CANADIAN PHONE MAKER Blackberry is best known for its devices that have physical QWERTY keyboards, with other phone makers shunning buttons in favour of increasingly large full touchscreen handsets.
Blackberry seems to believe that there's still a market for such devices, having released two Blackberry 10 (BB10) handsets with physical QWERTY keypads - the top-end Blackberry Q10 and the crowd pleasing Blackberry Q5.
So, is the Blackberry Q10 really worth the extra dosh, or can you get along just fine with the cheaper Blackberry Q5? We decided to compare the handsets head to head to find out.
The Blackberry Q10 clearly has the more premium design of the two devices, featuring a unique glass weave backplate and stainless steel touches that give it an expensive, luxurious feel.
That's not to say the Blackberry Q5 is a bad looking phone. While it lacks the flashy backplate of its more expensive sibling, the handset feels sturdy despite its predominantly plastic construction.
The Blackberry Q5 is arguably the most comfortable to hold, measuring 120x66x10.8mm compared to the Blackberry Q10's slightly wider but also slightly thinner 119.6x66.8x10.4mm. We found that although there's not much difference between the two, the narrower Blackberry Q5 was more pleasant to hold in your hand, despite the Blackberry Q10's soft-touch backing. The Blackberry Q5 is a bit lighter too at 120g, with the Blackberry Q10 tipping the scales at 139g.
However, no doubt the question on everyone's lips is, which handset's keyboard is better?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Blackberry Q10 takes the top spot here, with its keyboard making for quicker, more fluid typing. Although its keys are closer together than the well-spaced keys on the Blackberry Q5, we found that this made for a much simpler and more comfortable typing experience, as did the more defined shape of the keys on the Blackberry Q10 handset.
The Blackberry Q10 features a 3.1in 720x720 AMOLED touchscreen, while the Blackberry Q5 has a similar 3.1in 720x720 IPS LCD screen.
As you've probably already gathered from the specifications, the Blackberry Q10 is the clear winner when it comes to colours and vibrancy, although not by much, with text and images proving just as legible on the cheaper Blackberry Q5 handset. However, thanks to the use of AMOLED technology, the Blackberry Q10 does boast better viewing angles and outdoor visibility.
We much preferred the Blackberry Q5 display, however. Thanks to the repositioned Blackberry logo on the Blackberry Q5, which sits between the display and keyboard, there's far more room for swiping up from the bottom, one of the most frequently used gestures on the Blackberry 10 OS. We found this more frustrating on the Blackberry Q10 smartphone due to the tiny gap between the screen and the physical keys.
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