Blackview BV6300 Pro review
- Rugged design offers excellent protection against drops and spills
- Powerful enough to handle typical phone usage without a hitch
- Big battery is capable of multi-day use off a single charge
- Camera is nothing to write home about
- 720p screen is lower than most smartphones in this price range
|Launch price (RRP)||$0|
There aren't a whole lot of rugged phones on the market. Those that do exist are typically simple feature phones like the Nokia 800 Tough, lacking the power and versatility of most modern smartphones. Chinese phone manufacturer Blackview bucks this trend, producing Android-powered handsets that couple smartphone functionality with hardened designs suitable for outdoor environments.
Latest in the company's offerings is the Blackview BV6300 Pro. Clocking in at US$269.99 (roughly $375 at the time of writing), the BV6300 Pro sits towards the lower end of mid-range smartphones. While it might not match the raw performance of the best mid-range smartphones, the unique advantages of its rugged design make it an attractive option for folks who live active, rough-and-tumble lives.
- Slim design looks more modern than many rugged phones
- Rubber coating provides plenty of grip and protection against fall damage
- 720p screen is little low compared to modern smartphones
The Blackview BV6300 Pro doesn't look like your typical rugged phone. Between its 5.7-inch IPS screen, its high screen-to-body ratio and its surprisingly slim body, it could easily be mistaken for a regular smartphone. If you're not a fan of the walkie-talkie look of many rugged phones, this sleeker design is easier on the eye and more convenient to travel with.
Crucially, this contemporary design doesn't come at a cost to the BV6300 Pro's durability. Pick up the phone and it immediately feels sturdy, its 230g mass conveying strength without feeling like a brick. A rubberised coating surrounds the sides and back of the handset, providing plenty of grip while also protecting against scratches, chips and other forms of contact damage. The fingerprint sensor, rear camera array and screen are all covered with Corning Gorilla Glass 3, reinforcing those more fragile components against bumps and drops. For further protection, the BV6300 Pro comes with a screen protector to ward off dings and scratches.
To deliver on the BV6300 Pro's dustproof and waterproof rating, Blackview has concealed the USB-C port, SIM card slot and headphone jack behind rubber tabs. It's a simple yet effective mechanism, though removing the tabs for the first time can be a bit tricky.
For as much as the BV6300 Pro looks like a modern smartphone, it comes with a few concessions. The 5.7-inch screen has a resolution of 720px x 1440px, relatively low compared to most modern handsets. This leads to text and other on-screen elements appearing slightly blurry. They're still perfectly legible and even watching videos at 720p works well enough. Just note that since the screen uses an 18:9 ratio, you will get black bars along the sides when watching regular 16:9 videos.
I also found the BV6300 Pro's fingerprint sensor to be less reliable than others I've used. It frequently required multiple attempts before it accepted my fingerprint and often it would simply error out with the message "Too many failed attempts", forcing me to use my PIN instead.
- Photo quality is just fine, provided you have good lighting
- Low-light performance isn't great
Blackview makes a lot of big claims around the camera on the BV6300 Pro, pitching it as a viable alternative to a standalone DSLR camera. On paper, that would seem hyperbolic. The BV6300 Pro features a fairly basic rear camera array combining a 16MP primary sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide sensor and 2 complementary sensors of 2MP and 0.3MP that add detail to the primary sensor. Around the front, you'll find a single 13MP sensor for selfies and portrait photography.
While megapixel counts aren't everything – Blackview explicitly calls this out in its promotional materials – those numbers are markedly lower than most mid-range smartphones. To compensate, Blackview has focused in on features, incorporating a slow-motion video mode, HDR and a macro shooting mode for close-up photography.
In reality, all this amounts to a decent but entirely unremarkable camera. The BV6300 Pro isn't going to replace a proper DSLR, nor does it compete with any of the best camera phones currently on the market. It can take some decent shots in good lighting, but so can most other phones in its price range. And despite touting its "intelligent night mode" feature, low-light performance is pretty miserable.
