Blackberry Q5: Good phone, easy on pocket
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BlackBerry 10 has been on a roll. After introducing two flagship devices, it has hit the market with Q5, a new device that borrows design cues heavily from its elder sibling, Q10. It sports a monocoque design, a radical departure for BlackBerry, with an inclusive battery (another first from BlackBerry) while giving us the same QWERTY form factor that we have come to rely on with the guts of snappy 1.2 GHz Snapdragon processor. Although made entirely out of plastic, with none of the famed glass weave pattern of its elder sibling, it does not feel "sticky"; instead offers a good grip.
The test device runs OS 10.1 which is a momentous shift from its predecessor; represents various under the hood tweaks and improvements in various functional aspects of the device. The pixel density of 3.1 inch LCD screen is similar to that of Q10. The author found no difficulty in reading the text in direct sunlight; although the jury is still out in terms of colour vibrancy of LCD compared to AMOLED. As with other iterations, the entire operation of device is gesture based. Peek and flow are slowly becoming the lexicons of smartphone world and Hub works as a central repository of text, email, BlackBerry Messenger and social networks. The author's device supported 4G out of the box but this feature is likely to be present for select markets.
The keyboard reminds the author of his old trusted Curve when his love affair with the device turned into an obsession. They keys are individually placed which have a little spring like feel to it. They are also individually angled or ferreted like Q10 but each row stands out apart minus the smooth metal line finish. The author's muscle memory literally jogged over the device while shooting off wall of text or email. It is not as smooth as Q10, unarguably the pinnacle of keyboard design, but is not a deal breaker.