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Microsoft to sell two BLU Windows Phones direct to consumers for $99 and $199

BLU Products recently announced support for Windows Phone, including at least two devices due in the coming months. It should therefore not be surprising that BLU and Microsoft plan to sell the devices direct through the Store, including possibly physical locations.

One of the phones, reportedly the Dash 5.0 features a 5-inch display with a resolution of 480 x 854, a 1.3 GHz dual-core processor, 512MB of RAM, dual-SIM support and comes in a variety of bright colors. Windows Phone Central has now learned that the second phone has a 4-inch display, which suggests that it is a BLU's Dash 4.0 design. The Dash 4.0 model features a 480 x 800 display, 4 GB of storage, a 5 MP rear camera, dual-core 1.3 GHz CPU and a 1500 mAh battery.

Sources tell us that pricing for the two phones is $199 and $99 for the 5-inch and 4-inch devices, with no contract. The releases dates are not known but Microsoft seems to be preparing for a release soon. BLU originally teased their 5-inch model back in April and more information was revealed during the recent Computex.

BLU Products is based out in Miami, Florida. They focus on making devices aimed at emerging markets and have a large presence in Latin America, the Caribbean and in the United States. Currently, their lineup consists of feature phones and Android smartphones, but because Microsoft relaxed the restrictions on hardware, they appear to be re-purposing two of their devices to run Windows Phone 8.1. It is not clear if the above specifications, originally from the Android variants, carry over to Windows Phone or if there is improved hardware.

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Comments

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fluidh2o says:

Wow! Not necessarily my cup of tea but for those used to buying BLU products it could be a natural fit.

Forget those used to buying Blu products: Microsoft, sell all Windows Phones through your online store! I will buy, and buy again, and use bringing my own device to my carrier as a way to get a better deal on service with them!

peterfares says:

They really need to release a "Nexus" device of their own. Sell it on MicrosoftStore.com and in the physical Microsoft Stores. NO carrier branding or influence. Have good specs at a good price. Obviously this means it won't be the absolute best specs WP has to offer but if they can release it at the same level as the Nexus 5 for the same price that would just be awesome.

jgbstetson says:

They should make it compatible with every carrier, except Sprint.

eshy says:

If the Softbank acquisition of T-Mobile goes through, eventually Sprint and T-Mobile will be merged. As one of the two found a successful strategy, I would assume Sprint would go away

The CEO of T-mobile in response to questions surrounding the rumors said something along the lines of that no matter what happens, the T-mobile name and it's UNCarrier strategy are here to stay. So it's likely: Softbank aquires T-mobile, folds Sprint into it's services and moves customers and services over.

eshy says:

The uncarrier strategy has been working while Sprint isn't able to do something similar. Some of the remarks from Softbank regarding internet speeds in the US makes me think they'll prefer T-Mobile's approach. It might be a while before it happens

Jeyrus says:

Rumors are that Legere (TMO's CEO) would be the CEO of the merged company--which I could get behind. 

They gotta figure out a way to sell regular WP devices in the carrier stores. First things first.

Yes and no.  

 

What they need to do, is get deeper in roads into the pre-paid market.  In the US, this is where the real market growth has been for years.  Just take a look at Straight Talk, the deal between Walmart and TracFone.  I sat in a Walmart electronics department a few weekends back, chatting up one of the workers there, and just watched the bee line of people were making to the Straight Talk product.  If I had to give an estimate, for every contract phone, or contract extension (Sprint, AT&T, Verizon) they sold there, they easily sold somewhere like 20, or 30 Straight Talk phones . . . and every last one of those phones were Android.  With the kind of traffic like that, it's a damned shame the ONLY choice those customers have for phones, are Android.  At the sub-$100 price point for almost a year, the Lumia 520 should have been sitting right alongside those shoddy Android devices, vying for that low end patronage.

