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Bluboo S8 Review: First Samsung S8 Pseudo-Clone Ever Released

The Samsung Galaxy S8 was announced in March and shipped in April. Thus it has been on the market for about 7 months. Thanks to a great and bezel-less design and Snapdragon 835 chip it was able to win customers’ hearts and become one of the best-selling smartphones in the globe. Actually, the Samsung S8 is a perfect phone with a myriad of excellent features. But not everyone can afford himself/herself to take hands this amazing smartphone. All those who have low incomes and are not ready to spend much on a smartphone will look for an affordable Samsung Galaxy S8 alternative. Fortunately, there are too many companies offering their own Samsung S8-like phones at low price tags. But unfortunately, most of them don’t deserve to be purchased. This means you should be a geek to understand which model is worth your money. Today we are going to find out whether the Bluboo S8, which is considered to be one of the most attractive clones of the Samsung S8, deserves your attention as well as your money. Before we start the Bluboo S8 review, you should know this phone has many advantages and disadvantages. So it should be very difficult to come in with a final verdict. However, let’s try puzzle it out.

Bluboo S8

Samsung Galaxy S8 VS Bluboo S8

  • Display: 5.7 inches, IPS, 720 x 1440 pixels, 18:9 aspect ratio, Gorilla Glass
  • SoC: MediaTek MT6750T (ARM Cortex-A53, 4 x 1500 MHz + 4 x 1000 MHz)
  • GPU: ARM Mali-T860 MP2 dual-core @ 650MHz
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Storage: 32GB
  • Back Camera: 13MP (Sony IMX135) ?
  • Front Camera: 8MP (Sony IMX190)
  • Wi-Fi: b, g, n 2.4GHz/5.0GHz, dual-band, Wi-Fi Hotspot
  • USB: 2.0, Type-C
  • Battery: 3450mAh
  • OS: 360 OS (Android 7.0 Nougat based)
  • Network: 4G Cat.6 (300MBps) with VoLTE Support
  • Colors: Blue, Black
  • Dimensions: 70.6 x 149.5 x 8.4 mm
  • Weight: 192g
  • Bluboo S8 Box Content

Unboxing

But the Bluboo S8 phone you can also find: 1x Type-C USB Cable, 1x 5V/2A USB Charger, 1x 3.5mm to Type-C Adapter, 1x TPU Cover, 1x Plastic Screen Protector, 1x SIM Card Tray Eject Tool, and 1x User Manual.

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The selling point of the Bluboo S8 is its look, undoubtedly. Not in vain, it’s called a Samsung Galaxy S8 clone. I mean if this handset doesn’t come with a good design, no one will pay too much attention to it. The company makes no secret of his ambitions and promotes this phone as a replica to the S8. It even comes with the same title. So when talking about the Bluboo S8 appearance and features, we should compare it with its founding father and other models made with the same purpose in mind.

First, the chassis of the phone is made of metal, 100% aluminum, which simply means the Bluboo S8 comes with an impressive build quality. The only thing we can complain of refers to the unlock button that was rocking up and down. But this shortcoming may concern only the model we were testing. Moreover, we haven’t heard other customers’ complaints on this occasion. Well, the front panel is almost identical to the original Samsung Galaxy S8. It is curved on both edges. The black border around the screen is very narrow. Moreover, it will be unnoticeable on the black version. By the way, the company states there are two versions, black and blue. But the ‘black’ model actually is dark blue.

Bluboo S8

Like the Samsung S8, it has very narrow parts on the upper and lower parts of the front panel. In this sense, the Chinese manufacturer could ‘copy’ Samsung’s design. But when it comes to the curved edges, we see Bluboo wasn’t able to curve the display. Therefore, there is no similar software customization for edge-side operations. Apart of this, Samsung has put too many sensors and other features on the upper front side, while Bluboo comes with a few of them. Summarizing thoughts about the front side, we can say the Bluboo S8 looks almost identical to the Samsung Galaxy S8 bezel-less and curved phone. But it sports only a 5.7-inch display, which is by 0.1 inches smaller than the original S8. Moreover, the resolution it provides is only 720p (720 x 1440 pixels), while the original model provides 1440 x 2960 pixels resolution. At last, the display is covered with a 2.5D arc glass. Unfortunately, we can’t provide the version it comes with.

