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How good is BlackBerry Q5?

Last updated on: July 17, 2013 12:48 IST

How good is BlackBerry Q5?

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Abhik Sen in New Delhi

The BlackBerry Q5 feels smaller and lighter than the Q10.

A sticker on the phone clearly says the back cover can’t be taken off.

Instead, on the left is a flap that one can pull out to access the microSIM and microSD slots.

Just above these slots is the microUSB slot. On the right are the volume rocker and the voice search key.

The power/lock key is at the top.

The Q5, billed as the ‘BB10 for the masses’, has abundant plastic.

While this sets it apart from premium devices such as the Q10, there are more premium-looking phones available in the same price bracket.

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Image: BlackBerry Q5.
Photographs: Courtesy, BlackBerry

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If you’re buying a QWERTY device, the most important aspect is the keyboard -- while the Q10’s keyboard is decidedly easier to use because of the layout, once you are used to the Q5’s keyboard, this, too, is quite comfortable.

Those shifting from a Bold 9900 or a Q10 might feel it is cramped, but as a longtime BlackBerry user, I feel it’s better than some keyboards in the Curve range.

The Q5’s hardware -- a 1.2-Ghz dual core processor, 2 GB RAM and a 720 by 720 3.1-inch screen -- won’t exactly blow your socks off, but it would get the job done quietly.

The extra space between the keyboard and the touch screen aids in swiping up for the menus.

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Image: BlackBerry president and chief executive Thorsten Heins points during the launch of the Blackberry 10 devices in New York.
Photographs: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

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The screen, while not extremely bright, is good enough for indoor and outdoor use. Calling and browsing is also good, though sometimes, the phone is heated up a bit while browsing.

Longtime BlackBerry owners might balk at the fact that the Q5’s battery can’t be removed, considering the fact that they could reset their older handsets if the software hung.

They needn’t worry -- I didn’t face any instance of the BB10 hanging in the case of the various devices I tested since their launch.

The battery lasted through the day, despite heavy calls and emails.

Despite its price of Rs 24,990, the Q5 lacks certain connectivity options such as NFC, available with its cheaper sibling, the Curve 9360.

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Image: A woman uses her mobile phone.
Photographs: David Manning/Reuters

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Also, one gets better cameras at this price.

But if you can’t live without a QWERTY device and want to use this superb operating system for work, this device is the one to go for.

The Q5, which has a QWERTY keyboard and a 3.1-inch touch screen, is powered by a 1.2-GHz dual-core processor and packs 2GB of RAM.

“It (the Q5) is more affordable for the urban youth. It will be available from tomorrow at all key BlackBerry outlets and the rollout will be completed by July 20 across India,” said Sunil Lalvani, BlackBerry’s managing director for Indian operations.

This is possibly the first time BlackBerry has introduced a device with a fixed back and a non-removable battery.

While the Canadian smartphone maker is trying to secure a stronger foothold in the Indian market, which accounts for 17-18 million smartphones a year, analysts believe the Q5’s price point is unlikely to boost sales.

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Image: A Blackberry smartphone is displayed in this August 12, 2010 illustrative photo taken in Hong Kong.
Photographs: Bobby Yip/Files/Reuters

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An analyst who tracks the handset market said the device was likely to attract only those who couldn’t do without a QWERTY keyboard, as the Q5 was likely to be seen as expensive in a price-sensitive market, one in which there were many options available at lower prices.

The Q5 has a five-megapixel, 1,080p HD camera with an LED at the back, as well as a two-megapixel 720p HD front-camera.

Given its price, BlackBerry’s Q5 would have take on Google Nexus 4, Samsung Galaxy S4 mini, Sony Xperia SP and Nokia Lumia 820 in India.


Photographs: Courtesy, BlackBerry

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