Q5s are on display in the BlackBerry Live Showcase, so I grabbed a few pics and had some hands-on time with one (yes, this one’s red, not pink, I know). The Q5 is definitely a solid entry-level device. It is plastic and shiny, but not flimsy-feeling. The body is a single color all the way around, including the keyboard, and the plastic casing is probably strengthened by the lack of a removable battery and door. There are covered external slots for SIM and MicroSD cards.
The keyboard on the Q5 harkens back to the Curve family (of which this would surely be considered a member), but has a few improvements, in my opinion. While I would still consider this a “chiclet”-style keyboard, the keys are flatter and wider than those of Curves past, making them easier to to type accurately on. They are still separated with a generous amount of space, and lack the frets of the Bold/Q10 piano-style keyboard. Mechanically, they have a shorter throw and lack the familiar *snap* you may be used to hearing from the Curve family. This should mean less thumb fatigue from extended typing sessions.
Device performance seems noticeably slower coming straight from a Z10, but not distressingly so. The UI is still smooth and responsive, but animations just don’t seem to have that same *POP* that you get swiping around on a Zed.
Thor mentioned the importance of entry-level devices for emerging and developing markets, and the Q5 is positioned nicely to provide the full BB10 experience at a more affordable price point. According to InsideBlackBerry,
“The new BlackBerry Q5 smartphone will be available in selected markets in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia (including the Asia Pacific region), and Latin America, with availability beginning in July.”
The BlackBerry Q5 will be available in black, white, red, and yes, PINK.