Hands-On With The Blu Vivo Selfie, Energy X Plus, And Studio C

  • Hands-On With The Blu Vivo Selfie, Energy X Plus, And Studio C 5+5

    Earlier this week, Blu announced a handful of new phones: the Vivo Selfie, Studio C 5+5, Studio C 5+5 LTE, and Energy X Plus. Each handset has something that makes it stand out from the others, and all of them come in a the low price points that we've come to expect from Blu. In short, we've got a thin and light phone made for selfies, an pair of ultra-affordable devices with dual 5MP shooters, and one with a battery that's in it for the long haumeizu mx5 pricel.

    I've had three of the four for the last few days, with the only exception being the 5+5 LTE since it's virtually identical to the 5+5, just with the addition of LTE.

    So, let's talk about 'em.

    Vivo Selfie

    The Vivo line is all about thin, sleek handsets, and the Vivo Selfie fits into that description perfectly. It features a 4.8-inch 720p panel covered in Gorilla Glass 3, and is powered by a MediaTek 6582 1.3GHz quad-core processor with 1GB of RAM. Android 5.0 runs the show here, and it's surprisingly snappy on just 1GB of RAM, though it's hard to say how that will work out in a long-term situation. Here's look at the full spec list:


    Display 4.8-inch 1280x720 Super AMOLED with Gorilla Glass 3 Processor 1.3GHz quad-core Mediatek 6582 RAM 1GB Camera 8MP rear shooter (1.1mm pixel size, 1/3.2 inch sensor, 2.4mm aperture), 8MP front camera with flash Storage 8GB internal, microSD card slot Ports microSD, microUSB, 3.5mm audio Wireless (GSM/GPRS/EDGE) 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, (4G HSPA+ 21Mbps) 850/1700/1900/2100; Wi-Fi b/g/n/, GPS, Bluetooth v4.0, Hotspot, FM Radio Dimensions 141 x 68.4 x 7.7 mm Battery 2,300mAh OS Android 5.0 Available colors Sandstone Gray, Ceramic White, Teal, Mint Green, Salmon Pink Price $149, unlocked Buy meizu mx5

    You want to know what else is pretty fun about the Vivo Seflie? It comes with a selfie stick! I get that selfie sticks aren't for everyone, and that's fine - but you have to admit that it's pretty neat for a phone to ship with its own stick right in the box. It's even Blu branded so it matches the phone. Awwww, BFFs.

    Oh, and the included screen protector matches the body of the phone. That's also pretty awesome.

    Appearance, Hardware, and Build Quality

    While the Vivo Selfie comes in a variety of colors, my review unit is unfortunately a non-descript Sandstone Gray model. It's not that it looks bad, but it's just kind of boring considering all the other awesome colors this phone comes in. I bet the Teal one is rad.

    But I digress - it's a pretty typical-looking phone, but it still fits in the Vivo line fairly well. It isn't nearly as flashy as the Vivo Air or IV, but it's still sleek and thin. The back is removable soft-touch plastic, so it doesn't necessarily have that premium feeling the other Vivos do, but it's also the most affordable, so that's to be expected.


    The front of the phone is a simple panel, with a speaker grille that reminds me a lot of the Nexus 5, flanked by the 8MP front shooter on one side and LED flash on the other. Like with other recent Blu pones, this one is lacking capacitive buttons and relies on Lollipop's on-screen navigation. The other phones in this hands-on roundup follow suit, but we'll get to those later.

    The right side houses the power button at the top and camera shutter button at the bottom, the microUSB port and headphone jack are on the bottom, and volume rocker on the left. There's nothing on the top.

    Beneath the removable back you'll find dual microSIM slots and a microSD card slot. Like many other recent Blu phones, the battery is non-removable.

    The Vivo Selfie's 4.8-inch 720p Super AMOLED display is exactly what you'd want and expect from a 720p Super AMOLED display: it looks good. Colors pop, and everything is clear and sharp. Viewing angles are good. Overall, it's a nice display, especially for the price. No complaints.

    For a phone with "seflie" in the name, I'm actually pretty disappointed in the camera on this one. Here are a few shots with both cameras so you can judge it for yourself, both indoors and outdoors:

    Software and Performance

    The Vivo Selfie runs Android 5.0, which is simultaneously some of the best and most frustrating software Google has ever released. It's great because it's fast, functional, and beautiful, but the ultra-aggressive memory management can be the most frustrating thing on the planet.  Listening to music and fire up maps? Psh, no more music for you. But you want it back? Fine, maps is gone, gone, gone. I'm can feel my blood pressure rising just thinking about it.

    Now, that situation doesn't exactly describe my experience with the Vivo Selfie, but!  since this only has one gigabyte of RAM, I can see how it could really become an issue. That said, during my testing it was fine...but I didn't test it with heavy use, nor did I use it as a daily driver. So take that for what it's worth.