Feature set summary for BlackBerry Q5 review
Not as many features as the Q10, but NFC support and 4G LTE are still on offer. The snapper is not impressive and the handset is costly for what you get.
Style and handling summary for BlackBerry Q5 review
It’s not as elegant as the Q10 – its plain non-glossy plastic styling is something we’d expect on a cheaper phone.
Battery power summary for BlackBerry Q5 review
A full charge will last a whole day, even with concentrated use, and video streaming will see the battery die after eight hours.
Performance summary for BlackBerry Q5 review
The dual-core chip under the hood can cope with pretty much any game or app you throw at it.
User friendliness summary for BlackBerry Q5 review
Even though the screen is small, thanks to its high resolution and square aspect ratio, surfing the net is reasonably enjoyable.
BlackBerry Q5 Review Scoring Summary
|Style & Handling|
The BlackBerry Q5 is cheaper than the BlackBerry Q10 if you’re after a QWERTY phone, and offers some decent features such as NFC and 4G support, but it’s still dear for what you’re getting.
Full Review and Specification for the BlackBerry Q5
The BlackBerry Q5 is cheaper than the BlackBerry Q10 if you’re after a QWERTY phone, and offers some decent features
While we were impressed with the BlackBerry Q10, which brought us a lovely QWERTY keyboard and fancy new operating system (BB OS 10), the £550 it cost to buy one was a bit of an issue.
So, here comes the BlackBerry Q5, with less onboard storage (8GB), a slower chip under the hood, and a less impressive snapper (a five-megapixel model instead of an eight-megapixel one). But it does come with a cheaper price - £350.
Not-so fantastic plastic for the BlackBerry Q5
The Q5 isn’t as good looking as its predecessor, either. Gone is the bevelled back plate and the silver band, and in its place is a far more bland, plastic look. As the likes of Nokia are producing great-looking handsets at half the price, we’re not sure why BlackBerry has cut corners here. We also noticed some weak joins on the body – and the flap that is used to cover card slots can be pushed inwards very easily.
The plastic finish makes the handset feel rather cheap. Otherwise, its layout looks similar to that of the Q10 – there’s a QWERTY keyboard and a 3.1in display. But while the Q10 offered users the opportunity to change the battery thanks to a removable back cover, the Q5 cannot be opened, and the SIM and Micro SD cards are accessed via a slot on the left edge.
The touchscreen measures 3.1 inches and is really sharp. Its 720x720 pixel resolution ensures websites and images look really sharp. The display is also far brighter than that on the Q10, so it should cope with glare from the sun. Responsiveness is decent too – we also enjoyed the screen’s square aspect ratio, which makes playing apps and surfing the net very enjoyable.
The only problem is that videos play on a letterbox window – which is rather tough on such a small screen – you wouldn’t really want to watch a whole film like this. There’s also no speaker at the bottom – so you’ll need some earphones if you need any decent audio.
When it comes to power, the dual-core chip is not as powerful as that of its predecessor (it’s a 1.2GHz model) yet still manages to cope with most of the apps and games you can throw at it. Teamed with 2GB of RAM, you see apps load and run quickly and smoothly. We were also impressed by battery life – a good day, even with intensive use, and eight solid hours of video streaming.
Other features include NFC support and 4G LTE support.
The snapper has also been cut down – this time to a five-megapixel model. We found our snaps had a hazy finish and our close-up images were out of focus. But generally, everyday snaps were fine. There are some nifty features, such as Time Lapse mode, but it’s missing the rich colours that the camera on the Sony Xperia SP’s lens offers, for instance. And the Nokia 720’s snapper offers sharper images for the same price or cheaper.
While we’re impressed that BlackBerry has brought out a mid-range phone, because the Q10 is so expensive, we still think it’s too pricey. The small display is crisp and nice to use, and there are still some neat features such as 4G and NFC support and a reasonable snapper. But the design is not thrilling and there are cheaper, more desirable handsets on offer.
BlackBerry Q5 Specification
- Display : 3.1 inch touch-screen (720 x 720 pixels)
- Processor : Dual-core 1.2 GHz
- RAM : 2GB
- Onboard Memory : 8GB (microSD support)
- Camera : 5 mega-pixel & front-facing 2 mega-pixel
- Battery : 2100 mAh
- Operating System : Blackberry 10
- Connectivity : WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G or 4G & NFC (model dependant)
- Colours : Black, White or Red
By Kevin Thomas on 02nd July, 2013