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BlackBerry Q5 review: Call Quality, Battery Life, Value and Verdict

Luke Johnson

By Luke Johnson

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

5

User Score:

BlackBerry Q5 Call Quality

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.

BlackBerry Q5

BlackBerry Q5 Battery Life

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..

BlackBerry Q5

Should I buy the BlackBerry Q5?

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.

Verdict

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.

Overall Score

5

Scores In Detail

  • Camera 6
  • Design 5
  • Features 7
  • Performance 7
  • Screen Quality 7
  • Usability 6
  • Value 4
Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut

└► Ha[X]aN ◄┘

May 14, 2013, 7:05 pm

good one price ?

masbas

May 15, 2013, 2:13 am

wow

Nanda Linn Aung

May 15, 2013, 5:01 am

nice one.... if they sell less than 199$ outright, it might be a hit.

Gildas

July 8, 2013, 9:09 am

Hmm.."stunningly timeless" Really? Are you quite sure? Maybe "squat, chunky, fragile and with suspect signal reception" would be another, equally valid way to describe it? And if having a fixed battery doesn't stop the iPhone 4 being both "stunning" and "timeless", or hinder its adoption by business, care to explain why it should be an issue for the Q5?

As for being "unbalanced" I'd argue that having the weight favour the lower part of a handset makes perfect sense. I'm not even sure I understand what you mean by "feels unbalanced".

Granted the price seems a bit steep at the moment and the main camera is very poor, but performance, screen, keyboard, battery life and webcam are all very good and its 4G-enabled and unlike the iP4/S/5 and Nexus 4 there's storage expansion.

As for the price, are you quite sure it's £320 on PAYG? CPW is offering it for £320 SIM-free, I can't see any PAYG offers at the moment from the major UK telecos or re-sellers. On contract it seems to be offer from just over £20 a month which seems a pretty reasonable price for a device like this.

Jason Peters

July 9, 2013, 8:06 am

I agree with what the Trusted Reviews team are saying about the Q5 but I'm still having concerns over areas that are somewhat "picky" would never be happen during any Apple product review.

The acknowledgements to it's market sector are very well referenced but not in the context that compromises have to be made in prooduction for it to reach a price-point for the market it's aimed at.

Comparing is a great reference point, but why? In a polite and quick from Ed, following my comments during the Z10 review I was told that refrencing a S4 or S3 although "well known" don't have the awareness - so why would readers know about a P6?

So why I love the review, I really do think in order for me to "trust" this website, I'd like to see a bit more honesty towards Apple and it's other products, we are all guilty of a little bias, but on a website that sells it'self as "Trusted" giving an honest opinion; I feel some products come in for that on here, while the Apple products "being stunningly timeless" don't.

I can see a growing frustration from many readers about the incongrunency in news and reviews.

ELLAS

July 20, 2013, 12:48 am

5 out of 10? The price shouldn't be included as a negative, because price always changes. PLUS why are you using e-bay? They will OVERPRICE anything they can, especially when its a new product.
I would give this phone a 7 out of 10, with the Q10 getting a 9.5 out of 10.

Anyhow I can see some bias going on here, but that is my opinion. The Q5 deserves a higher score.

guna

August 2, 2013, 4:50 am

help me am goin to buy BBM Q5 today .. s

SANGEETH

August 16, 2013, 12:24 am

I think this is the phone for me. Any Q5 users here around!?!?!? Well, i m planning to buy it next week, you guy'z opinion makes me feel to either buy it or not......HELP ME GUYZZZZ!!!!!!!!!

Ayush

September 20, 2013, 9:08 am

Proble with Camera, facing problem with camera cant switch on, funny message that camera can't start. Service center want to keep phone for 1 months to send it to the manufacturer place. and its very common problem with most of the Q5 users. Pls think before buy.

Ayush

September 20, 2013, 9:09 am

Please read my commets before buying abt camera problem with Q5

AppleBerrySandwich

September 27, 2013, 4:14 pm

I've seen the phone as cheap at $300. Prices are coming down. Performance is really good for the pricepoint IMO.

Blackberry Q5

October 7, 2013, 10:50 pm

I am a Z10 user, a PlayBook user, and a Q5 user. I would much rather spend the $300.00 for the Q5, than the Q10. The Q5 is an unbelievable phone. Who gives a rat's behind about 50,000 flashlight apps, when you can have a phone, an OS, and the best keyboards and prediction around on a smart phone. I had all kinds of brands...and I ALWAYS come back to BlackBerry. They really do make an amazing product.

The problem that people have is this: Stop trying to compete with the Joneses because they use Apple, and learn what a good phone is...a lot of people who use the iphone don't know half of what the capabilities are of the device that they're buying anyhow. They do it to just keep up with the next person....truly sad. You don't know what you're missing by passing up on a BB10 phone....seriously. They are fast, have the best keyboards...virtual or tactile...removable batteries, expandable storage, great camera, mature and useful apps...and they have class!

david hugeson

November 27, 2013, 7:06 pm

i am a owner of the blackberry q5 i have it in red and it is a beautiful device packs all the great features and also has 2gb of ram as the s4 has it is good wekk round phone doesnt disappoint battery lasts 2 days for me heavy user good front camera for skype and bbm video and if you want to go the extra mile with apps you can even sideload which run smooth buy the blackberry q5 trust me user

Gillberg_theGreat

March 24, 2014, 6:29 pm

How much louder would the "clicky" noise be for the keyboard on a Q5 than a Q10? Would it wake my wife in the middle of the night if I start typing?

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