Category Archives: BLU PURE XL

T-Mobile Binge-On is a SCAM – YouTube, Twitch, Amazon videos get THROTTLED to 480p Bitrate

If you have Binge On enabled, you cannot watch HD (720p) or Full HD (1080p) videos on Youtube, Twitch, Amazon Videos, etc, because T-Mobile limits ALL your streaming video bandwidth to 1.4 mbps (480p bitrate).

In this video I have 2 phones with T-Mobile UNLIMITED data and LTE connection:

Phone A LG G3 has Binge On ENABLED.
Phone BBLU Pure XL has Binge on DISABLED.

Speed Test produces similar results (about 15 mbps down speed).

PROOF – TEST 1: In the test I play the same youtube video on 1080p Full HD resolution side by side. Test proves that Binge On throttles YouTube HD and Full HD videos!

Phone A has to buffer (load) the video every 5-7 seconds, making it unwatchable.

Phone B plays same video without any buffering or hiccups.

PROOF – TEST 2: Next I play a live steam of a StarCraft 2 game on Twitch TV android app, streaming it in SOURCE quality (1080p)

Phone A – constant buffering.
Phone B – plays continuously without buffering!

RESULTS: T-Mobile knowingly enables Binge On for ALL customers on Simple Coice plans, without letting customers know.

While Binge On should not affect excluded services (YouTube, Twitch, Amazon Videos, Vimeo, etc) it still limits video bandwidth to 480p bitrate (about 1.4 mbps).

Users cannot “fix” this problem UNLESS they call T-Mobile to cancel / disable Binge On.

Why T-Mobile is trying to scam customers this way?

Streaming video consumes more than 50% of all wireless data traffic, so T-mobile came up with clever way to cut down video data by limiting ALL customers with Binge On enabled to 1.4 mbps, effectively cutting video traffic by 4 times.

Since Binge On is ENABLED by default, without asking customers (according to T-Mobile phone customer support rep), most T-mo users are affected by this.

T-Mobile NETWORK OVERLOAD - LOW LTE SPEEDNEXT, i talk about my experience earlier that day in Chelsea MA, near a T-mobile store, where I tried to watch a youtube video while waiting for my wife. The video would not load. So I ran a Speed Test, and got LESS THAN 1 mbps download speed on 4 consecutive tests. This means that network is so OVERLOADED in Chelsea that average user CANNOT use their data for anything other than email or GPS or light web browsing.

Chelsea MA is 10 minutes from downtown Boston, and is primarily populated by “lower” income people. So for most of local residents, budget mobile providers such as T-Mobile is a clear choice over AT&T and Verizon, which cost 2x as much for the same services.

With recent influx of new customers to T-Mobile, networks get overloaded while network capacity is NOT being upgraded. So more people share same bandwidth, making everyone have LESS data.

In this particular case, it got so bad that average speed is about 0.5 mbps.

How I found out that T-mobile Binge On service is to blame for this video bandwidth throttling:

This started 2 weeks ago when I noticed that i could not stream any HD videos without buffering. When I needed to watch a 1080p video sample of GoPro and Polaroid Cube cameras for work related reasons and video would buffer every 5 seconds, making it impossible to watch, i’ve had enough and called T-Mobile Customer Service.

Long story short – I got issues resolved by DISABLING Binge On service on ALL my business phone lines with T-Mobile. I haven’t had problems streaming HD / Full HD videos on my phone since that call. So I made a short video about this:

I also posted this video in T-Mobile Google+ community here: https://plus.google.com/+LeoBoss/posts/7xixPToGYog

That post got nearly 70 comments in the first day, and some were saying that this is not real, while others said they had no problem. But more and more people started to comment that they DO HAVE SAME PROBLEMS. Unfortunately, by the time I made video above, I had disabled Binge On on all my lines, so I could not recreate the problem.

So for the Video Proof of a Binge On SCAM, i had to call T-mobile again and had to ENABLE binge on for one of my lines. Thus I was able to recreate the problem and provide proof that Binge On throttles excluded video streaming services, as well as those included in the package.

NOTE – YouTube and Twitch.tv are excluded from Binge ON package.

CALL ON T-MOBILE:

We the customers DEMAND that T-Mobile maintains adequate LTE 4G speeds for ALL customers, not buy THROTTLING unlimited data plan users, but by increasing its Network Capacity to meet growing subscriber base.

It’s great for you as a company that you are getting more new customers, but you have to provide adequate service to those customers! What good is UNLIMITED data if your speed is limited to almost Dial Up level???

So if in 2013 (before the mass explosion in new subscribers T-mobile had 1 tower / base station per X customers, they should build out their network to maintain same ratio of users / tower as it was in 2013.

BLU PURE XL – Unboxing and First Impressions

So I finally got my BLU Pure XL (Gold) shipped from Amazon – after paying $350 for it, I’ve been awaiting it like a little kid awaits his birthday 🙂 …

And finally the moment of truth. It is BIG … and HEAVY … and AMAZINGLY good looking, and fast, and awesome …

Next day: Buyer’s remorse sets in … maybe I should have gotten a One Plus Two?
Day Two: Buyer’s remorse gone! This phone is awesome! It has a few things i hate, but overall – awesome!

Watch my unboxing and first impressions video:

BLU PURE XL Specs:

6″ WQHD (2560×1440) Super HD AMOLED
HELIO X10 – Octa Core – 8x at 2.0 GHz CPU + IMG G6200 700 MHz GPU
DUAL SIM LTE (Dual ACTIVE) up-to 150mbps – data in both SIMs, but not simultaneously.
3500 mHa battery will last all day for 99% of people.
24 mp Main Camera with great low light performance and 4K video recording.
8 mp selfie camera.
64GB rom + 3GB ram
Android 5.1 Lollipop
Great 3D gaming performance!
Fingerprint Scanner that works great.

Additional info:

This phone has a pretty decent Camera App, and is very snappy out of the box (unlike BLU Studio 6 LTE, which was super slow, until you install 3rd party launcher).

Stock rom has some customizations that you will have to get used to, but it becomes easy after a day or two.

Battery should last you all day easily, with medium to heavy usage.

Overall, I’m very happy with this – stay tuned for my full review in a few days.

In the meantime, here are some additional videos I’ve made about this phone so far:

BLU Pure XL – DUAL SIM function
Stock Camera app VS HTC Camera App
3D Gaming Performance of Helio X10 (BLU Pure XL)

Hi-end 6″ Super Amoled Dual Sim phablet – BLU Pure XL Preview

Finally there is a true high end phablet with Dual SIM capability for US market, and it will be available end of September! Enter BLU’s new PURE XL

Here is BLU PURE XL preview:

With a 6″ Quad HD Super Amoled screen, 64GB of storage complemented by a 24MP camera you can take and store crapton of hi resolution images and 4K video without needing a MicroSD card.

Fingerprint scanner lets you quickly unlock your phone (big deal for me as I always have a passcode turned on and it’s a pain to enter the key every time).

And with Octa Core MediaTek HELIO X10 CPU you can do all the productivity and gaming you need.

Oh, and did I mention Complete LTE Dual SIM support in US, Canada and Mexico? Remember how BLU Studio 6 LTE did not get LTE on AT&T? That was a bummer, and BLU has learned from their mistakes.

PS – this beauty is actually a rebranded Gionee ELIFE E8

Oh, and it is beautiful!