Blackview BV5000 Review – tough, useable phone


blackview bv5000 review

Blackview mix power with rugged build with the Blackview BV5000 a phone that features a 5000mAh battery back, and water/shock resistant body.

As the phone market saturates Chinese phone makers are desperately looking for a niche that they can latch on to. This year we have seen a number of Chinese phone makers go down the large battery route, and it is now common to see phones with 4000+ internal battery packs.

Another niche that Chinese phone makers keep taking a crack at is the rugged phone market. Blackview have combined the two to create a rugged phone with large battery, and a little added style, so how does it work in the real world?

Blackview BV5000 Review – Design

If I only had three words to describe the Blackview BV5000 they would be thick, heavy and chunky. This is a phone that weighs in at 229g and measures 150.7 x 78.1 x 13.3mm. That would be a lot for a regular 5-inch smartphone, but the BV5000 is made for extreme situations where a knock and tumble in to water are the norm.

blackview bv5000 review

In the past, rugged phones were made of bright yellow rubber, featured a screen of only a couple of inches and ran an ancient version of Android (some rugged phones last year still had Gingerbread on them!). The Blackview BV5000 takes rugged phones in to 2015 with a 5-inch 2.5D curved glass display and Android 5.1 Lollipop.

blackview bv5000 review

The larger 5-inch panel is protected on all sides with a metal, and plastic bumper design, while the glass itself is Asahi tempered glass.

blackview bv5000 review

The chunky design means that the Blackview BV5000 has a lot to hold on too, which is perfect if you are out in the wilderness and you have muddy, wet hands. It also means you can easily grip the phone with gloves, although the physical buttons for volume (left) and power (right) are a little too small for gloved use.

blackview bv5000 review

From the curved glass display the Blackview BV5000 tapers off to a black, shock absorbing border. The very corners of the phone get added protection in the form of corner bumpers that protrude from the sides and them curve inwards to metal side rails on the left and right sides.

blackview bv5000 review

The base of the phone is completely blank and instead the USB and 3.5mm headphone jacks are located under water and dust resistant tabs at the top of the phone. The rubber protection sits a little too close to the USB plug and I found that only the supplied Blackview cable is long enough to guarantee a proper connection for charging and transferring files.

blackview bv5000 review

On the rear the BV5000 looks more rugged than ever with a textured rear panel that reminds me of a Panasonic tough book. The rear panel is removable, but you will need to unscrew 4 screws to get in to the back. Out of the box the screws and a screwdriver come in a separate bag, so don’t forget to put them in before heading out for adventure.

blackview bv5000 review

Pulling the rear off you will first come against a substantial rubber seal to prevent the ingress of water. Under this there is the removable 5000mAh battery, dual SIM card slots and space for a micro SD card.

The hefty phone seems to have been designed with most of its weight on the rear of the phone. This is actually a clever idea, and should mean that if the BV5000 falls there is a high chance it will turn in the air and land on the rear of the device rather than the screen.

Blackview BV5000 Review – Hardware

Blackview say they wanted to make the BV5000 as durable as possible while providing enough power for daily use. They also say they didn’t want the specification of the phone to effect the cost too much that it would price it out of the reach of the majority of users.

blackview bv5000 review

At $160 the price is about right for a smartphone running a 5000mAh battery, and this time around I am confident that the rating is about right. The physical size of the battery is just huge, easily double the thickness of most other batteries. If it’s not 5000mAh then it is pretty close, and battery life and stand-by time is amazing!

3 days of normal use is what I managed to get from the Blackview BV5000, and I think I could squeeze a little longer out of it. Long battery life is just what you need from a rugged phone and Blackivew have it right.

blackview bv5000 review

Blackview say there is also USB OTG for reverse charging too, so with the included OTG cable and USB you should be able to juice up other USB devices from the BV5000 while on the go. However, I tested this with the OnePlus X, Meizu MX5, Vivo X5 Pro and an SJCAM and not one device would charge. Update: after trying a number of times, the OTG does now indeed work. I’m not sure what the issues was (perhaps a poor connection) but I am not charging my OPX from the BV5000.

