BLU Advance A5 Unboxing, Drop Test, Overview, and Software

Today we are looking at the BLU Advance A5 cell phone available on Amazon. This phone is currently less than fifty dollars, and is really worth its price. Below you will find videos for the unboxing and overview, a camera review and comparison with the Google Pixel XL, a full on concrete drop test, and a software overview.

Unboxing & Review:

Blu Advance A5 Drop Test:

Camera Review & Comparison:

Software Overview:

OnePlus One Android 5.0 Lollipop First Boot and UI Test (CM 12)

OnePlus One Lollipop Android 5.0

I loaded up a fresh build of Lollipop from XDA for the OnePlus One. It is running well overall but I do miss some of the CM options that were on CM 11S. Android 5.0 feels so light and so smooth and switching between applications feels great. Watch the video below for an idea of how setting it up looks and the general UI afterwards.

Forum Post with Lollipop Build

Messenger (SMS/MMS in Material Design)

A while back Google integrated text messaging with Hangouts, and then tried to make the application smooth but only made it worse. This in turn made it incredibly horrible for sending quick text messages and switching between multiple conversations was a slow process. Sometimes I would even miss text messages only due to the transition lag when switching between conversations.

Alas, Messenger is born.

A smooth, quick, and good looking SMS/MMS application with material design was just released by Google. This is the stock messaging application on Lollipop, but it is also available for download on any device with Android 4.1 or above. The search feature as shown below is very smooth and animated very well. Switching between conversations is very smooth and quick. Sending text messages is a light breeze and no longer feels like a heavy chore. MMS messages now notify when their download process begins and they are displayed in a much nicer format. Overall this app was well needed and finally I cant text without being disgusted.

Available here on the Play Store

Material Design Messenger

The Aspect Ratio That Pushed Me Away

I was a big supporter of Android for the longest time, but I realized that while using Android tablets, I was never fully satisfied with what I was doing. After trying so many different tablets and sizes I have finally been able to come to a conclusion as to why I am not satisfied. Android tablets use the wrong aspect ratio for anything other than watching widescreen movies. It’s not only about high resolutions or good color reproduction, its about the aspect ratio. From an unbiased perspective, one could say that for media consumption and for cohesiveness among the screen ecosystem, a widescreen would make sense. This isn’t true for tablets. A computer with a screen of 13 inches or more may benefit from being widescreen as it can fit more in to add to the user’s productivity, but when a screen is 10 inches or less, making it an aspect ratio of 16:9 or 16:10 instead of 4:3 makes the screen very thin. This thinness makes pages in portrait too thin and long and pages in landscape annoying to read as I have to keep scrolling constantly. Therefore,  if a quality Android tablet comes out with a proper aspect ratio of 4:3 (not Archos or Chinese Branded), I may give it a try. Until then, I will be enjoying my iPad Air…


P.S. Android also needs some serious help with smooth document viewing and native tablet apps.

Photo Credit: