• Our Blu Studio 5.0C HD review: The Moto G Killer in Pink

    Hereís my review of the Blu Studio 5.0C HD. Iím re-using the intro from my hands-on article of this phone I posted a few days ago so if youíve read that, just skip to the last paragraph of the intro and start reading.

    Lately, Iíve been trying to get my hands on as many affordable phones. With entry level handsets, itís always interesting to see how many features manufacturers can cram in without over-inflating the bottom line. After all, I keep saying this but itís worth repeating: The amount of money you have to spend on a phone that doesnít suck keeps falling.

    As this happens it will transform the industry. Companies that are too reliant on selling high-end phones but donít have enough Brand equity will fall to the side (Iím thinking Sony and HTC) while those who understand how to thrive in a low margin environment (those who know how to squeeze water out of the proverbial rock) will thrive.

    Motorola and their relatively powerful brand have been making splashes on the wallet friendly end of the market with their Moto G and E. Other powerful players in this space in North America include ZTE, Huawei and Alcatel which are all seeing their market share grow at Samsung and their high-end Galaxy lineís expense.

    Then there are other players who are posed to take advantage of the shifting market like BLU. Iíll be honest, Iíve never heard of Blu until someone mentioned them in the comments of one of my phone reviews. I decided to check them out and asked them to send me something cheap and cheerful to try.

    The 5.0C was described to me as being a Moto G killer. I noticed Bell is also bringing the ZTE Grand X which is another phone that competes directly with the 5.0C.
    What about the Moto G?

    Left to right: Blu Studio C Mini, Motorola Moto E, Blu Studio 5.0C HD, Motorola Moto G

    The biggest difference between the Moto G and the Blu is that the BLUís screen measures 5Ē and feels much
    bigger than the Gís 4.5Ē. Sometimes, size matters and browsing the web, Facebooking, watching videos, etc are more pleasant on the BLUís bigger screen.

    The G has sheet of Gorilla glass over the display which is vastly superior to the BLUís display which has a lot of problems with glare and fingerprints.

    Under the hood, the G comes with a Snapdragon 400 SoC which has better graphics performance than the BLUís MediaTek MT6582. While the Mediatek is fine for casual and even some serious gaming, youíll want the Snapdragon if youíre a hardcore gamer.

    Iíll give the Blu the nod on the camera front. Not only does it capture more pixels but it takes better picture most of the time.

    The G sold by TELUS and Bell is banded for TELUS/Rogers/Bell and overseas while the one on Wind supports Wind/Mobilicity/Videotron as well as TELUS/Rogers/Bell but doesnít support any bands for HSPA roaming overseas. The Blu is banded like the G on Wind so itís great if you plan on moving between carriers here and bad if you want to roam overseas.

    The G beats the Blu on the RF performance side. The G is an average performer while the Blu is below average.

    Another area where the G wins is that it comes with 8GB of storage. When you take the operating system overhead into account, the G actually comes with almost 2.5 times as much free space as the BLU. Then again, the G sold on TELUS/Bell lacks the BLUís MicroSD slot.

    The big difference is that the G sold here in Canada for is $199.99 is locked while the Blu isnít. As for the US, you can pick up an unlocked G from Motorola for $199.99 which is a far better deal than getting hosed on one up here in Canada.

    One feature the Blu has thatís missing from the G is that it supports dual SIM cards.

    The key differences between the 2 phones are that the G has 8GB of storage over the BLUís 4GB, superior RF performance plus it has a Gorilla glass display. The Blu is $50 cheaper, unlocked, supports dual SIM cards, has a much bigger display a better camera and a removable battery.

    The Blu wins easily here unless you can find a G for cheap.

    What about the ZTE Grand X?

    The Grand X is now available on Bell and Virgin Mobile for $149.99 Canadian which puts it in direct competition with the 5.0C. I need to mention that the Canadian Grand X is different from the US version (or so Iím told). Iíll be honest, my Grand X isnít here yet so I can only look at the spec sheet and make some comments.

    Looking at the spec sheet, both have 5Ē 1280x720 displays. The Grand X has a 1.2Ghz quad-core Snapdragon 200 processor while the 5.0C has a 1.2Ghz quad-core Mediatek MT6582. My experience tells me that while the Mediatek scores higher in benchmarks, the Snapdragon has superior graphics performance which makes it a more well rounded performer though both are able to run Android just fine.

