February 12, 2015

Frugal Phone Review : BLU Studio Mini LTE (unlocked)

My most recent phone purchase is a BLU Studio Mini LTE

This is the phone I'm using right now and I got it for about $120 off Amazon at the end of January.   Now $120 isn't what I'd call cheap for a phone but relative to the features the phone has its a good buy.

The BLU phones are unlocked phones not tied to a specific phone vendor.   This is a nice benefit if you want to get a phone to work on different networks or have flexibility to choose among network providers.   The phone also has 2 SIM sockets so you can actually have two accounts running on it at the same time.  Thats a nice flexibility option for some people.    Theres plenty of uses for dual SIM phones such as travel abroad or having work and home phone in one.  Also see Why you want a dual-SIM phone

The Studio Mini is a very nice phone.   I've not seen it have any problems with any of the applications I've ran on it.   It ran every game and app that I tried.   I ran the Monopoly game on it which is a pretty hefty app and while it took along time to load it eventually ran fine.    Temple Run 2 also runs fine on it and thats a fairly graphics intensive game as far as mobile apps go.

The phone has been perfectly reliable for me so far.   The wifi signal is good.
In the retail packaging it comes with earbuds, charger, screen protector and a silicon gel case.     The silicon gel case is OK but not super sturdy.

I'm using Puretalk service with the phone right now and it works just fine.   Puretalk has a $5 monthly plan that works for me since I use very few calling minutes or texts.  I also have their $10 data plan so I'm paying $15 total.   One note with Puretalk you have to follow special instructions to setup their data which they didn't bother telling me about in advance.
I might use the 2nd SIM to add a RedPocket $1GB data plan in the future but I haven't bothered yet. 

One nitpick I've got with the phone is that it does not have any kind of LED status.   So there is no visual indicator of messages or notices when the phone is in sleep and you've got to wake it up to see the screen to tell if theres any notices.   I've gotten used to a flashing LED notice on my previous phones.

Good value
Plenty powerful
Unlocked with 2 SIM sockets

None noted

I have yet to find anything particularly wrong with this phone.    The lack of a LED notice is a minor thing really.   At around $120 its not the cheapest Android phone but its a good value for the specs and quality as well as being an unlocked dual-SIM phone.

Bottom Line :  I'd recommend this phone as a very good unlocked Android phone for the price particularly if you can use the dual-SIM feature.

--This article may contain referral links which pay this site a commission for purchases made at the sites.  Nobody paid me for this review and I bought the phone with my own money.

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