Notebookcheck

Bluboo Xfire 4G Smartphone Review

4G for cheap. 4G is becoming more accessible than ever as Bluboo now offers it for just under $90 USD with the 5-inch Xfire. Is there a catch to this Dual-SIM smartphone?

Inexpensive phones are easy to come by, but inexpensive 4G phones can be a bit more difficult. Chinese manufacturer Bluboo is jumping in with an affordable 4G smartphone costing less than $90 USD. Not only that, but its 5-inch display size is respectably large with Dual-SIM capabilities and expandable storage.

Has Bluboo cut any corners in order to incorporate 4G into such an affordable device? Let's find out how the Xfire compares to other smartphones of its size class.

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Bluboo Xfire
Graphics adapter
Memory
1024 MB 
Display
5 inch 16:9, 960 x 540 pixel, 2-point capacitive, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
8 GB eMMC Flash, 8 GB 
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm earphones, Card Reader: MicroSD reader, Sensors: Accelerometer, Ambient light, Gyroscope, GPS, A-GPS
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4), Bluetooth 4.0, 2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz, 3G: WCDMA 850/900/2100MHz, 4G: FDD-LTE 800/1800/2100/2600MHz
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 9.3 x 140.2 x 71.5 ( = 0.37 x 5.52 x 2.81 in)
Battery
11 Wh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Android 5.1 Lollipop
Camera
Webcam: Rear: 8 MP w/ Flash, Front: 5 MP
Additional features
Speakers: Monaural, Quick Start guide, screen protector, Micro-USB cable, AC adapter, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
145 g ( = 5.11 oz / 0.32 pounds), Power Supply: 40 g ( = 1.41 oz / 0.09 pounds)
Price
80 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

The low starting price isn't necessarily an indication of a poorly made device. The Blueboo Xfire is generally well-made with its smooth plastic case and Gorilla Glass front cover, though it can twist more easily than even other budget smartphones like the Doogee Y100X or iOcean Rock M6752. The phone will even creak when attempting to bend it, so there is definitely room for improvement. Back cover colors are available including Blue and White, but none have differing texture choices like the ones for the LG G4. Removing the cover is very quick and easy, though snapping it back on around the edges requires more effort than we would have liked.

As for size, the Xfire is quite thick at 9.3 mm. Its length and width are no larger than most other 5-inch smartphones since the unit lacks dedicated Android touch keys. Its 80 percent screen-to-body ratio is not uncommon for smartphones in this price range.

146.9 mm / 5.78 inch 70.9 mm / 2.79 inch 8.19 mm / 0.3224 inch 137 g0.302 lbs142.1 mm / 5.59 inch 72.4 mm / 2.85 inch 11.6 mm / 0.4567 inch 155 g0.3417 lbs143.5 mm / 5.65 inch 69.8 mm / 2.75 inch 7.9 mm / 0.311 inch 110 g0.2425 lbs143 mm / 5.63 inch 70.6 mm / 2.78 inch 7.7 mm / 0.3031 inch 133 g0.2932 lbs142.1 mm / 5.59 inch 71.8 mm / 2.83 inch 7.9 mm / 0.311 inch 147 g0.3241 lbs140.2 mm / 5.52 inch 71.5 mm / 2.81 inch 9.3 mm / 0.3661 inch 145 g0.3197 lbs

Connectivity

Available interfaces include the standard Micro-USB 2.0 and 3.5 mm audio ports. The Dual-SIM slots (Mini-SIM + Micro-SIM) and MicroSD reader are found behind the back cover where the battery must be removed first for direct access.

USB OTG is supported for external mice, keyboard, and storage support. We were unable to find the Miracast option, however, so wireless video streaming may not be built-in. Multimedia features that are standard on costlier devices, such as an IR blaster, are not found here.

Top: Micro-USB 2.0, 3.5 mm audio
Top: Micro-USB 2.0, 3.5 mm audio
Right: Volume rocker, Power button
Right: Volume rocker, Power button
Bottom: Microphone
Bottom: Microphone
Left: No connectivity
Left: No connectivity

Communication & GPS

802.11 b/g/n is supported with built-in Bluetooth 4.0. We experienced no connectivity issues when browsing and connected to a standard home network. The wireless radio is a bit on the weak side as signal quality drops to below -60 dBm when standing roughly 10 m away from the source with no obstructions in between. Doubling that distance results in a much more unstable connection reaching below -80 dBm.

GPS signal acquisition is fast with A-GPS enabled. Signal quality is also good according to GPS Test both indoors and outdoors. On the other hand, accuracy could have been better as the phone will frequently cycle between 10 feet up to 40 feet even when standing still outdoors. Its use as a driving aid is reliable nonetheless.

