BlackBerry Q5 targets budget segment for BB10 OS
Company formerly known as RIM turns eyes towards emerging markets
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BlackBerry this week introduced another BB10 handset, the BlackBerry Q5, for selected markets in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia (including the Asia Pacific region), and Latin America, with expected availability beginning in July.
While no word has been released on pricing for the handset in these markets, the Q5 is most likely going to lie in the budget range. It features a 3.1-inch touch-screen together with a Qwerty keyboard that is similar to that of the Curve, with discrete keys that are flatter than those of the Q10 and not shaped for optimum typing.
The 5MP camera is considerable lower in spec than that of the 8MP offering of the Q10 and Z10. It comes with a Time Shift mode, allowing multiple-image capture in a single click and the option to select the optimum shot.
"BlackBerry is excited to bring a new BlackBerry Qwerty smartphone, the BlackBerry Q5, to our customers in selected markets around world," said Thorsten Heins, president and CEO of BlackBerry.
"The BlackBerry Q5 gives you the best of everything with its cutting-edge BlackBerry 10 functionality and a physical Qwerty keyboard. It is for youthful fans that are passionate, confident and bold, and it makes it easy for them to have fun, create, share and stay connected."
Other features include Instant Action shortcuts users can type to perform tasks faster. Users can also weave together photos, videos and music into a movie with BlackBerry Story Maker.
It is possible to switch BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) chat to a BBM Video conversation and - given the right provider - and share the screen content, be it a photo, a page in the browser or a view from the camera, if the recipient is using a BlackBerry 10 smartphone and has access to a Wi-Fi, 4G or HSPA+ connection.
BlackBerry Hub remains at the centre of the BB10 offering. Messages and social conversations are "only one swipe away" and the handset allows continuation of tasks, allowing users to access the Hub "from anywhere with a swipe to effortlessly flow in and out of your messages and conversations".
App purchases are supported by recommendations based on similar purchases, and the BlackBerry World repository is said to hold more than 100,000 apps.
Given the regions covered by the latest BB10 handset and the feature set and spec, the Q10 is Canada-based BlackBerry's swipe at the emerging affluence in nations such as Brazil, China and India where premiums smartphones have yet to make headway.