BlackBerry Q5 Review

BlackBerry Q5 is the latest BB 10 OS device launched by the company and it is the 2nd qwerty smartphone running on BB 10 OS. Before Q5 company has launched two devices Z10 and Q10, both were high end devices and were only meant for die hard blackberry fans and rich audience.

BlackBerry Q5

With Q5 company is trying to make the BB 10 devices affordable so that they can reach the masses. So is the new BlackBerry Q5 worth buying? And does it stand a chance against the Android smartphones in the similar price segment? Read on to find out.

Unboxing

BlackBerry Q5 comes in a small and compact box with Q5 written at the top, watch the unboxing video below:

So the BlackBerry Q5 retail box consists of :

  • Q5 (with 2,180 mAh battery)
  • USB charging adapter
  • microUSB to USB data cable
  • Stereo Headsets
  • Quick start guide & manuals

Display & Design

BlackBerry Q5 measures 120 x 66 x 10.8 mm and weighs just 120 grams. It comes with a 3.1 inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen which has a a 720×720 pixels resolution and 329ppi Pixel density. The display is quite sharp and it has good viewing angles. The sunlight readability and the touch response of the display is pretty good.

BlackBerry Q5 front

Since the aspect ratio of the display is 1:1 it won’t be an enjoyable experience while watching videos or movies on the device. Users who mainly use the device for multimedia consumption might get disappointed with the device but for other users it won’t be an issue as users can still enjoy videos on the device occasionally.

Along with the touchscreen users also get a full 35 key physical qwerty keyboard. The overall experience while using the keyboard is quite decent. The keys are bit hard to press as compare to the Q10 where typing on the qwerty keyboard was a enjoyable experience. The keyboard is still better than the previous BlackBerry devices in the curve series.

BlackBerry Q5 keyboard

Above the display you have an earpiece, a 2 megapixel front facing camera, notification LED, proximity & ambient light sensors.

BlackBerry Q5 above display

At the right side of the phone you have a volume rocker with a small pause/mute key squeezed in between. The middle can also be used to access the voice commands or controls.

BlackBerry Q5 right side

The left side of the device has a micro USB port and the microSD, micro SIM card slot which are covered by a flap. The flap is easy to open and both the slots are spring loaded which means you just need to press the cards to pop them out.

BlackBerry Q5 left side

Moving on to the back of the device, you will find a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash next to it and a BlackBerry logo in the middle. The back panel is made up of plastic and users cannot open it which means you have a non removable battery in Q5.

BlackBerry Q5 back

At the bottom of the device you have a speaker and a microphone.

BlackBerry Q5 bottom

A 3.5 mm audio jack, power/lock key and a secondary mic for noise cancellation are present at the top of the device.

BlackBerry Q5 top

The phone is available in Red, Black and white color options. Overall the device has decent build quality. It is quite easy and comfortable to hold the device.

Hardware & Performance

BlackBerry Q5 runs on 1.2 Ghz dual core Snapdragon S4 processor along with 2GB of RAM. It comes with 8GB internal storage which can be expanded by using a microSD card of upto 32Gb storage. The device also has Adreno 225 GPU which enables the device to run nearly all the games available on the BlackBerry App world with ease.

The interface is quite smooth and responsive. We did not face any kind of lag or slowness while using the device. The performance won’t be an issue for the users. Unlike Android smartphones we do ont have any good benchmark apps available for BlackBerry devices so it is bit hard to compare it with other devices. Talking about the connectivity features Q5 supports 3G, Bluetooth and GPS.

Software

BlackBerry Q5 runs on latest BB 10.1 OS which has many new features as compare to any other previous BB OS. We have already covered the BlackBerry 10 OS in our BlackBerry Z10 review and bit about 10.1 OS features in our BlackBerry Q10 Review, so we won’t go into much detail.

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The interface is divided in to 3 panes. The app drawer which displays a 4×3 grid of apps, a multitasking screen which is present on the left of the app launcher and the BlackBerry hub which can be used to access all the notifications. To unlock the device you just need to swipe from bottom to up and same gesture can be used for minimizing any of the app to a thumbnail.

Overall the interface of the BlackBerry Q5 is quite good and easy to use. The only disappointing thing with the Q5 software is the lack of apps on BlackBerry App World. Though it contains most of the famous apps available on other platforms but still we found many apps & games missing.

Camera

BlackBerry Q5 packs a 5 megapixel back camera along with a LED flash. The camera is capable of recording full 1080p videos at 30fps. The camera interface is fairly simple to use. The device has 3 shooting modes – Still, Video and Timeshift mode. The camera does not have tap to focus option available. You need to drag the reticule to the area you want to focus.

BlackBerry Q5 camera

The Timeshift mode allows the user to capture 11 continuous photos and then choose the best one according to their preferences. Here are few sample images taken using the 8 MP camera present on the BlackBerry Q10:

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By default the camera captures 1:1 images i.e square images but you can shift to 4:3 to 16:9 mode. The quality of captured images is decent. It can be used for casual photography. The device also has a 2 megapixel front facing camera which supports 720p video recording at 30fps. It is quite good for video calling.

Battery Life

The phone comes with a 2,180mAh non removable battery. It has a rated talktime of around 13 hours on 3G. With moderate usage the battery lasted for about 1.5 days which is very good. For normal users the battery can easily last for upto 2 days. Even with heavy usage the phone lasted for an entire day, so undoubtedly Q5 has an amazing battery life.

Conclusion

BlackBerry Q5 is a mid range device and it is available in India for Rs 24,990 (MRP). It has decent build quality and design. The display is quite good but still can’t be used for multimedia purposes due to 1:1 aspect ratio. The device is powerful enough to handle all of your tasks and apps. The app ecosystem for BB 10 devices is still getting developed so you will find some apps missing on the BlackBerry World.

We really like the Battery backup of the device and it clearly beats all other smartphones in the same price segment in terms of battery life. In other areas such as camera the device is still lagging behind when compared to other devices. It is definitely a good option for the users looking for a great qwerty smartphone but can’t afford BlackBerry Q10.

Pros:

  • Decent Build quality
  • Good Performance
  • Battery life

Cons:

  • Lack of Apps
  • Not Good for Multimedia (1:1 Aspect Ratio)

Author: Akshay Aggarwal

Akshay is a Tech Enthusiast who loves to write about Technology and Gadgets. He is very passionate about blogging and has been blogging since 2009.

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