200 in general construct high quality. The plastic construct means the gadget feels low cost and it’s fairly gentle, once more making for a much less premium really feel in hand. It’s a must to contemplate this gadget solely prices $250, and at that worth, there’s nothing notably unhealthy about this design — however the OnePlus Nord N200 has the identical price ticket, and that gadget merely seems and feels higher.

There’s nothing unhealthy in regards to the design, however there are telephones in the identical worth vary that really feel higher.

The G91 Professional doesn’t have any official mud or waterproof resistance score, however that’s to be anticipated on this worth vary. Blu was obscure after we enquired in regards to the sturdiness of the glass, merely noting that it’s produced by BOE Know-how.

The G91 Professional additionally solely has one single firing speaker. Whereas it will get very loud, it’s simply lined when watching content material, and it has some distortion at its loudest level. Fortunately, Blu included a 3.5mm headphone jack and a few headphones within the field. That mentioned, you’ll most likely need to use your individual set of headphones, because the included ones aren’t something particular.

What’s gaming like on the G91 Professional?

Man playing Genshin Impact on Blu G91 Pro

Luke Pollack / Android Authority

Whenever you consider gaming telephones, sometimes, you consider telephones with excessive refresh price shows, an lively cooling system, and possibly adaptive triggers. The Blu G91 Professional doesn’t ship with any of these options. Does that imply the gadget performs poorly in gaming metrics? In no way. Over the course of my time with the gadget, I examined 3D video games comparable to Fortnite, Genshin Influence, and PUBG Cellular. In each sport, the gadget carried out admirably, with solely a bit lag right here and there in high-action scenes.

In a weird flip, The G91 Professional sees a minor downgrade in chipset in comparison with the G90 Professional. For causes unknown, Blu is transport the G91 Professional with the Mediatek Helio G90 as a substitute of the G90T. Each chips present a substantial quantity of energy for a finances processor and the identical Mali-G76 GPU, however a downgrade continues to be a downgrade. The Helio G90 falls slightly below chipsets just like the Snapdragon 730, which powers the Google Pixel 4a. Contemplating that is marketed as a gaming cellphone, nevertheless, I’d have favored to see video games run at increased body charges, as some titles comparable to Fortnite had been locked to 30fps.

Gaming is surprisingly good, however there are some shocking downgrades to the {hardware} in comparison with the G91 Professional’s predecessor.

Even with the much less performant processor, Blu did make a high quality of life improve that ought to enhance long-term efficiency over final 12 months’s mannequin. This gadget ships with 6GB of RAM vs the 4GB from the G90 Professional. It’s not an enormous improve, however it’s a welcome one. To be clear, there most likely gained’t be a distinction in precise in-game efficiency, nevertheless, the upper quantity of RAM will give the cellphone a bit additional headroom for functions and video games that want additional reminiscence.

Utilizing the gadget when gaming proved to be an fulfilling expertise; nevertheless, the cellphone did get heat to the contact when gaming for longer than an hour or so. It’s not in any approach worrisome however is unquestionably one thing to think about if a regularly cool expertise issues to you. That is additionally a possible indicator that the cellphone could wrestle with sustained efficiency with longer gaming periods, although we didn’t encounter that difficulty. Take into account that this 12 months Blu eliminated the liquid cooling design that final 12 months’s G90 Professional had. To Blu’s credit score, it knowledgeable us that the gadget was designed with a really particular structure with none processor and reminiscence stacking to keep away from warmth. However, that is an space the place the G91 Professional feels extra like a downgrade.

For these questioning about benchmarks, the G91 Professional performs simply in addition to you’d anticipate. In our personal customized Velocity Check G benchmark, the gadget accomplished the time check in three minutes and 31 seconds. On paper, these seem to be fairly poor numbers for any gadget, however you must keep in mind, it is a $250 cellphone, and benchmarks don’t all the time dictate correct efficiency. On this case, real-world use paints a much better image.

Outdoors of gaming, day-to-day efficiency was strong. I didn’t expertise any stuttering or lag, and transferring in and across the OS was fluid.

Is the battery life any good?

Battery life of Blu G91 Pro

Luke Pollack / Android Authority

Blu makes some fairly aggressive claims in regards to the battery life and charging occasions on the G91 Professional. The cellphone ships with a 5,000mAh battery, and Blu claims the battery will final three full days. Sadly, that’s merely not the case. Day-to-day utilization sees the cellphone lasting into the second day, with about 5 to 6 hours of screen-on time. That’s not unhealthy by any means, however as quickly as you introduce heavy gaming or do any performance-intensive duties, the cellphone dies in a short time. About an hour and a half of gaming simply takes the cellphone all the way down to 50% from 100%. Nonetheless, my day-to-day, which consisted of social media shopping, gentle cell gaming, some images, and watching movies on YouTube, was not an enormous problem for the gadget.

For a gaming cellphone, battery life whereas gaming is not nice.

