Blackview BL8800 Pro Thermal Imaging Rugged Smartphone Review

Over the last few years, Blackview has been hitting all the right notes with its feature-packed smart devices ranging from eye-catching smartphones to high-end tables. And it appears to be the case this year with the company’s latest addition, the BL8800 Pro. The phone is the first 5G rugged device from Blackview, promising substantial upgrades over its prior generation. With these improvements, can Blackview BL8800 finally compete in the crowded and cut-throat rugged phone segment? We’ll try to answer this in this in-depth review of the Blackview BL8800 Pro.

Design
Weight: 365g
Dimensions:176.2×83.5×17.7mm
IP68 & IP69K Waterproof
MIL-STD-810H

Blackview always has a flair for striking design, especially when it comes to rugged phones which often sacrifice its appearance for better ruggedness, but not in the case for Blackview. The unit we have is Navy Green. It is designed to flaunt geometric simplicity with bold design language. On the back of BL8800 Pro, a perfect octagon camera island embedded quietly in the middle top. Below the cameras are two symmetrical green thin lines, and between them is a modest embossed-stripes design with Blackview logo on it. On the front, the edge of the display is surrounded with a low-key green thin line made of polycarbonate and 10% of glass fiber to better protect the screen from cracking or breaking.

The whole back cover is manufactured with double-shot molding TPU soft rubber for greater resistance against drops or bumps. All four corners are tightened with rubber corners for superb shock-proof performance. And there is the metal frame fixed with screws for reduced risk of falling apart. The 2-in-1 finger sensor & power button, volume buttons and the shortcut button housed on the side are all clicky and easily accessible. The hands-on experience is ergonomic thanks to its curved back design, but due to its bulky weight, hand fatigue is inevitable.

As a rugged waterproof phone, BL8800 Pro is designed with a tightly-fit cap for charging port to prevent damage from water submersion, and for the convenience of adventures, the back of the BL8800 is equipped with a lanyard hook.

Display
Size: 6.58inch
Resolution: 1080*2408 FHD+
Screen-to-body Ratio: 85%
Touch Sampling Rate: 90Hz
Brightness: 480 nits

BL8800 Pro can hardly compete with other premium flagship in terms of refresh rate and panel type with only standard 60Hz and an ordinary 6.58-inch IPS screen, but it doesn’t prevent BL8800 Pro from offering a superb responsive and bright viewing experience. The display is colorful and pixel-dense with good contrast thanks to its 1080*2408 resolution. It is smooth and fast in terms of scrolling and animation. It may not be the phone for those who are heading for a 90Hz or 120Hz screen, but we can still confidently say that the BL8800 Pro’s screen shines against most odds, including bright or direct sunlight hitting it upfront.

Camera
Rear Camera: 50MP Samsung®ISOCELL JN1 +5MP+Thermal Imaging+2MP+2MP
Front Camera: 16MP Samsung® S5K3P9-SP

Daylight Performance
The overall performance of the Samsung® 50 MP main camera and Samsung®16MP front camera is more than satisfying. The photos clicked in daylight manage to maintain the reliability of the sensors with pleasing color, definition, detail, and proper exposure and ultra-accuracy. When using the 50 MP camera to shoot an image of a written script 30 meters away, the content is still fairly legible after zooming in the picture. As for portraits, the 16 MP camera can even capture your smallest strand of hair on the forehead. Basically what you see in the photos is what you view in the real world.

Low Light Performance
Low light photography of BL8800 Pro is something that doesn’t wow you though, but both the 16MP and 50 MP cameras manage to retain a healthy amount of detail and accurate color reproduction, while keeping noise to a minimum. From a glorious nightfall on the track to some quiet moments before summer dawn, BL8800 Pro nailed it in all scenarios.

