BlackBerry Q5 review: The apprentice

GSMArena team, 26 July 2013.
Pages: 123456789101112

Tags: BlackBerry

Controls

Now let's explore the rest of the BlackBerry Q5 controls. Above the screen, we find the traditional status LED, proximity sensor and the earpiece. The front facing camera on the Q5 is a 2MP unit that can do 720p video.

BlackBerry Q5
The earpiece is flanked by the front-facing camera and some sensors

The right side of the BlackBerry Q5 features the volume controls, with a small pause/mute button squeezed in between. The convenience key, a token of the old days, is gone along with the trackpad and call buttons.

BlackBerry Q5 BlackBerry Q5
The three key combo on the right

The left side of the handset is where the two slots, for SIM and microSD cards, are located. Those are hidden under a small plastic flap which isn't really perfectly designed as it got stuck a couple of times under the back panel and we had to push hard against the back of the BlackBerry Q5 to release it. The other element of interest on the left is the microUSB port, which is left exposed.

BlackBerry Q5 BlackBerry Q5
The microUSB port is joined by a couple of port on the left

The 3.5mm audio port and the power/lock key are at the top of the BlackBerry Q5, flanking the secondary microphone.

BlackBerry Q5 BlackBerry Q5
The power key, the secondary microphone and the audio jack sit on top

The bottom houses the loudspeaker grille and the mouthpiece. It's an unusual position for a speaker but one that makes sure you doesn't get muffled when the phone's resting on its back. Not sure about pockets though.

BlackBerry Q5 BlackBerry Q5
The primary microphone and the loudspeaker

The 5 megapixel camera lens and a LED flash are the main attraction at the back. We like the fact that all the mandatory labels such as the FCC ID are printed on a sticker than you can remove, so it doesn't spoil the looks of the back.

BlackBerry Q5 BlackBerry Q5
The 5MP camera lens and the LED flash are the stars backstage

Unfortunately, the back panel of the BlackBerry Q5 is non-removable, meaning you don't get access to the 2,180 mAh battery.

The good news is the BlackBerry Q5 scored a very nice 55-hour endurance rating in our real-life battery test. The small screen and the energy-efficient chipset must be getting the credit for the solid performance. Find the complete breakdown here.

BlackBerry Q5 BlackBerry Q5 battery test scorecard

Display

The BlackBerry Q5 uses a 3.1" IPS LCD screen of 720p resolution (720 x 720 pixels). The pixel density clocks in at 328 ppi, which is slightly higher than the Galaxy SIII's screen and about the same as the iPhone 4S/5's Retina display. This means everything on the screen is nicely sharp and you can easily make out very fine text in your documents or web browser.


BlackBerry Q5 vs Apple iPhone 5 screen matrices

The transition from AMOLED to IPS LCD has cost the BlackBerry Q5 somewhat in terms of contrast, but colors are still pretty great and viewing angles are very decent, too.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
BlackBerry Q5 - - - 0.54 698 1293
BlackBerry Q10 - - - 0 352
BlackBerry Z10 - - - 0.38 575 1532
Nokia Lumia 920 - - - 0.48 513 1065
Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4 0 201 0 404
HTC One 0.13 205 1580 0.42 647 1541
Samsung N7100 Galaxy Note II 0 215 0 402
Samsung Galaxy S III mini 0 221 0 385
Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III 0 174 0 330
Apple iPhone 5 0.13 200 1490 0.48 640 1320
Samsung I9070 Galaxy S Advance 0 185 0326
Samsung I9103 Galaxy R 0.51 407 806 0.92785 858
Samsung I9001 Galaxy S Plus 0 251 0 408

Sunlight legibility is average, as testified by the BlackBerry Q5's performance in our dedicated test.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Nokia 808 PureView
    4.698
  • Apple iPhone 5
    3.997
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
    3.419
  • Nokia Lumia 925
    3.402
  • Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4
    3.352
  • Samsung Omnia W
    3.301
  • Samsung Galaxy S
    3.155
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    3.127
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    3.118
  • Nokia N9
    3.069
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.970
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Samsung Galaxy S II
    2.832
  • Samsung Galaxy S II Plus
    2.801
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    2.655
  • Nokia Lumia 900
    2.562
  • Nokia Lumia 720
    2.512
  • HTC One
    2.504
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Samsung Galaxy S III mini
    2.422
  • Motorola RAZR i
    2.366
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    2.307
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Nokia N8
    2.144
  • Oppo Find 5
    2.088
  • BlackBerry Z10
    2.051
  • Apple iPhone 4
    2.016
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia ray
    1.955
  • Samsung Galaxy Camera
    1.938
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • Sony Xperia V
    1.792
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1.691
  • HTC One V
    1.685
  • BlackBerry Q5
    1.682
  • LG Optimus Vu
    1.680
  • HTC Desire V
    1.646
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1.552
  • LG Optimus 3D
    1.542
  • Nokia Asha 302
    1.537
  • Nokia Lumia 610
    1.432
  • Gigabyte GSmart G1355
    1.361
  • HTC Desire C
    1.300
  • LG Optimus L7
    1.269
  • LG Optimus L9
    1.227
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Sony Xperia E dual
    1.203
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    1.180
  • Sony Xperia tipo
    1.166
  • Samsung Galaxy mini 2
    1.114
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