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BlackBerry Q5 smartphone officially unveiled (hands-on)

BlackBerry officially pulled the tarp off of its rumored Q5 midrange smartphone at the company's BlackBerry Live conference. We go hands on with the device.

Brian Bennett

Brian Bennett

Senior writer

Brian Bennett is a senior writer for the home and outdoor section at CNET. He reviews a wide range of household and smart-home products. These include everything from cordless and robot vacuum cleaners to fire pits, grills and coffee makers. An NYC native, Brian now resides in bucolic Louisville, Kentucky where he rides longboards downhill in his free time.

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Watch this: BlackBerry Q5

Check out CNET's sister site, CNET UK's, full BlackBerry Q5 review, published July 3, 2013.

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Here at BlackBerry Live 2013, the long-rumored BlackBerry Q5 handset became legitimate. The midrange device will sport a design reminiscent of the old Curve models but use materials less pricey than what's in the current Q10 flagship.

Hands-on with BlackBerry's Q5 (pictures)

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That means the BlackBerry Q5 boasts a full QWERTY keyboard but won't sport the premium keys you'll find on the Q10. Instead, the Q5's buttons are flatter and more bubbly, not chiseled typing surfaces expertly angled for message-punching perfection.

Indeed, when I was able to spend some time with the Q5 after BlackBerry Live's keynote address, I can confirm that new Q5 feels cheaper than the premium Q10. The Q5's glossy plastic surfaces are slippery and prone to grease and fingerprints. That said, I do like the arresting fiery-red hue of the Q5 model I manhandled.

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