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BlackBerry Q5 review

6.9/10 AVG.

Informr score
The BlackBerry Q5 currently has an Informr score of 6.9 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 22 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

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 “ 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.

Operating system
1.2 GHz
Screen Size
5+ MP

What the Critics Are Saying...


The Q5 is a decent little smartphone. While it doesn’t have any unique features to make it stand out among other average devices, it does its job without a fuss. In a nutshell, if you fancy a touchscreen phone with the added practicality of a QWERTY keyboard, don’t mind the plastic-domin...

- Andre Chan, Mobile88
Tech Ticker

As a device, Q5 has the same things to offer that you’d find in a premium model like the Z10 or the Q10 but the biggest draw of this device is the price. Price was one of the major deterrent for consumers to try out the high-end BB 10 devices but with Q5, there’s a chance he’ll at...

- Kunal Gangar, Tech Ticker

The BlackBerry Q5 is available across all of the major networks, including Orange and Vodafone, offering users an excellent alternative to the many touchscreen devices currently packing out the market.The multi-purpose Q5 serves as a respectable personal and business phone highlighting BlackBerry&rs...

- Colin, BlackBerryRocks

The Q5 is the answer to BlackBerry fans’ prayers for a cheaper 10 OS device. Even though some may not be content with the build quality of the smartphone, for the time being, this is the cheapest BlackBerry 10 handset that you can buy.I do like the BlackBerry Q5, as it feels good in your hand....

- Softpedia News (Cosmin Vasile), Softpedia
Good E-Reader

When we first got this phone last week, I thought I would hate it. The Blackberry Q10 was a fine phone, but not worth the $900 it was available in Canada to buy off-contract. The Q5 is only a few hundred, and will reel in prior Blackberry users that may have shifted to another phone, because of the...

- Michael Kozlowski, Good E-Reader

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Screen Size

The BlackBerry Q5's screen size is 3.1 inches with 720 x 720 pixels resolution.

1.2 GHz

There is a Dual core 1.2 GHz processor (CPU).


The phone runs on the BlackBerry 10 (Update Available: 10.2.1) operating system (OS).

5+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 5+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 2+ megapixels resolution.

8 GB

Internal memory is 8 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.


The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 2180 mAh battery. BlackBerry's performance ratings are 871 minutes, 604 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

BlackBerry Q5 Specs

Release date June 20, 2013
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
850/1700/1900/2100 MHz
1700/1900/700/850 MHz
SIM card size
Dual SIM No
Operating System BlackBerry 10 (Update Available: 10.2.1)

Compare BlackBerry Smartphones

Processor Dual core 1.2 GHz
Internal Storage 8 GB
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
Noise Cancellation No
SAR Head: 1.38 W/kg
Body: 0.85 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 2 Years
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual, Headset, Data Cable
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 2180 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to: 748 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 604 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 871 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 14 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Plastic
Colors Black, White, Red
Dimensions [H x W x D] 12 x 6.6 x 1.1 cm (4.7 x 2.6 x 0.4 in)
Weight 120 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 720 x 720 pixels
Pixel density 329 pixels
Size 3.1 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key No
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type QWERTY
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard Yes
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features -
Messaging SMS, MMS, Blackberry
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC, aptX
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support Yes
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Main Camera
5+ megapixels
5x digital
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Geotagging, Image stabilization, Time shift mode
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, 3G2 / 3GPP2, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV, ASF, XviD, AVI
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels)
Front Camera
2+ megapixels
3x digital
Additional Front Camera Info
Video Recording Parameters
HD (1280 x 720 pixels)
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, AMR, AMR-NB, eAAC+, eAAC, MP3, M4A, WMA, WAV
Radio Yes (FM)
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, 3G2 / 3GPP2, ASF, AVI, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV, XviD
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration No
Speakerphone Yes
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types XLS, PPT, PPTX, DOC, DOCX, PDF
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable, Pre-installed (BlackBerry World, Docs To Go, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Adobe Reader, Foursquare)
Included Software / Apps -
Additional comments
Related Links Manual (PDF)
BlackBerry Q5 Reviews
Where to buy BlackBerry Q5
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