BlackBerry Live 2013: BlackBerry changes course

Hardware, software, future



Hardware.Info attended BlackBerry Live 2013 in Orlando, where the manufacturer introduced new products and services, along with charting the direction for the company in the upcoming year. We got to see a new lower-positioned smartphone that runs on BlackBerry 10, and can report on a number of interesting announcements.

Some things had already leaked about the new and more affordable smartphone from Blackberry, and the Q5 is official now. It won't be called the R10, and could almost be considered half of a Q10. In terms of positioning it also looks less refined, and the SoC is slightly different. 

It's still a Qualcomm one with two Krait cores, but they're clocked at 1.2 GHz instead of the 1.5 GHz of the flagship models. The camera has been reduced from 8 MP to 5 MP, and the internal storage is 8 GB instead of 16 GB. The biggest difference with the Q10 is the screen, however. The Q10 has a Super Amoled display, but the Q5 has an IPS panel. The size and resolution of the screen is the same. 

The brief opportunity we had to play around with the Q5 did not quite manage to win us over. The keys don't feel nearly as nice as those of the Q10, and the camera isn't great. So whether this will be an interesting device for consumers that like having a physical keyboard will mainly depend on the pricing. That's still unknown, but the phone is expected to become available in selected markets (incl. Europe) in July.

Below are the specifications of the BlackBerry Q5, along with some photos. The phone will come in black, white, red and pink. There weren't any pink ones available, hence the lack of a photo. 

BlackBerry Q5
Size (L x W x D) 120mm x 66mm x 10.8mm (10.5mm for non-NFC model)
Weight 120 g
Display 3.1", IPS LCD display, 720 x 720 resolution at 329 PPI
Keyboard 35-key physical QWERTY keyboard with discrete keys and backlight
Software BlackBerry 10.1 OS
Memory 2 GB RAM, 8 GB Flash
  Hot Swappable microSD slot (up to 32 GB)
Processor Dual Core 1.2 GHz
Camera 5 MP rear facing camera, Auto Focus, 5x digital zoom
  1080p HD video recording, LED flash
  2MP front facing camera, 3x digital zoom
  720p HD video recording
GPS Assisted, Autonomous, and Simultaneous GPS
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy
NFC* NFC-enabled to support mobile payments and file exchange
Advanced Sensors Accelerometer, Magnetometer, Proximity, Gyroscope
  Ambient light sensor
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Mobile Hotspot
Network Connectivity 4G LTE or HSPA+, support for global roaming
Battery Embedded 2180 mAh

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