Call quality on the BlackBerry Q5 is one area where the phone does not trip up. Signal is consistently strong and reliable and callers sound clear, detailed and of satisfactory volume. It’s 4G capable, too, and any Q5 user after even crisper call quality can make use of BBM Voice – essentially BlackBerry’s take on Skype – which surprised us with its clear, precise audio.
Battery life is another area where the Q5 does not disappoint too much. The phone’s 2,180mAh Lithium-Ion battery will see a heavy user make it through the full working day with juice to spare. The Q5, like many modern smartphones, will need recharging every night, however.
Annoyingly, the BlackBerry Q5’s battery cannot be replaced, which is particularly annoying considering the Q10 and Z10 have removable batteries. This will likely rule the Q5 as a hardcore business tool, but then it’s not necessarily meant for them – as the colour choices show..
In a word: no. Even if you insist on having a physical QWERTY keyboard, the BlackBerry Q5 is still not the way to go. Save your pennies a little longer and plump for the far superior BlackBerry Q10: it will leave you far less disappointed. And if you are simply looking to upgrade from a Curve or Bold, well, then we are sorry to say it might be about time to turn your back on BlackBerry.
At £320 PAYG the Q5 is far from cheap, and in places the Q5 not only looks and feels cheaper than its price, but performs below it, too. At this price point there are many better options, such as the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini or the even cheaper Google Nexus 4, which make the Q5 look overpriced.
The BlackBerry Q5 is a disappointment and exactly what the ailing brand needed to avoid. It’s overpriced and under specced, which means it can’t compete with mid-range phones on performance and is too expensive compared to entry-level ones. Its only redeeming quality is it’s the only QWERTY phone at this price, but that’s small comfort.