And now, Microsoft is getting low end phones in the $100 price range, out of the ying yang, they seriously need to be pushing the hell out of those low end Windows Phones into the pre-paid market space.  Including the devices by Nokia, there have been almost a dozen low end WP8 devices announced for 2013/2014.  If Microsoft were to get all of these devices (and I do mean all of them) into the pre-paid market space, so that any time a punter walked into a Walmart, a Target, a Best Buy, a Radio Shack, a Fry's, or any other big box retailer and saw a varitable cornucopia of Windows Phone devices - a Wall of Windows Phones, the psycological impact that would have on the mind of shoppers everywhere, would be a very positive thing for the entire brand.  And that is a positivity that is only going to grow as more people try them out, and spread their experiences to their friends, via word of mouth.  

But the fact of the matter is, one of the reasons people think Windows Phone sucks, is because there is practically zero Windows Phone presense.  I mean just last summer, the WSJ (I believe it was the WSJ, it may have been the NYT) wrote a peice proclaiming that Windows Phone was dead, and the peice was based largely on the fact that no matter where you went, Windows Phone had zero presense at retail.  Sometimes people have to understand, that even if a thing is not true, people will make it real based on their own perceptions.  So if it perceptually appears to be dead, then it must be dead - so let's write it off, and put it out of our minds entirely.  And when you consider that the low end and pre-paids, are the true growth market in smartphones going forward. a strong presense there can turn around the fortunes of Windows Phone, almost over night.  Because the same principle that allows perception to kill off a thing, can be used to give a thing life.  So if you walked into a Walmart (America's #1 retail destination), looked at the phone wall and saw a dozen or so Windows Phone devices (just like you currently see a dozen or so Android devices), even if Windows Phone has not made it yet, it must mean in the mind of the punter, that Windows Phone is on parity with Android.  Creating that mindset to a perspective customer, makes it real to that customer.  And if it is real to them in their minds, their actions at the cash register will manifest that reality in the world.  

Its a classic fake it until you make it scenario.  Back in the 70s and 80s, and even the 90s, the tech business used to be filled to the brim with stories of companies that are now giants in the industry, who back then did not have a penny to their names.  Many of the most successful among them (Apple, Microsoft, Atari, Amiga, et al.), faked their success initially, in order to make their success a reality.

So Microsoft proactively cutting deals on the behalf of their low end phone OEMs (including their own Nokia devices), to get those phones featured prominantly with every pre-paid provider in America, is only going to pay off in the future.  A lot more pay off, if you will, than trying to get more devices into the stores of the major carriers.  Not that that should not be one of their short to mid term goals.  Just that far more people are walking into Walmart and Best Buy to get a new phone these days, than walking into AT&T and Verizon stores.  And having one Windows Phone for every Android phone in the pre-paid isle, is only going to give the right impression about the Windows Phone brand.

Anyway, my $0.02

Craigtrain says:

StraightTalk doesn't just sell Android phones, they sell iPhone's as well.

Posted via Windows Phone Central App

Bruno H says:

+1
Microsoft... Listen to this guy!

KMF79 says:

It's called "the race too the bottom."

hs k says:

Nope, race to the bottom

cybermoose89 says:

I hope Microsoft is reading this there not trying hard enough or bringing out devices quick enough shit droids winning this rat race

Thought this was a rant....but it makes perfect sense. Windows Phones need to be every where. I visit Walgreens alot and all you ever see is prepaid phones i.e. Trac Phones.
Windows Phones are like "out of sight out of mind"

jconstant65 says:

Nope.  I agree with another user, this does seem like a race to the bottom.  However, the bigger picture is that Nokia and Microsoft are still considered personas non grata. I remember a couple of years ago going to a Virgin booth.  They advised me away from Windows.  I knew it wasn't that the products weren't good, just that Nokia/Microsoft weren't greasing any palms.  There are no incentives (in Canada anyway) to sell Windows phones so now, even companies that used to sell the 520, now have removed it from their list (maybe moved it to prepaid).  No marketing dollars = no salespeople talking it up and in some cases talking them down.  True, some people could theoretically pick up a Windows phone at Straight Talk, like the 520, Blu, 635, but it would be a random pull and with hundreds of Android models vs 3? 4? low cost Windows phone options, you still won't get the traction.  Companies like Samsung spend money to get sales people to sing their virtues.  Apple, because of the cost of the phone alone wins the hearts of sales people because of commissions. 