A Quad-core Mediatek MT6735P chipset and 2GB RAM run Android 5.1 Lollipop which has already received one OTA update since I have been testing the phone (a good sign and I hope it continues). The P letter at the end of the processor spec means this is just a 1.0Ghz model which helps with the battery life, but will mean gaming won’t be up to much. Benchmarks are below.

blackview bv5000 review

I’ve already mentioned the 2.5D glass display, well it has a HD resolution of 1280 x 720 and is quite nice, but lacks in vibrancy. Colours are duller than I am used to and blacks are not very dark. Touch response is good, but I do find it to be a little too sensitive. Even a light brush or touch is enough for the BV5000 to register, this helps improve the feeling of speed on the system (it is very nippy) and help when using gloves (I tested with thin gloves on), but can also lead to accidental touches at times.

Read Also:  First look at the Ulefone Tab R8 5G rugged tablet

blackview bv5000 review

With so much already packed in to the BV5000 cameras have been spec’d a little lower than usual. The rear camera is an 8 mega-pixel sensor and the front is a 2 mega-pixel unit. Actually the 8 mega-pixel camera on the rear isn’t bad at all, it doesn’t leave you in shock or awe, but the images that it produces are more than useable for social media etc. I’m also happy to see Blackview list the actual camera sensor in the specs, even though the camera app itself does have a setting to interpolate the sensor to 12 or even 13 mega-pixels.

blackview bv5000 review

Audio through the rear speaker is loud but lacks detail. If you want to entertain while camping with the Blackview BV5000 I would suggest taking a Bluetooth speaker.

Blackview BV5000 Review – Performance

Don’t be shocked to see sub 20,000 Antutu scores from the BV5000, this is a phone designed to live through extreme weather, take a knock or two and give the best battery life it can. Don’t buy this phone for overall grunt as you won’t be impressed, do buy it if you don’t game and a rugged build and great battery life are important.

Blackview BV5000 Review – Camera

blackview bv5000 review

It’s difficult not to keep repeating myself when it comes to these low-cost phone cameras. The 8 mega-pixel shooter on the Blackview BV5000 performs well when there is light, but the less light there is the slower the focus and the more noise creeps in.

I took the BV5000 out on a sunny day of mountain biking and for still photos its a great camera. If you are in the forest and want to take a photo of a waterfall, cave or flowers then the camera is great (as long as it is light enough). The camera isn’t fast enough for action shots though.

blackview bv5000 review

One thing I would like to comment on is how nice it is to be able to use the BV5000 with gloves on. Other phones offer the same feature, but none are as good at this price point.

Blackview BV5000 Review – ROM

The ROM on the Blackview BV5000 is mostly a stock Android 5.1 installation. The theme and launcher thought has been changed to one of with the most terrible icons and UI I have ever seen. Fortunately the phone does support Google services out of the box and in a few moments you can have an alternate launcher running.

Although the BV5000 has just a 1.0Ghz chipset you never feel the ROM lags. It runs well, and runs apps faultlessly. The fact that OTA updates are already rolling out is a bonus too.

Blackview BV5000 Review – Gallery

Blackview BV5000 Review – Specifications

Model: Blackview BV5000
Sim Card:
  • Dual micro sim
Color:  Black / Camo Orange / Camo Green
Storage 16GB
Chipset CPU:MTK6735P Quad CoreRAM: 2GB
Android Version Android 5.1
Screen Display Size: 5-inch HD IPSResolution: 1280 x 720
Camera Rear Camera
8 megapixelFront Camera
2 megapixel
Network and Wireless Connectivity FDD-LTE:800/900/1800/2100/2800MHzWCDMA: 900/1900/2100MHz

GSM:900/1800/850/1900MHz

Bluetooth:4.0

Battery capacity  Removable 5000mAh
Size Dimensions: 150.7 x 78.1 x 13.3mm

Weight: 229g

Blackview BV5000 Review – Conclusion

Those of you who know me will also know I like classic cars and in the classic car world we like honest cars. This is to say a car that shows its real self, it doesn’t pretend to be something it isn’t for bad or worse. The Blackview BV5000 feels like an honest phone to me.

blackview bv5000 review

Its a big chunky rugged phone with a big battery. That’s what Blackview says it is and that’s what it is once you get your hands on it. The BV5000 might not be a graphics monster but then again it never intended to be, it is however water and shock resistant and will happily survive in a bucket of water for a few minutes without flinching.