1 m from source
1 m from source
10 m from source
10 m from source
20 m from source
20 m from source
GPS indoors
GPS indoors
GPS outdoors
GPS outdoors

Telephone & Voice Quality

Mini-SIM and Micro-SIM behind back cover
Mini-SIM and Micro-SIM behind back cover

The Xfire officially supports GSM, WCDMA, and 4G FDD-LTE at 800/1800/2100/2600 MHz bands. Note that none of these 4G bands are used by major carriers in the U.S., so most buyers in the states will be limited to 3G connectivity. Our T-Mobile SIM card, for example, will not benefit from 4G speeds. The Xfire provides CAT4 150 Mbps speeds for those who can take advantage of the supported bands. There is no WiFi calling unlike on the Sharp Aquos Crystal and a growing number of flagship phones.

Call quality is good as we are able to hear the speaker clearly from the other end without significant static or skipping problems. Maximum volume is low, however, so speaking outdoors with ambient noise is made more difficult. Our listener from the other end says our voice can be too soft despite us speaking loudly into the microphone. Thus, while call quality and reception are far from bad, it's the low volume on both sides that can be an issue.

Cameras & Multimedia

The 8 MP rear camera produces poor results even for a budget smartphone. The Xfire appears to have issues focusing on far away objects towards the center of the picture. The minimum focal distance is about 3 cm and the camera is actually very acceptable for macro shots. For anything else, however, blurry pictures are almost guaranteed.

Even if the focusing problems can be fixed, color temperature is much too cool and colors do not appear natural at all, especially Blue. Low-light conditions suffer from soft images with grainy edges and corners and lots of noise.

Video quality is equally poor with recording resolution up to 720p only. Motion blur and the lack of good focus make for hard-to-watch videos even by smartphone standards.

Canon EOS Rebel XSi
Canon EOS Rebel XSi
LG G2
LG G2
Bluboo Xfire
Bluboo Xfire
Canon EOS Rebel XSi
Canon EOS Rebel XSi
LG G2
LG G2
Bluboo Xfire
Bluboo Xfire

Accessories & Warranty

Included extras out-of-the-box are a screen protector, Micro-USB cable and a European AC adapter. There are no earphones or case protectors as commonly included with many inexpensive smartphones.

Warranty is the standard 1-year timeline with no options to extend. It's worth mentioning that the warranty service is confined to products selling in mainland China, so it may be more difficult for buyers outside of the country to receive service in a timely manner.

Input Devices

Touchscreen

The capacitive touchscreen recognizes up to two fingers simultaneously as opposed to 5 or 10 on most other smartphones. This is likely a cost-saving measure that should have little effect on most apps since gestures of more than 2 fingers are uncommon.

Accuracy and response are both very good when texting or browsing. The display is thankfully sensitive enough for even light touches and is equally accurate around the corners and edges. Fast touch typists will find that the Xfire is able to keep up with inputs. Even so, overall responsiveness is no match for speedier flagship smartphones like the OnePlus 2 or Galaxy Note 5. Pinch-to-zoom is slower in particular and may require multiple gestures to achieve the desired zoom level. Additionally, the screen appears to have difficulty recognizing two fingers as browser pages will often "shake" when attempting to zoom in or out.

We also found an odd bug during use where sometimes the screen calibration would be off for seemingly no reason at all. Though this was rare, the standard Android touch keys on the bottom of the screen would sometimes be unresponsive. Tapping on the Home button, for example, may register as a tap nearer the center of the display. A quick reboot immediately fixes the issue until the next time it occurs.

Display

The 5-inch sub-720p display uses the same one glass solution (OGS) technology as the older iPhones, which allows the actual pixels to be closer to the surface for a better "pop-up" effect. Bluboo claims a display brightness of up to 450 nits while our own measurements show an average brightness of 400 nits on the highest setting. Contrast is good at just below 1000:1 as are many of its budget and mainstream competitors.

Subjectively, colors are not as clean as they could be with more grains than expected. This may simply be due to the low 50 PPI, so sharpness is nowhere near as good as most other 5-inch smartphones.