1.  Nokia/Microsoft need to release and market premium phones, key here is MARKET. It's taking TOO long to release 1520/930 and others. 

2.  They need to get a larger range of phones for all budget types

3.  They need to follow through. I'm talking to you Nokia.  You hype your coloured shells, even for the 520, but all you unleashed for some models is one colour and NOTHING else.

4. Rebuild the relationships with the various sales/kiosk companies.  Get them singing your praises because if the sales people aren't pushing (and EFFECTIVELY) Windows phones, you're just spinning your wheels.  Word of mouth of converted users can only last so long.

5. Market the tech press companies harder.  I remember a by-line from CNET comparing the latest Android phone to Apple 5s.  Really?  Not even a small effort for a 3 way comparison?  Nokia/Microsoft seem to still have some also ran / might have been funk with some tech companies.  The phones are worthy of comparison but prejudice remains.  I won't say Windows phones are the best, but definitely worthy of comparison.  You need to get the funk out.

So your suggestion is that they put prepaid sim cards in their stores?
Or that they pony up with WalMart?
Or that they markdown the phone from the onset of availability?
Or word of mouth trumps contracts?
You hit many good points dude but large organizations follow such a backwards system of doing things.

clvrbas says:

They really do not need a "Nexus type of device". WP doesn't have nearly the skinned interface that android has (Sense, TouchWiz, Ect).

Posted via Windows Phone Central App

adrian1338 says:

All phones not bought at carriers are nexus type devices anyways :O

David P2 says:

They already exist as factory unlocked+sim free handsets.  They have no carrier bloat or influence.

enzom09 says:

i think it looks like a very colorful HTC one aka very nice. too bad there's no blue for blu.

FANMixco says:

I don't like the 5inch option I was waiting at least 1Gb of RAM and it's too much money for very small features between 4 and 5, just a bigger screen and not too much change in resolution.

jgbstetson says:

The way the phones released by the other OEMs fill obvious gaps.... It appears to me that MS is working with OEMs to ensure a smooth, even spectrum of devices. They don't build devices because they want to, just sayin'

Resolution is the same, on screen/capacitive buttons

They should make 512MB illegal. Does it really cost that much to make it 1GB? All it does is annoy both consumers and app developers. I'm pretty sure it's a deal breaker for a lot of people.

It's so cheap to pop in 1Gb of RAM,anything less is a joke.

Or they could make phones upgradeable, if that's even possible.

Memristor says:

I bet that would cost more than add another 512MB from the start.

oneiros says:

Uhm...why? I'm a developer and unless certain gaming app I do not see any problem with 512 Mb RAM as far as the platform is suited and works well with such specifications.

Harry Wild says:

I think the amount of RAM along with the screen resolution is used to separate WP tiers.

 

Rob Toro says:

If MS can put 1GB of RAM in the Nokia X they can mandate 1GB in any other "budget" phone... We've been sold a lie that's only making the user experience more frustrating for WP users.

Exactly. Well, I guess if they're still making them it means people are still buying them. Or maybe they're just wondering why Windows phone sales are so low. What we need is one solid low end phone with specs and price on par with the Moto G, and one solid high end phone with the latest specs, available on all carriers.

Micah Dawson says:

I hate that these are Android rehashes but at least good to see some affordable options.

peterfares says:

What does that even matter? They run on the exact same stuff. 

Micah Dawson says:

Meaning I like to see unique and new designs and not used hardware. I am sell aware they run the exact same stuff.

Why do you hate this? It's no different to installing Linux on a pc that shipped with Windows.

KMF79 says:

Good analogy.

aitt says:

This dude just hate hates Android and Samsung so damn much he trolls it every second he can. Same rhetoric bullshit. Different thread.

Posted via Windows Phone Central App

dby2011 says:

I assume you won't be able to use them with Verizon?

sholokov says:

I think these are world phones. Should work with everyone.

MERCDROID says:

Negative. Because of the CDMA tech that both Verizon and Sprint use, they have to carry the device for it to be usable on their networks. Since they probably won't carry it, it won't be compatible with their networks (I.e., it either won't have the bands or they won't authorize it. 

