BLU is stepping up their line of devices with some new LTE smartphones. They announced the new LTE devices the other day. One of those is the Studio 6.0 LTE. It's a large phone with a 6-inch, 1080p display and a 13-megapixel camera. For all that, you can pick one up for $279, which is a heck of deal for an LTE smartphone. What does the Studio 6.0 LTE have to offer, and should you take a serious look at this smartphone? Let's take a look and find out.
- Network: (3G) 850/1700/1900/2100, (4G LTE) 1700/2600
- Display: 6.0 Full HD 1080 x 1920 (367 ppi)
- Processor: 1.6GHz Snapdragon 400 CPU, Adreno 305 GPU
- OS: Android 4.4.2 Kit Kat
- Camera: Rear – 13.0 megapixel, Front – 5.0 megapixel
- Connectivity: WiFi a/b/g/n/ac, GPS, Bluetooth v3.0, Hotspot, micro-USB v2.0
- Memory: 2GB RAM, 16GB internal memory + microSD slot expandable up to 64GB
- Battery: Li-Ion 3200mAh
- Colors: White, Black
The BLU Studio 6.0 LTE feels pretty good in hand. It's definitely large, with its 6-inch display. The bezels on the sides are not that big, but the bottom bezel is kind of large because the phone has capacitive buttons. There is no option for on-screen buttons. You get touch capacitive buttons and that's it. The buttons are not in the standard Android configuration either. 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 should have done the same here.
The back of the phone is a matte plastic. I reviewed the white version. The phone also comes in black. The power button is comfortable situated on the right side of the phone. The volume rocker is just above the power button. The micro USB charging port is on the bottom and the headset jack is on top. The 13-megapixel rear camera has a silver oval around it, with the flash set to the side of the camera lens. The speaker is on the back of the phone. The phone back is removable. Underneath we find the 3200 mAh battery, the microSD card slot, and the two micro SIM card slots.
The 6-inch display has a 1080 x 1920 resolution display. In my unboxing I said it was a 720p display, and that was incorrect. It's a full 1080p display. It looks great and is just what I would expect on a 6-inch screen. Unfortunately, the phone can't quite handle pushing all of those pixels. It's pretty laggy and stutters all the time. We'll talk about that some more in the Software section.
The phone is running on a quad-core Snapdragon 400 chipset that is clocked at 1.6 GHz. The Adreno 305 GPU has a hard time keeping up with the high resolution display, but the fact that BLU is moving to Snapdragon chipsets means that users can now access 4G LTE speeds. Most of BLU's previous devices were powered by MediaTek chips. This move is important. I just hope that they can work out the laggy performance on future devices.
The Studio 6.0 LTE runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat out of the box. It's an almost stock experience. The overall performance of the device is laggy. That's mostly due to the processor and GPU not being to keep up with the 1080p display, but it causes problems with the software. Almost everything is choppy. Moving between screens, opening and closing apps, even the camera shutter speed is slow. It's unfortunate. Maybe BLU can fix this in a future software update. They aren't known for pushing out software updates very often, so I wouldn't hold my breath for this.
Battery life was solid. Even with the bright, HD display I was able to get through a full day without a problem. On Wi-Fi it was even better. The 3200 mAh hour battery held up just fine for anything I could throw at it.
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. There's also a Dual SIM settings that lets you switch between the two SIM cards. You can even select different SIM cards for voice and data connections. BLU is good about keeping the Android experience pure, just adding a few of their own touches to the mix.
The 13-megapixel camera on the back is decent, but not great. BLU sticks to the stock Android Camera software with this device. It's better than most cameras you'll find at this price point. The camera doesn't perform very well in low light, but it is fine in outdoor situations. The shutter is kind of slow. I chalk this up to the chipset not quite being able to handle the screen and its 1080p resolution. 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 peruse.
The BLU Studio 6.0 is 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.
The BLU Studio 6.0 LTE looks good on paper. It's running on a Snapdragon 400 chipset and has a full HD 1080p 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. The downside is the laggy performance. Even so, $279 is not a bad deal for an unlocked smartphone with LTE and a 1080p display. You can find the phone on BLU's website and buy one on Amazon.