Top positive review
50 of 52 people found this helpful
This is the best value in an unlocked phone I've used in years!
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 :-)