425.8
cd/m²
402.1
cd/m²
400.8
cd/m²
406
cd/m²
395.2
cd/m²
390.9
cd/m²
412.4
cd/m²
387.5
cd/m²
390.5
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro Basic 2
Maximum: 425.8 cd/m² Average: 401.2 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 91 %
Center on Battery: 395.2 cd/m²
Contrast: 941:1 (Black: 0.42 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 7.18 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6
ΔE Greyscale 7.25 | 0.64-98 Ø6.3
Gamma: 2.26
Bluboo XfireHTC Desire 626G dual simMotorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541Acer Liquid Jade ZSamsung Galaxy J5Huawei P8 lite
Screen
-2%
11%
-1%
10%
3%
Brightness middle
395.2
497
26%
418
6%
343
-13%
349
-12%
365
-8%
Brightness
401
483
20%
407
1%
340
-15%
353
-12%
353
-12%
Brightness Distribution
91
90
-1%
95
4%
93
2%
93
2%
93
2%
Black Level *
0.42
0.67
-60%
0.49
-17%
0.39
7%
0.42
-0%
Contrast
941
742
-21%
853
-9%
879
-7%
869
-8%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
7.18
6.88
4%
3.92
45%
5.59
22%
5.22
27%
5.2
28%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
7.25
6.11
16%
3.81
47%
7.25
-0%
3.96
45%
5.85
19%
Gamma
2.26 97%
1.78 124%
2.27 97%
2.41 91%
2.08 106%
2.17 101%
CCT
8157 80%
6820 95%
7361 88%
7361 88%
7308 89%
7252 90%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
86.5458
91.25
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
70.86

* ... smaller is better

Further color analyses with a spectrophotometer reveal an inaccurate grayscale. Teal and Blue colors are also represented more poorly than other colors, which is unfortunate as Red, Green, and Yellow are quite accurate for a budget smartphone. The DeltaE values for both grayscale and colors are worse than the smartphone's closest budget and mainstream competitors.

Grayscale
Grayscale
Saturation Sweeps
Saturation Sweeps
ColorChecker
ColorChecker

Outdoor usability is average on a cloudy day and on the maximum brightness setting. The backlight is not strong enough for comfortable use under direct sunlight. The Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, for example, can be as bright as 600 nits for better visibility under sunlight.

Viewing angles are good due the underlying IPS panel. Colors and brightness shift just slightly when viewing from off-center angles.

Outdoors on a cloudy day
Outdoors on a cloudy day
Wide IPS viewing angles
Wide IPS viewing angles

Performance

The Xfire is equipped with your expected MediaTek SoC and requisite 1 GB RAM that is common on most budget smartphones. The same quad-core MT6735 processor can also be found on the ZTE Blade V6 and Doogee Valencia2 Y100 Pro. Meanwhile, the integrated Mali-T720 GPU is most similar to the budget Adreno 302 or older Nvidia Tegra 3. According to CPU-Z, the CPU can stop all its cores except for one at just 221 MHz to conserve power. All cores are capable of running at up to 1 GHz simultaneously. We suspect that the smartphone is underclocked as the MT6735 SoC itself is officially rated for up to 1.5 GHz.

CPU Performance

CPU benchmarks place the Xfire below the low-end Snapdragon 210 in terms of raw performance. The Cat S40, for example, is 50 percent faster than our Bluboo in multi-threaded operations. Mainstream smartphones with at least a Snapdragon 410 will be faster than the MT6735 in essentially all cases.

