BlackBerry Q5 review

BlackBerry 10 gets slightly more affordable, but does that make any better?

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The BlackBerry Q5 comes with a 5MP camera on its rear, which is accompanied by a single LED flash.

This isn't as good as its rivals, with the likes of the Sony Xperia SP and Motorola Razr HD packing 8MP sensors - 5MP is something we're now expecting from cut-price handsets at the bottom of the market.

There's a 2MP snapper thrown into the mix on the front of the Q5 for those all-important selfies, plus it's handy for video calling - especially since Skype is now in the BlackBerry World store.

BlackBerry Q5 review

The camera app itself can be accessed from the lock screen by holding down the camera icon in the bottom corner for three seconds, or by hitting the camera icon in the same position when viewing the home screen or app list.

It opens pretty quickly on the BlackBerry Q5, which means you can get snapping almost immediately, but a word of caution before you start dancing your fingers across the screen - the entire viewfinder is a shutter key.

This means if you try to tap-to-focus, or simply miss the menu keys, the Q5 will snap a picture. To be honest it's pretty annoying, and there's no way to turn if off.

BlackBerry Q5 review

There is some salvation, however, as you can use the volume rocker keys on the right of the BlackBerry Q5 as shutter keys, making it easier to snap pictures - especially ones of yourself.

Although tap-to-focus doesn't work, it doesn't mean BlackBerry has done away with the feature. Instead you'll see a green square on the screen showing where the camera is focusing - hold your finger down on this and then drag it to the position you wish to refocus on.

It's a simple procedure, but not one that's totally obvious, and new users may struggle to work it out.

BlackBerry Q5 review

The autofocus generally steadies itself pretty quickly, and the shutter takes no time at all to snap your photo and return you to shooting mode - enabling for rapid fire photos.

Another annoyance with the camera app on the BlackBerry Q5 is the sound it makes every time you hit the shutter, and there's no way to turn it off.

When it comes to additional features, the BlackBerry Q5 is pretty low, with a choice of three aspect ratios (the standard 4:3 and 16:9 options are joined by the odd 1:1, which matches the screen), three shooting modes (stabilisation, burst and HDR) and four scenes (action, whiteboard, night and beach or snow).

BlackBerry Q5 review

It's hardly an awe inspiring lineup, and there are none of the white balance and exposure settings you find on rival Android and Windows Phone devices, making this a simple point and shoot.

A nifty feature that BlackBerry has built into its BB10 camera app is its Time Shift function, enabling you to take photos of lots of lovely faces and then go to each one and select the moment their eyes are open and mouths smiling.

You can access Time Shift by hitting the camera icon at the bottom of the app, but it's a separate area of the application so it's not something you can leave on.

The pictures produced by the BlackBerry Q5 are OK, but they're nothing special, and considering rival handsets have better sensors around the back it was always going to struggle to match up.

Obviously the digital zoom, controlled by pinching the display, greatly reduces the quality of your photos, but for the odd snap the Q5 is adequate.

BlackBerry Q5 review
The Q5 performs well on a sunny day at the cricket

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BlackBerry Q5 review
But try and zoom in and you're pictures suffer

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BlackBerry Q5 review
A dreary day at the F1 however doesn't work so well

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BlackBerry Q5 review
Lunch looks ok, but colours are a little washed out

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BlackBerry Q5 review
With HDR off there is noticeable shadow in the foreground

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BlackBerry Q5 review
Shadows are lessened with HDR on

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BlackBerry Q5 review
The Q5 struggles to pick out detail here

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BlackBerry Q5 review
The shiny pit garage entrance is also challenging

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Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen, QWERTY
Wireless LANYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported64 GB
Built-in Memory8 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA+
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Cellular Generation4G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 1700, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100, LTE 700, LTE 850, LTE 1700, LTE 1900
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemBlackBerry
Brand NameBlackBerry
Battery Talk Time12.50 Hour
Product ModelQ5
Screen Size7.9 cm (3.1")
Screen Resolution720 x 720
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)120 g
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Operating System VersionBlackBerry OS 10.1
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density329 ppi
Front Camera Resolution2 Megapixel
Height120 mm
Width66 mm
Depth10.8 mm
Battery Standby Time336 Hour
Product NameQ5 Smartphone
Processor Speed1.20 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Magnetometer, Proximity Sensor, Gyro Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor, Digital Compass
Manufacturer Part NumberPRD-50741-038
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Explore, create and share anywhere

Act on your ideas in the moment with a fast, effortless experience that flows with you. Cool apps, hot games, and more music and movies than ever are all waiting for you on the new BlackBerry® Q5.

BBM VIdeo with Screen Share

Catch up face-to-face and share what's on your screen with BBM™ Video with Screen Share.

BlackBerry Keyboard

Perform super fast searches with Instant Action on the classic BlackBerry® Keyboard.

Limited Warranty2 Year