In an industry where it is routine to make false claims about battery and camera specifications, it is reassuring to see a physically huge battery in the BV5000 and camera specs listed accurately. Receiving an OTA update during my time with the BV5000 also went along way to me trusting the longevity of the BV5000. The only deviation to this though is OTG reverse charging, but I wonder if this is something that only affects my phone? Regardless  as Blackview do advertise it I’m going to knock a point off the overall hardware score, even though it is something I never use myself. UPDATE: OTG reverse charging is in fact working. I tried a number of times and for whatever reason it is now charing other phones. 

blackview bv5000 review

Overall I’m very impressed with the Blackview BV5000, its a very well made phone, it looks good despite its chunky nature and offers great battery life and decent everyday performance.

I’m certainly going to keep this one around for when I go mountain biking. The waterproof body, and chunky design make it ideal and the huge battery means I don’t need to worry about listening to music, keeping connected to LTE and running Strava.

If you think that the Blackview BV5000 is the phone for you then don’t go ordering it just yet, Blackview have informed us that they will have a 1 day special sale on this rugged device next week, more details will be available on Monday.

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53 Comments

  1. MaxPower
    November 6, 2015

    this phone looks so tough that you might want to consider putting Gorilla Glass over your floor:just in case it falls.

    • balcobomber25
      November 6, 2015

      All your other devices will be in the corner crying because of this tough guy.

      • MaxPower
        November 6, 2015

        lol

  2. Steve B
    November 6, 2015

    Good phone, good review, thanks. If I was currently more adventurous I’d get one.

  3. Tajwar
    November 6, 2015

    Blackview VB5000-New special weapon in Just Cause 3

    • MaxPower
      November 6, 2015

      lol

  4. Mesterio
    November 6, 2015

    Sounds like it could be a match for Chuck Norris!

  5. MaxPower
    November 6, 2015

    this phone looks so tough that you might want to consider putting Gorilla Glass over your floor:just in case it falls.

    • balcobomber25
      November 6, 2015

      All your other devices will be in the corner crying because of this tough guy.

    • MaxPower
      November 6, 2015

      lol

  6. Steve B
    November 6, 2015

    Good phone, good review, thanks. If I was currently more adventurous I’d get one. And good to see the Asahi name again, most of my Asahi glass is 50 plus years old and great quality.

  7. Tajwar
    November 6, 2015

    Blackview VB5000-New special weapon in Just Cause 3

    • MaxPower
      November 6, 2015

      lol

  8. Mesterio
    November 6, 2015

    Sounds like it could be a match for Chuck Norris!

  9. Marco Lancaster
    November 6, 2015

    @andi For charging another phone, you need to put the OTG cable in the Blackview and then a cable going to the device that you want to charge, did you try in this way? From the screen of the OPX I can see the OTG plugged on it when it should be in the Blackview, Also made the same mistake in Leagoo Elite 5 while testing the charging feature 😛

  10. TheOracle
    November 7, 2015

    I have the bv5000 and generally agree with what Andi says here. The only issue I have is I only get Edge on AT&T and T-Mobile in South Florida therefore the claim of Band 1900 wcdma is incorrect. Battery wise it’s better than my THL 5000t which really says something. Speed wise it’s faster and smoother than the thl too despite 10,000 points less on Antutu but that’s most likely due to the newer soc and 2GB vs 1GB. I definitely recommend it as a daily driver.

    • Lorenzo
      December 3, 2015

      Is the compass sensor working on your phone?

