BLU Vivo 5 and Vivo XL hands-on

by: Lanh NguyenJanuary 7, 2016
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Here at CES 2016, BLU has just unveiled two new devices for the budget market, the BLU Vivo 5 and Vivo XL. Sporting a premium design, decent specs and some interesting features we aren’t used to seeing on budget devices, these new smartphones do a great job of not sacrificing build quality and features for a lower price point. With that said, the budget-friendly market is already quite large, so can these devices stand out from the crowd? Let’s try to find that out, as we take a first look at the BLU Vivo 5 and BLU Vivo XL.

One thing that should be clarified early on is that both of these smartphones are nearly identical in the specification department. The only difference between the two are the build materials, aesthetics and memory options.

BLU Vivo 5 Vivo XL hands on AA 1

Starting with the design, the Vivo 5 comes with an all-metal body crafted from a single block of aluminum, finished off with chamfered edges to make the phone look much more premium. On the other hand, the Vivo XL comes with a plastic build and a mirror-like finish that wraps around the device. It also comes with a unique pattern detail that will help make the phone stand out from the crowd.

BLU Vivo 5 Vivo XL hands on AA 4

Around front, both phones sport 5.5-inch Super AMOLED displays with a resolution of 1280 x 720. Considering the incredibly low price point that come with these phones, we’re not at all surprised BLU decided to forgo Full HD panels this time around. Aside from that, both the Vivo 5 and Vivo XL come with capacitive back, home and recent apps keys.

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BLU Vivo 5 Vivo XL hands on AA 5

Under the hood, both phones come with a 1.3GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6753 processor and a Mali-T720 GPU. The Vivo 5 sports 3GB of RAM, 32GB of on-board storage and microSD expansion, while the Vivo XL comes with just 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and microSD expansion. So far we haven’t really been able to make either of these phones stutter all that much, and navigating around BLU’s custom software interface is a breeze.

BLU Vivo 5 Vivo XL hands on AA 3

Speaking of software, both phones run Android 5.1 Lollipop, with a promised upgrade to Android 6.0 Marshmallow in the future. BLU is definitely getting better at updating its devices in a timely fashion, so we wouldn’t be surprised if the updates arrive sooner rather than later.

BLU Vivo 5 Vivo XL hands on AA 6

Both phones sport a 13MP rear camera with an LED flash, f/2.0 aperture and support for HD 1080p video recording at 30fps. The front cameras on the devices come in at 5MP, which should be plenty for all your selfie-taking needs. So far the cameras on these devices look very promising, so we’re excited to test them out in the future.

BLU Vivo 5 Vivo XL hands on AA 7

BLU has a few other things up its sleeve with these devices, too. Both the Vivo 5 and Vivo XL sport non-removable 3150mAh batteries, USB Type-C ports for charging and data transfer, as well as fast charging technology. Both also sport Hi-Fi DTS Sound for an enhanced audio experience.

 BLU Vivo 5 and Vivo XL
Display5.5-inch Super AMOLED display with 1280 x 720 resolution
Processor1.3GHz octa-core Mediatek MT6753
RAMVivo 5: 3GB
Vivo XL: 2GB
StorageVivo 5: 32GB, microSD expansion
Vivo XL: 16GB, microSD expansion
Camera13MP rear camera
5MP front camera
ConnectivityWi-Fi a/b/g/n, GPS, Bluetooth v4.0, Hotspot, Type C-USB, FM Radio, VoLTE
Battery3,150mAh, non-removable
SoftwareAndroid 5.1 Lollipop
DimensionsVivo 5: 151.9 x 74.6 x 6.9mm
Vivo XL: 155.2 x 76.6 x 7.5mm
ColorsVivo 5: White-Silver, Solid Gold
Vivo XL: Liquid Gold, Chrome Silver, Midnight Blue, Rose Gold

Interested? BLU will begin selling these devices very soon, both for under $200. The Vivo 5 will be available in White-Silver and Solid Gold color options in February on Amazon and through Best Buy for only $199.00. The XL will be available in Liquid Gold, Chrome Silver, Midnight Blue and Rose Gold colors sometime in January through Amazon and Best Buy for $149.00.

No, these aren’t the most high-end devices we’ve ever seen, but we think $149-$200 is a steal for devices that boast these specs. What do you think? Are these phones worth the money? Let us know what you think in the comments!

  • Bali Arif

    still a bit regret not bought the life one x at $99 amazon deal last december

    • Donavon Hornbeck

      I am willing to bet that you may see a similar promotion on this phone as they did with the Life One X. I was able to get my hands on a Life One X for $99, and I definitely think it’s worth the full $149. When compared to the Blue Vivo XL it seems nearly identical except for the display (5.5″ and 720P vs. 5.2″ and 1080P). The Vivo 5 has a beautiful all metal body and 3gb of ram (though I’ve never run in to issues with only 2gb on my Life One X). For what it’s worth I think the Life One X is still the better buy. I prefer the 1080p screen over the metal body.

      • Bali Arif

        thanks for the advice dude, appreciate it. i’ll be keeping my eyes on blu’s upcoming offers ;)

        • rajesh

          Waiting for blu vivo 5 ..i think best phone in metal body and features thoo

          • yashaswini

            my dad just got it and it is awesome by the way it is vivo 5

  • Donavon Hornbeck

    Which is the better buy announced at CES, the Blu Vivo 5 or the Honor 5X? I am a sucker for the fingerprint scanner, but I definitely think the Mediatek processor beats the Snapdragon 615 in my personal experience (though on totally different phones from the one’s being announced here).

  • Acer_Predator

    All crap

  • Robert Johnson

    1920 x 1080 screens are not that much more than 720p and this should have been on the XL model.

  • Ornaminsky

    I’ve had my Vivo XL for a few days now have been absolutely THRILLED with it. After having owned 4 Xperia phones (because they kept breaking) the notion of spending several hundreds of dollars on another phone just seemed stupid. BLU makes an awesome phone with FANTASTIC specs for the money – far and away the best VALUE per dollar of anything on the market. It feels just as responsive as my Galaxy S5 in day to day use, and, so far, I’ve been able to finish each day with WELL over 40% battery life – for a fraction of the price. Way to go, BLU. Anyone who gripes about the dim screen needs to learn how to use the settings to balance the auto-dim vs. the baseline dim, and 720 is PLENTY of pixels for a 5.5″ screen.

  • Filipe Soares

    Is just me or that Vivo 5 is a copy of the Letv 1S?

  • Stacy Genice

    I can’t find a case for my phone!!! Where can I find the cases????!!!! HELP!!!! ASAP!! I have the Vivo XL

    • charles

      Still looking myself

  • Tia

    I have had my Vivo 5 since for about 3 months now and I must say I love, love, love it. I absolutely love the metal body especially since I have a 5 yr old who thinks my phone is her phone. The screen display is great. Just everything I need in a phone without the high price tag. Great Job Blu!!!