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on February 4, 2012
I had to admit I was taking a chance with this phone as I never heard of the company prior to seeing this floating around a few Android forums. After extensive research I found out that BLU is actually a big player outside the United States, primarily in Latin America. They are located in Miami, Florida, and I decided to give them a try and report it here.

First off, lets get the inevitable comparison to the Samsung Note out of the way...it has nothing other than the OS type and the exact same sized screen at 5.3" and the same sized battery. That's it. Digging further, I can honestly say that that isn't a bad thing, not at all. The Note is aimed at folks who wan't to be on the bleeding edge, with its dual core processor and Super AMOLED HD screen, and that's fine with me. The overlay that Samsung uses over its version of Gingerbread(2.3.5) is a nicely done, if overly complicated for every day daily use. I like the Studio's lower resolution screen(800x480), it is a fine display with nice bright colors and decent viewing angles...and a whole lot less power drainage from it's 2500 mah battery. Also the Studio uses a deceptively low powered chipset, the MediaTek MT6573, which is single core and runs at a seemingly under powered 633mhz. I have to say, though, that in real world use, that it runs very well indeed at that speed. Everything I tried, from Gameloft games to full on web browsing and everything in between this chipset handled with aplomb. Never did it feel under powered, and never did I wish for just a bit more juice...it simply handled every day use with ease. The true benefit of this is better battery life across the board compared to the Note.

I eeked out a full two days using my Studio before the battery insisted I charge it, and that included a ton of gaming(more hours than I'll admit to ;-) ), hours of video watching, and massive amounts of phone use, an easy 10 plus hours each day...I never let up on it seeing how far I could take it, and boy did it take it! I've never had an Android phone go so long between charges on its included battery. But that isn't the best thing, not by a long shot. BLU chose to go with a plain, unaltered version of Gingerbread(2.3.5),just like Google does with it's Nexus series. The clean, simple interface was a breath of fresh air compared to all the custom U I's that the big guys shove down our throats. Simple is better, period. Everything just flowed on the Studio, no lag or stuttering was experienced at all. I downloaded exactly what I wanted, in my case I used Launcher Pro Plus for my launcher, and used a small amount of apps that made my life easier, no need to get rid of a ton of unwanted apps that the big guys insisted I needed. As a phone, the large screen made texting a breeze for my huge thumbs, I never had it so good in that department! The nice Capacitive screen was easy to use and worked every bit as nice as my very expensive unlocked phones from the big guys. Blutooth worked fine as did its built in A-GPS, another nice surprise. It has a decent 5mp camera with flash on the back, and a so-so VGA camera on the front, but at least it includes one. In fact, none of the hardware felt cheap or poorly designed, and that turned out to be my biggest surprise of all.

I was fully expecting to get a cheap feeling and looking phone for the money I paid for the Studio. After all, it is priced at where the big guys put their low end unlocked phones. To my delight, the Studio had a strong build quality to it, with a nice rubberized back cover that felt solid and strong. The trim and all the buttons have a solid feel to them, and the aforementioned screen is far better than it has a right to be for the price. All told, BLU deserves some serious credit here for bringing such a well made phone to us poor slobs who can't afford the Note and its companions at the upper end of the playing field. You never feel like your toting around a sub standard phone, and you will feel proud to show it off to your friends, and that can only be a good thing :-)

As for who this unlocked phone works with, it is a Dual Sim capable phone. For 3G use your stuck with AT&T as the Studio dosent support the 1700 band needed for T-Mobile's Data to work(at least in the United States...elsewhere you should be fine with either AT&T or T-Mobile for 3G). EDGE(2G), however, does work with T-Mobile, so in a pinch it's nice to know it works at least with that. As an alternative to AT&T's high costs, I used Red Pocket, a company who rents bandwidth from AT&T. They have a nice $60.00 plan that includes 2GB of Data and unlimited everything else, not bad at all. As you've figured out by now, no the Studio dosen't do 4G...but at least it is capable of up to 7.2mbps in 3G mode, and that's not too shabby. Also of note is the fact that you can supplement the phone with its built in wi-fi, which cuts down the costs of Data usage very nicely.

All told, the BLU Studio 5.3 phone is a nice design at a nice price, something that is becoming rarer and rarer these days. The Studio handily replaces a tablet and a phone making for a much lighter traveling experience. The huge 5.3" screen looks and works great, the build quality is awesome, and the software is up to the task...all in all, a very nice and welcome surprise for us folks at the lower end of the spectrum who would rather go month to month instead of dealing with the long contracts that are needed to get the newest and best. Bravo BLU! Highly recommended!!

I have done a VIDEO REVIEW located on youtube,just search "dragon2knight" and it should come up ;-)

UPDATE: There is a new WHITE version of this phone for sale now, and it looks HOT! Just thought you'd like to know :-) It's the same phone, but adds Go Launcher to a list of Launcher options built in to it, nice :-)
3232 comments50 of 52 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 27, 2012
Pros

Battery life is good.
Screen is clear, even with its low pixel density, and everything is very visible and easy to use with it's large 5.3 inch screen.
The built-in speaker is nice and loud, great for listening to Pandora or what have you.
Dual sim works just fine and plenty of setting to customize how and when your sim cards will be used.
Golaucher comes installed and looks and runs nicely.
It also feels nice in the hand (though the size at times leaves me feeling somewhat comical) and build quality is good considering how new to the market this brand is.
I ordered the black one (the only color available on amazon at the time) and it looks very sharp.
It has a front facing camera as well that works with some video chat apps (not Skype at the time of this review unfortunately)
I was surprised to find that I could slide this into most of my pockets ;)
And of course the price is fair. Many would believe from looking at it that you had paid more.

