blu studio 5.0 hd lte

Featured Review: BLU Studio 5.0 HD LTE

December 28, 2014 - Written By Jeremiah Nelson

BLU announced some new LTE devices the other day. The Studio 6.0 LTE is a 6-inch device with a 1080p screen. The Studio Mini LTE is smaller, with a 4.5-inch display. The Studio 5.0 HD LTE falls right in the middle of those two phones. It has a 5-inch display, 720p display and runs on a quad-core Snapdragon 400 chipset. It’s got Android 4.4.2 KitKat and a 13-megapixel camera. It retails for $199, unlocked and off-contract. Let’s see what the BLU Studio 5.0 HD LTE has to offer.

Specs

Network: (3G) 850/1700/1900/2100, (4G LTE) 1700/2600

Display: 5.0-inch HD 720 x 1280

Processor: 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 CPU, Adreno 305 GPU

OS: Android 4.4.2 Kit Kat

Camera: Rear – 13.0 megapixel, Front – 5.0 megapixel, HD 1080p video @30fps

Connectivity: WiFi a/b/g/n/ac, GPS, Bluetooth v3.0, Hotspot, micro-USB v2.0

Memory:  1GB RAM, 8GB internal memory + microSD slot expandable up to 64GB

Battery: Li-Ion 2200mAh

Colors: White, Black

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Software

The Studio 5.0 LTE runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat out of the box. It’s an almost stock experience. The software is quick and runs well on this phone’s hardware. BLU pre-loads three apps on the phone: a file manager, an FM radio, and a Profile Manager. In the Settings there are a couple of cool additions, namely Sensors, which can be used to calibrate the proximity sensor and the gravity sensor. BLU is good about keeping the Android experience pure, just adding a few of their own touches to the mix.

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Hardware

The BLU Studio 5.0 LTE is almost the perfect size for my hand. The bezels are a little bit bigger than I would like, but that’s mostly because of the capacitive buttons on the bottom. Just like the Studio 6.0 LTE, the buttons on the Studio 5.0 HD LTE are not in the standard Android configuration. The Back button is on the right, the Home button is in the middle, and the left button is a Settings button. You have to long press the Home button to access the Recent apps. This confuses me because this device is running Android 4.4.2. There should be no Settings button, and the standard button configuration should have been used. Even Samsung has gotten on board with the Back, Home, Recents button setup that Google suggests. BLU used this same weird button configuration on the Studio Mini LTE too. I wish they hadn’t.

The back of the phone is a matte plastic. I reviewed the white version. The phone also comes in black. There is a metal trim around the outside, as well as a thicker silver plastic trim on the edges. The power button is on the right side, the volume rocker is on the left side, and the headset jack is on top. The charging port is on the bottom of the phone. The back has the camera lens and the flash is set to the side of the lens. The speaker is on the back of the phone, too. The back is removable and houses the 2200 mAh battery, the micro SD card slot, and a single micro SIM card slot.

The 5-inch display has a 720 x 1280 resolution. It’s an HD display, but not 1080p. On a 5-inch screen this looks just fine. The Snapdragon 400 processor and Adreno 305 GPU have no problems pushing pixels on this display. The phone is speedy and responsive, with very little if any lag. The processor is clocked at 1.2 GHz and runs very well. The 2200 mAh is a little smaller than I would have liked, but it still got me through a full day of use. There were times when I was down to 10% by the end of the day, but I never had a problem making it through the day. Don’t expect any extra time to play with, but you shouldn’t have a problem with the Studio 5.0 HD LTE’s battery.

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Camera

The 13-megapixel camera on the back is decent, but not great. BLU sticks to the stock Android Camera software with this device. The camera doesn’t perform very well in low light, but it is fine in outdoor situations. It also has an HDR feature, shoots video in 1080p at 30 frames per second, and has an LED flash. Here are a few sample shots for you to check out.

Connectivity

The BLU Studio 5.0 is a not a dual-SIM device like some of the other phones that BLU offers. It is unlocked and the 4G LTE bands will work with T-Mobile and, MetroPCS, and MVNOs that use T-Mobile like Straight Talk. There is no support for AT&T’s LTE bands, but the phone supports HSPA+ 42 Mbps on AT&T, as well as T-Mobile, MetroPCS and other HSPA+ networks.

Wrap-up

The BLU Studio 5.0 HD LTE has been the best of the four BLU phones I’ve recently reviewed. The performance was good and the screen looks just fine even though it’s not 1080p. It’s running on a Snapdragon 400 chipset and has a 720p display. The 13-megapixel camera is decent, if not good in all situations. It does have 4G LTE connectivity on T-Mobile and high speed HSPA+ 42 Mbps on AT&T and other GSM networks. At $199, this is a great deal for a phone that should treat you well. BLU has the Studio 5.0 HD LTE on their website. You can get it on Amazon.