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Blu Ships Unlocked Octa-Core Android Smartphones

Miami — Unlocked-phone supplier Blu Products has begun shipping its latest two flagship Android smartphones, both of which are its first to sport octa-core processors.

Blu also claims the two 3G HSPA+21Mbps phones are the first smartphones available in the Americas with octa-core processors, although at International CES Alcatel One Touch unveiled the Idol X+ with octa-core processor. Availability of that product in the Americas wasn’t confirmed at post time.

Blu’s two new flagships are the $199 Blu Life 8 and $299 Blu Vivo IV. They’re available at Amazon as well as through agents and retailers in the U.S. and Latin America with Android 4.2 OS and upgradeability to Android 4.4. Android 4.4 versions of the two phones will ship by the end of June.

Both also feature 5-inch displays, 1.7GHz MediaTek octa-core processor, quad-band GSM, HSPA+21Mbps operation in the U.S. 850/1900MHz bands, 1080p main-camera video capture at 30 fps, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, GPS, Bluetooth v4.0 with A2DP, Wi-Fi hotspot, MicroUSB and FM radio.

The Vivo IV adds 2,100MHz HSPA+21 operation, and the Blu Life 8 adds dual-SIM capability.

The $299 Vivo IV, promoted as the thinnest smartphone on the market at 5.5mm, features an aluminum case, FullHD Super AMOLED display with 441 ppi and Corning Gorilla Glass, 2GB RAM, 16GB embedded memory, 13-megapixel main camera with 1080p video capture, 5-megapixel front camera and a fixed lithium-polymer 2,300 mAh battery.

The Blu Life 8 features a 5-inch 720 by 1080 IPS display with 294 ppi, 1GB RAM, 8GM embedded memory, 8-megapixel main camera, 2-megapixel front camera, 64GB MicroSD slot and a non-removable 2,000 mAh lithium-polymer battery.