The scroll button on my BlackBerry Bold 9790 has been giving me so much trouble lately – my phone will scroll to the top of message threads while I try to type a reply, open apps while I try to open a different apps, and has even called my mother. It’s really rather eerie to watch a possessed phone on your desk while you’re typing away on your laptop. All of this made me think that maybe, after six years of loyal support, I was done with BlackBerry.
When Vodacom asked if I’d be keen to review the BlackBerry Q5, I figured why not – it could not be worse than this crazy Bold. It’s not. In fact, this is an amazing phone! I’m very reluctant about handing it back, but who knows, the next handset I’m asked to review might make coffee too!
I can happily report that in the few weeks I played around with the phone, it didn’t freeze once (as, let’s be honest, BB is prone to do). Good thing too, since the battery is enclosed – so no more whipping off the back panel and popping out the battery to bring your handset to its senses. You now access the micro-SIM and microSD card slots via a flap that runs down the left-hand side, next to the micro-USB port. At the top of the phone you have the standard 3,5mm headphone jack and the power/lock button. The three buttons on the right is volume up, pause, volume down/camera shot. The speaker is located on the bottom.
The Q5 sports a 5MP rear camera, and 2MP front camera. A favourite feature of the camera is the Time Shift feature, which allows you to scroll forward or backward to select the best frame of an image – this is particularly handy in the case of group photos and flash-sensitive eyes.
I thought I might struggle without the scroll button, but the touch-screen and swiping gestures work like a dream. Instead of a home/favourites screen, up to eight of the latest apps you’ve used can run in the background, and are displayed in a tiled view. Simply tap on the one you want to access, or close those no longer needed.
Despite being taller and wider than my Bold, the Q5 is much lighter, and the extra width has been used to reintroduce separate keys (as per the Curve). I was not happy about this when I first saw it, since I specifically upgraded to a Bold for the confluent keyboard. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how great the slightly bigger individual keys worked.
With BIS being a thing of the past, I’m not sure how much data I’d use in my normal goings on.
There are a whole bunch of apps already loaded on the handset, including Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and LinkedIn apps, as well as Box.net, Dropbox (I still wonder why anyone would use both – for more cloud storage? Please enlighten me about this) and Adobe Reader.
The big differentiator for the BB10 operating systems is the hub: a one-stop peek at your email, Twitter, BBM and other messages. This doesn’t appeal to me at all; I prefer to keep things separate, and it’s a bit of a hassle to read a message in the hub and on the actual app.
My least favourite thing about the Q5, and something that might make me decide against going BlackBerry again when I’m due for an upgrade, is that it doesn’t allow for multiple Twitter accounts 🙁
If I had to rate the Q5 out of five, I’d give it a somewhat biased BB fan-girl 4/5. Watch the video of me unboxing the Q5 here.
- Unboxing the new BlackBerry Q5 (syllableinthecity.wordpress.com)
- BlackBerry Q5 review (itproportal.com)
- BlackBerry Q5 review (itpro.co.uk)
- Review: BlackBerry Q5 (independent.co.uk)