Three steps ahead, two steps again


Blu continues on its quest to ship gaming phones in a extremely reasonably priced package deal. At $249, the Blu G91 Professional appears set to supply a whole lot of worth for finances cellular players, however it’s lacking some options you’d count on from a standard gaming telephone. 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 overview.

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

What it’s essential to know concerning the Blu G91 Professional

Blu G91 Pro on red table

Luke Pollack / Android Authority

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

Following up on final yr’s G90 Pro, 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 machine ships in two colours: Graphite and Moonshine. Within the field, you get the telephone, a rubber case, a 30W charger, a tempered glass display protector, 3.5mm headphones, and a USB-A to USB-C cable.

The machine prices $249, however Blu is at present operating a limited-time promotion for $100 off for early adopters. It’s not clear how lengthy the deal will final, so for those who’re on this telephone, 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 accessible within the US, however Blu has but to element any plans for a world launch.

How does the design maintain up?

Man holding Blu G91 Pro in hand

Luke Pollack / Android Authority

Final yr’s mannequin, the G90 Professional, noticed a reasonably respectable design for the time, and this yr it’s no totally different. There have been some small upgrades over the earlier mannequin, however probably the most important 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 yr’s G90 Professional, however the large distinction right here is the inclusion of the punch-hole digicam. Consequently, the display feels extra immersive. Take into account that is an LCD panel so it gained’t have the deep blacks of an OLED display. It’s additionally locked to 60Hz so don’t count on probably the most fluid animations. With these caveats in thoughts, it’s nonetheless a reasonably good display for a finances telephone. Colours are correct, distinction is nice, and sharpness is nice too. Fortunately this panel doesn’t undergo from any oversharpening results that another finances telephone 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 machine. As a substitute of a singular candybar-like digicam module, Blu opted for a sq. design extra in keeping with present smartphone traits.

The again contains 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 examine to different finances gadgets just like the OnePlus Nord N200 in general construct high quality. The plastic construct means the machine 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 take into account this machine solely prices $250, and at that value, there’s nothing notably unhealthy about this design — however the OnePlus Nord N200 has the identical price ticket, and that machine merely appears and feels higher.

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

The G91 Professional doesn’t have any official mud or waterproof resistance ranking, however that’s to be anticipated on this value vary. Blu was imprecise once we enquired concerning 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 coated 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 wish to use your personal 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

While you consider gaming telephones, usually, you consider telephones with high refresh rate displays, an lively cooling system, and possibly adaptive triggers. The Blu G91 Professional doesn’t ship with any of these options. Does that imply the machine performs poorly in gaming metrics? In no way. Over the course of my time with the machine, I examined 3D video games reminiscent of Fortnite, Genshin Influence, and PUBG Cell. In each sport, the machine carried out admirably, with solely a little 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 remains 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 telephone, nevertheless, I might have preferred to see video games run at greater body charges, as some titles reminiscent of 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 yr’s mannequin. This machine ships with 6GB of RAM vs the 4GB from the G90 Professional. It’s not a large 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 telephone a little bit additional headroom for functions and video games that want additional reminiscence.

Utilizing the machine when gaming proved to be an pleasant expertise; nevertheless, the telephone did get heat to the contact when gaming for longer than an hour or so. It’s not in any method worrisome however is certainly one thing to contemplate if a regularly cool expertise issues to you. That is additionally a possible indicator that the telephone could battle with sustained efficiency with longer gaming classes, although we didn’t encounter that situation. Needless to say this yr Blu eliminated the liquid cooling design that final yr’s G90 Professional had. To Blu’s credit score, it knowledgeable us that the machine was designed with a really particular format 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 count on. In our personal customized Speed Test G benchmark, the machine accomplished the time check in three minutes and 31 seconds. On paper, these seem to be fairly poor numbers for any machine, however it’s important to bear in mind, this can be a $250 telephone, and benchmarks don’t at all times dictate correct efficiency. On this case, real-world use paints a much better image.

Exterior 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 concerning the battery life and charging instances on the G91 Professional. The telephone 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 telephone 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 telephone dies in a short time. About an hour and a half of gaming simply takes the telephone right down to 50% from 100%. Nonetheless, my day-to-day, which consisted of social media searching, gentle cellular gaming, some images, and watching movies on YouTube, was not an enormous problem for the machine.

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

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

For a $250 telephone, 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 maximize battery life

How are the cameras?

Camera module of the Blu G91 Pro laying on red table

Luke Pollack / Android Authority

If you happen to’ve been following Blu’s lineup, then you recognize that final yr’s G90 Professional had some very lackluster cameras, to say the least. Fortunately, this yr, Blu has drastically improved digicam efficiency in a whole lot of methods.

