BlackBerry Q5 pictures and hands-on

BlackBerry has just announced the Q5, a mid-range Qwerty keyboard handset designed for emerging markets and those after something cheaper than the Q10 or Z10 flagship products.

Long rumoured as the R10, the new phone should replace the Curve in BlackBerry's range. It is available in four colours: red, white, black and pink. BlackBerry had all four on hand to play with at its BlackBerry Live conference in Orlando, Florida, and Pocket-lint managed to grab the handset and put it through its paces. So how does it handle?

First to the internal specifications. This phone uses a a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor with 2GB of RAM for multi-tasking. In reality this translates to a snappy enough experience and one that to us appears in line with the rest of BlackBerry's product line-up.

App switching is quick, the browser is nice and fast and things open up and close down rapidly. BlackBerry 10 really is like Windows Phone in that it doesn't require a huge amount of power in order to feel fast. On a cheaper phone like this, it is nice to see a smooth and slick experience.

Read: BlackBerry Q10 review

The handset unfortunately doesn't feature a removable battery, so those planning to use this phone as a replacement for work or as a heavy user, might want to avoid. You do get a 2000 mAh battery however which means the phone is likely to get you through a day's light use.

The display is a 720 x 720 LCD that sized up at 3.1-inches. It isn't the best we have seen on a smartphone but can definitely compete with other phones in this price range. The high resolution on such a small screen also means it is very sharp. Viewing angles aren't great, but colours are nice and saturated and black levels appear good provided the handset is viewed straight on. The screen has a much wider bezel than the more expensive Q10.

The phone is charged via micro USB and has a micro SD slot to expand its 8GB of internal memory. The back has a 5-megapixel camera, which performed decent enough from our very brief testing. On the front there is a 2-megapixel camera for video calling.

The handset also ships with BlackBerry 10.1, the latest version of the operating system, which should mean it can support Skype from launch. Handy, given that high-resolution front-facing camera.

The typing experience isn't as refined as the Q10. The keyboard has a bit of rattle and the keys just aren't as evenly spaced. It isn't bad, but from early testing might not be quite up to the best in class experience you get on the Q10, which is a shame.

Looking at the colours, the red is very eye catching in high gloss. We like the black and white versions of the handset also, which are both in matte. The pink might not be for everyone, but it definitely stands out.

A good little handset from BlackBerry and the third in a planned five BlackBerry 10 phone releases for 2013. 



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