Thank you Blackview for the Chinese new year lucky draw. I have received my phone and thought I will do a quick review
The box is the usual Blackview box, containing
24W charger (12V 2A)
Headphone with Mic (usual 3.5mm plug)
3.5mm socket to USB-C adapter (phone has no 3.5mm plug!)
USB-C to USB-A charging cable
USB-C to USB-A Socket OTG Cable adapter
USB-C to Micro-USB Socket OTG adapter
SIM Eject + Hook Tool
Extra screen protector
Blackview logo'ed Ring-stand
If you like the BVx000, the phone is handsomely built, with a 5.7 inch, 18x9 screen (There appears to be 2 versions, 1080x2160 FHD and 720x1440 HD, seems like Blackview upgraded the device mid-cycle. I have the FHD version).
The port covers are back (from the BV6000 days), which protects the port from liquids (or worse, mud). The port covers design has also improved - before you had to pull out and fold back the cover to insert the USB, now the cover is attached by a length of plastic that lets you rotate the cover out of the way.
There are 2 ports, one for the USB-C port, and the other one is for the SIM tray. (Sorry, No headphone jack. It's a feature from the iPhoneX!). Both ports are recessed inside the rubber outer case, and will require a longer USB-C cable.
The SIM tray is a 3 choose 2 device (i.e. 2 SIM or 1SIM 1Micro-SD) (doesn't say on website, but MicroSD is supported). The SIM tray removal tool has a pin on one side and a hook on the other side, and you need the hook to pull the SIM tray out from the recess. Don't lose the SIM Ejector tool! A quick comment on the SIM eject hole, there's no guide for the pin inside the hole, so you might miss the eject lever inside. Once you find the eject lever, the card comes out. Since the tray is recessed, it is difficult to remove without this hook tool.
The SOS and PTT buttons are gone, Volume, Power and "Smart Key" buttons are to the right hand side. Fingerprint reader is in the back.
The Blackview logo'ed ring stand is a nice touch, very well built
Booted the phone without SIM card, greeted with the standard Google OOBE (out of box experience), entered Wifi password, and got a "stopped responding" message, and the Google OOBE restarts. (Aaah. It comes with "Authentic" Blackview software). Escaped through "stopped responding" loop hell by skipping the OOBE and greeted with the Blackview themed launcher.
Running Phone Information, the phone is confirmed to have 4GB RAM and 64G ROM (~50GB usable). Interestingly, this phone is running Android 7.1.1 (BV8000, with the exact same SoC, is running 7.0). You'd have expected Blackview to share the same codebase for these 2 extremely similar phones, but no. The phone came loaded with 20180105 software, with security patch level from November 2017 (bad Blackview). The phone detected a new firmware update (20180119), and upgraded itself. No change on the security patch level
Inside System settings, there's a new Smart Key panel - you can assign 3 different actions to the smart key by short click, double click, long click. It is default disabled. You can have it open an app, or assign to one of the following activities: Off screen snapshot, record audio, flashlight, screenshot, PTT and SOS. There seems to be about a 2 second delay before the action is completed, which was a little disorienting.
Checking the bands using *#9646633#, the phone supports
GSM band 850, 900, 1800, 1900
3G band 1 (2100Mhz), 8 (900Mhz) (Sorry Americas. This is not the phone you are looking for)
4G band 1,3,7,8,20
Looks like the phone supports 4G+3G dual standby
Plugging in the charger, the phone draws 9V, 1.9A, so charges at ~18W. (Interestingly, my BV8000Pro never really goes above 9V 1.2A)
The Air Pressure meter seems to have gone. (?)
That's the big ticket items for now. If anyone else is interested, I can add photos or provide more details.