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BlackBerry Q5 review

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BlackBerry Q5 V3

A decent mid-range BlackBerry 10 handset that retains the core enterprise appeal of its more expensive sibling, the Q10. However its BYOD appeal is hampered by issues with its display and camera.

Pros:

Comfortable in hand, full Qwerty keyboard, good battery life, BlackBerry Balance, Protect, Hub and Messenger services are great for business use

Cons:

Slow browsing speeds, disapointing camera, display is prone to picking up glare

Overall Rating:

4 Star Rating: Recommended

Price: £360

Manufacturer: BlackBerry

The Q5 is the second BlackBerry 10 smartphone to feature a full physical Qwerty Keyboard, following on from its more expensive sibling the Q10. However, despite being cheaper than the Q10 the Q5 is far from a budget handset, costing around £360 sim-free and around £20-per-month on contract.

This means that while BlackBerry's worked hard to sell the device as an affordable option to businesses, it's still nowhere near as cheap as the Canadian firm's older Bold and Pearl handsets. Add to this the massive costs an enterprise can incur upgrading to BlackBerry Enterprise Server 10 (BES 10) combined with most smartphone users' ongoing Android or iOS preference and you have to question whether the Q5 will be enough to finally ignite corporate interest in BlackBerry 10.

Design and build
Stylistically the Q5 is fairly different to the Q10 despite featuring a similar 35-key physical full Qwerty keyboard. This is because the Q5's chassis and corners are slightly more rounded and less sleek than the Q10. Despite their visual differences the two devices are very similar size-wise with the Q5 measuring in at 120x66x10.8mm and the Q10 120x67x10.4mm.BlackBerry Q5 back

However, the Q5 is slightly lighter than the 139g Q10, weighing 120g. This is largely due to the Q5's stripped-down outer chassis and keyboard. Where the Q10 felt like a high-end device, featuring a robustly built keyboard and rubberised back, the Q5 feels a little low end, being an entirely plastic affair. This fact is particularly noticeable on the Q5's keyboard. While in general typing on the Q5 keyboard is very comfortable the keys have a habit of shifting a fraction of a millimetre left or right, making it feel slightly cheap.

Despite being made of plastic, the outer chassis does feel fairly robust, and thanks to the Q5's rounded sides and boxy size the phone is fairly comfortable in hand.

Next: Display, operating system and software.

Processor: 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor
Display: 3.1in, 720x720 329ppi, IPS LCD display
Storage: 8GB internal storage options, expandable via microSD
Camera: 5MP rear-facing camera, 2MP front camera
Connectivity: 3G and WiFi connectivity
Operating system:BlackBerry 10.1
Dimensions: 120x66x10.8mm
Weight: 120g

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Alastair Stevenson
About

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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