    The Grand X comes with a gorilla glass covered display which from my experience, has much better screen coatings than the Blu which means it will do a better job of resisting fingerprints, oil and reflections.

    Both come with 1GB of RAM which is the minimum amount you want for a good user experience. Both also come with only 4GB of storage which isnít a lot.

    The Grand X has a 5 megapixel camera while the 5.0C has a 8 megapixel. So far, Iím quite impressed with the BLUís camera so the Grand X is going to have itís work cut out for it.

    You get Android 4.4 with the Blu while the Grand X makes due with last yearís Android 4.3.

    The Grand Xís HSPA radio is banded for Bell/Rogers/TELUS and 2100 (for overseas) while the Blu supports both the unholy trinity of Bell/Rogers/TELUS and AWS carriers like Wind/Mobilicity/Videotron, etc.

    Iíll post more comments when I get my Grand X and put it through itís paces.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Our Blu Studio 5.0C HD review: The Moto G Killer in Pink started by howard View original post
    Comments 8 Comments
    1. dragon2knight's Avatar
      dragon2knight -
      Not a bad review, Howard Blu makes some decent low end phones, but do tend to not support older ones much if not at all, just something folks should know. The G will be supported, no doubt, so if the latest and greatest is what your all about, then the G is a better choice. If not, the the 5.0C is a great choice with it's better screen and sd slot. They are very close indeed!
    1. After Dawn's Avatar
      After Dawn -
      I'd take a Snapdragon 200/400 over a cheap MediaTek chipset any day. That and Motorola's quick updates and excellent battery life, as well as little things like the nano-coated internals and highly optimized dalvik & bionic libraries.

      About the price: I think it's possible to now buy a Moto G outright for $130 at Telus and $150 at Koodo/Virgin. And in the US, the base model starts at $180 unlocked, which is not bad (although admittingly I would shell out another $40 for a micro SD slot and LTE capability with the Moto G LTE).
    1. Frankie500's Avatar
      Frankie500 -
      The display issues (dirty, glare, etc.,) have really soured me on this phone. A really good alternative would be the Pantech Discover, better specs, a 4.8" display, a more premium appearance and design, a 12.6 MP camera and for around $120 bucks if you don't mind buying on ebay from reputable phone resellers. Yes, it has an older version of Android, but most people shopping in this segment probably wouldn't care or even know.
    1. stessT's Avatar
      stessT -
      I picked one of these phones up from Amazon...and it is a nice phone for the money. It came yesterday, and I'm very pleased. I wanted to try a dual sim phone. With this phone, I will be able to get service for about $12/mo using Paygo for calls and Red Pocket for data.

      I haven't found that this phone is any worse than the LG L90 I was using in terms of glare or fingerprints, so either I just don't produce oily fingerprints, or I'm used to dealing with wiping the screen. I didn't care for the enclosed screen protector. Too thick and cheap-feeling for my taste.

      I owned a Moto G until it died 32 days after I bought it. This phone is *roughly on par with it, and-IMO- perfect for the segment of the population like me that wants something affordable enough to almost be disposable, large enough to be easily read, and solid/cute enough so as to not be embarrassed by it. Perfect, IMO, for teenagers and frugal folks.

      So far, so good. We will see how it holds up over time. It seems solidly made.
    1. paulsiu's Avatar
      paulsiu -
      The phone appears to be a rebranded Canvas A120 and Myphone Rio. If you look at the review on those phones, the screen isn't real glass but made of acrylic glass. Acrylic glass is lighter than real glass but isn't scratch resistance nor as optically clear. A screen protector is a must.

      The advantage to 5.0C is the cheaper price, bigger screen, dual sim and microsd. The cons are the plastic screen. There were also reviews of Canvas A120 wih overheat problems. There is a lack of cases and accessories.

      The advnatage to Moto G is the nano coating that makes it water resistant, gorilla glass screen, better updates to the OS. The cons are limited storage.

    1. telemike's Avatar
      telemike -
      This phone interests me. Can apps be moved to SD card with kitkat? I saw a youtube video showing this but wanted to make sure.
    1. telemike's Avatar
      telemike -
    1. telemike's Avatar
      telemike -
      Will this work on T-Mobile's 1700 band?