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BlackBerry Q5


Recently, the BlackBerry Q5 was released right here in Singapore. It can be considered to be the successor of the Curve line up of devices even though they would not say so. Whilst it does not pack the punch in terms of overall hardware specifications like the Q10, but the price however, is also at a very much lowered price point of $528.

Accessories

Compared to the BlackBerry Q10, the Q5 offers similar accessories set:

  • BlackBerry Standard Headset
  • MicroUSB cable
  • USB Wall adaptor
  • Manuals

Hardware

The BlackBerry Q5 is armed by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 8GB internal storage, and 5 Mega-Pixel camera (2 Mega-Pixel Front). Powered with a 2180mAh battery which is non-removable and the lack of micro-HDMI port, this hardware feature sets the two apart. The BlackBerry Q5 however, are similar in the the specification compared to Q10 with a 3.1-inch touchscreen and 2GB RAM as well as the microSD support of course.

The Keyboard compared to the BlackBerry Q10, is akin to the BlackBerry Curve vs the BlackBerry Bold.

Where the BlackBerry Curve is to be separated whilst the BlackBerry Bold comes with the keys placed side by side and separated by a metal bezel. Evidently, this occurs on the BlackBerry Q10 and Q5 as well.

The screen of the Q5 is LCD whilst Q10 is made of AMOLED. Clearly, the BlackBerry Q10’s AMOLED showcases the benefits of AMOLED vs LCD, with a much more dynamic and better contrast on the Q10 vs the Q5. But of course, moving from the Curve or legacy devices, this would not be too much of a bummer but moving from Q10 to Q5, the difference would be significant. One thing to note about the screen, like Q10 again, is that you are locked into a portrait view as well. You cannot turn the phone into landscape mode and watch videos or use it the same way as you would the Z10.

Most modern BlackBerry devices (with an exception of the BlackBerry PlayBook) have the micro-SD card support, and the BlackBerry Q5 follows the trend trend by having the micro-SD and Micro Sim card slot on the side of the unit, underneath a plastic flap. This part feels unfortunately fragile, since its held just by two rubber or plastic strap. Of course, connected with a standard Micro-USB port, it is just as easy to access the data or charge the device (unless your coming from the Apple family).

On the other side, the standard volume and media control buttons in plastic can be found.

On the top, the lock/mute button together with a microphone (noise cancelling) and 3.5mm earphone port is located there. This seems to be pretty standardized for the BlackBerry 10 line of devices.

The lack of micro-HDMI output as compared to the other devices emphasizes the fact that this is a lower end device, and the all plastic construction emphasizes it the most. Whilst it is thicker, it is still lighter than the Q10. Ironically, the BlackBerry Q5 is admitably nicer to hold than the BlackBerry Q10 for some reason. Coming from a Curve background, the BlackBerry Q5 allowed me to type faster than the BlackBerry Q10. To be honest though, a curved up keyboard similar to that of the legacy BlackBerry devices is still easier to type for me since I am so used to that, but those coming from the touch screen devices would find this easier since they all have the same similar lining of a straight keyboard.

The BlackBerry Q5, featuring a 5 Mega-Pixel rear camera and a 2 Mega-Pixel front-facing camera isn’t all that bad. We have learnt, at the very least, it does come with Time-shift as well as auto-focus. Now, despite this specifications being a few year old, but do we really require such high number of pixels (42 mega pixels?) if most of our images are just going up on instagram or FaceBook which would only take tad much of pixels when we upload them?

To be honest, I really love removable batteries. It makes my device maintenance lower risk and last longer (most of the time, after 3 or 4 years, it is the battery that dies and all I need is a new cheap battery). Also, it makes problem solving easy (remember battery pull on legacy devices?). A quick bump in battery can also be done by swapping out the battery. Sure, these days portable battery packs seem to be in the hots but hey, charging your device on the go can heat it up, especially if you are working on it and charging at the same time.

Of course the latest BlackBerry devices to date comes with NFC technology, from the Z10 to Q10. The BlackBerry Q5 should not be an exception, however, the set that we got here, is a 3G-only model and does not have NFC connectivity.

So how does this battery life stand? At close to 9 hours on a full charge on 3G only for a non-stop phone call, and slightly over 3 days on standby mode with screen turned off, the battery does not seem to be overly attractive to me at this point of time. Updating to the MR (.4780) however, standby time now exceeded 4.5 days although I am unable to test out a non-stop call. In short, the device, on a full charge, should be able to get by you a day of FaceBook, light instagram-ing and BBM-ing with ease.

To note, the BlackBerry Q5 actually comes with a 850mAh charger, as opposed to the 750mAh we have seen with the BlackBerry Q10 and Z10 so far. This is, probably in line with their warning earlier, that a low charge could result in the device not being charged. Its nice to see them slowly up the chargers but, it would have been nice to see high speed chargers coming in as part of the bundle.

All in all, this is definitely a budget-oriented device, despite its plastic build, it still feels solid enough in one’s hand. Curve users as well as users with larger hands would definitely appreciate its wider-spaced keyboard and highly tactile feedback. Bezel, being extended also caters to these group of people, making the gestures much easier. The only drawback would be applications (especially that of android) as they are built for rectangular screens rather than the square screens. Hardly a multi-media centric, but a heavily communication-driven device, it is one for those who love their Curve keyboards.

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