For a gaming-centric gadget, I’d have anticipated higher general battery life. In the event you’re not seeking to sport for lengthy intervals of time, then the gadget lasts effectively sufficient, however that begs the query, why are you shopping for a gaming cellphone if to not use it? Now, had been the charging speeds extremely quick like different gaming telephones, I would have the ability to overlook the poorer efficiency; nevertheless, that isn’t the case. Blu makes some extra barely exaggerated claims, stating that the cellphone can energy up from 0% to 50% in underneath 20 minutes. I wasn’t in a position to corroborate this declare, as with the included 30W quick charger, I might solely cost up the cellphone from useless to 50% in about 35 minutes. That’s not an enormous distinction, however it’s not what Blu is promoting. The gadget additionally helps wi-fi charging at 10W which is a pleasant shock given how uncommon a function it’s on this worth bracket.

For a $250 cellphone, the battery life and charging speeds are very respectable. It simply leaves a bitter style within the mouth when producers make boldly unattainable claims.

See additionally: Charging habits to maximise battery life

How are the cameras?

Camera module of the Blu G91 Pro laying on red table

Luke Pollack / Android Authority

In the event you’ve been following Blu’s lineup, then you recognize that final 12 months’s G90 Professional had some very lackluster cameras, to say the least. Fortunately, this 12 months, Blu has drastically improved digicam efficiency in loads of methods.

Blu has moved away from the Sony IMX582 sensor, and the G91 Professional now ships with a Samsung GM1 48MP major sensor. The photographs produced by the primary shooter are much better than the G90 Professional. Particularly, the colour science is much better on this sensor. Pictures are sharp, with good colour and saturation, and seize focus nearly instantly. That mentioned, most pictures wrestle with increased dynamic vary scenes and infrequently don’t retain element within the highlights. There’s an HDR mode that does a much better job of retaining spotlight data, however sadly, this mode introduces an oversharpening impact that’s distracting. Because of this, I selected to depart HDR off. There’s a night time mode, however low gentle pictures are very noisy and out of focus at occasions. I wouldn’t actually advocate utilizing the digicam in very dimly lit environments.

Associated: One of the best finances digicam telephones you should purchase

The 5MP ultra-wide digicam isn’t almost pretty much as good as the primary sensor. Images produced by this digicam are far softer and lack loads of element. I additionally discovered that the colour science wasn’t almost as correct, and colours had been normally oversaturated in most pictures, however to not an disagreeable diploma. Blu did embrace a 2MP macro digicam, however it isn’t something to jot down house about. Actually, it’s fairly laborious to get a very good macro photograph in focus, and you’ll be higher off utilizing the first sensor and getting nearer to the topic.

The 16MP front-facing digicam is definitely fairly good. I used to be fairly impressed by its better-than-average efficiency. Pictures are likely to have a good quantity of fine element in each the highlights and shadows, and there isn’t a magnificence or oversoftening impact included right here, as with another finances smartphones. However, in portrait mode, the sting detection will not be nice, and you may clearly see it fully blurs out my ears. Total the selfie digicam is fairly strong, however Blu must work on the software program aspect of issues.

Yow will discover high-res variations of every picture right here.

The rest?

Blu G91 Pro sitting on white windowsill

Luke Pollack / Android Authority

  • UI: The Blu G91 Professional runs Android 11 in what’s a comparatively inventory configuration. The UI is nice and there’s a good quantity of customization choices, however it’s a disgrace you’ll be able to’t alter the good key. Additionally, identical to earlier Blu telephones, the G91 Professional consists of some bloatware. Apps like Sweet Crush and TikTok are preinstalled however might be totally eliminated. There are additionally some weblink shortcuts on the house display screen to pages just like the climate channel and a few web-based pinball video games. Once more, these can all be eliminated, however I’d have favored by no means to have seen them within the first place.
  • Software program assist: Blu doesn’t have the most effective monitor document on the subject of software program assist, usually solely supplying one main OS improve. Sadly, it’s no completely different with the G91 Professional, and when requested Blu failed to offer any data relating to safety updates. The gadget ships with Android 11, so almost definitely it should obtain an Android 12 replace sooner or later sooner or later, however I wouldn’t rely on a number of years of assist.
  • Biometrics: The fingerprint sensor is housed on the highest again heart of the cellphone and is quick and correct. I had no points with it recognizing my fingerprint, and the setup course of was swift. It seems like Blu fastened the issues that plagued the sensor on the G90 Professional. Blu additionally markets the G91 Professional with a “Face ID” function. This sounds cool, however in actuality, it’s simply your commonplace Android face unlock function. For what it’s price, it really works effectively, however it’s nothing new.
  • Haptics: The older Blu G90 Professional had fairly abysmal haptics. They had been so unhealthy in reality that we instantly turned them off throughout testing. Fortunately, the haptics on the G91 Professional are a lot improved. They’re now not distracting and you must anticipate an analogous expertise to any trendy smartphone. Are they the most effective out there? Effectively, no, however they’re greater than ample.
  • No 5G assist: Sadly, the G91 Professional is proscribed to solely 4G LTE bands. Whereas this isn’t unusual at this worth, it’s price contemplating that the similarly-priced Nord N200 does assist 5G.
  • Video: The G91 Professional can shoot video as much as 4K at 30fps. It’s not wonderful and the digital picture stabilization isn’t nice, however general it should get the job accomplished in a pinch.
  • Safety: Safety has all the time been a little bit of a sore spot for Blu. Prior to now, the corporate has had some lower than reliable backdoors in its telephones. Particularly, in 2016, Blu telephones had been discovered to be sending data again to a Chinese language server. Blu did find yourself reaching a settlement with the FTC, however it’s nonetheless one thing to make be aware of. There haven’t been any controversies round safety points since 2017, but when safety is totally paramount to you, a Blu gadget may not be your best option.

