BlackBerry Q5 review

Reviews 8 Jul, 2013

A mid-range BlackBerry 10 handset, which sports a new-look keyboard.

3
Price: 
Free from £21 per month or £320 SIM-free
Pros: 
Impressive battery life; Decent keyboard; 4G enabled
Cons: 
Small display; Poor camera; No MHL connection
Verdict: 
With decent performance levels and a mid-range price, the Q5 is reasonable handset. However, it's suited more to the consumer market and is unlikely to anything more than a secondary messaging device for most business users due to the small screen.

BlackBerry's attempt to regain market share using its revamped BB10 operating system has got off to the best start. However, the firm hasn't given up hope of rekindling former glories and has released the Q5, the first mid-tier device in this range.

The BlackBerry Q5 follows in the footsteps of the Q10 by pairing a Qwerty keyboard with a touchscreen. But has BlackBerry made too many sacrifices in terms of build quality and specifications to keep the cost down?

Design

Where the full touchscreen BlackBerry Z10 marked a radical departure from the form factor the company built its name, the Q-series treads a familiar track.

The Q5 consists of a full 35 key chiclet-style Qwerty keypad. The woven glass and aluminium used to in the high-end Q10 have been jettisoned in favour of plastics but the Q5 still feels well built. With dimensions of 120 x 66 x 10.8mm, the device is smaller than the Q10 as well. It's 20g lighter too (120g).

On the front facia you'll find a 3.1in display sitting above the physical keyboard and although there seems to be quite a gap between where the screen ends and the keys begin, this is not wasted space. BlackBerry 10's user interface is navigated via a system of gesture controls and the bezel around the screen allows you space to initiate swipes, and prevents them being activated accidentally.

The 5-megapixel camera unit flanked by an LED flash is positioned in the top right hand corner of the rear casing - but it doesn't quite live up to the standard of the iPhone 5 or Lumia 925.

Keyboard

The most noticeable difference between the Q5 and the Q10 is the keyboard. BlackBerry has chosen to adopt a chiclet design so there are noticeable gaps between the letters. Although the Q5 may not look as nice as the Q10, the spacing does help to eliminate accidental key presses.

The Q5's keyboard does feel creaky in comparison, lacking the same premium feel as the Q10's effort. But it's an acceptable trade-off.


Specifications: 

OS: BlackBerry 10
Processor: 1.2GHz dual-core
Memory/Storage: 2GB RAM/8GB expandable up to 32GB via microSD
Screen: 3.1in IPS LCD (720 x 720) display, 328 ppi
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot, A-GPS, Bluetooth 4.0 (A2DP)
Other: Accelerometer, proximity sensor, compass
Bands: 2G GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, 3G HSDPA, 4G LTE
Camera: 5MP rear, 2MP front-facing
Battery: 2180 mAh Li-Ion
Size: 120 x 66 x 10.8 mm (WxDxH)
Weight: 120g

Disqus - noscript

Horrid horrid & Horrid.. BlackBerry brought out the beautiful Z10 - and they have gone backwards... And they call apple old... Sorry but their new Crapberry looks no different other crap products they have brought out.. Sorry but the company is a joke.. Wouldn't be seen dead with one of these phones. I would rather be seen with my old Motorola brick or my old Nokia 3310.. Than be seen with a CrapBerry - I would waste £1 on their rubbish products let alone wasting £300 on something that a pile of crap. I used to love blackberry - ever since moving to the iPhone. Not looked back since. When BBM comes to Android & the iPhones... Nobody will give a crap bout blackberry - we all know when BBM comes to iPhone & Android we all know it will be the final nail in the company.BlackBerry need to get should get shut of that - Creepy German slime ball Thorsten Heins

Thorsten Heins is holding BlackBerry back - Heins needs to go!! I really can't stand the site of that man.. He gives me the freaking creeps.. He needs to go!!! I wreckon BlackBerry & mircosoft should team up. But saying that BlackBerrys run by a bunch of morons anyway.. The company should of hung on bit longer to see how well the products do - before letting BBM cross over to iOS & Android... Which proves my point - that the BlackBerry company is stupid. Their phones may have the new BlackBerry 10 - but the Q10 & Q5 is pretty much the same old crap that they had on the market already - yawn!

Forgotten to take your meds? Or just trolling?

I would pay good money for a smartphone with a physical keyboard. This sounds like a great deal with almost all the features of Q10 without the extravagant cost.

Lets face it, hardcore BB fans don't give a toss about large unwieldy touch only phones with piss poor batteries. We don't want to watch movies or download apps all day on out phones. We want to get work done and communicate effectively. BlackBerry is exactly what we need.

I forecast sales to pick up quite quickly with this latest entrant. Cost was the biggest prohibitive factor with Z10 and Q10. The Q5 is not expensive and will sell.
Despite what the rival company shills and hysterical trolls say.

So it's only suitable for Business Users and Teenagers.
There aren't many of those, are there?

Personal and racial slurs against the CEO; way to close out what had previously been such a balanced and well-informed post.

You seem totally ignorant over the fact that despite this being similar in format to what they have done for years there are a lot of people that want/need physical keyboards. Never seen someone with long/false nails trying to type on a touchscreen phone? Worth checking it out for the entertainment factor alone.

