Wednesday, May 15th, 2013
BlackBerry has announced a smaller version of the Q10 yesterday, the Q5. Reminiscent of the Curve models (with a bit of Bold blended in) the Q5 is a top spec but mid-range smartphone that should come with a smaller price tag than its larger sibling. According to BlackBerry, the new handset will be released in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America in early July. The price has not yet been confirmed.
Let’s get down to it – what are the specs?
The BlackBerry Q5 features a full QWERTY keyboard and a 3.1 inch 720p resolution LCD screen. Powered by a dual-core 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor running the latest BlackBerry 10 OS and carrying 2 GB of RAM, the Q5 has very similar specs to the Z10 and Q10. It comes with only 8 GB of internal memory but this can be expanded through the use of a microSD card. The front and back cameras are decent but not impressive. In the back you’ll find a 5 MP camera with autofocus and an LED flash while in the front there is a 2 MP camera.
BlackBerry Q5 versus BlackBerry Q10
At the beginning of this post I called the Q5 a “top spec but mid-range smartphone” – you may be wondering why? While the Q5 definitely packs a punch in terms of specs, BlackBerry has clearly targeted the mid-range smartphone market as cheaper materials have been used for the Q5 as compared to the Q10. The Q5 is also available in a wider variety of colours including red and pink which shows that BlackBerry is targeting a younger audience with this model.
The 3.1 inch screen on the Q5 is the same size as the one on the Q10, however, the Q10 features a Super AMOLED display while the Q5 uses a lower-cost LCD screen.
Polycarbonate is the main material used for the Q5′s body while the Q10 is made primarily from fiberglass and aluminium. On the plus side this makes the Q5 19 grams lighter than the Q10.
According to first hand reviews from a wide range of sources, the QWERTY keyboard is more similar to the old Curve setup than what is featured on the Q10 flagship model: a less-premium, flatter keyboard that provides a decent typing experience but leaves much to be desired when compared to the keyboard on the Q10 which has precisely angled keys, excellent feedback and a quick response.
Awesome or awful?
Awesome (and very much so). BlackBerry is trying to bring back the old Curve experience. Remember when everyone had a BBM PIN and all the kids were typing away on their BlackBerries: “clickety clack, clickety clack”? We may just see that fashion re-emerge.
All in all the Q5 looks very promising. A fun, trendy smartphone with great specs at a (hopefully) affordable price. I’m very much looking forward to it – are you?