The BlackBerry Q5 maintains the classic BlackBerry look with the square screen and physical keyboard, but drops the trackpad and thumbstick. The phone offers mid-range specs with a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, 2GB of memory, 8GB of onboard storage and a microSDHC slot expandable up to 32GB. Due to the phone’s decent specs, the new BlackBerry Hub and apps run smoothly on the phone according to PC Advisor.
CNET notes that the Q5, as compared to the Q10, “feels cheaper...The Q5's glossy plastic surfaces are slippery and prone to grease and fingerprints.” In addition, while the Q5 does support a physical QWERTY keyboard, many reviewers found it to be much more difficult to use than previous BlackBerry phones. Ewan Spence of Forbes notes that while the Q5 uses the familiar BlackBerry keyboard layout, the keys themselves have “a lower physical profile [so] it’s harder to hit the right key...when you do not only do you need to ensure that you hit the key dead center for it to register, you’ll also feel the surrounding keys move down very slightly…”
Many reviewers also had screen issues. Since the Q5 utilizes a physical keyboard versus on-screen keyboard, the actual size of the screen is only 3.1 inches. Chris Martin of PC Advisor mentions that it might be difficult for consumers used to larger screens as during their tests they would “often quit out of apps by going too close to the bottom of the screen when scrolling down a page or a list.” Demetrius Crasto of TechShout notes that the screen is also a “smudge magnet.” The screen itself is an IPS LCD display with a 720x720 pixel resolution. According to Engadget despite its small size, the screen has excellent backlighting and good viewing angles.
Overall, most reviewers have found the Q5 to be a rather disappointing addition to the BlackBerry family. ZDNet states that ”...for most the combination of physical keyboard, diminutive screen and limited array of apps may leave them cold.” Softpedia notes that the “...build quality of the phone leaves much to be desired…”
The Good: IPS LCD display offers excellent viewing angles, BlackBerry 10 OS runs smoothly.
The Bad: Difficult to use keyboard, small screen size, poor build quality.