Bluboo S8

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A 5MP front camera is placed above the screen. But we can find the speaker, a standard set of sensors, and notification LED flashlights.

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The back of the Bluboo S8 is made of plastic with a nice texture underneath the glass. It’s been expected to see this material used in a budget phone, but not all Samsung S8 clones come with such a rear panel. Say, the same Umidigi S2 Pro, which is considered to be another S8 alternative, comes with a metal housing.

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Anyway, the manufacturer has used a trick seen on the lately announced the Gionee M7.

Bluboo S8

The main camera is placed on the middle upper part. The camera sensors are accompanied with an accurately working fingerprint scanner. A dual-flash light (not dual-tone) is on the left side of the camera modules, while a dual-camera printing is on the opposite side providing a symmetrical design for the phone. As the body is made of plastic, there is no need for additional antenna ribbons on the back. They can be seen only on the metal frame. At last, the back is curved as well. So we can say the Bluboo S8 looks like not only the Samsung Galaxy S8 but the Xiaomi Mi Note 2 as well. By the way, the front, as well as the back, are covered with an oleophobic cover. Actually, we haven’t seen any information about this, but no fingerprints have been left on the phone when using.

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As for the holes and interfaces, we should say the company has canceled the 3.5mm audio jack on it. Honestly, we don’t understand why many customers complain about it. But if you like to use regular headphones when listening to music, there is a special cable included in the box. The Bluboo S8 bottom side carries a USB Type-C port, which provides better connectivity options. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support OTG. Next to the USB port, we can see a microphone hole and the speaker. But where is the second one, Bluboo?

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The top side comes with a SIM tray. Another microphone hole made for noise reduction is placed near to the second antenna line.

Bluboo S8

The volume rocker is on the left.

Bluboo S8

Well, the Bluboo S8 looks very stylish. It really comes with a high build quality level. But this phone is a bit larger and the way heavier than the original S8. It comes with dimensions of 15.11×7.15×0.98cm and weighs 199 grams. But thanks to curved edges on both sides, the device feels solid and provides enough grip. Though its screen provides only HD+ resolution, in reality, it looks sharper with a decent color reproduction.

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As expected, the Bluboo S8 is not that perfect inside as outside. This doesn’t mean it is not capable of providing stable performance. Absolutely, no. But if the phone looks like a premium flagship, there is a mid-range hardware under the hood. It is powered with a MediaTek MT6750T, which can be found on another Samsung Galaxy S8 clone, the Blackview S8. It’s an octa-core processor integrating ARM Cortex-A53 architecture. There are four cores clocked at 1GHz, and four larger cores running at a 1.5GHz frequency. However, if utilizing all 8 of its cores, the Cortex-A53 can rival competing mobile processes in the high-end class range. The chip is still manufactured in 28nm process node and so power efficiency is not on par with modern 14/16nm chips. The MT6750T is also paired with a GPU of ARM Mali-T860 MP2 (two clusters) clocked at up to 650MHz. Plus, the SoC is paired with a 3GB of RAM and 32GB of eMMC storage.

Benchmarks

3DMark – A standard performance for this mid-range SoC.

AndroBench – This is a bit confusing, since read speed is outstanding for an eMMC, but write speed is pretty low.

Antutu

GeekBench – It could be better for the single-core performance.

GFXBench – Thanks to the limited HD+ resolution, OpenGL benchmarks are not as bad as on devices with the same SoC but running on a higher res screen.

PCMark

Vellamo

The MediaTek MT6750T integrates a Cat. 6 LTE radio modem (FDD/TDD, DC-HSPA+, TD-SCDMA, CDMA2000, EDGE) with both 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth. On the modem side, the MT6750 covers the worldwide 4G spectrum and enables an advanced 4G LTE Cat-6 (LTE FDD/TDD R11) features with 2x Carrier Aggregation with capability for VoLTE, ViLTE, VoWiFi, RCS Fast data transfers. That’s why the Bluboo S8 supports for European 4G Networks, and signal reception is good. A standard speed test shows a decent result.

WiFi Performance is great considering the WiFi Chipset used on the MT6750T, connected at 135mbps to a 5GHz WiFi Connection, it almost gets the maximum reachable speed.

