BlackBerry launched its "budget" BB10 device yesterday and already we’ve been hearing quite a ruckus regarding the price. We didn’t expect it to be cheap, but Rs 24,990 is pushing it a bit. Our initial impressions with the handset showed us that it is indeed quite good and gives you a similar experience as the Q10. So is it worth the premium? Can BlackBerry justify the pricing when you can get more powerful Android and Windows Phone devices for the same? Let’s find out.
Design and build
The Q5 takes a more flat approach to design as compared to the Q10 and is a bit reminiscent of the HTC ChaCha. BlackBerry has ditched the exotic materials used in the Q10 and has had to settle with simple plastic for the chassis in order to keep the price down. In doing so, the phone has shed quite a bit of weight and feels a lot lighter to hold. Unlike the Q10, the Q5 has a completely sealed back, but it’s not unibody. The matte finish feels really nice and doesn’t attract fingerprints easily; however, we wished BB had done something more with the back, as it looks a bit bland.
A good looker
Dimension-wise, the Q5 is more or less identical to the Q10. There’s a flap on the side that hides the microSD and microSIM slots. The buttons are placed in their usual positions and they have a good tactile feel. The QWERTY keypad has undergone a slight change and while it’s still comfortable to use, we prefer the keyboard of the Q10 over this. The island style keys are well spaced out but are also a little smaller than the ones on the Q10. Due to this, we found ourselves often hitting the backspace key instead of "L" as it takes a little getting used to. Overall, the Q5 is built well, feels good to hold and we like the understated look of the phone.
The Q5 features the same sized screen as the Q10, but instead of a Super AMOLED 3.1-inch, we have an IPS panel. Viewing angles are still good and so are the colours, but somehow we found the display of the Q10 to be slightly better. You won’t notice this until you place them side by side. BB10.1 works smoothly for the most part thanks to 2GB of RAM. However, we did notice a little lag creeping in intermittently when swiping between homescreens, and that’s probably due to the SoC.
UI takes a little getting used to, but it's fun after a while
The Q5 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (MSM8230) chipset that consists of two CPU cores running at 1.2GHz. Like the Q10, we have productivity apps like Docs to Go, File Manager, Reminder, Print to Go, Dropbox as well as social apps like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare etc. The Reminder app is also linked to Evernote.