Preview: BlackBerry Q5

Preview: BlackBerry Q5

The BlackBerry Q5 is an entry-level smartphone with a physical, QWERTY keyboard

The BlackBerry Q5 smartphone.

The BlackBerry Q5 smartphone.

The BlackBerry Q5 is an entry-level smartphone with a physical, QWERTY keyboard.

The Q5 is the cheapest phone in BlackBerry's new smartphone line-up, which also includes the flagship Z10 and the Q10.

The release of the Q5 has set a precedent for BlackBerry's new range: Z clearly signifies a touchscreen-only handset while Q denotes the use of a physical, QWERTY keyboard.

The BlackBerry Q5 has a similar design layout to the more expensive Q10, with a full QWERTY keyboard sitting below the same sized 3.1in, square display.

The Q5's screen has the same 720x720 resolution used on the Q10, but BlackBerry has opted for a regular LCD panel rather than AMOLED.

The Q5 has a flat, square design with rounded corners and is finished in a shiny, glossy plastic. It's available in white, black, pink and red colour variants.

The keyboard on the BlackBerry Q5 is quite different to the Q10. The keys themselves are completely separated, with visible space in between each key.

BlackBerry users who are familiar with the company's previous low-cost Curve models (such as the Curve 9320) will immediately be familiar with this layout.

The BlackBerry Q5 runs the BlackBerry 10 operating system, is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and has 2GB of RAM.

There's only 8GB of internal storage compared to the Q10's 16GB but a microSD card slot enables users to add extra memory. The battery is not removable.

The BlackBerry Q5 has a 5-megapixel camera compared to the Q10's 8-megapixel snapper but it includes the same software features used on other BlackBerry 10 devices.

This includes a 'Time Shift' mode and a 'Story Maker' feature that can turn photos, videos and music into a short movie clip.

BlackBerry hasn't confirmed if or when the Q5 will be launched in Australia, only saying "there is nothing confirmed as yet for Australia, but we should know in next few weeks."

The Q5 will be available in "selected markets" in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America from July.

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