Unlikely to be the budget hero many would have been hoping for, the BlackBerry Q5 is a mid-tier device featuring a physical keyboard.

BlackBerry Q5 First Impressions

It is impossible to assess the merits of the BlackBerry Q5 without the one key factor which the Canadian company is resolutely refusing to reveal - its pricing.

Thorsten Heins refused to reveal it on stage and despite persistent questioning of BlackBerry's senior manager for product marketing Jeff Gadway after the announcement, the company is resolutely refusing to indicate at what price it will go on sale - or even indicate a range of pricing.

However, Kyle Dorcas, product manager for the high-end BlackBerry Q10 did give an indication that this is not the budget hero some younger BBM users might have been hoping for.

When asked if the Q5 was a mid-tier device and that there was still a budget gap to fill in the new BlackBerry 10 portfolio, Dorcas said: "That's a good way of putting it."

BlackBerry Q5 First Impressions

Younger demographic

t means the Q5 is unlikely to go head-to-head with the budget Android and Windows Phone smartphones which are priced under £120, though the phone is aimed at a younger demographic according to Gadway, who said the phone used a younger design language. Because of the presence of the Qwerty keyboard, it is, like the Q10, still aimed at the "hyper-connected" user BlackBerry is focused on with its new platform.

The phone itself is certainly no where near as premium as the Q10 or Z10, with a plastic body construction throughout. It does however feature the same 3.1in touchscreen as the Q10 with the same resolution of 720 x 720 though it uses LCD technology rather than Super AMOLED.

Purely in terms of hardware the Q5 is respectable. A 1.2GHz processor is paired with a sizeable 2GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage which can be expanded by 32GB with a microSD card and there will be a 4G version of the phone available also.

The key factor here though, as with the Q10, is the physical keyboard. It has been redesigned however with island-style individual keys here rather than the closed-up keys of the Q10. If the Q10 is the successor to the Bold series, the Q5 is following in the footsteps of the Curve range and uses a similar keyboard layout meaning it will be familiar to a lot of current BlackBerry users.


I am not a BlackBerry user however and found it difficult to type accurately on the Q5 keyboard, though I had the same experience on the Q10 and practice quickly alleviated a lot of the errors.

The phone has been pegged for "emerging" markets by BlackBerry but it is likely to also launch in a number of primary markets including the important UK market.

It is available in four colours including red and pink which gives us some indication of the target audience for the device. It would be hard to imagine many CEOs pulling a hot pink Q5 from their pockets during board meetings.

The Q5 is a perfectly fine handset, but as I said at the beginning, the most important metric inorder to give an opinion on it - and in predicting whether it will be a success or not - is the price, and without that it is impossible to guess how well this will sell.

It will be available in July, with specific countries, launch dates and prices to be announced.