The QWERTY-toting BlackBerry Q10 and the smaller, cheaper BlackBerry Q5 mark the return of the classic physical keyboard that originally made the Canadian manufacturer’s wares so popular. They are just two of a slew of handsets to be released by the company this year and are welcome additions to the line-up following the full touchscreen flagship, the Z10, which for many loyal BlackBerry users was just a step too far.
However, the high-end BlackBerry Q10 currently stands as one of the most expensive handsets on the market, so it came as no surprise when BlackBerry announced the cheaper Q5, which still combines all the functionality of the QWERTY keypad with the intuitive BlackBerry 10 software.
Q5 Vs. Q10 – Specs Compared
It’s great to see that BlackBerry is pushing the boundaries to bring even more potential users the BlackBerry 10 experience, and here we take a look at how the two devices stack up against each other.
The BlackBerry Q10 is a modern and sophisticated looking handset thanks to the glass weave fibreglass material which has been used on the rear panel. It’s a far cry from the plastic feel of the Q5, although its curved form factor and rounded edges have been carried through to the budget offering. They are both equally comfortable to hold and easy to use with one hand.
On the other side of the Q10 the classic BlackBerry keyboard has been re-engineered for effortless typing. Each key is curved to make it even easier for those sending lots of messages and emails on the go.
In comparison the Q5’s keypad is a lot more basic, although with more space between each button and a larger bezel around the display it enables new users to get to grips with the QWERTY layout and use the gesture-based swiping without fear of hitting the physical keys.
Unlike the Q10 the Q5 is also available in a range of different colours, which will no doubt appeal to younger consumers.
On both devices BlackBerry has done away with the sensor track-pad to make way for a larger display. That said both devices still only house a 3.1-inch screen, which is much smaller than most recent smartphones.
When it comes to viewing web pages they can look pretty squashed on the modest display and you will need to zoom in to be able to read large amounts of text. It also isn’t the best sized screen for viewing images or watching films, but with a resolution of 328ppi, the displays on both handsets always remain bright and the BlackBerry 10 platform appears crisp and clear.
The screen measurements might not be what we’re used to seeing these days but it’s perfect for composing messages and emails, which remains one of BlackBerry’s main priorities.
With a 1.5GHz chip under its hood the Q10 runs smoothly and when performing tasks such as opening new web pages it did so without any lag. While the Q5’s 1.2GHz dual core offering isn’t quite as powerful, overall there isn’t too much difference between the two. This is thanks to BlackBerry 10 running on both handsets and 2GB of RAM to play with, which ensures multitasking remains fluid and stutter-free.
The camera is perhaps one of the biggest differences between the two handsets, and it is here that BlackBerry is likely to have saved the largest amount of money in order to create the affordable Q5.
Both the Q5 and the Q10’s camera lens produce bright, crisp results when indoors, although in low-light or exceptionally bright settings images tended to lack definition and became blurred and distorted around the edges, with unnecessary dark spots.
When taking shots the Q5’s auto-focus function lagged slightly and overall took a few more seconds to capture a shot compared to its bigger brother.
There is no doubt that these are two fantastic handsets that really bring the QWERTY keypad to the fore in an arena busting with touchscreen devices.
The BlackBerry Q5 is an affordable alternative for those seeking out the functionality of a QWERTY keypad as well as all the great features of BlackBerry 10. Thanks to an impressive number of high-end specs the Q5 is likely to go down a storm in emerging markets and with budget users here in the UK and across the globe.
It comes as no surprise that the Q10 offers the more premium user experience and looks, so if you’re seeking out the best QWERTY smartphone then BlackBerry’s high-end offering should be at the top of your list.
Which handset do you prefer? Please comment and share with your friends, family and colleagues too…..