Vivo Air Hands On: A Crazy Thin, Crazy Light, Crazy Cheap Smartphone

By Darren Orf on at

Apple likes to "Air" things. Macbook Air, iPad Air, and so on. But if Cupertino were going to Air the iPhone, it might look something like this. One key difference? This phone will be sold for $200 (UK pricing and availability TBC), off contract; a price that no Apple phone will ever be sold for as new.

BLU, the budget-friendly, Miami-based smartphone maker brought the thinnest and lightest phone to CES this year. I headed over to their booth to get a little hands-on time, and I can't say that they're wrong. This thing is a feather.

At 97 grams and 5.1mm(!) thin, the Vivo Air really does feel like nothing — almost like a I could crumple it in my hands. And as the name "Air" suggests, BLU is going for that iPhone feel with an aluminium body and similar hardware buttons.

Vivo Air Hands On: A Crazy Thin, Crazy Light, Crazy Cheap Smartphone

But all likeness stops there. No blazing processors and pixel-dense screens to be found here. This is a budget phone, after all. The Vivo Air runs a Mediatek 1.7GHz octa-core processor and has an HD screen, 16GB of memory and 1GB of RAM. The Vivo does run near stock Android 4.4, but comes with a custom launcher. But those are all better specs—or at least good enough specs—for a phone this cheap.

The main issue, as with every super slim mobile, is battery life. BLU says it did have to sacrifice some in comparison to the standard Vivo IV, but it was still able to squeeze in a 2000 mAh battery. And cheap smartphones are actually well equipped to last longer into the night, since often their processors and screens require less power.

Because many companies often save mobile news for the upcoming Mobile World Congress, CES can be a surprisingly quiet time for smartphones, but BLU took the opportunity to show off quite the budget-conscious head turner. Just maybe don't try to bend it.

Welcome to Gizmodo UK's coverage of all things CES 2015. For our comprehensive rundown of everything new and shiny at the year's biggest gadgetorium, check here.