      • TheOracle
        December 3, 2015

        I have no idea. Never use the compass on any phone. With a gps a compass is about as useful as a Sextant. What do you need a compass for?

        • Lorenzo
          December 4, 2015

          Peakfinder, Google Sky, Flightradar24 are all app that use compass to work for example…
          Anyway thank you for your answer and I gently ask you to check if the compass in your phone is working simply installing one of the app on the store. I would like to know if the compass is not working on my phone or on all.

  11. Chico Migraña
    November 7, 2015

    I wish my Blackview Alife s1 had a battery like this one, or just a removable one so I could change the crap I have. And I am sure there’s a lot of people like me, you can read on 4pda. :/

  12. TheOracle
    November 7, 2015

    I have the bv5000 and generally agree with what Andi says here. The only issue I have is I only get Edge on AT&T and T-Mobile in South Florida therefore the claim of Band 1900 wcdma is incorrect. Battery wise it’s better than my THL 5000t which really says something. Speed wise it’s faster and smoother than the thl too despite 10,000 points less on Antutu but that’s most likely due to the newer soc and 2GB vs 1GB. I definitely recommend it as a daily driver.

    • Guest
      December 3, 2015

      Is the compass sensor working on your phone?

    • TheOracle
      December 3, 2015

      I have no idea. Never use the compass on any phone. With a gps a compass is about as useful as a Sextant. What do you need a compass for?

    • Guest
      December 4, 2015

      Peakfinder, Google Sky, Flightradar24 are all app that use compass to work for example…
      Anyway thank you for your answer and I gently ask you to check if the compass in your phone is working simply installing one of the app on the store. I would like to know if the compass is not working on my phone or on all.

  13. Ricardo A.
    November 7, 2015

    I wish my Blackview Alife s1 had a battery like this one, or just a removable one so I could change the crap I have. And I am sure there’s a lot of people like me, you can read on 4pda. :/

  14. Dante
    November 7, 2015

    good grief… pretty nive phone for a rugged one

  15. Dante
    November 7, 2015

    good grief… pretty nive phone for a rugged one

  16. Joel Adames
    November 8, 2015

    the phone is going great!!! let´s hope next version improves on SoC and Screen grade (FHD) !!! like bluboo xtouch spec´s in this same shell…

  17. Sere83
    November 8, 2015

    lol, those are definitely the ugliest icons ive ever seen in my life

    • Ivana
      January 20, 2016

      Is there any way that icons can be change
      d?

  18. Joel Adames
    November 8, 2015

    the phone is going great!!! let´s hope next version improves on SoC and Screen grade (FHD) !!! like bluboo xtouch spec´s in this same shell…

  19. Sere83
    November 8, 2015

    lol, those are definitely the ugliest icons ive ever seen in my life

    • Guest
      January 20, 2016

      Is there any way that icons can be change
      d?

  20. Lorenzo
    December 3, 2015

    Anybody knows if the compass sensor is present or not ?

    • Montague
      December 26, 2015

      I’ve received my bv5000 last week. And no, there’s no working compass in it and that’s a big bad point for me ! The GPS (i’m a big user of osmand in bike travel) is really fast and accurate. Anyway, i don’t think the battery is real 5000mAh, but the autonomy is not bad

  21. Guest
    December 3, 2015

    Anybody knows if the compass sensor is present or not ?

    • Guest
      December 26, 2015

      I’ve received my bv5000 last week. And no, there’s no working compass in it and that’s a big bad point for me ! The GPS (i’m a big user of osmand in bike travel) is really fast and accurate. Anyway, i don’t think the battery is real 5000mAh, but the autonomy is not bad

