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Review

While it lacks the razzle dazzle of the BlackBerry Z10 or BlackBerry Q10, the Q5 is a phone that gets by on serving its niche. Built as a mid-range device in the mould of the older BlackBerry Curve, the Q5, as a budget device, has its shortfalls both expected and unexpected. The rapidly antiquating QWERTY keyboard is a letdown on this device, along with some sluggish hardware, but the Q5 knows what it is. It is a device that works, sometimes well, but usually, it gets by on just working.


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The first thing anyone looks at when they see this phone is the QWERTY keyboard. While becoming something of a rare feature, this keyboard doesn’t really nail it. The keyboard feels cheap and I shutter to think of how this keyboard will hold up after two or three years of use and abuse. Bottom line, the most important feature of this phone doesn’t exactly draw much confidence. Sad, because the Q10 keyboard really advanced the QWERTY keyboard and excited us about future iterations.

In terms of body, the Q5 is about the exact same size as the Q10. Gone is the removable battery, and in is the new plastic chassis. The 3.1 inch screen is square, meaning any widescreen video is awkward to view. It isn’t all doom and gloom with the screen though, the display has a great backlight and a great resolution. The 720 x 720 screen pumps out 329 pixels per inch which does look sharp, even if you are squinting to see smaller fonts on this smallish screen.

Despite some head scratchers, the phone surprises on this device. For just a 5 megapixel camera it really does shine. This phone’s camera app also holds up, making you forget for a few minutes about the lack of crucial apps like Instagram. The app stacks up well when compared to photo apps from major OS’s like Windows and IOS 6.

The prowess of BlackBerry 10 is available on this phone. Shipping with versions 10.1, those who dedicate time to learn the new OS will really enjoy its intuitiveness. The BlackBerry Hub returns, bringing all your emails and social notifications to one place, pleasing most. Hardware wise though, this phone clearly doesn’t stack up with the Z10 or Q10. In fact, this phone barely holds up against other budget phones in its class. Good news though, the battery is very strong and will easily get you through the day.

While it isn’t a bad phone, the Q5 isn’t a great one either. Designed to be that mid-line phone with a QWERTY Keyboard, it has goofed that up by building the mid-line phone with a sketchy keyboard. All BlackBerry needed to do was put the Q10 keyboard in a scaled down phone and sell it. Instead they tried to cheap out on the most important feature and we’ll just have to see what the market says.

 

Pros

-Good battery life

-New BlackBerry 10 OS

-Cool colours

 

Cons

-Surprisingly poor QWERTY Keyboard

-Small, square display

-Not the best tech

 

Specs

Weight : 120 grams

Size : 120 x 66 x 10.8mm

Screen : 3.1 inches

OS : BlackBerry 10 OS

Camera : 5 megapixel rear-facing, 2 megapixel front-facing