- Snappy and responsive in general use
- Impressive protection against drops and water damage
- Android 10 is a big plus
For its price, the BV6300 Pro performs quite well. Powered by an octa-core Helio P70 processor along with 6GB RAM, it responds snappily in all basic tasks. It handles general web browsing, social media apps and 720p video feeds without issue. Multi-tasking is viable, too. I could split-screen a YouTube video and continue to browse other websites without experiencing any hitches.
For a more data-driven analysis of how the BV6300 Pro performs against similar handsets, here's how it fared in Geekbench 5's CPU test:
The BV6300 Pro is also a surprisingly capable gaming machine. I tested Call of Duty Mobile, Asphalt 9: Legends, Real Racing 3 and Dead Effect 2, all of which ran smoothly at their default graphics settings. Admittedly, the 720p screen meant the visuals weren't as sharp as they could be, but they were totally serviceable for a bit of on-the-go gaming.
Results from 3D Mark's graphics benchmarking tool back up my experience:
Audio is another area where the BV6300 Pro impresses. The built-in speakers are strong and clear, with high volume output. This ties in neatly with the outdoorsy focus of the handset, ensuring that you can clearly hear calls and listen to music in noisy environments.
On the software front, the BV6300 Pro comes pre-installed with Android 10. This gives it an edge on the competition, as many other Android-powered rugged smartphones are stuck on older versions of the operating system.
The BV6300 Pro comes with 128GB of fixed storage out of the box, which is pretty standard for phones in its price range. You can expand this with a microSD card, though only by a maximum of 128GB. That's a little on the low side, especially if you're travelling in remote areas and want to preload the phone with dozens of hours of music and movies.
Of course, for a rugged phone, power is only part of the performance conversation. Durability is the real test and it's here that the BV6300 Pro excels. It boasts an IP68 rating certifying it as dustproof and capable of surviving immersion in water of up to 1.5m for 30 minutes. Blackview also claims it's drop-proof from heights up to 1.5m.
To test these claims, I subjected the BV6300 Pro to repeated drops onto hard tiles, rotating it to measure the impact on the screen, sides and back of the handset. While I couldn't help but flinch every time the phone hit the ground, the battering left no lasting damage. No dings, no scratches, nada.
Testing the waterproofing was a similar story. Dunking the handset into water had no noticeable negative effect whatsoever.
- All-day and even multi-day battery life is totally viable
- Fast wired charging
- Wireless charging support is welcome
If you're shopping for a rugged phone, odds are you'll want one with enough juice for long stints outdoors and in places where power points are at a premium. The BV6300 Pro delivers on this with a fully-sealed, non-removable 4,380mAh battery. Blackview claims this equates to 8 hours of watching video, 6 hours of gaming or 25 hours of listening to music.
Those figures align with my testing. Using our standard battery test of running a YouTube video at full brightness and 50% volume for an hour, the BV6300 Pro came away from full charge with 90% battery remaining.
Under typical use, the BV6300 Pro should have no trouble lasting a full day on a single charge. Depending on how frequently you're checking it, you might even be able to squeeze multiple days without needing to find a power outlet.
When you do need to charge it up, the BV6300 Pro gets its juice back quite fast thanks to its support for 18W wired charging. It also supports 10W wireless charging, though you'll have to supply your own Qi wireless charger.
Should you buy the Blackview BV6300 Pro?
- Buy it if you're looking for a capable yet affordable smartphone sturdy enough to survive a rough-and-tumble lifestyle
- Don't buy it if you're looking for a legitimate replacement for a standalone camera
Blackview has a compelling device in the BV6300 Pro. It combines the strength and durability of a rugged phone with a healthy serving of modern smartphone features, all for a very reasonable price.
If you spend a lot of time in dirty, hazardous environments and want a smartphone that won't keel over after a single tumble, the Blackview BV6300 Pro is well worth a look.
Pricing and availability
Power, storage and battery
Images: Matt Sayer
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