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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.

Now playing: 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.

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.

Still there's much for true BlackBerry fans to love here, including the company's latest BlackBerry 10.1 operating system. Thankfully, the device responded to my finger swipes and commands with the same agility I saw on the Q10 and Z10.

Other key specs include a 3.1-inch touch screen and a digital camera that supports the Time Shift mode, which snaps multiple images at once, then lets you choose the best shot. One bummer is that the camera's sensor is a less-sensitive 5 megapixels as opposed to the 8-megapixel units you'll find on the Q10 and Z10.

Brian Bennett/CNET

The gadget will also come in three colors and will ship in select markets located in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

Stay tuned as we provide more details as we get them from BlackBerry Live 2013, and hopefully we'll have a review model of the BlackBerry Q5 soon.

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