Linpack Android / IOS
Multi Thread (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
120.649 MFLOPS ∼4%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
696.97 MFLOPS ∼24% +478%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
207.718 MFLOPS ∼7% +72%
Motorola Moto X Play
275 MFLOPS ∼9% +128%
CAT S40
184.942 MFLOPS ∼6% +53%
Single Thread (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
55.703 MFLOPS ∼5%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
319.975 MFLOPS ∼31% +474%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
117.086 MFLOPS ∼11% +110%
Motorola Moto X Play
134 MFLOPS ∼13% +141%
CAT S40
70.448 MFLOPS ∼7% +26%
Smartbench 2012
Gaming Index (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
3485 points ∼76%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
4332 points ∼94% +24%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
3234 points ∼70% -7%
Motorola Moto X Play
2523 points ∼55% -28%
Doogee Nova Y100X
2252 points ∼49% -35%
CAT S40
3241 points ∼70% -7%
Productivity Index (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
3644 points ∼19%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
9732 points ∼52% +167%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
4962 points ∼26% +36%
Motorola Moto X Play
3820 points ∼20% +5%
Doogee Nova Y100X
3769 points ∼20% +3%
CAT S40
3331 points ∼18% -9%
PCMark for Android
Computer Vision score (sort by value)
Motorola Moto X Play
1756 Points ∼14%
Storage score (sort by value)
Motorola Moto X Play
3900 Points ∼12%
Work 2.0 performance score (sort by value)
Motorola Moto X Play
3293 Points ∼28%
Work performance score (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
2479 Points ∼13%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
3914 Points ∼20% +58%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
3701 Points ∼19% +49%
Motorola Moto X Play
3589 Points ∼18% +45%
Doogee Nova Y100X
2786 Points ∼14% +12%
CAT S40
2927 Points ∼15% +18%
AnTuTu v5 - Total Score (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
19740 Points ∼20%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
47172 Points ∼48% +139%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
23242 Points ∼23% +18%
Motorola Moto X Play
29699 Points ∼30% +50%
Doogee Nova Y100X
19426 Points ∼20% -2%
CAT S40
0 Points ∼0% -100%
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
3239 Points ∼10%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
1563 Points ∼5%
CAT S40
1021 Points ∼3%
32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
1112 Points ∼23%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
528 Points ∼11%
CAT S40
313 Points ∼6%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
1311 Points ∼3%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
1561 Points ∼4% +19%
Motorola Moto X Play
2558 Points ∼7% +95%
Doogee Nova Y100X
1191 Points ∼3% -9%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
476 Points ∼10%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
526 Points ∼11% +11%
Motorola Moto X Play
717 Points ∼15% +51%
Doogee Nova Y100X
364 Points ∼7% -24%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
758 Points ∼17%
Motorola Moto X Play
974 Points ∼22%
CAT S40
454 Points ∼10%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
39 Points ∼0%
Motorola Moto X Play
178 Points ∼2%
CAT S40
29 Points ∼0%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
49 Points ∼1%
Motorola Moto X Play
218 Points ∼3%
CAT S40
37 Points ∼0%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
7313 Points ∼8%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
18913 Points ∼22% +159%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
10148 Points ∼12% +39%
Motorola Moto X Play
6839 Points ∼8% -6%
Doogee Nova Y100X
8440 Points ∼10% +15%
CAT S40
6789 Points ∼8% -7%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
2192 Points ∼0%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
20733 Points ∼4% +846%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
3789 Points ∼1% +73%
Motorola Moto X Play
7796 Points ∼1% +256%
Doogee Nova Y100X
2390 Points ∼0% +9%
CAT S40
4014 Points ∼1% +83%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
2596 Points ∼1%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
20299 Points ∼9% +682%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
4402 Points ∼2% +70%
Motorola Moto X Play
7561 Points ∼3% +191%
Doogee Nova Y100X
2843 Points ∼1% +10%
CAT S40
4415 Points ∼2% +70%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Physics (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
6554 Points ∼8%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
9544 Points ∼11% +46%
Motorola Moto X Play
6841 Points ∼8% +4%
Doogee Nova Y100X
7861 Points ∼9% +20%
CAT S40
6168 Points ∼7% -6%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
1375 Points ∼0%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
2135 Points ∼0% +55%
Motorola Moto X Play
5082 Points ∼1% +270%
Doogee Nova Y100X
1550 Points ∼0% +13%
CAT S40
2233 Points ∼0% +62%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Score (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
1668 Points ∼1%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
2580 Points ∼1% +55%
Motorola Moto X Play
5390 Points ∼2% +223%
Doogee Nova Y100X
1887 Points ∼1% +13%
CAT S40
2602 Points ∼1% +56%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Physics (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
6556 Points ∼4%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
9385 Points ∼6% +43%
Motorola Moto X Play
6799 Points ∼4% +4%
Doogee Nova Y100X
7759 Points ∼5% +18%
CAT S40
6288 Points ∼4% -4%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Graphics (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
2902 Points ∼0%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
4712 Points ∼1% +62%
Motorola Moto X Play
10194 Points ∼1% +251%
Doogee Nova Y100X
2413 Points ∼0% -17%
CAT S40
4845 Points ∼1% +67%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
3312 Points ∼0%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
5298 Points ∼0% +60%
Motorola Moto X Play
9176 Points ∼1% +177%
Doogee Nova Y100X
2849 Points ∼0% -14%
CAT S40
5105 Points ∼0% +54%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
571 Points ∼28%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
779 Points ∼38% +36%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
484 Points ∼24% -15%
Motorola Moto X Play
710 Points ∼35% +24%
Doogee Nova Y100X
612 Points ∼30% +7%
CAT S40
616 Points ∼30% +8%
Graphics (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
142 Points ∼0%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
3441 Points ∼12% +2323%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
315 Points ∼1% +122%
Motorola Moto X Play
785 Points ∼3% +453%
Doogee Nova Y100X
138 Points ∼0% -3%
CAT S40
260 Points ∼1% +83%
Memory (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
333 Points ∼4%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
595 Points ∼8% +79%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
394 Points ∼5% +18%
Motorola Moto X Play
595 Points ∼8% +79%
Doogee Nova Y100X
247 Points ∼3% -26%
CAT S40
408 Points ∼5% +23%
System (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
824 Points ∼5%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
1647 Points ∼10% +100%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
1166 Points ∼7% +42%
Motorola Moto X Play
1177 Points ∼7% +43%
Doogee Nova Y100X
938 Points ∼6% +14%
CAT S40
792 Points ∼5% -4%
Overall (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
386 Points ∼5%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
1273 Points ∼15% +230%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
515 Points ∼6% +33%
Motorola Moto X Play
701 Points ∼8% +82%
Doogee Nova Y100X
374 Points ∼4% -3%
CAT S40
477 Points ∼6% +24%
PassMark PerformanceTest Mobile V1
3D Graphics Tests (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
572 Points ∼9%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
1979 Points ∼31% +246%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
811 Points ∼13% +42%
Motorola Moto X Play
1069 Points ∼17% +87%
Doogee Nova Y100X
733 Points ∼12% +28%
2D Graphics Tests (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
2352 Points ∼13%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
3554 Points ∼19% +51%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
2745 Points ∼15% +17%
Motorola Moto X Play
1818 Points ∼10% -23%
Doogee Nova Y100X
2123 Points ∼11% -10%
Memory Tests (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
2703 Points ∼0%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
5263 Points ∼0% +95%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
3154 Points ∼0% +17%
Motorola Moto X Play
2457 Points ∼0% -9%
Doogee Nova Y100X
1837 Points ∼0% -32%
Disk Tests (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
9297 Points ∼5%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
34250 Points ∼19% +268%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
7518 Points ∼4% -19%
Motorola Moto X Play
23839 Points ∼13% +156%
Doogee Nova Y100X
3946 Points ∼2% -58%
CPU Tests (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
9848 Points ∼1%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
20164 Points ∼3% +105%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
13288 Points ∼2% +35%
Motorola Moto X Play
10592 Points ∼1% +8%
Doogee Nova Y100X
10230 Points ∼1% +4%
System (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
2283 Points ∼10%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
5857 Points ∼27% +157%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
2966 Points ∼13% +30%
Motorola Moto X Play
3050 Points ∼14% +34%
Doogee Nova Y100X
2304 Points ∼10% +1%

