Thursday, 18 July 2013

The BlackBerry Q5

Until yesterday, I had a Blackberry Curve (yes, people like me are still around) and when I asked my IT person at work if there is some guidance on how to hook my email account up to my Blackberry he just quipped: 'We dont have that info anymore, Blackberry kind of been dying lately.'

That may be true but the new Q10 and Q5 were supposed to turn the fortunes of the best Canadian export around. And as a die-hard BlackBerry fan I made the jump and bought the Q5 a couple of days ago before my old Curve got stuck in the same for good.

A larger keyboard, but plenty of mysterious 'gestures' needed to operate it


So, what's the verdict after two days of the new Q5? Sadly, I have to say that I doubt that RIM will revive its luck with this one. The Q5 is certainly bigger and flashier. In fact, it is so big, it feels a bit like a brick in the hand. That may be a plus for people who prefer large screens, but Blackberry users often stuck to the RIM products because of the email and the BBM. If you wanted a large screen, you would chose Samsung. And if you preferred touchscreen, you got an iPhone.

The Q5 retained the (physical) keyboard but made it bigger. That may suit some people, but it takes getting used to. Coming from Curve, typing on the Q5 is a bit like changing from a three quarter Cello to a full sized one: you have to stretch your fingers. The keys are now spaced far wider and after a while you realise, that some keys are gone completely. The Q5 has no 'back' option, nor can you close a webpage. Once on it, they will stay open until you clear the history.

The biggest problem however is a whole plethora of new fangled 'gestures' which allow you to navigate the system. I say 'allow' but the impression is more one of the device granting you what it wants. Time and time again, I got stuck on pages and applications until I accurately performed those 'gestures'. And the Q5 is a strict teacher, believe me! It can take a while and more often than not, your 'gestures' are not instantly understood by the Q5 which means it does what it wants, more or less. Talking of the ambiguity of 'gestures'!

So, overall, the Q5 takes some getting used to and I have to say, I lack the time and patience to learn it. So, back it is to my old Curve. It might just make another two months. Perhaps I just have to bite the bullet and get an iPhone then.

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