What is the BlackBerry Q5The BlackBerry Q5 is the third BlackBerry 10 handset and the first to target a more wallet-friendly price tag.
It has a physical QWERTY keyboard similar to the BlackBerry Q10 and is aimed at the young people who want a cheap phone that's good for messaging. It's a replacement of sorts to the likes of the BlackBerry Curve 9320 and comes in black, white, red and pink.
On paper, it's a stong mid-market phone. The Q5 features a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, a 5-megapixel rear-mounted camera, 8GB of internal storage, a 3.1-inch 720p LCD touchscreen display and a 2,100mAh battery.
Prices have yet to be confirmed, but BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins has confirmed it will target budget and emerging markets.
BlackBerry Q5 DesignOne area BlackBerry has saved pennies compared to the BlackBerry Q10, is in its build quality. Whereas the BlackBerry Q10 feels like a solid, well-made phone, the budget BlackBerry Q5 is plastic and feels less refined.
At 10.8mm thick and 120g in weight, the BlackBerry Q5 is slim and light, but it looks and feels notably cheaper than its BB10 siblings. It's still attractive, however, and adopts a familiar form with the QWERTY keyboard and touchscreen display sharing the space on the handset’s face well, and a colourful trim at the sides.
The BlackBerry Q5 keyboard feels looser in its housing than the Q10; it doesn't feel as if the keys will stand the test of time, though we'll have to wait for when it goes on sale to see.
While the standard black and white colour schemes have a generic matt finish, the red and pink options go for a gloss finish. Although sure to appeal to many, it feels cheaper than the simpler matt finishes.
The Q5’s SIM card and microSD expansion are hidden out of sight behind unobtrusive plastic flap.
BlackBerry Q5 ScreenThe BlackBerry Q5 screen measures 3.1-inches and has a same 720 x 720 resolution - it's impressive, particularly for a cheaper phone.
Going for an LCD rather than Super AMOLED offering means the battery drain caused by the handset’s screen should be lower than that of the BlackBerry Q10 - something we'll look closer at in our final BlackBerry Q5 review.
The screen is responsive to the touch and with bright colours and a seemingly impressive contrast ratio, although the viewing angle and sharpness isn't quite up to the same standard as the Q10.
BlackBerry Q5 PerformanceThe BlackBerry Q5 feels somewhat slower than the BlackBerry Q10 - application launches and menu transitions take that fraction of a second longer than desired, no doubt due to the slight processor downgrade. But it's only a small difference and only obvious if you're switching from a faster phone.
Like the Q10, the BlackBerry Q5 will come pre-installed with the BlackBerry 10.1 update, which adds a number of keyboard shortcuts and other welcome additions.
Although we were unable to properly test the 2100mAh battery found within the BlackBerry Q5 during our time with the handset, we were disappointed to learn that's not removable - a problem if you like to carry a spare battery.
BlackBerry Q5 CameraDespite the BlackBerry Q5 featuring just a 5-megapixel rear-mounted, it performed reasonably well during our brief camera tests.
In less than ideal lighting, results were mostly sharp with well-balanced colours and little to no motion blur. Blacks were deep and with accurate colours, though we'd like to get a closer look before passing final judgement.
There's a built-in flash, too, which should help with shots taken in dingy pubs and clubs.
For those keen on video calling, the inclusion of the same 2-megapixel forward-facing camera as the BlackBerry Q10 will be a welcome addition.
Overall, it seems the BlackBerry Q5 will be enough to meet the needs of its BBM loving teen market targets. While it might come up short against the likes of the HTC One or iPhone 5, given its expectedly low price point, this should not trouble the handset’s core audience too much.