Legend

 
Bluboo Xfire Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 APQ8084, Qualcomm Adreno 420, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541 Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
Motorola Moto X Play Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 MSM8939, Qualcomm Adreno 405, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Doogee Nova Y100X Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
CAT S40 Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 16 GB eMMC Flash

System Performance

Browser-based benchmarks such as Subspider, Browsermark, and Octane show that the Xfire is slower than the similarly priced Doogee Y100X by noticeable margins. More mainstream devices like the Motorola Moto G 2015 are noticeably faster.

Subjectively, system performance suffers from stuttering and latency when switching between applications or when simply browsing the Internet. Actions such as scrolling and zooming are not very smooth on the Xfire. The slow performance also means that inputs are more likely to not be registered when navigating through menus or the Home screen.

Sunspider
1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
2234.5 ms * ∼24%
CAT S40
2314.3 ms * ∼25% -4%
Doogee Nova Y100X
2004.7 ms * ∼22% +10%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
1573.1 ms * ∼17% +30%
Motorola Moto X Play
1235 ms * ∼14% +45%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
955.6 ms * ∼10% +57%
0.9.1 Total Score (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
2085.3 ms * ∼20%
Doogee Nova Y100X
1939.3 ms * ∼18% +7%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
900.8 ms * ∼9% +57%
Browsermark - 2.1 (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
566 points ∼2%
Doogee Nova Y100X
988 points ∼3% +75%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
1203 points ∼4% +113%
Motorola Moto X Play
1471 points ∼5% +160%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
1478 points ∼5% +161%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
2300 Points ∼4%
CAT S40
2052 Points ∼4% -11%
Doogee Nova Y100X
2452 Points ∼5% +7%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
3296 Points ∼6% +43%
Motorola Moto X Play
3764 Points ∼7% +64%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
5379 Points ∼10% +134%
WebXPRT 2013
Offline Notes (sort by value)
Doogee Nova Y100X
2260.6 ms * ∼47%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
1847.3 ms * ∼39%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
1253.2 ms * ∼26%
Stocks Dashboard (sort by value)
Doogee Nova Y100X
3143.8 ms * ∼84%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
2119 ms * ∼57%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
1268.7 ms * ∼34%
Face Detection (sort by value)
Doogee Nova Y100X
3001 ms * ∼25%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
2739.7 ms * ∼23%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
1713.8 ms * ∼14%
Photo Effects (sort by value)
Doogee Nova Y100X
1270 ms * ∼14%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
1019.5 ms * ∼11%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
980.7 ms * ∼11%
Overall Score (sort by value)
Doogee Nova Y100X
182 Points ∼8%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
228 Points ∼10%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
326 Points ∼14%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
36 Points ∼4%
CAT S40
38 Points ∼5% +6%
Doogee Nova Y100X
40 Points ∼5% +11%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
52 Points ∼6% +44%
Motorola Moto X Play
56 Points ∼7% +56%
JetStream 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
14.781 Points ∼4%
Doogee Nova Y100X
15.702 Points ∼4% +6%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
20.832 Points ∼6% +41%
Motorola Moto X Play
24.51 Points ∼7% +66%

