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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.

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Brian Bennett Former Senior writer
Brian Bennett is a former senior writer for the home and outdoor section at CNET.
Brian Bennett
2 min read
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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.