Blu has moved away from the Sony IMX582 sensor, and the G91 Professional now ships with a Samsung GM1 48MP main sensor. The photographs produced by the principle shooter are much better than the G90 Professional. Particularly, the colour science is much better on this sensor. Photographs are sharp, with good shade and saturation, and seize focus virtually instantly. That mentioned, most pictures battle with greater dynamic vary scenes and sometimes don’t retain element within the highlights. There may be an HDR mode that does a much better job of retaining spotlight info, however sadly, this mode introduces an oversharpening impact that’s distracting. Consequently, I selected to go away HDR off. There’s a night time mode, however low gentle pictures are very noisy and out of focus at instances. I wouldn’t actually suggest utilizing the digicam in very dimly lit environments.

Associated: The best budget camera phones you can buy

The 5MP ultra-wide digicam isn’t almost nearly as good as the principle sensor. Photographs produced by this digicam are far softer and lack a whole lot 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 embody a 2MP macro digicam, however it isn’t something to put in writing dwelling about. Truthfully, 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. Photographs 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 just isn’t nice, and you’ll clearly see it utterly blurs out my ears. Total the selfie digicam is fairly strong, however Blu must work on the software program facet of issues.

You could find high-res variations of every picture here.

Anything?

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 possibly can’t alter the sensible 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 to pages just like the climate channel and a few web-based pinball video games. Once more, these can all be eliminated, however I might have preferred by no means to have seen them within the first place.
  • Software program assist: Blu doesn’t have the perfect observe report in relation to software program assist, usually solely supplying one main OS improve. Sadly, it’s no totally different with the G91 Professional, and when requested Blu failed to present any info relating to safety updates. The machine ships with Android 11, so more than likely it would 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 middle of the telephone and is quick and correct. I had no points with it recognizing my fingerprint, and the setup course of was swift. It appears 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 properly, however it’s nothing new.
  • Haptics: The older Blu G90 Professional had fairly abysmal haptics. They had been so unhealthy actually 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 it’s best to count on the same expertise to any trendy smartphone. Are they the perfect available in the market? Properly, no, however they’re greater than ample.
  • No 5G assist: Sadly, the G91 Professional is restricted to solely 4G LTE bands. Whereas this isn’t unusual at this value, 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 would get the job finished in a pinch.
  • Safety: Safety has at all times been a little bit of a sore spot for Blu. Previously, the corporate has had some lower than reliable backdoors in its telephones. Particularly, in 2016, Blu telephones had been discovered to be sending info again to a Chinese language server. Blu did find yourself reaching a settlement with the FTC, however it’s nonetheless one thing to make word of. There haven’t been any controversies round safety points since 2017, but when safety is completely paramount to you, a Blu machine may not be the only option.

Blu G91 Professional specs

Blu G91 Professional
Show 6.7-inch LCD
2,400 x 1,080 decision (Full HD+)
395ppi
20:9 side ratio
60Hz refresh fee
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 ranking 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)
Cell 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 robust Mediatek Helio G90 processor, and a 6.7-inch Full HD+ show into an reasonably priced value.

The sub-$250 telephone market is a tricky one to play in, and Blu has its work minimize out for it. On this area, telephones just like the OnePlus Nord N200 ($240) or the Motorola G Power ($249) provide almost an identical experiences at a really comparable value level. An argument for the OnePlus Nord N200 — that telephone contains 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 gives higher battery life than the Blu G91 Professional.

Try: The best budget phones you can buy

Additionally, I’d be remiss to not embody the now older Google Pixel 4a ($349), which offers an excellent expertise throughout the board and solely prices $100 additional. That telephone options the Snapdragon 730G, which outperforms the G91 Professional’s Mediatek Helio G90. Though it’s not a gaming telephone, count on to see comparable efficiency and a much better digicam expertise as a consequence of Google’s computational images experience.

On the entire, the G91 Professional nonetheless gives a reasonably respectable worth proposition to new patrons. Sure, it’s lacking staple gaming telephone 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, for those who’re keen to spend extra money, the Pixel 4a is a greater telephone in virtually each sense and the Nord N200 is a compelling various for these on a finances.

Blu G91 Professional overview: The decision

Blu G91 Pro sitting on a yellow and blue background

Luke Pollack / Android Authority

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

The G91 Professional feels extra like a typical finances telephone than a gaming-centric machine, however it’s a succesful one.

However, it’s a pleasing 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 machine that does every thing you would wish it to at this value level. If you happen to’re on the lookout for a gaming “targeted” telephone, then the G91 Professional will get the job finished. Simply be sure that to hold an exterior battery for those who plan on gaming for some time.



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