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Blu Studio 5.3 Review [Can price overcome quality]: read to the end

ASo, the last review I did for all y’all was the Galaxy Note.  And it was a pretty good device, so much so that Tom has forsaken all other devices.

Well, in my typical internet exploring I’ve found another device that claims to be the ‘other Note’.  This is the Blu Studio 5.3″ and the good folks at CT-Miami sent one all the way up north so that I could give it a whirl.

So, check them out, they’ve got some other cool products as well: and

They have a couple of well done promo videos on the site.  I’ll let you watch them before mine:

Okay, so here’s my hands-on review video

So, let’s sum it up with some specs and stuff.  And the best way to do it is to put it side by side with the Galaxy Note


Blu Studio 5.3

Galaxy Note

OS 2.3.5 2.3.7 (soon to be 4.0.x)
UI Go Launcher TouchWiz
Processor 600MHz 1.5GHz dual core
Resolution 480×800 1280×800
Camera 5MP 8MP
Screen TFT Super AMOLED w. Gorilla Glass
Battery Life 700h standby / 8h talk 252h standby / 10h talk
etc no pendoes have a dock port, but it’s only compatible with:

or so I can find.

S-Pen & NFC

Also, the device works on the following bands:

2G IS 850/900/1800/1900
3G HSDPA 850/1900 or 850/2100

But most of all, I think you’re missing a couple of key points on this device.Okay, really that wasn’t fair, and I’m sorry for that, but it does give you an indication of what the phone is really like,  so you really understand what you’re getting in to.

1. Price

This thing is like $250.  The Note outright would be $750.  That’s a huge savings.  HUGE.

Now, if it were subsidized by a carrier it would be free, but it’s not.  So you’d have to pay full pop.  But it’s about the price of what the Note would be off the shelf with a new plan.

But let’s imagine you just dropped your precious Galaxy S phone, which has another year or 2 before your contract’s up.  Do you buy a new phone outright, or what?  Here’s what you do… you buy this phone and it will last you until the upgrade is available for you.  It will last for you.

Also, compare it to a new media player/iPod device these days.  Probably pretty near.  For this price, you can buy it for your parents, or kids and slap a PAYG SIM card in for the emergencies.


…is phenomenal.  The stats on the site say otherwise, but from what I’ve used of it, and my son’s heavy usage of Angry Birds, it gets a good drain on the battery, but it’s hardly noticeable.

It’s the same battery as the Note, so I’m assuming with a lesser resolution, lower processor, etc… that the draw is much less.

This will be your ALL DAY battery phone.

3. Dual SIM

 Definitely handy for those of you who travel a fair bit.  You won’t have to worry about getting a different SIM, or a different phone for your trips.  Pick up a PAYG SIM at your destination, and plop it in and it works!  (obviously check the bands before you go)

This is great for those that travel for work, or that destination wedding/vacation…

So, where can you pick it up?


That’s right… Carmen at CT-Miami wants me to give this away… I haven’t decided how we’ll pick the winner as of yet, so give me your best suggestions.  So look in the next day or so for me to announce how you can win this device!

Big thanks to them for that!

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  • Eos

    Wondering what this would be like as JUST a GPS device?  EVERY dedicated GPS device in this price range that I’ve tried is SO SLOW in comparison to my HTC DHD, that I’m looking for a smallish tablet, bigger than my HTC 4.3 inch screen & smaller than 7 inches to use with my Sygic and CoPilot GPS apps.  Any thoughts?  P.S. I’d LOVE to win this.

  • Eos

    Ooops, by slow I mean typing addresses, searching for addresses, searching POI’s, map scrolling (ECK, like fingernails on a chaldboard), some are very slow with rerouting & they usually also have limited functionality compared to a GPS app on an android smartphone, & so on.

    Also Bluetooth functions on dedicated GPS compared to a smartphone on speakerphone, is just plain horrible for the outside calling party & you need a phone anyway with a dedicated GPS with bluetooth capability, so why not just use a smartphone to begin with?  At least that is my experience. I am NOT going to pay huge bucks for a slow CPU dedicated GPS with limited functions.

  • Eos

    To me, I think that you were a bit harsh on the review & dwelled too much on external cosmetics & expectations for a much more expensive device. It didn’t seem to be much bigger or thicker than your Nexus, but your hands would know. The screen looked fine at different angles in the video, it certainly wasn’t horrible at all & pressing on the screen edges was no big deal for such an inexpensive device.

    I would have preferred, rather you dwelling on cosmetics, your reviewing on HOW IT WORKED with various apps, for speed etc.. How was it as a phone for reception? How well did the speaker phone sound to you & your party? How did Skype work out? No big deal to me if it’s an old version vs. a newer bloated version. How well did the Wifi work? v2.3.5 of Android is pretty Damn useful, so if it never gets newer, again no big deal on an inexpensive device. How good was the music player with good earbuds? And so on.

    Also, if you own a GPS app like Sygic or CoPilot, I’d love see how it worked as a GPS.

    I am opposite to you in that I prefer SD cards as an option to increase capacity vs. being stuck with whatever the Mfg wants me to have. So, if you have time, perhaps update your review to show it actually in use. Or send it to me & I’ll do it 😉 , though I’d have to video it using my HTC DHD.

    • Anonymous

      Oh, and I totally get your point, which is why in the write up I talked about trying to compare it to ‘the top’ is a failing game to start.  It’s got plenty of good points and as inexpensive as it is… it could be an easy purchase for anybody.

      Acutally the GPS worked quite well … not fantastic, but not poor, so I didn’t mention it.

  • Jacky Z

    Better off picking up the upcoming The HTC One V.

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  • Jac Jac

    Caveat emptor – BLU does not provide manufacturer warranty for products sold and used outside of the U.S., meaning Canadians get no warranty whatsoever. Call BLU’s support line if you doubt this statement.