* ... smaller is better

The integrated 8 GB eMMC does not provide a lot of space to work with as only 4.99 GB is immediately available to the end user. Luckily, MicroSD is supported up to 32 GB for additional storage space as needed.

Transfer rates for the internal SSD are very good on the Bluboo and rival competitors such as the Moto X Play. Performance almost matches the much more expensive Galaxy Note 4 in some cases such as in sequential read and random write speeds. This doesn't mean performance is faster, however, as the CPU is still the bottleneck when installing or launching applications.

AndroBench 3-5
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
4.51 MB/s ∼2%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
3.14 MB/s ∼1% -30%
Motorola Moto X Play
16 MB/s ∼6% +255%
CAT S40
5.39 MB/s ∼2% +20%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
5.11 MB/s ∼2% +13%
Doogee Nova Y100X
2.41 MB/s ∼1% -47%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
27.24 MB/s ∼14%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
19.87 MB/s ∼10% -27%
Motorola Moto X Play
16 MB/s ∼8% -41%
CAT S40
14.93 MB/s ∼8% -45%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
22.79 MB/s ∼12% -16%
Doogee Nova Y100X
15.64 MB/s ∼8% -43%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
21.73 MB/s ∼4%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
38.91 MB/s ∼7% +79%
Motorola Moto X Play
75 MB/s ∼13% +245%
CAT S40
64.3 MB/s ∼11% +196%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
22.33 MB/s ∼4% +3%
Doogee Nova Y100X
21.09 MB/s ∼4% -3%
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
172.67 MB/s ∼11%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
178.77 MB/s ∼12% +4%
Motorola Moto X Play
139 MB/s ∼9% -19%
CAT S40
137.88 MB/s ∼9% -20%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
131.42 MB/s ∼9% -24%
Doogee Nova Y100X
38.05 MB/s ∼3% -78%

Gaming Performance

Synthetic benchmarks like Basemark X 1.1 rank the Xfire below most other popular 5-inch smartphones including the already old Mali-400 MP. The integrated ARM Mali-T720 is clearly not designed for playing 3D titles on high resolutions, so it is actually a good match for the Xfire and its lower 960 x 540 screen resolution. 2D titles are easily playable while the smartphone will struggle in 3D titles such as Asphalt 8 with more stuttering than usual. That's not to say that such games are unplayable, but aliasing and textures are all noticeably tuned down.

GFXBench shows no throttling when under stress for over 25 minutes. Frame rates and performance are both consistent throughout the entire stress test with no dips whatsoever. A number of flagship devices may throttle CPU or GPU performance after a few minutes as a means of reducing heat, but the Bluboo already runs cool and underclocked.

GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
1.3 fps ∼0%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
17.7 fps ∼3% +1262%
CAT S40
1.8 fps ∼0% +38%
Motorola Moto X Play
5.8 fps ∼1% +346%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
1.7 fps ∼0% +31%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
4.9 fps ∼1%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
11 fps ∼3% +124%
CAT S40
6.2 fps ∼2% +27%
Motorola Moto X Play
6.2 fps ∼2% +27%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
3.7 fps ∼1% -24%
Epic Citadel
Ultra High Quality (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
49.6 fps ∼81%
Motorola Moto X Play
31.9 fps ∼52%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
31.9 fps ∼52%
High Quality (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
43.8 fps ∼72%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
56.4 fps ∼93% +29%
Doogee Nova Y100X
46.5 fps ∼76% +6%
High Performance (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
44.9 fps ∼74%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
57.6 fps ∼95% +28%
Doogee Nova Y100X
47.5 fps ∼78% +6%
Vellamo 3.x
Metal (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
786 Points ∼21%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
1817 Points ∼49% +131%
Motorola Moto X Play
1291 Points ∼35% +64%
Doogee Nova Y100X
634 Points ∼17% -19%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
1219 Points ∼33% +55%
Multicore Beta (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
1212 Points ∼27%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
1924 Points ∼43% +59%
Motorola Moto X Play
1025 Points ∼23% -15%
Doogee Nova Y100X
1110 Points ∼25% -8%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
966 Points ∼22% -20%
Browser (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
1515 Points ∼20%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
3472 Points ∼46% +129%
Motorola Moto X Play
1849 Points ∼24% +22%
Doogee Nova Y100X
1691 Points ∼22% +12%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
2043 (min: 1641) Points ∼27% +35%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
CAT S40
454 Points ∼10%
Motorola Moto X Play
974 Points ∼22%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
758 Points ∼17%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
CAT S40
29 Points ∼0%
Motorola Moto X Play
178 Points ∼2%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
39 Points ∼0%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
CAT S40
37 Points ∼0%
Motorola Moto X Play
218 Points ∼3%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
49 Points ∼1%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
7313 Points ∼8%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
18913 Points ∼22% +159%
CAT S40
6789 Points ∼8% -7%
Motorola Moto X Play
6839 Points ∼8% -6%
Doogee Nova Y100X
8440 Points ∼10% +15%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
10148 Points ∼12% +39%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
2192 Points ∼0%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
20733 Points ∼4% +846%
CAT S40
4014 Points ∼1% +83%
Motorola Moto X Play
7796 Points ∼1% +256%
Doogee Nova Y100X
2390 Points ∼0% +9%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
3789 Points ∼1% +73%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
2596 Points ∼1%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
20299 Points ∼9% +682%
CAT S40
4415 Points ∼2% +70%
Motorola Moto X Play
7561 Points ∼3% +191%
Doogee Nova Y100X
2843 Points ∼1% +10%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
4402 Points ∼2% +70%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Physics (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
6554 Points ∼8%
CAT S40
6168 Points ∼7% -6%
Motorola Moto X Play
6841 Points ∼8% +4%
Doogee Nova Y100X
7861 Points ∼9% +20%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
9544 Points ∼11% +46%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
1375 Points ∼0%
CAT S40
2233 Points ∼0% +62%
Motorola Moto X Play
5082 Points ∼1% +270%
Doogee Nova Y100X
1550 Points ∼0% +13%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
2135 Points ∼0% +55%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Score (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
1668 Points ∼1%
CAT S40
2602 Points ∼1% +56%
Motorola Moto X Play
5390 Points ∼2% +223%
Doogee Nova Y100X
1887 Points ∼1% +13%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
2580 Points ∼1% +55%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Physics (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
6556 Points ∼4%
CAT S40
6288 Points ∼4% -4%
Motorola Moto X Play
6799 Points ∼4% +4%
Doogee Nova Y100X
7759 Points ∼5% +18%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
9385 Points ∼6% +43%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Graphics (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
2902 Points ∼0%
CAT S40
4845 Points ∼1% +67%
Motorola Moto X Play
10194 Points ∼1% +251%
Doogee Nova Y100X
2413 Points ∼0% -17%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
4712 Points ∼1% +62%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
3312 Points ∼0%
CAT S40
5105 Points ∼0% +54%
Motorola Moto X Play
9176 Points ∼1% +177%
Doogee Nova Y100X
2849 Points ∼0% -14%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
5298 Points ∼0% +60%
Basemark X 1.1
High Quality (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
1485 Points ∼3%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
18680 Points ∼42% +1158%
Motorola Moto X Play
5084 Points ∼12% +242%
Doogee Nova Y100X
1697 Points ∼4% +14%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
1839 Points ∼4% +24%
Medium Quality (sort by value)
Bluboo Xfire
3295 Points ∼7%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
31806 Points ∼71% +865%
Motorola Moto X Play
10637 Points ∼24% +223%
Doogee Nova Y100X
4813 Points ∼11% +46%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
3855 Points ∼9% +17%

Emissions

Temperature

Surface temperatures are low across the board even during higher processing loads. Like most other smartphones, the top end can become significantly warmer than the bottom as the PCB and processors are usually located near the earpiece.

We were able to measure a surface temperature of 36 C when running Stability Test 2.5. This is cooler than many competing smartphones such as the Galaxy J5. Users should never have to worry about uncomfortable temperatures during extended use.

