‘Blu Studio 5.5’ phablet is big, basic, bright, and only $180

Blu Studio 55 Rear

Blu has been responsible for the release of various low price, average spec smartphones already this year, and the new Studio 5.5 continues that tradition. What makes it standout, aside from the choice of bright colors, is its massive 5.5-inch display and almost unfeasibly cheap price. Where else can you find an unlocked smartphone/tablet hybrid for $180?

If you’re surprised the Studio 5.5 is so cheap, don’t be, as the rest of the specification explains how Blu is able to price it so low. For a start, there’s no 1080p resolution here, so don’t expect to best the Galaxy Note 3 for a quarter for the cost, and don’t hold out hope for 720p either. No, the 5.5-inch TFT touchscreen has 480 x 854 pixels to its name, making for a lowly 178ppi pixel density.

Blu Studio 55 FrontSo, not exactly an auspicious start, however at least a quad-core processor is on hand, although it is MediaTek’s MTM6589 platform, rather than the better know Snapdragon 800 we’re used to seeing in this type of device. Blu has given the Studio 5.5 1GB of RAM and only 4GB of internal storage space, but there’s a MicroSD card slot that accepts 64GB cards. Seeing where Blu has cut costs is easy and it continues with the camera, as on the back is a 5-megapixel lens, and above the screen is a VGA camera, ready to make some pixelated video calls.

The Studio 5.5 has two SIM slots under the rear cover, along with a 2250mAh battery, plus the phone has 3G connectivity and an untouched version of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean as its operating system. A standard black or white color scheme is available, however if you’re tired of your retinas, then the Studio 5.5 also comes in searing yellow, pink or blue.

Basic specs aside, Blu’s phablet offers a whole lot of screen real estate for your money, and the clean install of Android 4.2 certainly ups its desirability a notch. The Studio 5.5 will be available through Amazon and Best Buy soon, although no final release date has been provided yet.

Product Review

The Black Shark gaming phone takes a big bite out of your free time, but the software sinks it

The world is being treated to an ever-increasing number of high-powered gaming phones. With so many great options already out, is there room for another? The Black Shark thinks so. But is it any good? We find out.

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.

From DSLRs to mirrorless, these are the best cameras you can buy right now

From entry-level models to full-frame flagships, many cameras take great photos and video. The best digital cameras, however, push the industry forward with innovative sensors and improved usability, among other things. Here are our…

A render video gives us a 360-degree look at the midrange Pixels

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 Lite XL.

Apple is spending $1 billion to hire up to 15,000 new employees in Austin

Apple has announced a series of expansions across the U.S. -- including a massive expansion to the company's Austin campus that will see it spending $1 billion to accommodate for up to 15,000 new employees.

Google Maps makes it easier than ever to find a Lime bike or scooter

Google Maps has added a new feature that helps you find a Lime bike or scooter in just a few taps. The feature currently works in 11 U.S. cities served by Lime, with more coming next year.

Leave the laptop at home, the iPad Pro is the travel buddy to take on vacay

The iPad Pro is a powerful tablet that's perfect for creatives and professionals. How does it fare when traveling with it as a laptop replacement? We took it on a two week trek in Japan to find out.

Quirky smartphone accessories you never knew you needed

Looking for a few accoutrements to make your smartphone even better? If you, or someone you know, is a sucker for accessories, you'll want to check out our collection of quirky smartphone accessories you never knew you needed.

Ditch your smartphone for a year and win $100k from Vitaminwater

Vitaminwater is willing to part with $100,000 if you're willing to part with your smartphone partner for a year. Could you last for a year armed with only a 1996-era phone? Here's your chance to find out.

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.

Walmart drops prices on Apple Watches and other fitness trackers

Smartwatches, fitness trackers, and wearable heart rate monitors from Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, and Garmin are popular gifts. Wearables are smarter and more capable than in earlier years. We found the best wearables deals on Walmart.

The best Wear OS watches

There are a ton of different Wear OS watches out there, but which one's right for you? No matter what you're looking for from a smartwatch, here are the best Wear OS watches out there.
Emerging Tech

Capture app saves money by 3D scanning objects using iPhone’s TrueDepth camera

Capture is a new iPhone app created by the Y Combinator-backed startup Standard Cyborg. It allows anyone to perform 3D scans of objects and share them with buddies. Here's how it works.
Home Theater

How to master your equalizer settings for the perfect sound

You may know what an EQ is, but do you know how to adjust equalizer settings for the best possible sound? We go through the basics of the modern EQ and lay out some guidelines for how to achieve tip-top sound from your system.