Review: BlackBerry Q5

Blackberry Q5

Look at these beautiful babies… they’re so young and have so much potential!

I’ve had this distinct feeling over the last few months that BlackBerry is really not getting the hype they should be. If I’m going to be completely honest, I can *kind of* understand, especially after my adventures in battery failure from earlier in the year… but they’re Blackberry! They’re Canadian! They’re also the only smartphone company on the market that has released a quality smartphone with a QWERTY keyboard….

I for one am very very attached to the mechanical keyboard.

That’s probably the biggest reason I didn’t upgrade my Curve earlier to an iPhone, like everyone told me I should. I don’t follow the pack yo… (Though the biggest reasons were actually my chronic procrastination and my incredible ability to live so completely in denial that everyone wonders why I’m so daft… “my blackberry isn’t broken, it’s just tired!”.. “My head isn’t concussed, I just have a massive headache every time my eyes are open or I’m conscious.” “It’s not raining, that’s just the misty remnants of angel tears.”)

Regardless of what my reasons were, the severe lack of a mechanical keyboard on any viable replacement for my Curve was a huge factor. If one thing was certain, it was that when I upgraded, it would be to a new model – and by new I mean as new as I could get.

So I got the BlackBerry Q5… the weekend it was released. Quite literally. I may have been the only one in all of Canada with the Q5 for all of an hour or two. I mean, BlackBerry is going out of style, right?

I’m here to say, they shouldn’t be going out of style.

I’m taking a stand.

I’m also quasi in love with my phone.

Anyway, onto the review!

Specs

  • BlackBerry 10.1 OS
  • 3.1-inch 720×720 pixel LCD display
  • 1.2Ghz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus processor
  • 2GB RAM, 8GB internal storage (expandable)
  • 5MP rear camera
  • 2MP front-facing camera
  • 2180mAh non-removable battery
  • WiFi (b/g/n), A-GPS, Bluetooth 4.0
  • 120g
  • 120 x 66 x 10.8 mm
  • HSDPA 850 / AWS / 1900Mhz, LTE 700 / 850 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100Mhz

Pros

Here are the reasons why I think my Q5 is awesome:

  • It doesn’t run out of battery life after 2 minutes on the phone. In fact, I have to try really hard to drain the battery – I’ve gone a full 48 hours without charging it AND constantly using it (this is more of a unique-to-me sensation than a benefit everyone will appreciate)
  • Internet browsing is crazy fast. I can THINK the website I want to go to at the thing and it’s already there. (note: this is an exaggeration.. I have to type in the web address… luckily I type nearly as fast as I think, so it’s not that big of an exaggeration)
  • It has a QWERTY keyboard, so I can actually type nearly as fast as I think… with a minimal amount of errors!
  • The HUB – which is where all of my emails and messages from text, BBM, What’sApp, Twitter and Facebook show up – is fantastic. Having everything in one place makes checking … everything… very easy. I don’t have to flip through the pages of apps to see which one has the little red star.
  • The Sneak Peak (which I only found out has a name at the Montreal Comiccon the other weekend) makes it easy to check the time or my messages in the hub without having to leave whatever app I have open at the time (mostly… Spider Solitaire. I’m addicted to that game).
  • Apparently – and I haven’t put this into practice yet – I can type “fb” and a message, and then it’ll post that message to Facebook as my status. Which is awesome and ridiculous because really? I don’t have time to go to my app? Or I can put “tw” and a message and it’ll TWEET that message… or BBM and one of my BBM contacts’ name and I’ll be able to BBM them from the main window… Who thinks of these things?!
  • It took a little while, but I’m now 100% used to the swipe interface of the BlackBerry 10 OS. So much so that I keep swiping on my iPod to turn it on… it takes me two or three swipes to realize why it wasn’t working. In all honesty, I prefer the swiping interfacet over the button-to-home screen function. Though I am a bit curious as to what I will do when my phone starts freezing. Hopefully I won’t have to figure that out until after my contract is up.
  • It’s got a whole bunch of features and capabilities that I haven’t even discovered yet… which makes me want to play with the thing all the time. Until I realize that if I haven’t discovered a feature yet, it’s probably because I don’t need it. But these undiscovered features are there and that’s awesome.

So those are some of the reasons why the BlackBerry Q5 is awesome (I’ll probably think of more when I’m trying to fall asleep tonight).

Cons

Here are a few of the pitfalls I’ve noticed so far:

  • Everyone keeps asking “why’d you get a BlackBerry, they’re going under” and/or telling me how horrible BlackBerry is and why they’ll never been seen with one of their phones.
  • BlackBerry World is sadly lacking in the apps you’d think would be there. Like my bank doesn’t have an app for the BlackBerry… which is sort of understandable given that it’s a smaller market than the iStore, but also not really that understandable given many businesses use BlackBerry devices… but I guess businesses don’t need bank apps. They probably have computers for that.
  • I sometimes wonder how long I’ll have with this device – one year? one year and one month? will I get to two years? If I’d gotten an iPhone, I wouldn’t question… I’d know that in six months my phone would be outdated and in one year it would probably slow down, but the device itself would still work for years and years. The reliability of the future is sometimes a nice thing. That whole “devil you know” thing.
  • The new SIM card thing. What’s up with that? I thought the SIM cards were developed so that you could easily switch from smart phone to smart phone. I’ve had two smart phones in my life and two SIM cards… because they made it smaller.
  • Only Virgin Mobile had the RedBerry Q5… that was a kick in the shins for sure.

That’s all I’ve got for now on the negatives. I think I’m still in the honeymoon period with this beautiful, sexy black berry. I’m sure I’ll have more in a year…

Anyway, if you’re at all contemplating switching to one of the new BlackBerries, I hope this blog post helped sway you one way (or the other)… get the Q5… or the Q10 if you can afford it!

For everyone who was expecting a real review rather than me gushing about my phone, read this one at mobilesyrup. It’s way better than mine.