BlackBerry Q10 vs iPhone 5

Vs Paul Briden 17:10, 3 May 2013

We compare the BlackBerry Q10 to Apple's iPhone 5

The iPhone 5 is the largest, lightest, thinnest and most refined smartphone Apple has produced to date. It features a metal unibody chassis with a 4-inch display, the latest version of iOS and an updated set of internal hardware.

BlackBerry’s Q10 is a compact smartphone with a smaller display and a physical Qwerty keyboard, a dual-core processor and the company’s new BlackBerry 10 operating system.

iPhone 5: Key specs and features

The iPhone 5’s trump card is its aesthetic design and build quality. The metallic back panel looks great and adds a level of durability which far outshines previous models from Apple.

It has a high-end, premium feel and the cohesive visual design is very pleasing to the eye.

In the hand, it’s one of the lightest smartphones we’ve handled – it barely feels like you’re holding anything – but despite this it still has a remarkably robust quality to it.

The metal can be scuffed, granted, but tests have shown the iPhone 5 will stand up to quite a bit of punishment while remaining operational and with an undamaged display.

The other key draw for the device is the iOS platform and how well it is optimised to Apple’s processor hardware. The processor is a dual-core A6 chip clocked at 1.2GHz with a PowerVR SGX543 MP3 triple-core graphics processing unit (GPU) and 1GB of RAM.

This isn’t the most powerful setup on the current market but it matters very little as the iOS software is precision engineered to work flawlessly with it.

The same is true of the 700,000+ apps on the App Store, you can be sure all will work brilliantly on the iPhone 5.

The user interface is highly intuitive, though it is starting to show its age, but with the iPhone 5 being the most recent model you can guarantee it’ll get the next version of iOS which is said to be a significant overhaul.

Apple offers a good range of storage options on the iPhone 5 with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB flavours. As usual, none have microSD capability.

The camera is a capable 8-megapixel shooter with an LED flash, good stabilisation features, panoramic capture and 1080p video. There’s also a FaceTime camera on the front for video calls.

The display is as good as ever – it’s not the largest around at 4-inches but it’s sharp at 1136x640 pixels and 326 pixels-per-inch (ppi), while also being colourful and bright. Apple’s Retina display is still a significant player in the market for gaming, video and multimedia.

BlackBerry Q10: Key specs and features

The BlackBerry Q10’s build is very different from the iPhone 5, but no less compelling in its own right.

It’s a highly compact device with a reassuring weight and feel in the hand. The Glass Weave back panel has a rewarding texture to it which also ensures a good grip – crucial when typing on the physical keyboard.

The build quality is great – there’s no flex in the chassis and the materials have a premium finish.

The physical keyboard is an advantage in a few ways. For one the feedback is much better and it makes typing a more accurate, enjoyable experience. For another, you’ve got features such as 'Smart Actions', which means you can start typing and useful results (apps, contacts) will pop up straight away – you can also issue certain commands such as ‘Tweet I love BlackBerry 10’ and that message will go to Twitter.

More generally the operating system is a capable setup. It’s easily as well optimised to the hardware as iOS is on the iPhone 5. There’s a really useful notifications and messaging aggregation suite in form of the BlackBerry Hub, which is always accessible with a simple gesture and multitasking is excellent all round.

The app ecosystem is over 100,000 strong at the moment, which is way behind Apple’s platform, but it is growing, has some useful stuff and you can also side-load Android apps onto the device.

There’s one storage option at 16GB but this is adequate and it also supports microSD up to 32GB. The processor is a dual-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 with 2GB of RAM.

The Super AMOLED display might be small at 3.1-inches, but it’s bright, colourful and reasonably sharp at 720x720 pixels and 328ppi. Web browsing is a particular joy.

There’s an 8-megapixel camera on the rear with an LED flash and 1080p video capture. The front-facing 2-megapixel secondary can capture in 720p and be used for video calls.

Direct Spec Comparison: Shootout

Device BlackBerry Q10
Apple iPhone 5
Dimensions 119.6x66.8x10.4mm,139g 123.8x58.6x7.6mm,112g
Display 3.1-inch Super AMOLED,720x720 pixels,330ppi 4-inch LCD,1136x640 pixels,326ppi
Camera 8-megapixel,1080p video,LED flash 8-megapixel,LED flash,1080p video
Storage 16GB,microSD up to 32GB 16GB/32GB/64GB
Processor, RAM, Graphics 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core,2GB RAM 1.2GHz Apple A6 dual-core ,1GB RAM, PowerVR SGX543MP3 GPU
Operating System, BlackBerry 10 iOS
UI n/a n/a
Connectivity Bluetooth,microUSB,NFC,Wi-Fi,Wi-Fi Hotspot,GPS,4G Bluetooth,Wi-Fi,Wi-Fi Hotspot,GPS,4G
Battery 2,100mAh 1,440mAh

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