Saturday, 19 October 2013

Blackberry Q5

Blackberry Q5. FOR BYTZ USE ONLY.
Get the benefits of a full Qwerty keyboard plus a smoother software experience via the BlackBerry 10 OS.
Blackberry’s Q5 is built on the premise that it has been designed to “keep you moving,” so we were keen to see what new mobile experience it would have to offer fans.
At a first glance, the qualities of the Q5 that stood out most to us were its size, the presence of a touchscreen and the ever familiar Qwerty keyboard.
But does the phone really have what it takes to capture the hearts of today’s smartphone users? Here’s a closer look at how the Q5 fares.
Smooth and slick
In general, we found the phone’s appearance to be quite visually appealing, mainly due to its curved edges and simple yet elegant design.
The device could be held comfortably in one hand and was reasonably lightweight. Based on its size, we also felt that it stood a good chance of being able to fit snugly into most pockets; something which cannot really be said of most other smartphones that are available in the market these days.
Besides that, the Q5, which is available in black, red and white, supports 4G LTE network connectivity and runs on the BlackBerry 10.1 operating system.
From our experience, the software ran very smoothly, and the switching between various screens and apps on the device proved to be quite seamless. We also did not face any noticeable lag when using data services on the phone.
MicroSD and SIM slot. FOR BYTZ USE ONLY.
Ports ahoy: The MicroSD and SIM slot. Both slots are protected by a small flap, which needs to be lifted in order to insert and remove both cards.
The device’s SIM and microSD slots are located along the left side of the phone, just below its micro USB charging port. Both ports are protected by a small flap, which needs to be lifted in order to insert and remove both cards. We felt this was rather nifty, since it was fairly easy to gain access to both cards whenever desired. However, the flap may also become a problem once wear and tear set in as it is only being held in place by two small hinges.
Last but not least, the Q5 retained BlackBerry’s classic full Qwerty keyboard feature. However, this inevitably comes with a trade-off in terms of the size of its display.
Of size and software
While screen size wasn’t really an issue when we were viewing content from apps such as Facebook or Adobe Reader, it soon became an obvious inconvenience once we started doing things like browsing websites and watching videos on YouTube.
Most websites that we visited showed up looking really tiny on the screen, and this meant that we had to do a whole lot of zooming and scrolling just so that we could get a good look at its contents.
Furthermore, the visuals did not encompass the entire surface area of the screen even though we had opted for full screen mode on YouTube. It was also disappointing to discover that it isn’t possible to rotate the screen of the Q5 in order to watch videos in landscape view.
With regards to the audio and image quality, we felt that it wasn’t too bad, but it wasn’t great either. Volume levels had to be turned up to at least 75% or more in order for it to be reasonably audible, with or without the earphones plugged in. Meanwhile, the photos and video recordings which we took with the phone turned out to be grainy, despite being shot at close range.
One very significant issue that we’d like to highlight here is that learning how to navigate the BlackBerry 10.1 operating system proved to be quite a challenge.
At times, it was hard to figure out how to access certain settings or menu items. We only managed to successfully perform certain tasks on the phone after repeated attempts at carrying out the required swipe action. For example, swiping upwards in order to minimise an app to the Active Frames view, which basically shows you a snapshot of all the apps that are actively running on the Q5 at a given time.
The limited range of apps that was available on BlackBerry World also further dampened our enthusiasm in using the phone.
However, it is worth pointing out that the manufacturer has loaded some simple tutorials into the phone which teaches a user how to perform several essential tasks on the Q5. These tutorials can be accessed via the Tutorials icon on the Home Screen. It would be really helpful for you to have a look at it, especially if you are exploring the BlackBerry platform for the first time.
On the serious side
We felt that the RM1,299 price tag attached to the Q5 was a little too much to ask for when balanced out against the range of features that the phone offered us in return.
In particular, the need to compromise on the screen size in order to accommodate a full Qwerty keyboard seemed to us like a sacrifice not worth the cost, given how much multimedia content most of us tend to consume on our phones on a regular basis.
So, in essence, the fact remains as it has been for BlackBerry phones of yore: The Q5 would be most beneficial to users who need a phone that’s strictly for business (by this we mean content consumption that is more text heavy).
The Q5 will likely retain the favour of its existing BlackBerry followers since it maintains a familiar look and feel to its predecessors. However, others may not be as enthusiastic about the phone for the very same reasons.
In particular, if you are seeking a device that is more of a lifestyle companion, you may find that the Q5’s screen rather limiting. Unless, of course, you’re someone who just can’t live without a physical keyboard on your smartphone.
Pros: Full Qwerty keyboard; easily accessible SIM and microSD ports; pocket friendly size; easy to hold.
Cons: Screen size too small; mediocre multimedia experience; expensive given the features it offers.
- The Star

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