Cons

This is NOT the 800mhz studio 5.3 as advertised, it is the 650mhz.
Also finding a case for this phone is pretty much impossible. However there are Samsung Note sleeves it will squeeze into. Adobe Flash player does not come installed and is not available from Google play for download for this device. The user manual is useless (if you care to read such a thing). Its full of typos and grammar mistakes and describes very little about the product's functions.

In the end, I would recommend this product. Hopefully someone will come out with a silicon case for this thing soon. But until then, if handled with care, I think this phone is something many people would enjoy owning.
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on March 21, 2012
Had the BLU Studio for a couple of days now. Also owned a Galaxy Note in the past.
The only similarities between the BLU Studio & the Samsung Galaxy Note is the screen size (5.3).

I must say the Studio has a pretty good build quality, it doesn't feel entirely cheap! The screen is decent quality. Battery life is pretty good. In terms of everything else, the phone is eh...ok. The processor & RAM suck. Although the device isn't entirely slow. Not much lag in terms of normal use. No skyping. No amazing apps. Also both cameras, front VGA & back 5MP w/flash suck compared to other mid-range devices out right now.

Overall phone is pretty good, but going to return it and wait 'til price is lowered a bit or all specs are upgraded.
Perfect price for this phone would be somewhere around $179-219. Other than that if the processor, RAM, & cameras would be upgraded, I wouldn't mind paying up to $300! Not too shabby for a new company.

I use it w/ my T-Mobile $30/mth prepaid 4G plan and get Edge speeds.
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on May 21, 2012
I've had this phone for about a month now, and I'd rate it very good. It would've gotten five stars except for some minor annoyances; but those annoyances are more than balanced by the great value of the phone and other conveniences. Here's the good: the display is excellent, with a high "head-turning qoutient." I'm constantly getting inquiries from folks who want to know what kind of phone this is, and they'll marvel at the large display. And no, it isn't too large, at least in my opinion. It's much better for reading emails and light web-surfing than a traditional smaller screen. It takes the place of a tablet. It doesn't bother me to put it to my ear and use the phone, and the touch screen qwerty keyboard is large enough for male fingers. I use the phone for a DC-based business and a Miami-based personal phone number, so the dual SIM card is very convenient. I've got an ATT plan on one card and T-Mobile on the other which I mainly use for data And the less than $300 total cost (including tax and shipping) makes this phone a much better value than the Samsung Note which is the top of the line cutting edge phone that I really don't need for my purposes (email, light web and phone).

Here's the bad: some functions and applications will just spontaneously turn on or pop up without me turning them on. For instance, I noticed the battery was draining faster than normal and I saw the bluetooth had spontaneously turned itself on. The screen auto-rotation button will occasionally lock itself, and the airplane internet block has occasioanlly popped up. These are minor annoyances as the screen notification bar will tell you what's on, but I'd prefer not to have take a few seconds out of many days just to check or uncheck a box for something that came on without my input. Also, because Blu is not a major player, I've got concerns about support or warranty follow-up. So far I haven't needed any, but it's in the back of my mind. Finally, I don't like it that I got a 650 MB processor version when the 800MB was advertised. Since I don't play games or do anything heavy, the 650 is sufficient to run all applications, but I don't like the false advertising. All in all I'm happy with the phone.
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on September 11, 2012
The performance is pretty good considering the specs of the phone. I had plans on purchasing another one but after finding out the Blu has no plans on updating the android OS version of this phone I'm going to look at another company. If you plan to never update your phone then this is a good phone but if you have plans on upgrading your OS to get the new features and improvements I would look at another company such as Samsung that supports their products. Based on the os upgrade capability I'm only going to give it 2 stars.
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on November 23, 2012
the display is huge, the battery lasts for a long time. I did buy an extra-size battery with a new (bigger) cover but found it is not really needed, and with the original battery the phone is very slim. The processor is indeed fast, there is no lag. I did install a class 10 SD card, and using the fast one makes a huge difference. Internal memory is somewhat limited, I ran a few times into the catch that not enough memory is available to apps (can't transfer all to the SD card, and fb is a memory HOG) - otherwise, I do not really use a lot of apps.
The only real downside is that 3G data does not always work. The slow speeds yes, but everything over 128kbit/s does not.
For the price of this device ($200 or less) it is not a bad deal, though, and I do not regret the purchase. The dual SIM part works flawlessly for all services. Thats why I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.
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on November 19, 2012
i like the blu 5.3 it is not to big .the dual sim card the gps is what i like, but no skype and the battery does not last
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on April 7, 2012
An excellent oportunity with a good quality product...!!!!
Hundred of free apps can be downloaded from Android Market...
But check always the ROM memory not to be lasted
I suggest a 32GB Micro SD for more space
Mine, has 16GB and have many videos, docs, and other programs

Using 'dual' SIM phone providers, give me a clear chance using the most convenient calls/sms according phone carriers plans.
Just same performace as Galaxy Note, except processor...
But with 3G integrated..., better than Galaxy DUOS.
Including a fast a reliable GPS...!!!

I am a very happy with this BLUE miniTablet (I call it so, and a very satisfied customer.
I highly reccomend to get this device instead of any other similar..., due the very accesible price..!!!

Must say, a very good support of Expansys for a more prompt delivery as requested.
Thanks..!!!
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on April 1, 2013
I've had this phone since September 2012 and overall am very pleased with it but am very disappointed no one has come out with gel cases for this phone yet. I keep checking but still cannot find anything. Also whenever I'd like to put a new app or widget on it I have to delete something else in order to make room. That is annoying.
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on January 6, 2014
Larger than I expected, but easy to read messages. Still learning how to use it though. Need to find a rubberized cover to protect it. I don't like how it uses so much of my prepaid amount with one message. Other than that, and the short time I've had it, it's really too soon to give an accurate review.
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