BlackBerry Q5 review: The apprentice
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.
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.
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.
The 3.5mm audio port and the power/lock key are at the top of the BlackBerry Q5, flanking the secondary microphone.
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.
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.
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 battery test scorecard
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||Black, cd/m2||White, cd/m2|
|Nokia Lumia 920||-||-||-||0.48||513||1065|
|Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4||0||201||∞||0||404||∞|
|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||∞||0||326||∞|
|Samsung I9103 Galaxy R||0.51||407||806||0.92||785||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
Apple iPhone 5
Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
Nokia Lumia 925
Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4
Samsung Omnia W
Samsung Galaxy S
Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
Samsung Galaxy Note
HTC One S
Samsung Galaxy S II
Samsung Galaxy S II Plus
Huawei Ascend P1
Nokia Lumia 900
Nokia Lumia 720
Sony Xperia Z
Samsung Galaxy S III mini
Motorola RAZR i
Samsung Galaxy Note II
Apple iPhone 4S
HTC One X
Oppo Find 5
Apple iPhone 4
Sony Ericsson Xperia ray
Samsung Galaxy Camera
Sony Xperia V
Sony Xperia U
LG Optimus 4X HD
HTC One V
LG Optimus Vu
HTC Desire V
LG Optimus G Pro
LG Optimus 3D
Nokia Asha 302
Nokia Lumia 610
Gigabyte GSmart G1355
HTC Desire C
LG Optimus L7
LG Optimus L9
Sony Xperia E dual
Samsung Galaxy Pocket
Sony Xperia tipo
Samsung Galaxy mini 2