Blu G91 Professional specs

Blu G91 Professional
Show 6.7-inch LCD
2,400 x 1,080 decision (Full HD+)
395ppi
20:9 facet ratio
60Hz refresh price
SoC MediaTek Helio G90
Octa-core, 2.0GHz
2 Arm Cortex-A76 + 6 Arm Cortex-A55
GPU Mali G76
RAM 6GB
Storage 128GB
MicroSD as much as 128GB
Cameras Rear:
– 48MP Sony Samsung GM1 sensor
– 5MP wide-angle at 115 levels
– 2MP macro
– 2MP depth sensor

4k video recording at 30fps

Entrance:
– 16MP

Battery 5,000mAh
30W wired charging
10W wi-fi charging
USB-C
Headphone jack Sure
IP score No
Sensors Fingerprint sensor
“AI” face ID
Community 3G: 850/900/1700/1900/2100
4G LTE: 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/28
Connectivity Bluetooth 5.0
Wi-Fi 2.4/5GHz (a/b/g/n)
Cellular hotspot
SIM Twin SIM
Software program Android 11
Dimensions and weight 162.9 x 77 x 10.1mm
215g
Colours Moonstone, Graphite

Worth and competitors

Blu G91 Pro Product Image

Blu G91 Professional

Blu G91 Professional

The Blu G91 Professional packages a big 5,000mAh battery, a strong Mediatek Helio G90 processor, and a 6.7-inch Full HD+ show into an inexpensive worth.

The sub-$250 cellphone market is a tricky one to play in, and Blu has its work minimize out for it. On this house, telephones just like the OnePlus Nord N200 ($240) or the Motorola G Energy ($249) supply almost similar experiences at a really comparable worth level. An argument for the OnePlus Nord N200 — that cellphone encompasses a barely sooner Snapdragon 480 processor, a 90Hz show, and 5G assist, however solely has 4GB of RAM. Then again, the Motorola G Energy options an older Snapdragon 665 processor with 4GB of RAM however affords higher battery life than the Blu G91 Professional.

Try: One of the best finances telephones you should purchase

Additionally, I’d be remiss to not embrace the now older Google Pixel 4a ($349), which supplies an amazing expertise throughout the board and solely prices $100 additional. That cellphone options the Snapdragon 730G, which outperforms the G91 Professional’s Mediatek Helio G90. Although it’s not a gaming cellphone, anticipate to see comparable efficiency and a much better digicam expertise attributable to Google’s computational images experience.

On the entire, the G91 Professional nonetheless affords a reasonably respectable worth proposition to new patrons. Sure, it’s lacking staple gaming cellphone options, however its general efficiency hangs with the competitors. Moreover, its software program and cameras aren’t half unhealthy both, making for an much more compelling argument. That mentioned, should you’re keen to spend extra money, the Pixel 4a is a greater cellphone in nearly each sense and the Nord N200 is a compelling various for these on a finances.

Blu G91 Professional evaluation: The decision

Blu G91 Pro sitting on a yellow and blue background

Luke Pollack / Android Authority

The G91 Professional sort of stunned me. I wasn’t anticipating such a succesful gadget, particularly given Blu’s checkered previous with high quality and safety. That mentioned, the Blu G91 Professional continues to be a complicated cellphone. Whereas Blu’s advertising and marketing pushes closely on gaming energy, gaming efficiency feels much less prioritized than final 12 months’s mannequin. This, coupled with the lower than stellar battery life, makes the gadget really feel much less like a gaming cellphone and extra like a normal finances cellphone that may play video games comparatively effectively.

The G91 Professional feels extra like a normal finances cellphone than a gaming-centric gadget, however it’s a succesful one.

However, it’s a nice shock to see some wanted high quality of life upgrades over the older mannequin. The inclusion of 6GB of RAM as a substitute of 4GB, much better digicam efficiency, and an improved show give me confidence that Blu is taking notes. These upgrades quantity to a well-rounded gadget that does every thing you would wish it to at this worth level. In the event you’re searching for a gaming “centered” cellphone, then the G91 Professional will get the job accomplished. Simply be sure that to hold an exterior battery should you plan on gaming for some time.

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