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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

Contacts

Unsurprisingly, the Contacts app is where you'll find all your friends' details on the BlackBerry Q5.

BlackBerry Q5 review

Sign in to your various accounts from emails to social media and the contacts app will start grabbing people's details from all sources and bunging them into one list for your perusal.

We found that the BlackBerry Q5 wasn't the quickest when it came to harvesting contacts from our various accounts, and it took it a good 30 minutes before everyone was showing up.

It made a decent effort at joining up our Google contacts to their various Twitter and Facebook profiles, although those with slightly differing names required a manual link up.

BlackBerry Q5 review

While systems such as HTC Sense do a much better job of matching up accounts, it is at least easy to manually join contacts on the Q5, and it's worth taking the time because your contact list looks a lot more attractive with everyone's profile pictures pulled through - that is unless you have ugly friends.

If you fancy finding out more about a particular friend, then tap on their name to open up their contact card, which is capable of showing you a veritable feast of information, providing it's available in the various accounts you've linked it to.

BlackBerry Q5 review

There's an Updates tab that shows you that person's latest ramblings on social media, while the activity tab provides you with your history of communication with that person.

Adding a new contact is easy, just hit the icon of a head in the bottom bar of the contacts app to get to the data entry form.

From here you can fill out all manner of details on your new found friend, although don't feel like you have to interrogate them on every aspect of their life just to fill up every box - a name and number/email will do.

Calling

You can call someone by tapping on a number on their contact card, but if you don't happen to be browsing your contacts list and fancy getting someone on the blower then you'll probably head for the phone app.

BlackBerry Q5 review

As we mentioned in the Interface section of this review, the phone app on the BlackBerry Q5 takes pride of place in the bottom left of the screen when viewing they active panels and app list.

Give it a tap and you'll be transported to the call history tab of the application, showing you all the recent numbers you've dialled as well as those who have dialled you.

Tap on any person/number in this list to call that particular caller back, but if the contact you require hasn't been in touch recently there are a couple of other tabs available.

First is the contacts tab which, as you may be able to guess, shows all your contacts, enabling you to select the person you wish to call.

BlackBerry Q5 review

If you want to do it the old fashioned way and physically tap out the number, then select the last tab in the phone app, which takes you to the dial pad.

There's no smart dialling here, so don't expect to see the BlackBerry Q5 offer up suggestions as you start tapping in the number - you're in it for the full 11-digit long haul (or 10-digit long haul if you're a lucky American or Australian. Why do British phone numbers have to be so long?).

In terms of call quality, the BlackBerry Q5 has a decent volume, meaning you shouldn't have trouble hearing the person at the other end of the line, even if you're in noisy surroundings.

The clarity of voice did become a little distorted as the earpiece volume was turned up, although we were still able to understand what was being said.

We found the BlackBerry Q5 was able to hold onto signal pretty well, with no dropped calls experienced during our review period.

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