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BlackBerry Q5 review

BlackBerry 10 gets slightly more affordable, but does that make any better?

Our Verdict

The BlackBerry Q5 is difficult to love. Sure it's got all the core smartphone features, but it doesn't really excel at anything, apart from perhaps web browsing, but even that's hampered somewhat by the pokey 3.1-inch display. It's a Q10 for people who can't afford one.

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 8 GB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 5 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 12.50 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 720 x 720
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • 4G enabled
  • Fast web browsing
  • MicroSD slot
  • Decent BlackBerry Hub

Against

  • Chunky plastic case
  • Non-removable battery
  • Average keyboard
  • Awkward screen size

Battery life

The BlackBerry Q5 comes equipped with a 2180mAh battery, but unlike in the Z10 and Q10 you can't remove this from the phone.

This will annoy those who are on their handsets all day and need a back-up battery just in case it runs out before end of play - and in the case of the Q5 this could well happen.

BlackBerry Q5 review

Its saving grace is that the battery is actually bigger than both its BlackBerry 10-toting counterparts, although only by 80mAh when compared to the BlackBerry Q10.

We found that with a full day's heavy usage including many emails, text messages, social media updates, mapping and camera action, the BlackBerry Q5 was limping its way to the charger by around 7pm.

If you're slightly less intense with your usage then you'll be able to eke out a whole day on the BlackBerry Q5, and perhaps even see out some of the next day too before reaching for a power source.

One of the issues we have with the Q5, and with BlackBerry 10 in general, is the lack of an auto-brightness setting, which can be detrimental to battery life if you forget to turn your screen down when you move to darker areas.

When you compare the BlackBerry Q5 to rivals in terms of battery life then it's pretty much on par with the day's usage we've come to expect from smartphones these days, but if you're an email hound or love gaming on the go then don't expect the Q5 to make it to bedtime.

Connectivity

As we've already mentioned in this review, the BlackBerry Q5 comes not only 3G enabled, but also 4G enabled, giving you access to the super-fast network's speeds, providing they're available in your area and with your network provider.

BlackBerry Q5 review

There are other smartphone staples onboard the BlackBerry Q5 as well, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS, plus the Canadian firm has also stuffed the contactless NFC technology inside this handset.

Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections can be quickly toggled in the pull-down quick settings bar, accessed when viewing the home screen or app list pages on the BlackBerry Q5, but we'd have liked to have seen NFC and GPS also feature here - there is space after all.

You can also use your BlackBerry Q5 as a mobile hotspot, enabling other devices such as tablets and laptops to share your phone's internet connection - although be warned that this runs down the battery and eats into your data allowance.

Down the left side of the BlackBerry Q5 are a couple more connectivity-related trinkets in the form of the microSD slot - perfect for complementing the 4GB of usable internal storage - and a micro USB port.

The USB port is used for charging the Q5 as well as hooking it up to a computer - although you're forced to install the BlackBerry Link software on your machine first before gaining access to the contents of the handset.

BlackBerry Q5 review

Simple drag and drop between folders becomes available after the software is installed, but it's all a bit of a hassle.

BlackBerry Q5 review

What you'll notice on the Q5 is that it's missing the micro HDMI port that adorns both the Q10 and Z10, with BlackBerry deciding this phone isn't worthy of the physical TV hook-up connection.

Don't despair just yet, though, as the BlackBerry Q5 does support DLNA streaming, enabling you to wirelessly stream content to other enabled devices such as TVs, computers and games consoles.

You can share music, photos and videos from the Q5 to other DLNA-enabled devices, and it's easy to do. Just navigate to the media you want to stick on the big screen, hit the Play On option in the menu and then select the device on your wireless network you want to link up with.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen, QWERTY
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported64 GB
Built-in Memory8 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA+
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Cellular Generation4G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 1700, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100, LTE 700, LTE 850, LTE 1700, LTE 1900
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourBlack
Operating SystemBlackBerry
Brand NameBlackBerry
Battery Talk Time12.50 Hour
Product ModelQ5
Screen Size7.9 cm (3.1")
Screen Resolution720 x 720
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)120 g
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Operating System VersionBlackBerry OS 10.1
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
RealtoneYes
Call FeaturesCall Log
Pixel Density329 ppi
Height120 mm
Width66 mm
Depth10.8 mm
ManufacturerBlackBerry
Product NameQ5 Smartphone
Processor Speed1.20 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Magnetometer, Proximity Sensor, Gyro Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor, Digital Compass
Manufacturer Part NumberPRD-50741-038
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.uk.blackberry.com
Marketing Information

Explore, create and share anywhere

Act on your ideas in the moment with a fast, effortless experience that flows with you. Cool apps, hot games, and more music and movies than ever are all waiting for you on the new BlackBerry® Q5.

BBM VIdeo with Screen Share

Catch up face-to-face and share what's on your screen with BBM™ Video with Screen Share.

BlackBerry Keyboard

Perform super fast searches with Instant Action on the classic BlackBerry® Keyboard.

Limited Warranty2 Year