Max. Load
 33.6 °C
92 F
30.4 °C
87 F
31 °C
88 F
 
 36 °C
97 F
30.6 °C
87 F
32.6 °C
91 F
 
 35 °C
95 F
30.4 °C
87 F
30.6 °C
87 F
 
Maximum: 36 °C = 97 F
Average: 32.2 °C = 90 F
30.4 °C
87 F
29.4 °C
85 F
32.6 °C
91 F
30 °C
86 F
29.4 °C
85 F
34.8 °C
95 F
29.4 °C
85 F
29.4 °C
85 F
35.6 °C
96 F
Maximum: 35.6 °C = 96 F
Average: 31.2 °C = 88 F
Room Temperature 22.5 °C = 73 F | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 32.2 °C / 90 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 36 °C / 97 F, compared to the average of 35.5 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 35.6 °C / 96 F, compared to the average of 34.1 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 24.3 °C / 76 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.

Speakers

Monaural speaker on back of smartphone
Monaural speaker on back of smartphone

Sound quality is below average due to poor bass reproduction and muffled sounds. Music playback feels distorted and this only increases in intensity at higher volume settings. The speaker is loud at its maximum setting, so at least it can be used for the occasional YouTube video.

Static is prevalent when using the speaker as a speakerphone for calls. The crackling makes it a bit more difficult to hear the caller clearly.

Battery Life

Runtimes are good at just above 7 hours of constant WLAN use at 150 nits brightness. This compares favorably against the Huawei P8 Lite and HTC One M9, but falls behind the Moto G 2015 and Galaxy J5. Its battery capacity is slightly higher than the average 5-inch smartphone at 2750 mAh.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
16h 22min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
7h 15min
Load (maximum brightness)
4h 54min
Bluboo Xfire
2750 mAh
HTC Desire 626G dual sim
2000 mAh
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
2470 mAh
Acer Liquid Jade Z
2300 mAh
Samsung Galaxy J5
2600 mAh
Huawei P8 lite
2200 mAh
HTC One M9
2840 mAh
Battery Runtime
-15%
17%
-10%
22%
-27%
-19%
Reader / Idle
982
878
-11%
1364
39%
1292
32%
715
-27%
805
-18%
WiFi v1.3
435
398
-9%
526
21%
523
20%
495
14%
351
-19%
348
-20%
Load
294
220
-25%
264
-10%
176
-40%
350
19%
194
-34%
236
-20%
WiFi
573

Pros

+ respectable battery life; removable battery
+ Good internal eMMC performance
+ low surface temperatures
+ clear call quality
+ no CPU or GPU throttling; consistent performance
+ responsive touchscreen for texting
+ Dual-SIM and MicroSD support
+ bright backlight
+ inexpensive

Cons

- 4G support not guaranteed from major U.S. carriers
- underclocked MediaTek CPU
- weak CPU performance
- generally slow performance and animations
- no WiFi calling
- poor camera quality
- poor speaker quality
- poor grayscale and color accuracy
- sub-HD display resolution
- case rigidity could be improved

Verdict

In review: Bluboo Xfire 4G. Test model provided by Bluboo.
In review: Bluboo Xfire 4G. Test model provided by Bluboo.

There are compromises for a smartphone under $90 USD. The 5-inch display and 4G support are the two major selling points for the Bloboo Xfire. On the surface, the bright backlight, removable battery, and Dual-SIM support should make for a good versatile phone.

The drawbacks are easy to spot after spending just a week or so with the smartphone. The low resolution display is the least of its worries as the camera is terrible and overall system performance is slow. U.S. users may not be able to take advantage of the 4G bands at all and the lack of WiFi calling hurts it as a versatile smartphone.

If 4G is not important, then the Doogee Y100X is a better deal for under $100 USD. Otherwise, the Bluboo Xfire is a good backup or secondary phone because of its price and Dual-SIM support.

Make sure the supported 4G bands are available from your major carriers first before purchasing the Xfire 4G for its 4G capabilities.

Bluboo Xfire - 10/12/2015 v4(old)
Allen Ngo

Chassis
70%
Keyboard
80 / 75 → 100%
Pointing Device
74%
Connectivity
44 / 60 → 73%
Weight
93%
Battery
92%
Display
76%
Games Performance
52 / 63 → 83%
Application Performance
24 / 70 → 34%
Temperature
92%
Noise
100%
Audio
60 / 91 → 66%
Camera
60%
Average
71%
77%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Bluboo Xfire 4G Smartphone Review
Allen Ngo, 2015-10-12 (Update: 2015-10-12)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.