They'll only work on carriers that use GSM.

Nope. Blu is just another GSM manufacturer. But I could see this being used for TMobile and AT&T or one of their MVNOs.

rx74ray says:

512MB ram is no good. I'm waiting on the Billy phone.

WilsonBlaze says:

Look real spiffy

I'm not a big fan of their color choices, but the HTC One design is pretty nice

12Danny123 says:

I guess BLU is Microsoft's perfered Low end OEM for the US and other markets

KMF79 says:

What makes you think "preferred"? Microsoft partnered with a whole slew of OEMs.

asoyemi says:

Don't count off YEZZ with their billy 4.7 and 4.0 (I believe will be $250 and $135 respectively) both had front end camera and uses quad core socs versus BLU with its dual cores.

Interestingly, they are also from Florida and targets same markets as BLU

ortizang says:

Nice really. I want to see all those big boys making windows phones!

Jazmac says:

Brilliant! I might get a couple just to give them away to friends.

arn6735 says:

Hello fren...

asoyemi says:

Chances are you don't remeber me, that's ok and don't worry about that, most imprtant thing is that I am here to remind you we are good friends. (Notice I did not put very, so that you don't think I am pushing our friendship to hard)

Jazmac says:

Awesome. lol

lesd777 says:

Hopefully that 4Gb is expandable

asoyemi says:

I am getting so tired and to the point of getting real pissed off with all these windows phone announcement and or rumors. Why are all these slew of new partners' phones are not yet ready for sale.

Stop all these useless announcements and for Pete sake start selling them, All I want to hear now henceforth is that they are for sale and no stupid exclusivity,

The mid range specs and wp 8.1 are primed to compete like you would not believe, but darn it, they are not on the damn shelves.

Jf.Vigor says:

Wah wah wah!

Peg Leg says:

Henceforth, you hear me? Henceforth!

asoyemi says:

Well, you said Wah Wah wah! as response, but care to read all the latest postings above and you will be surprised that folks are voicing the same sentiment.

I don't hate WP, I am an all around windows family guy (except my loving traitor wife with iPhone, our kids and I have found ways to love her and forgive her), My beef is that these phones needs to be in Walmarts, Bestbuys, where ever to purchase right now with WP 8.1 before Android start more stuff that renders all these cool features and multiple OEM designs old because they are late to market, and THAT is my greatest beef. I personnaly want to change my Lumia 925 (I am on JUMP) and love T-Mobile but there nothing to change to or in my case JUMP to (I want Windows Phones) and I am already over first 6 months that I can change phone. (Please don't tell me to try AT&T and or Verizon, I hate them so much for their bleeding money on family plans, I came from them and do not plan to go back)

Jf.Vigor says:

Just pulling your chain

SeeVuPlay says:

Get off the internet then

asoyemi says:

Pardon my rant, Its not easy for me get off internet and being tech junky, I am hooked.

I just wish there are awesome varieties from OEMS with WP 8.1 that could be selling right now versus announcings and talking it to death.

Problem is wp8.1 is still obviously in need of last minute work judging by the way the preview has gone so far all the oems need to rewrite their fw/drivers for the OS

pedmar007 says:

That's common sense as no-one upgrades their OS on a PC for example without dl the drivers for the hardware to work in unison with the new software changes. In this case it's painfully obvious that a new mobile OS upgrade should have firmware drivers for the hardware to work as anyone who expects their shit to work correct would.

asoyemi says:

I do agree with you, bad drivers equal bad experience and we sure don't want that.

When I tell my mom sometimes when she says snap it up son you are dragging your fet too slow, I say I am working on it Ma, and that Rome was not built in a day. Bless her memeories, She would reply I know, but at your speed nobody is ever going to know a place called Rome.

Just hoping MSFT and her OEMS would snap it up some.

poddie says:

Well, they LOOK great.

