Blu’s Software Update is Locking People out of Their Phones
Blu is one of the biggest budget phone manufacturers out there. You don’t have to take our word for it — the Miami, Florida-based original equipment manufacturer (OEM) nabbed a commanding 36 percent of the unlocked smartphone market in the U.S. last year, according to Strategy Analytics. The key to its success, some say, is a gigantic lineup of midrange, low-range, and feature phones that cover every price bracket from $20 to $300. But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows: Some of Blu’s devices don’t always get the time and attention they should, which leads to serious bugs.
This week, users reported that an over-the-air (OTA) update rolling for the Blu Life One X2 and other devices is locking people out of their phones. After the upgrade, which includes the latest Android security patch level, is finished, the system reboots and appears to reset the security PIN/pattern, effectively locking users out of their devices — and by extension their applications and personal information. It’s caused generated a slew of complaints on social media, including Twitter and Reddit.
— Austin (@CyberDDog) November 29, 2017
The only fix for affected users at the moment is a hard reset with the phones’ SIM card and SD card removed, which newer Blu phones automatically perform after a number of unsuccessful unlock attempts. But that’s not doing the trick for some folks.
Blu says it’s aware of the issue and says it’s working on a remote fix for affected users, but we’re skeptical. Users affected by the bug aren’t seeing the required Wi-Fi keys load in the phone’s locked state. Still, here’s hoping the company brainstorms a solution — and fast.
This almost goes without saying, but if you own a Blu device, don’t update it until Blu gives the all clear.