BlackBerry Q5 Mini Review

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I’ve happily been in BlackBerry 10 land for over a year now. I love it. As far as I’m concerned, there’s still no better all-around device than the BlackBerry Z10 and no more efficient OS than BlackBerry 10.

That said, despite great hardware and better software, BlackBerry is on the ropes and their devices have been a dud in the market. This is bad news for BlackBerry but it does make for some great sales. For instance, just recently Koodo dropped the price of the Q5 to just $150 outright.

I love the Z10 and the software keyboard, but at that price I had to try one out. (Heck, it’s worth it just to be able to test the screen on our mobile sites.)

The short version: it’s not a brilliant device, but the screen is great, as is battery life, and if you want a QWERTY device, you simply won’t do better for the money. If BlackBerry had released the Q5 at this price, it would have sold like hotcakes to existing BlackBerry users.

As has been so common this last year, great device, over priced at launch, bungled launch.

Getting in to the details, from a hardware perspective, the Q5 is in every way just a cheaper version of the Q10. The device is high quality but all plastic. The screen is the same size and resolution as the Q10 but has an IPS LED display compared to the AMOLED display on the Q10. The CPU is a bit slower, it lacks HDMI out, and the camera is inferior. However, it’s $150 vs $500. That’s a big, big difference and evens everything out.

Typing on the Q5 is a joy. It’s a different experience than typing on the Q10. Not better, not worse, just different.  It’s still a BlackBerry Keyboard, so it’s predictable, sane, and is as you’d expect.

The speaker on the Q5 is a real standout. Listening to podcasts and even music is great on the device. Seeing that this is possible, it’s become a requirement of mine. Not fiddling with Bluetooth speakers is a simple pleasure. The speaker quality of contemporary BlackBerry’s is a real stand-out feature that, in my opinion, doesn’t get enough attention.

The only feature it has that I sorely miss on the Z10 is an FM radio. I know it’s a little thing for most, but I love the radio and use it all the time.

If you’re looking for a tough, solid little phone with great battery life, the Q5 fits the bill.  The Motorola Moto G is priced similarly and gives you a bigger screen and all of Google’s Android apps, but I’d take a Q5 over the Moto G any day of the week.  It’s a great little communication device.Q5_Q10

GoSaBe Blog - Mar 9, 2014 | BlackBerry, GoSaBe News, Hardware