BlackBerry Q5 vs BlackBerry Q10

Vs Paul Briden 13:37, 29 May 2013

What's the difference between the BlackBerry Q10 and the BlackBerry Q5? We find out

The BlackBerry Q10 marks the triumphant return of the fixed Qwerty keyboard smartphone concept we’ve previously seen in the BlackBerry Bold series.

Except now it’s running the latest BlackBerry 10 operating system which offers a far more compelling experience than its predecessors.

It’s not just software which has received plenty of attention though, the BlackBerry Q10 sports a 720p Super AMOLED touch display, 4G connectivity, a Qualcomm dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor and a slick, premium-feel casing.

With the BlackBerry Q5 the Canadian manufacturer is pitching its latest BlackBerry 10 platform at the more affordable end of the market.

The handset is essentially a mid-range BlackBerry Q10 with a fixed Qwerty keyboard and a similar set of onboard hardware, but wrapped in a plastic bodyshell with an LCD touch display and a less fancy keyboard setup.

BlackBerry Q10: Key specs and features

We’re guessing that if you’re here reading this comparison you’re probably already onboard with the ‘Bold’ style fixed keyboard and smaller display combo. It offers a neat, compact package and even though the keyboard doesn’t allow a larger display this is a good deal bigger than BlackBerry’s of old. The effect on the overall experience is noticeably positive.

In terms of the build itself, the handset is finished to a very high standard, as you might expect from a premium model. The back panel uses what BlackBerry describe as a ‘Glass Weave’ material, which we can only suppose is some kind of fibreglass, but regardless the end result is pleasing to handle and look at.

On the whole it’s a fairly minimalist affair, which is good, with only a metal BlackBerry logo embedded into the Glass Weave and a thin metal strip at the top.

This strip is echoed on the front, in a very practical fashion, to divide the different bands of keys on the keyboard. BlackBerry says this aids faster, more accurate typing and we have to say in our time with the device we largely agree with this notion. It also looks pretty cool.

The display is a 3.1-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen with a narrow bezel on either side, lending to the refined appearance of the phone. It sports a 720x720 pixel resolution at 328 pixels-per-inch (ppi) delivering sharp, punchy visuals with great colour and contrast. Text is particularly clear making the BlackBerry Q10’s display ideal for viewing web content, emails and messages.

A major pulling point is BlackBerry 10 itself, but as both handsets in this comparison run the same platform we’ll cover this in more detail in the ‘Points to consider: Practical use’ section.

The BlackBerry Q10 uses a Qualcomm S4 Snapdragon dual-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz with 2GB of RAM. It’s safe to say this handles your typical smartphone tasks smoothly and easily. It’s reasonably powerful but is also well-optimised to the software, ensuring navigating around the interface is a breeze, gesture control is snappy and apps in BlackBerry App World will all handle well. Multitasking is a focal point of the platform and this is also excellent in performance terms.

The BlackBerry Q10 is a well connected handset with NFC, microUSB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Hotspot, 4G, HSPA+ and HDMI. Storage is reasonable at 16GB onboard but for those of you with a need to move documents around or just a massive MP3 collection there is microSD support for cards up to 32GB. The battery is rated at 2,100mAh.

The camera on the rear of the handset is reasonably capable, it’s an 8-megapixel sensor with LED flash and 1080p video capture while the front-facing secondary is rated at 2-megapixel and can capture video at 720p, including video calls.

BlackBerry Q5: Key specs and features

The most crucial thing to remember about the BlackBerry Q5 is that for a phone which is pegged as a mid-range, affordable model it shares a boatload of features and hardware with its much more premium stable-mate. While BlackBerry hasn’t confirmed the price of the Q5 there’s plenty of talk of it being about half the cost of the BlackBerry Q10, which puts it squarely in the £250-£300 bracket.

For that you get the same Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor and 2GB of RAM, albeit clocked at a lower 1.2GHz speed, but it’s still well-optimised and delivers great performance on the BlackBerry 10 platform.

BlackBerry’s cost saving measures mean the BlackBerry Q5 uses a polycarbonate bodyshell, which, while not offering the BlackBerry Q10’s premium finish is still decent to handle. The BlackBerry Q5’s display offers the same proportions, resolution and pixel density as the BlackBerry Q10 but uses an IPS LCD instead of Super AMOLED.

The camera is a 5-megapixel setup with LED flash and 1080p video capture while the front-facing secondary remains the same 2-megapixel unit as found in the BlackBerry Q10’s fascia.

Connectivity is still a strong area with 4G LTE, HSPA+, Wi-Fi and Hotspot, Bluetooth, NFC and microUSB but no HDMI-out.

Onboard storage is 8GB but the BlackBerry Q5 retains microSD support for up to 32GB on cards. The battery pack is a 2,180mAh unit.

Direct spec comparison: Shootout

Device BlackBerry Q5 BlackBerry Q10
Dimensions 120.6x66x10.8mm, 120g 119.6x66.8x10.4mm,139g
Display 3.1-inch IPS+ LCD,720x720 pixels,328ppi 3.1-inch Super AMOLED,720x720 pixels,328ppi
Camera 5-megapixel,LED flash,1080p video 8-megapixel,LED flash,1080p video
Storage 8GB, microSD up to 32GB 16GB, microSD up to 32GB
Processor, RAM, Graphics 1.2GHz/1.2GHz dualcore Qualcomm S4 Snapdragon,2GB RAM 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm S4 Snapdragon ,2GB RAM
Operating System, BlackBerry 10 BlackBerry 10
UI  n/a n/a
Connectivity microUSB,Bluetooth,NFC,Wi-Fi,Wi-Fi Hotspot,4G,GPS Bluetooth,microUSB,NFC,Wi-Fi,Wi-Fi Hotspot,GPS,4G,HDMI
Battery 2,180mAh 2,100mAh

Disqus - noscript

I am soon to be upgrading to my second smartphone. I kept telling myself, anything but the iPhone. Not because of price, but because it's just the iPhone is not my style. I was very excited to see the commercial for the Blackberry 10! I was hooked on the Q10 for a while, but I just found out about the Q5. I like the layout of the Q5 better, and the color options, but I like the camera on the Q10. I especially like the spaced keyboard on the Q5, better than the keyboard on the Q10, which is right up next to each other. I don't know which one to get now. To me, the Q5 is a lot better looking, and they have the same operating system, so I'm not losing anything. Which one do you guys think I should get? - Jesse A.

I am thoroughly enjoying the Q10, I initially had a Z10 but gave it to my wife as I really needed the keyboard. I would personally go with the Q10 for a number of reasons, one main one being the look, which I prefer. If you prefer the look and design of the Q5, then go with that, I doubt you will notice the shortcomings.

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