I use the iPhone for plenty of reasons but typing on it is a chore. You sound off about lack of innovation from blackberry yet Apple have pretty much the same format and form factor since they introduced their first phone and refuse to give choice in their line-up. I've long since given up trying to use the iPhone for messaging of any importance. Whereas I used to be able to write detailed emails in a very short time with the BB, it's just too painful with the iPhone.

I miss having a BB but the thing stopping me going back is the lack of apps not the form factor or the quality of their devices.

Oh yes, and Wow! For someone that really seems to love their face and likes to promote all of their names, you aren't exactly putting yourself in a good light as an industry commentator.

Get your act together. Actually read what you're posting and then perhaps you'll start making sense AJMJ.

I hope the keyboard is a vast improvement on my Curve 9360, as that is an hateful piece of utterly useless crap.

Sorry but BlackBerry are Just awful. What l failed to mention - I was a blackberry user for 6 years... Samsung & Apple are light years a head of BlackBerry. Heinz had the cheek to say Apple was dated - when for years they bin realising the same old thing - over & over again. At least with apple & Samsung had video calls & you can use so many great apps...l still remeber you couldn't even use Skype. I don't know why blackberry users & Fans still defend blackberry. Look at the playbook for one, and since they have failed. Heinz said tablets won't be around - everybody knows he's wrong. Sorry but BlackBerry are a joke... Even they know that it's game over! Yet BlackBerry Fans & users still defend Blackberry - yet lts clear blackberry dont care bout their users or fan base. The hole company is a joke. Even they know they have lost... Yet Their hardcore fans are living in denial.

On another note ---- I don't know why?! Heins Just gives me the creeps for some reason... I know few people have said the same thing - there's just something bout him - that creeps me out... I wish l knew why.. He just makes us shudder soon as l lay eyes on him. I watched a video on YouTube - he seemed so boring & droning on & on like broken record bout how great the blackberry is.... But he still freaks me out for some reason. Wish l knew why.. He just does.

Funny how share prices have dropped & Even BlackBerry know they have lost.

So much for your theory - mmmmm... I had blackberry - great phones but the software is awful. The iPhone & Android do a far better job...got the iPhone5 & love it. I purely use the iPhone for Business & day to day things fine. I am glad l ditched the CrapBerry & got no Regrets. Try reading the news a bit more - coz blackberry have lost... When BlackBerry's ship has sunk you will be stuck with something's that's no good. Every body knows now BlackBerry 10 has failed & lost.

Also - look at the playbook for one... Now there going back to selling old bb os7 phones... So much for their big come back. - the Samsung iPhone HTC Nokia & Sony are the big top brands... And seem to be doing very very well... While blackberrys dying - they now losing staff, The shares have dropped, the phone prices have dropped & nobody is buying them. From what people l do know that use the Z10 & Q5 bin told their rubbish & not to bother . I admit the z10 is beautiful but the Q10 & Q5 don't like the look of them. They look know different to past blackberrys.But deffo don't like the Q5. Read reviews which has bin enough. Then blackberry go back to the BB OS7 phones which was big massive let down. I had the BB bold 9900 and l was sorry that l ditched the BlackBerry Torch 9800 - which l admit that was the only BlackBerry phone that l actally loved...when l tried the 9900 it was a massive let down. So before calling me an apple fanboy - well "Apple FanGirl more like" - I did used to like Blackberry at one Time. Being honest the iPhones are easier to use.. And they do an amazing job. Since ditching - not looked back... At one time l was a blackberry fan - it was after the 9900 that was the thing thing that put us off being honest & I had 4 years of problems & issues with BlackBerry. So I have my reasons why l hate BlackBerry. But I wish l had stayed with the Torch 9800.

At the end of the day - you have you're tastes and l have mine. I don't agree with how BlackBerry have treated their fans & users of the playbook for one. If you would of spoke to us 2 - 4 years ago - l would of agreed with you. But since moving to the iPhone - I can see it from another side. One of the things l love bout apple - has to be FaceTime & Skype - I also use it for medical stuff and day to day things. It's not all about the games. However l don't know much bout Samsung. My husband swears by his. There's alot more u can do with the iPhone & Samsung - the battery life on the iPhone5 has bin a amazing. Can't fault it & has bin reilble.
One thing that put me of blackberry was paying for apps, themes & the odd game - then paying extra money for the update... Which with all other phones - once you have paid for those apps - that should be it. BlackBerry have the cheek to ask for more money - which isn't very good or nice...

I also do not miss BBM - coz of the stupid broadcasting messages & chain messages... Which the was a few chain messages that did really touch a nerve & was up set by.., I don't miss being pinged to death and people bugging me for my BBM pin.

I am more into using Viber -viber is very boss.

I have what's app but preffer Viber.
You have you're tastes & l have mine.. Fair play

BlackBerry are wrong asking for more money from the user of the app, Theme, game - updates. Once you have paid for the app you should not have to pay anymore. Blackberry are wrong on that one. I think blackberry are terrible doing what they are doing. Not sure if they still do that... Coz it's bin a year now. So not sure if they still do that. That l don't know.. That l can't say but it was one of the reasons l got fed up with them.