Feature Shooting Mode
The camera UI is easy to use without cluttering with tons of features. It packs the essentials including Night mode 2.0 and Beauty mode, standard mode and video mode. More modes including Portrait, Portrait Color Retention mode, Pro mode and Mono mode are tucked away in the hamburger menu on the interface. The Pro mode comes in handy for pros who prefer to adjust metrics such as ISO, white balance, shutter speed, exposure and focus. So how do these modes perform? To say the least, we were overwhelmingly impressed. The portrait mode works well with good edge to edge detection. It accurately blurs out the background and puts the focus back on the subject pleasantly and naturally. The Night mode 2.0, which amuses us a lot during several night tests, helps to refine the detail and saturate the color of the images.

Beauty mode is a standard offer with basically what you would expect from a beauty camera app. Enlarging eyes, Whitening skin tone, Slimming face or Brightening eye is alway on-the-go with one click, and you are allowed to adjust how far those changes go on your photos.

Video capture has topped out at 2K with the option for video stabilization which is extremely friendly for unsteady hands. The video shot by BL8800 Pro is actually quite flattering with good color and on-point white balance. We can confidently say it can compete with some big boys like Huawei P40.

Thermal Imagery
Blackview has already worked with FLIR® thermal imagery since its last few rugged phones and all of them deliver perfect thermal imaging performance. And this time seems to be the case too. BL8800 Pro is empowered by a FLIR® Lepton® thermal imaging camera that allows users to see and even measure heat regardless of lighting conditions. Whether for creative photos posted on social media, fixing safety issues at home, or detecting danger in outdoor adventures or in dark nights of the city, BL8800 Pro hits the spot in almost every aspect.

Processor – MediaTek Dimensity 700 5G
7nm
Octa-core
2*2.2GHz Cortex-A76
6*2.0GHz Cortex-A55
RAM: 8GB LPDDR4X
ROM: 128GB UFS 2.1

Everything is butter smooth and responsive even in high-graphic or big-title games such as PUBG, Asphalt Nitro or COD Mobile. The phone excels in almost anything thrown at it. Light tasks like downloading or uploading a Youtube video are obviously a breeze, but even demanding ones are effortlessly handled with little heat felt. We have tested the 5G connection by comparing it with its 4G sibling, finding BL8800 Pro is almost 20 seconds faster than 4G iteration in downloading Trails of Heroes in Google Play. In AnTuTu benchmark test, BL8800 Pro scores 351244, achieving 101203 for CPU and 81947 for GPU, while its 4G iteration only gets 348482 score. Throughout our days of use, call quality, data speed and wireless connection are all rock solid.

OS – Android 11 & DokeOS 3.0
BL8800 Pro runs Android 11 with personalized DokeOS 3.0 on top. There are an enormous wealth of customized options around the UI to tailor your interaction as per your liking. From DIY desktop like customizing icons or using different shades of dark mode to swiping left or right to adjust the smart floating window for quick access to apps, DokeOS 3.0 is the formation of a more intuitive and swifter OS that makes you forget you are interacting with a machine.

Battery
The phone bears a 8380 mega battery that leads us through an entire day with ease. Daily usage with 5-6 hours screen time can barely kill the battery at the end of the day. Note that the standby time surpasses 700 hrs, making it more than suitable for people who aim for an outdoor exploration. But if you manage to chew away the battery, the 33W fast charge gets you back to 100% real quick in just 1.5 hrs.

Verdict
Given BL8800 Pro’s 50MP ultra-clear camera, speedy 5G chipset and all the bells and whistles from FLIR-powered thermal imagery, Blackview has managed to undercut its rivals and punch above its weight. All in all, the BL8800 Pro feels like a great evolution of the Blackview range. It also looks and feels like a premium smartphone but with an affordable price, undercutting its powerful counterparts like CAT S62 Pro. BL8800 Pro will make its premier on May 23rd and is going to be offered with Early Bird Price at 269.99$. Don’t miss the best chance to take advantage of this 5G thermal imaging phone. Click here to know more information.

 

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