Bluboo S1 and S8 review

Enter Chinese manufacturer of mid-range phones to cater to the ever specific and growing needs of the Filipino on a budget.

Bluboo is another player in the market focusing on decent specs paired with low prices. If it’s still not yet obvious from the photos, their designs will resemble known brands. Let’s just leave it at that.

First on the list is the Bluboo S1

Bluboo S1 Specs •
5.5″ FHD IPS 2.5D Curved Gorilla Glass 4 (401ppi)
2.5GHz Mediatek Helio P25 octa-core CPU
Mali-T880 GPU
4GB RAM LPDDR4X
64GB storage (expandable up to 256GB sd-card)
16MP + 3MP Dual Rear Camera w/ Dual LED Flash
8MP Front Camera
Dual Hybrid Nano Sim
4G LTE Cat 6
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0
GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
Fingerprint scanner, Gyroscope
Android 7.0 Nougat
USB Type-C
3,500 mAh Li-Polymer battery, Fast Charging

PRICING:
SRP: 8,999


Bluboo S1 Review

Bluboo S1 Design

SAMSUNG CSC

While a lot of the major players are focusing on making a longer, sleeker build for their smartphones, Bluboo decided to slug it out as a boxy or square approach at 148.6 x 74.3 x 7.9 mm that ends up block-y and grip-y.


Weight at 169g is on the light side though the finish will make it slippery. Protection comes in the form of a case included in the box for convenience.



Security comes in the form of the fingerprint scanner located squarely below the screen which works well enough and reliably during testing. Awkwardly, however, the selfie camera was placed at the bottom corner where the thumb would usually cover the area. Expect to be wiping smudges every time you want to take a selfie.

Buttons and ports are found in the usual places with the power and volume button on the right side and the Dual SIM/microSD card slot at the opposite end. A decently sounding, albeit tinny, speakers flank the USB-C port at the bottom. Absent will be the headphone jack. Why, we don’t understand since it is thick enough to support the 3.5mm port.


Bluboo S1 Display

The 5.5inch display will cover most of the phone with really thin bezels to boot. At 1080p resolution details are a standard affair though outdoor viewing may be a struggle speacially under direct sunlight.

Bluboo S1 Performance

Processing power comes in the form of a 2.5GHz MediaTek Helio P25 processor which works well enough for daily and casual apps. The included 4GB of RAM keeps it up to date with the latest app updates. The 64GB of memory is plenty for most cases. Games are playable with not a lot of frame drops apart from the really heavy ones.


Bluboo S1 Battery
The 3,500mAh battery powering the device will suffice in most cases that don’t use much of the resources of the S1.

Bluboo S1 Camera



The S1 will be sporting a 13MP and a 3MP dual camera setup focused on bokeh. Decent enough shots can be taken on the S1 specially in daylight. Focusing and metering will be a struggle, however, as well as determining what the phone is supposed to be looking at.

This all falls down as scenes get darker with noise creeping in the more you lose light.

The Bluboo S1 is available through Lazada here.

Blueboo S8 Review

• Bluboo S8 Specs •
5.7″ 18:9 body ratio HD IPS 2.5D Curved Gorilla Glass 4 (282ppi)
1.5GHz Mediatek MT6750T octa-core CPU
Mali-T860 GPU
3GB RAM
32GB storage (expandable up to 256GB sd-card)
13MP + 3MP Dual Rear Camera w/ Dual LED Flash
8MP Front Camera
Dual Hybrid Nano Sim
4G LTE Cat 6
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0
GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
Fingerprint scanner
Android 7.0 Nougat
USB Type-C
3,450 mAh Li-Polymer battery, Fast Charging
PRICING:
SRP: 8,499


If the photo and the name has not suggested it, we’re required to tell you that this is NOT the Samsung Galaxy S8.

Bluboo S8 Design



Yes, this will look and feel like the real thing from the front complete with the 18:9 aspect ratio for the display.


It goes without saying that even the button placements are the same as well as the glass finish towards the SIM card/microSD slot at the top.

The striking difference here will be the camera placement at the back with the attached fingerprint sensor because we always want smudges on our camera. Everything works well enough as expected of a phone in this range.

Sadly, the 3.5mm heaphone jack is still missing in this version of the phone.

Bluboo S8 Display


The 5.7inch display stretched almost throughout the entire screen will consume the real estate. The 1080p IPS LCD screen is bright enough when needed but will falter under direct sunlight.

Bluboo S8 Performance

A 1.5GHz Mediatek MT6750T processor will do the computing for you with reasonable performance. The 3GB RAM will limit a lot of the more demanding apps but will still work fin on standard and casual apps.

Bluboo S8 Battery
The 3,450mAh juice can get you through the day with no problem thanks to the power-efficient processor and not so demanding RAM included.

Bluboo S8 Camera


Much like the S1, the S8 will also have a 13MP+3MP camera trained on creating the blur effect. Quality will emulate much of what we experienced with the S1 with slower takes on the S8 and longer processing as well as problems in focusing. Needless to say, night shooting is not a viable option for the S8.

Bluboo verdict


The S1 and S8 are decent enough options for a smartphone specially for those on a budget. It’s not the best option, far from it, when it comes to the specs but if the imitation game is an indicator, Bluboo has been making copies of major players with mid-range specs.

The Bluboo S8 is available is Lazada here.

Other Bluboo devices can be found here.

What do you think of the Bluboo S1 and S8? Let us know at the comments section below or over at Twitter @MNLMash.

Queiries can be sent to @ginuhit.

Mabuhay, Manila.

Drew Uy

I do words, food, coffee, and photos. Hit me up on Twitter @ginuhit

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