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BlackBerry Q5 Unboxing and Initial Review

Unboxing the BlackBerry Q5
Unboxing the BlackBerry Q5

Unboxing the BlackBerry Q5!

Three weeks ago BlackBerry launched the BlackBerry Q5 here in the Philippines with an SRP of Php18,690. The supposed draw of this device is that it offered the trademark BlackBerry physical QWERTY tactile keypad at a more affordable price. The Q5’s older brother, the Q10, sells for over Php25,000 in online shops and it has an official SRP of over Php30,000.

The good folks over at BlackBerry PH and their PR Firm sent us a review unit of the BlackBerry Q5. We’ll do a full review in the coming days but for now please do check out our initial impressions and unboxing.

BlackBerry Q5 Spec Sheet

  • 1.2 GHz Dual Core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 8GB ROM, expandable via MicroSD up to 32GB
  • 3.1 inch IPS LCD display (720 x 720 pixels) 328ppi
  • 5 megapixel rear facing camera with autofocus and LED flash
  • 2 megapixel front facing camera
  • HSPA+, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0
  • GPS with A-GPS support
  • 2,180 mAh battery, non-removable
  • BlackBerry 10, upgradable to BlackBerry 10.1
  • SRP: P18,690

By the way, initially we were kinda excited about the news of the Q5 landing locally since we thought it had LTE connectivity but apparently the local version can only go up to HSPA+. Anyway let’s jump right into the unboxing!

Packaging and Stuff in the Box

For this special unboxing we asked the help of Selene Kyle (aka Catwoman) so we can spice things up a bit, hehe. The BlackBerry Q5 comes in the new BlackBerry 10 packaging which started with the Z10. The “Q5” is dominates the top of the black box which kinda makes it easy to spot in a row of gadget boxes lined up in a store shelf. Unboxing was pretty straightforward. We removed the tape and popped open the lid. First thing that greeted us was the Q5.

Pretty phone.
Pretty phone.

We picked up the phone and the feature that really grabbed our attention was the keypad. It’s really a breath of fresh air to see and feel physical keypads in an age where on-screen virtual keyboards is considered the norm. In all honesty we got that familiar “crackberry” addictive feel when we started using the phone and hammered out tweets and text messages using the keypad, hehe.

Keypad. Yummeh.
Keypad. Yummeh.
Not so yummy plastic back. BlackBerry logo is nice though.
Not so yummy plastic back. BlackBerry logo is nice though.

In terms of build, the BlackBerry Q5 doesn’t have the premium aura of the Q10 but that’s to be expected since this sells for less. We get a mostly plastic chassis (front and back) but the good news is that the 3.1-inch IPS LCD display actually has decent resolution at 720×720. That comes out to around 328 pixels per inch.

BlackBerry OS 10 worked well in our initial tests and we were able to quickly transfer our contacts via Google without any issues. The touchscreen was very responsive and it felt natural moving up and down, changing from swiping the display to mashing the keypads for long messages and updates. As a communication device the BlackBerry Q5 is definitely very competitive. However when it comes to the fun side of smartphones — apps, games, and media, it’s still lacking due to the small display and relatively young app ecosystem.

What else is in the box?

Usual stuff
Usual stuff

We checked what else was in the box and we found the usual suspects: micro USB to USB cable, wall charger, manuals, earphones, and certificates. Nothing out of the ordinary. It would have been nice if BlackBerry threw in a free leather case though like what they used to do with the original Bold 9000 series. I think they stopped bundling the cases when they reached the Bold 9790.

Full Review Soon

I'm to sezzy for my phone. Meow.
I’m to sezzy for my phone. Meow.

We’ll do a more comprehensive review with camera samples, battery tests, etc. in the next few days. One thing is for sure though — the Q5 is entering a very, very, very competitive market dominated by cheap Androids that offer much more power and a bigger app ecosystem. Hopefully the over-all user experience makes up for the lack of apps, hehe.

Carlo Ople

Carlo is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Unbox.ph. During daytime he’s the Managing Director and Partner of a Digital Marketing Agency in the Philippines and by nighttime he’s living out his passion as a gadget enthusiast and story teller through Unbox.

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