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Still, the software is responsive and easy for a non-BlackBerry devotee to master, and is more impressive than the anonymous hardware that contains it.
In some respects, the continued presence of the Qwerty is at odds with some of the smarter elements of BlackBerry 10's user interface — I found that swapping the home button with an upward swipe mades sense pretty quickly, as did Peek.
The Peek functionality (seen above) in particular makes for some elegant multitasking in here — I was impressed by being able to take a look at my email while continuing to stream a video from the BBC website, for example.
Other software such as Docs to Go is handy for a business audience and easy to use, but the number of apps available remains somewhat limited, and remians a broader issue around attracting developers to BlackBerry's ecosystem.
The predictive text system works very nicely, and the option to "clear learnt words" is also a nice touch that could save you from an embarrassing damn-you-autocorrect moment, too.
It's hard not to turn any discussion of one of BlackBerry's handsets into a verdict on the company, but right now every handset is now vital for it.
From a cost point of view, at £320 SIM-free in the UK or £21 per month on contract, the Q5 is cheaper than a Samsung Galaxy S4 or the iPhone 4S or 5 (but more than the iPhone 4). But it's not that much cheaper than the Q10 (£29 per month or £479 for the handset alone).
You might think that the rising flood of bring your own device has made business-first handsets an endangered species by eradicating their traditional habitat.
But there is a chunk of the enterprise market looking to buy a fleet of no-nonsense, sturdy handsets that are to manage and secure, and which fits in with their existing infrastructure.
As such, the Q5 may find a home with these organisations where workers require fast and accurate data input (perhaps an engineer filling in a form) rather than a desperate need for big-screen funny cat videos.
The Q5 isn't likely to wow anyone, but that's perhaps not the point. The Z10 is BlackBerry's wow-touchscreen handset, and the Q10 it's wow-Qwerty counterpart.
But the Q5 could be more important than either as it's just the sort of workhorse that BlackBerry needs its enterprise customers to deploy in major quantities, especially those filled with nostalgia for the days when Qwerty ruled. It's perhaps not the most exciting niche to fill in the tech world, but it could be vital one for BlackBerry.