NIST says:

"The releases dates..." Oh Daniel. So close.

matfantastic says:

This made me laugh.

sarim_xyz says:

I wish Microsoft sold Lumia directly to consumers in US too, like in other countries, off-contract and unbranded. I so wanna get the Lumia 930, unbranded and off-contract :-/

RafRol says:

Yeah, I don't see why Microsoft couldn't sell unlocked direct from their stores.

Krinos says:

Yeah why on earth would they sell these phones through their store instead of the similarly priced phones that they actually manufacture themselves?

Peg Leg says:

Will this influx of low end manufacturers degrade Windows phone quality, customer expectations?

I wonder which carriers?

AccentAE86 says:

So with these new phones with in screen buttons, does the screen measurement include the area for the buttons? Or does it only count the USABLE screen space like a windows phone with hardware capacitive buttons? Because that could make spec comparison a bit ambiguous. A 4.8" phone with cap buttons may actually have a larger actual display area than a 5" phone with on screen buttons.

irsyadhhs says:

Looks like Htc One o_0

enzom09 says:

it does! except colorful. i think it looks really nice personally and wouldn't mind one as a backup to my cracked screen L925.

BldyIdt says:

And the blackberry z10

Posted via WPCentral App.

Peg Leg says:

I don't want blu, I want cyan!

SgtBigRig says:

then why post here?  it says BLU in the title...  Its not like you didnt know  what you were going to see before you clicked.  Also  OEMs are the only thing that stands between  Windowsphone living or dieing.    Get used to it. 

 

BTW  480 x 854  vs 480x800   THATS not world a hundred dollar difference.  BLU has been losing thier minds ever since the whole "No kitkat update" thing.   People  been postin by the thousands and they wont respond. 

JoRdaNeK says:

Erm......i think he was making a joke about Lumia cyan update....*gulp*

MaxyBley says:

You two don't understand the joke. Lol he means to say he doesn't want blue but cyan instead.... He's talking about the theme color in WP. Is also very funny funny because this joke can also mean that he doesn't want a Blu phone but the Cyan update already lol

Too cheap. Low specs.

Siah1214 says:

Low cost to match.

sephiroth111 says:

Another failed product.

Siah1214 says:

Hasn't even started selling yet. Can I have your crystal ball?

sephiroth111 says:

who told you i have crystal ball? this is my comment. respect it dude.

JoRdaNeK says:

This is gonna sell at least loads, Latin America will lap this stylish thing right up, are you from North America where WP is failing?

sephiroth111 says:

from philippines where 512mb of ram is ignore even it is android.

JoRdaNeK says:

This is a stylish phone with beautiful colours, you have to remember that the average customer doesn't even know what RAM is lol it's a shame for people like us who do, watching good products fail and average products (iPhone, iPad etc) get bought by the bucket load

oneiros says:

..so true! WP phones works well and that's it, rightfully average customers do not care or need to have an idea about tech stuff.

bleached says:

Average customers wouldn't even give Windows Phone a second look.

MediaCastleX says:

Did they just outright give up on 256mb of Ram since it wasn't as widely compatible? I would seriously like to see the cost of 16GB of storage go down enough to become the minimum soon... =[

kb4000 says:

Why would we want 256mb?

nizzon says:

Why stop there? GIVE US 128!!!

I would only buy a 1GB RAM variant...please take note #MSJamaica .... Otherwise my 520 stays right where it is...

Nokia5110 says:

Waiting for Nokia blue. 512 MB of RAM is not wort buying, its not adequate for Windows Phone. L625 almost unusable for surfing. Runs out of memory all the time.

Is this a US only kind of thing.

Jack Neill says:

512 ram is to little at this point, It looks nice though, its like a colorful HTC One..

msualum says:

Nice looking phone

psychotron says:

One of those would be awesome to have around as a backup.

Good to see theres an affordable choice other than Nokia, the specs though gotta put at least 1 GB of RAM in there. 

arn6735 says:

Why why why Delilah....512mb of RAM... It sucks...

zikifer says:

Direct to consumers is great, but I wonder how it'll work in the US with our fragmented cell technology...

Lohit Naik says:

Micromax's windows phone specs are way better and it is ridiculously cheap..

erasure25 says:

Might as well start the complaints about some apps needing 1 gb now........

