BLU Vivo 5R Preview


BLU Products is an American company that has made its mark selling mostly mid to lower end Android phones. They tend to offer devices with more features than their competitors at similar price points. They look to continue on that course with the just announced BLU Vivo 5R. BLU told me that the “R” stands for refresh and the specs show that the Vivo 5R has received quite a few upgrades over the Vivo 5. The Vivo 5R has added a fingerprint reader, 1080p display, camera upgrades, and more but kept the $199 price tag. I’ll be putting the Vivo 5R through its paces over the next week or so and offering a full review. Until then you can read my initial impressions below.

BLU Vivo 5R

To my eyes, the Vivo 5R is a handsome device. My wife oohed and aahed over the look of the phone as soon as I pulled it out of the box. BLU lists grey and gold colors available but the review unit I received is more of a rose gold around the back and white on the front (UPDATE: BLU says the device I received is the gold version and that it is white gold). There are capacitive buttons (more on them in the review) below the large 5.5 inch 1080p display and a circular fingerprint reader around back. It definitely looks premium.

BLU stuffs the box full of accessories. There’s a wall charger, micros USB cable, USB OTG cable, headphones, screen protector, and a case. That’s unusual as it seems more and more manufacturers are eliminating pack in accessories. It’s clear that BLU wants to provide a complete experience right out of the box. I’m impressed.


I haven’t used the phone enough to draw any real performance conclusions but I haven’t noticed any slow down yet. That said, I haven’t installed my standard suite of apps or used the phone on any non-WiFi network. The phone ships with Android Marshmallow and supports LTE (sorry, no Verizon support). The launcher and skin have taken some getting used to. I normally use phones running stock-like Android so I’m sure I’ll have more to say on this in the review.

Overall first impressions are positive and I’m looking forward to putting the Vivo 5R through its paces. The phone is currently available for pre-order through Amazon for $199 with Prime shipping and from Best Buy with an expected ship date of September 21.


CPUMediaTek 6753 I 64-Bit, 1.3GHz Octa Core
Internal Storage32 GB
MicroSD SupportYes, up to 64 GB
LTE Bands2/4/7/12/17 I CAT 4
HSPA Bands850/1700/1900/2100
Battery3150 mAh
OSAndroid 6.0 with custom user interface
Display5.5 inches, 1080×1920, 401 PPI
Main Camera13 MP with LED Flash, Sony IMX258 Sensor
Front Camera8 MP with LED Flash
Fingerprint SensorYes


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Robert Daniels

I'm a long-time tech and gadget enthusiast that currently uses Android, Windows 10 Mobile, and iOS devices. I'm always interested in ways to improve my family's life with new devices and services, though my beautiful wife might just say I'm addicted to playing with gadgets.