Some time ago Bluboo has launched a smartphone with a great audio experience. I am talking about the Bluboo Maya Max. But in this case, unfortunately, the speaker is pretty bad. It comes with a low volume, missing low-frequencies, and a noticeable static noise.

Though the MT6750T comes with an enhanced photographic experiences via zero shutter delay or gesture shutter, laser and hybrid auto-focus support and advanced ISP capable of photo and video HDR (iHDR), there is no electronic image stabilization (EIS).

The Bluboo S8 is equipped with a dual-camera setup using a 16MP main snapper (Sony IMX135) and a 3MP secondary one. The latter is mainly used to collect object and distance data. Thus it is used only when getting a bokeh effect. The main sensor uses PDA and has an aperture of f/2.0. There is also a 5MP front camera interpolated to the 8MP one (Sony IMX190). Both cameras have an independent vision processing unit, which enables background blurring in real time. Plus, you also choose where to focus (touch focus) and where to blur, with the ability to adjust the intensity of blurring, too. But like many Chinese smartphones with a dual-camera, this operation is not implemented well. Say, in most cases the camera is not capable of identifying the focused object, and just takes it into a circle frame while blurring the rest part.

Actually, the main camera is capable of taking good photos only in daylight.

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And when it comes to low-light shooting, the photos are ugly. It’s a bit surprising because the rear camera is paired with a dual-flash light, which should provide a huge amount of light to get almost perfect shots. But it doesn’t do that.

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The HDR mode works well. So you can adjust the brightness to see more details when need it. As for video recording, the Bluboo S8 does it at 1080p and 30fps. But as there is no image stabilization option, the videos are terrible. Still no idea why the manufacturer didn’t come in with EIS.

Bluboo S8

As for the front shooter, though it comes with a smaller lens, it is a great feature to take impressive selfies mainly due to the modern camera software. Thus you can use any mode from myriads offers such as Beautify.

Bluboo is one of those rare Chinese smartphone makers that come with its own software. The S8 runs on 360 OS based on Android 7.0 Nougat. This OS is pretty snappy but full of bloatware. Except the Mediatek’s MiraVision, there is no other feature such as gestures or double tap-to-wake available.

Anyway, you will need more time to play with it and explore all the tricks, because the company has designed it with many customization options. One of my favorite features is the roulette. When this feature is enabled, a small circle appears on the screen. Tapping on it you will activate a drum with many shortcodes made for easier use of the phone. It will be very useful as we are dealing with a 5.7-inch phablet. Another interesting app coming our way preinstalled, 360 Clone. Thanks to it you can copy all content and move to a new phone.

This is a large-screen phone and it should come with a large capacity battery. But on the other hand, the screen resolution is only 720p that simply means not that much power it will consume. The Bluboo S8 sports a 3450mAh battery. At least, the manufacturer announced it with this capacity. But some geeks have tested it and they claim the S8 is packed with a 3100mAh battery.

Regardless its actual capacity, the phone comes with a 5V/2A charger that fills up to 20% in 20 minutes. The phone is completely charged in 2 hours. This is enough to use the phone for a day.

Bluboo S8

  • Stylish look with bezel-less screen and dual-curved edges
  • Great connectivity options including 4G LTE and dual-band WiFi
  • Good front camera
  • Optimized software
  • Fast charge support
  • Low price
  • Mid-range processor
  • Poor rear camera performance

Generally, the Bluboo S8 is the first Galaxy S8 pseudo-clone ever released. This means the company has done its best to come in with a smartphone similar to the original model as much as possible. Exteriorly, the Bluboo S8 looks very stylish and doesn’t cause any complaints. But it is not that perfect inside. Though the phone is packed with a popular mid-range MediaTek chip, which is great in terms of connectivity and power consumption/charging, the phone is not made for serious tasks and heavy games. On one hand, such a shortcoming doesn’t allow us to compare it with the original Galaxy S8. But on the other hand, we are dealing with an under-$200 Samsung S8 alternative. As for pricing, the Bluboo S8 is available for only $150.99, and this makes this handset not only be considered as a Samsung S8 clone, but also a great alternative for other bezel-less smartphones.

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