Clavitox says:

Its not the apps, but the system itself seems sluggish with 512, hopefully once the appropriate firmware rolls out, that problem will cease to exist, but till then, were gonna keep complaining

Adiliyo says:

these used to be good deals but phones like the moto g and moto e have been killing it for specs/price.

 

microsoft needs to be able to compete at that level (maybe go in house with development) and they'd be the company i'd bet on to be able to do it if so inclined.

 

 

 

SamSmith1 says:

Very strange, but that is why Microsoft is at the bottom of the mobile OS barrel, they don't sell their own phones that they spend millions marketing, but they will sell someone else's entry level phones unbranded.

WinOMG says:

Oh gosh not 512 mb RAM again. *Facepalm

Posted via Windows Phone Central App

oneiros says:

Uhm..you people should face the fact that WP works well with such specification.

NokianWP says:

No blue color! (BLU)

ritesh_meena says:

this seems to be cool!!!

Ejay Lozano says:

I'll just wait on the lumia McLaren this fall...

Emi Mimo says:

Me, I want the Lumia Mercedes or atleast Lumia Redbull or Lumia Ferrari. McLaren isn't good enough for me this season.

gomab357 says:

Will this work on T-Mobile?

These phones are meant to compete at the low end. One of my test devices is a BLU Dash 4.5, and its a cheap, but very usable phone. If the WP versions are just as snappy for the price, this could be a good thing for the WP market share. A $100 phone to pair up with BYOD PAYG services makes this ideal for many as an Android alternative.

rues0 says:

5" Phone with THIS screen-resolution? Bulls**t...

ToonU says:

They sound like crappy phones, I want a new high end phone released

Is it too much to ask for 1GB of RAM?!

balazs95 says:

Looks like BlackBerry Z10 for me.

Harry Wild says:

512mb of RAM is just to limited.

I'm not looking for a cheap WP. I want a top of the line WP that is sold unlocked, with all the radios for all U.S. GSM carriers. Something that compete with the iPhone 6.0

johnh3 says:

Its a good start anyway so I am not complain. It be more devices outside US, I like the new Xolo phone  that you can buy now:

https://www.xolo.in/Win-Q900s

 

And I think we se Micromax, Prestigo, Allview and some other brands out in shops in august and september.

Some of them have "flagship" devices to. I guess Nokia/Microsoft will put up something to compete with iPhone 6 later.

Tluck619 says:

Design is similar to the HTC one...

wetworker says:

They need to start selling unlocked phones like the 1520 at all Microsoft stores because Rogers refuse to carry it.

 

Memristor says:

Doesn't the Lumia 1520.3 (RM-938) work on Rogers? You can buy this phone from Newegg.com

5 inch display with 480*800 is bad enough

Just 4 GB of memory they need to have 16-64 GB of memory

Memristor says:

We don't know the full specs yet. If they include a SD slot it shouldn't be a problem to update it to 64GB.

Memristor says:

two things I would change, update it from 512MB to 1GB and a larger battery. 1500mAh is just not enough to get you through the day. Especially after 6 months when the battery starts to decline you will have to plug it in after a few hours of use.

Tirinti says:

Why there is so many low end WP smartphones and no highend one?

1berto says:

Microsoft what about Europe?? All the new OEMs just launch smartphones at India or America. I know that in some European markets you guys have already 10%, but with more choices could be even more.

kal wardin says:

They look cool, kinda like an HTC

Is it just me or do these look like the HTC One minus the speaker grille at the bottom? Look nice, though.

SPS828 says:

The BLU Windows Phone looks a lot like an HTC One m8.

Posted via Windows Phone Central App

App Dev says:

Nice looking devices and great price if they have expansion slots (why does Nokia/MS refuse to do this?) I might be a buyer. I really like that they are going with a smaller form factor I can't stand how large my 928 is, I liked my Focus much better that way. Suprising that they don't have a blue model.

Shame it only has 4 gigs of storage. Otherwise I would have considered it.

onysi says:

mass produce these for target/walmart.  theyre  catch up to apple this way.

Yugiro says:

Bring this to the Philippines!