Bluetooth versions 1 to 5 – How they differ and comparisons

Bluetooth versions 1 to 5 - Differences and comparisons
- Advertisement -

Bluetooth is a wireless standard that devices use to exchange data between one another. With this standard, a phone will be able to transmit your favorite audio to a wireless headset so you can listen in. Bluetooth allows for only short-range data transmission between digital devices through radio waves, thus, it does not require internet to use Bluetooth.

- Advertisement -

Bluetooth is common in almost every portable device, such as Cell phones, tablets, laptops, PDAs, and Smartphones. It doesn’t use data on your device, so, Bluetooth doesn’t cost money to transfer files like Wifi internet. However, contrary to WI-FI, Bluetooth has its own disadvantages as listed below.

  • Bluetooth can only be used for short-range transmission of data. Outside that, it becomes unnecessary.
  • Bluetooth loses connection is some conditions
  • Bluetooth isn’t so much secure, making it susceptible to hacking and sniffing
  • Bluetooth has a low bandwidth as compared to Wi-Fi making the connection very weak


Different versions of Bluetooth

Different versions of Bluetooth -

There are several versions of Bluetooth on the globe, numerous of them. This article will cover from version 1 to 5 and their differences. A new version of Bluetooth standard means new improvements made, so expect later versions to be better than earlier ones. Note that, a version of Bluetooth works as it must work if it’s used on a compatible device.

Bluetooth 1

In this version, there were improvements made, resulting to a series of ones, thus, Bluetooth 1.0, Bluetooth 1.1, and Bluetooth 1.2 as we are going to see in details.

Bluetooth 1.0 was the first Bluetooth version ever made in the world. This was seen in 1999, with its first specifications. It however didn’t gain popularity faster because of its deployment issues. This then led to the release of another version of Bluetooth 1.1

Bluetooth 1.1 came two years later, in 2001, replacing the earlier version. It came with an improved reliability factor, interoperability, with backward compatibility which was still not at 100%. This only meant a new version would come soon.

Bluetooth 1.2 followed in 2003 with an improved pairing speed and is greatly known as the most widely used Bluetooth technology. It had an Adaptive Frequency Hoping feature which prevented interferences between Bluetooth and other wireless technologies such as WiFi.

Bluetooth version 1 - ugtechmag

Bluetooth 2

In this version too were different released, i.e. Bluetooth 2.0 and Bluetooth 2.1. Bluetooth 2.0 came in 2004, with more improvements such as Enhanced Data Rate (EDR) a three-bit encoding that increased the data rate from 1 to 3 Mbps. The improvement in interference handling also meant Bluetooth would use less power.

Bluetooth 2.1 was released in 2007, with an added feature, secure simple pairing that was added to improve pairing speed and security.

Bluetooth 3

In the 3 series, there came only 3.0, thus, Bluetooth 3.0 which came in 2009. This became popular for its high speed and the ability to connect via Bluetooth but transmitted data via Wi-Fi.

Bluetooth 4

Bluetooth 4.0 came in 2010, and was known for the low energy, low power, which was simplified as Bluetooth LE (Bluetooth Low Energy)

Bluetooth 4.1 followed in 2013, bringing more efficiency in data exchange, and the ability to co-exist with LTE frequencies that had proved a problem in the earlier versions we have seen above.

Bluetooth 4.2 then was unleashed in 2014. It was basically designed for Internet of things, with its increase payload in the Bluetooth packet which was intended to lower the overhead.

Bluetooth version 4 - ugtechmag

Bluetooth 5

Bluetooth 5.o was a more robust version with extended battery life. It came in 2016 with an increased outdoor transmission range from 50 to 200 meters with a transfer speed of up to 2Mbps which doubles what Bluetooth 4.2 can offer. Bluetooth 5.0 was first supported by Galaxy s8, iPhone 8, and iPhone X. It has an enhanced location service capable of capturing information before establishing a connection.

Bluetooth versions 1 to 5  - ugtechmag

Summary of All different Bluetooth versions

Bluetooth Version

Release year


Bluetooth 1.0


  • Deployment issues

Bluetooth 1.1


  • Improved reliability
  • Interoperability
  • Backward compatibility

Bluetooth 1.2


  • Improved pairing speed
  • Most widely used Bluetooth technology
  • Adaptive Frequency Hoping feature

Bluetooth 2.0


  • Enhanced Data Rate

Bluetooth 2.1


  • Improve pairing speed and security.

Bluetooth 3.0


  • High speed
  • Connect via Bluetooth but transmits data via WiFi

Bluetooth 4.0


  • Low energy
  • Low power

Bluetooth 4.1


  • More efficiency in data exchange
  • Ability to co-exist with LTE frequencies

Bluetooth 4.2


  • Increase payload
  • Low overhead

Bluetooth 5.0


  • Outdoor transmission range
  • Transfer speed of up to 2 Mbps
Bluetooth versions 1 to 5 – Differences and Comparisons

ALSO READ: Best Bluetooth Smartwatches (Full Review)