  22. mrsim
    December 30, 2015

    i will be honest and say that the pictures do not do this device justice…it’s terrible…i bought two for my sister in laws kids and the screen cracked in one day after it was knocked off of a table whilst charging…it seems there is no point in making a durable device if the screen is not as shock proof as the rest of the device…now i have to send off for a new screen and fit it myself costing me an extra $40-50 …build quality is crappy as they come with the fake metal looking plastic down the sides to the flimsy skin of plastic which is supposed to be the back cover…for it’s price it’s ok but it is in no way an ‘outdoors’ device…far from it…it’s waterproof…that’s it.period…oh and it has a big battery…do not waste your money on this rubbish…and if you have ordered one…send it back or cancel your order ASAP…it’s all a ruse as usual from blackview…yet another chinese company fooling you into thinking this thing is durable when in fact it is cheap rubbish

  23. mrsim
    December 30, 2015

    i will be honest and say that the pictures do not do this device justice…it’s terrible…i bought two for my sister in laws kids and the screen cracked in one day after it was knocked off of a table whilst charging…it seems there is no point in making a durable device if the screen is not as shock proof as the rest of the device…now i have to send off for a new screen and fit it myself costing me an extra $40-50 …build quality is crappy as they come with the fake metal looking plastic down the sides to the flimsy skin of plastic which is supposed to be the back cover…for it’s price it’s ok but it is in no way an ‘outdoors’ device…far from it…it’s waterproof…that’s it.period…oh and it has a big battery…do not waste your money on this rubbish…and if you have ordered one…send it back or cancel your order ASAP…it’s all a ruse as usual from blackview…yet another chinese company fooling you into thinking this thing is durable when in fact it is cheap rubbish

  24. ads2801
    January 14, 2016

    One question Have anybody test the GPS quality? I want buy one of this phone in a few days and my first utility is for bike and sports, so I need a well GPS quality, so much
    indoor and outdoor. Thanks so much.

  25. ads2801
    January 14, 2016

    One question Have anybody test the GPS quality? I want buy one of this phone in a few days and my first utility is for bike and sports, so I need a well GPS quality, so much
    indoor and outdoor. Thanks so much.

  26. Joanna
    January 20, 2016

    What’s the matter with my bv5000 display?! Is it supposed to be a scratch resistant? Mine got scratched just by being in my pocket with my car key!

    • Javed
      February 2, 2016

      Same here

  27. Guest
    January 20, 2016

    What’s the matter with my bv5000 display?! Is it supposed to be a scratch resistant? Mine got scratched just by being in my pocket with my car key!

    • Guest
      February 2, 2016

      Same here

  28. lazlo
    February 25, 2016

    “Rugged” my arse. Mine fell from a pocket – maybe 40cm – and the screen shattered.

  29. lazlo
    February 25, 2016

    “Rugged” my arse. Mine fell from a pocket – maybe 40cm – and the screen shattered.

  30. fred
    April 27, 2016

    Very weak phone, never an outdoor product, the first smartphone who
    broke the first day in my pocket. The photo camera is poor in lower and
    higher light condition. Loose of money!
    Téléphone très fragile,
    certainement pas résistant aux chocs et à l’eau, l’écran s’est fendu le
    premier jours en poche, je n’ai jamais vu çà. De plus, le capteur photo
    est vraiment moyen moyen, surtout en basse lumière ou surexposition.
    Achat à éviter.

  31. fred
    April 27, 2016

    Very weak phone, never an outdoor product, the first smartphone who
    broke the first day in my pocket. The photo camera is poor in lower and
    higher light condition. Loose of money!
    Téléphone très fragile,
    certainement pas résistant aux chocs et à l’eau, l’écran s’est fendu le
    premier jours en poche, je n’ai jamais vu çà. De plus, le capteur photo
    est vraiment moyen moyen, surtout en basse lumière ou surexposition.
    Achat à éviter.

  32. Tin Horta
    September 26, 2016

    I hope there will be an update for the compass

  33. Tin Horta
    September 26, 2016

    I hope there will be an update for the compass

  34. Syed Faizan
    November 22, 2016

    Nice. but i think Compared to Nomu S20 its Pretty Old in Spec’s Design and off Course the Price

  35. Syed Faizan
    November 22, 2016

    Nice. but i think Compared to Nomu S20 its Pretty Old in Spec’s Design and off Course the Price