BlackBerry have taken a subtle approach to their latest smartphone launches in the US, as the beleaguered manufacturer has quietly launched the Z30 and the Q5 directly through their ShopBlackBerry online storefront.
The launch of both the unlocked Z30 and Q5 were unexpected, as it was previously announced that the Z30 would be a Verizon Wireless exclusive at the launch of that device last year, and that would normally preclude availability of a GSM version, especially in the US. The Q5 was originally intended for markets where off-contract pricing of the Q10 would prevent the majority of BlackBerry users from upgrading, or gain access to the HSPA-only variant.
The Z30 features a dual-core 1.7GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro with 2GB of RAM, Adreno 320 GPU, 16GB internal storage with microSD slot, 4G LTE support, dual-band WiFi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC. The Z30?s camera is similar to the Z10, with a 2-megapixel front facing camera capable of 720p video and an 8-megapixel rear module with an f2.2 lens that captures video in 1080p.
The Q5 features a revised QWERTY keyboard that moves away from the recognizable BlackBerry design and layout, favoring a more conventional design, with individual keys being given more space and prominence with increased height as well as being spaced island-style. The display has been downgraded from the OLED display on the Q10, but the device is otherwise similar in terms of specifications to the Q10 in a less expensive bodyshell.
The z30 is now available for $499.99 unlocked and the Q5 is available for $349.99 unlocked from ShopBlackBerry.