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Hands-On with the Blu Studio Touch

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Sep 15, 2016, 7:50 PM   by Eric M. Zeman
updated Sep 16, 2016, 12:33 AM

Updated: Typo

Blu's Studio Touch is another low-cost option that's available unlocked. It's not quite as polished as the Blu R1 HD, but it has a few surprising features. Here our our first impressions.

Of the Blu handsets I spent time with today, the Studio Touch is my least favorite. The design isn't quite as snazzy as the Vivo 5R or R1 HD, even though it carries the same $99 price point as the latter. It's specs aren't quite as good, either. There's one feature likely keeping the price point artificially high for a phone that I feel should cost closer to $70 or $80.

Studio Touch  

The Studio Touch has a conservative design. It doesn't push any boundaries in terms of materials or appearance. The device has a glass front, an aluminum rear panel, and a metal frame. Most of the phone is colored gray, with the front glass shaded black. The frame is rounded off to keep the phone smooth against your skin. The rear edges of the frame have chamfers, but the front edges do not.

I'd call the Studio Touch slim and rather compact, but it doesn't really stand out in any meaningful way. I think the size is good for people who have small hands or prefer smaller phones. It's easy to access the entire screen without stretching your hand. It is lightweight and easily fits into pockets.

The materials are not high end, but not low end either. The Studio Touch doesn't come off as feeling cheap, but it certainly doesn't feel like the best-made phone on earth.

The 5-inch, 720p screen is decent. I think the R1 HD's screen was more impressive. The Studio Touch's seems a bit less bright, but the resolution is fine. Three buttons are placed below the display for controlling the user interface. The outer two keys are capacitive and the home button is a physical key that is also a fingerprint reader. This is the one component that is probably boosting the phone's price. The button is easy to find and use, and travel and feedback are pretty good.

You'll find the SIM card tray on the left edge of the phone and the other buttons on the right. The volume toggle is large, but has a rather flat profile. The lock screen button is really small, but has a better profile. Neither button has good travel and feedback. The USB port is on the bottom and the headset jack is on the top.

The back surface is composed of three pieces. There are two plastic caps, one at the top edge and one at the bottom edge. Aluminum is in between. This metal cannot be peeled off, which means the 2,500mAh battery is sealed in. The camera module has a chrome rim and is positioned up top with the flash just below.

Blu powered this phone with a 1 GHz quad-core processor from MediaTek. It has only 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of storage. Lie the R1 HD, it has an 8-/5-megapixel camera combination.

For $99 I suppose this is a decent handset. I'd rather grab the R1 HD even if it means losing the fingerprint reader.

About the author, Eric M. Zeman:

Eric has been covering the mobile telecommunications industry for 17 years at various print and online publications. He studied at Rutgers Newark and University of Kentucky, and has a degree in writing. He likes playing guitar, attending concerts, listening to music, and driving sports cars.

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