Good rugged phones are usually expensive and they don’t have the best specifications out there. The Chinese company Blackview has produced quite a few rugged phones over the years and the BV8000 Pro is their latest model. It looks great and it has plenty of power but it costs about $260. Learn more in the full Blackview BV8000 Pro Review.
The phone ships with all the usual stuff and some extras include the USB OTG cable, a pair of earphones, a screen protector, micro USB to USB C adapter and a screw driver with some extra screws.
DESIGN and DISPLAY
It is obvious that the BV8000 Pro is a rugged phone since it is thick and heavy but I have to say this is one of the best-designed and well-built rugged smartphones I’ve tested so far.
The phone has the IP-68 rating meaning that it is water and dust resistant. Also, the rugged body assures that the phone will survive a few accidental drops.
What is awesome is that the ports are not covered by any flaps that usually become annoying.
We have a 5” 1080p display, which is sharp and vibrant and it is bright enough for both indoor and outdoor use. Also, it is covered with the Gorilla Glass 3 for scratch resistance.
I found the display to be very good both indoors and outdoors. The phone has an LED notification light, LED flash for selfies and a dual camera setup on the front.
Just above the display, we have an 8MP shooter for selfies. It is great that we have a multicolor and customizable LED notification light, and nicely backlit capacitive keys.
I have always loved sharp edges of the metal chassis and tactile metal buttons. There is a multifunctional key, which as of now, can be only used for SOS and PTT services.
You can customize the SOS details in the settings menu.
On the right, there is a one stage camera shutter key. There is also a side mounted fingerprint scanner that I found to be pretty accurate but not the fastest I’ve seen.
The backplate has a rubberized finish with some really nice-looking metal accents. You can access two SIM card slots and the microSD card slot by using a screw driver to remove a backplate. It is not the most convenient way of doing this but that is the tradeoff of IP68 rating.
As for optics, we are looking at a 16MP shooter that is coupled with a single LED flash.
The loudspeaker quality is just great and the volume output is very good.
HARDWARE and PERFORMANCE
When it comes to hardware, the Blackview BV8000 Pro is one of the most powerful budget rugged phones out there. The phone ships with an octa-core MTK6757 chip (2.3GHz), 6GB of RAM and 64GB of expandable storage.
The phone ships with Android 7.0 out of the box but we have a heavily customized Blackview’s skin on top of it that changes the looks, removes the app tray and adds some extra features. For example, you can quickly launch the camera by pressing a power button twice. Also, you can change the colors of the notification LED light, use some gesture and motion controls that work pretty well or use one hand operation mode.
There is also a built-in toolbox that has some apps like a sound meter, compass, bubble level, pedometer or heart rate monitor. I can’t confirm the accuracy of these tools but I think they are quite accurate.
There are some other cool features and customization options to play with but what is the most important to me is the speed and fluidity of the user interface. I’ve installed a lot of apps on this phone and I’m yet to see it lag, thanks to 6GB of RAM.
The device runs on Android 7.1 out of the box and we have a typical Blackview’s interface. That means that the UI is a mixture of stock Android and some added features and customization options. You can customize the navigation bar, LED notification light, quickly open up the camera or use other gesture controls. In general, I found the performance to be pretty good, I have no complaints.
Selfie images look soft and the level of detail is kind of low.
The 1080p video quality is just mediocre as there could be more detail in the footage.
The selfie videos are shot at only 480p resolution and the quality is kind of poor but still usable for video chats. However, I noticed that the sound is being recorded mostly to the left channel as it is louder than the right one.
I didn’t have any connectivity issues with this device as the call quality and signal reception are pretty good, and even the GPS lock speeds and accuracy were okay.
The phone has quite a few sensors including a gyroscope, so you will be able to use the device with VR headsets.
The Blackview BV8000 Pro ships with a built-in 4180mAh battery that performs just great. I could constantly get over 7 or 8 hours of screen-on time but your mileage may vary, depending on the usage.
Finally, the phone ships with the fast charger that can fully charge the battery in about 1.5 hours.
The Blackview BV8000 Pro is easily one of the best budget rugged and IP68-certtified smartphones out there. If you are okay with a mediocre camera performance, this phone can be easily recommended to buy since it looks great, it’s fast and fluid, it even handles 3d games well, and the battery life is great.