Ever since Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy have resolutely taken their seats at the forefront of today’s mobile phone market, it seems like there’s no toppling them. Countless accessories, cases, chargers, adapters, and apps are being released on the daily for those two brands and their supremacy looks impossible to turn around. Meanwhile, brands that have been around for longer, such as Blackberry, seem to have fallen into decrepitude. This year, though, Blackberry is trying to make a comeback, by taking a stab at the mid-range touch screen smartphone market for young professionals, with the reveal of its upcoming 5-inch screen Blackberry Leap. The phone’s release has been recently announced, so check out all the specs and details about it, as well as first impressions, right below.
What’s new about the Blackberry Leap?
The upcoming mid-priced phone from Blackberry will be an all-touch device, unlike the two handsets that preceded it. It’s aimed directly at yuppies and is supposed to be affordable – but not cheap. The release comes in the wake of a photo leak that revealed details about the upcoming phone. In turn, Blackberry was prompted to take the device out from under wraps and present it to the world. The touch smartphone does look a lot like the Blackberry Z3, which the company released in 2014. However, many of its specs have been significantly improved.
The Blackberry Leap will run the Blackberry OS 10. It has a five-inch all-touch HD display, with a resolution of 294 pixels per inch (or 1280 x 720). The rear camera boasts a modicum of 8 megapixels, while the front one has two megapixels. As many early commenters noted, both the front and the rear camera are rather low quality for a mid-range phone. However, compared to the Z3, which only touted 5MP on the rear camera and 1.1MP on the front one, the Leap does mark an improvement.
Other relevant technological specifications include:
- 2GB of RAM
- 16GB internal storage
- microSD card support, which will allow the user to boost internal storage capacities up to 128GB
- MSM 8960 1.5GHz processor from Qualcomm (also known as the Snapdragon 4)
- 2800mAh battery, not removable
- 4G LTE ready
The above specs may strike many as rather low; however, as Ron Louks, the president of Blackberry’s devices and emerging solutions division, has explained, the phone compensates through other perks. The Blackberry Leap, Louks stated in a recent release, is aimed at upwardly “mobile professionals who see their smartphone device as a powerful and durable productivity tool that also safeguards sensitive communications at all times”. In other words, with this new release lined up, Blackberry’s money is all on the potential buyers who appreciate the company’s security standards. The fact that the release was announced right after a photo leak controversy makes the above statement slightly ironic, one might say.
Blackberry Leap: Context and more
The upcoming mid-price device was revealed at the Mobile World Congress exhibition, which took place in early March, in Barcelona, Spain. This is also where Blackberry launched their Z3 model in 2014. Although they featured the phone’s specs and other details, company representatives did not mention anything about the Leap’s price tag, or the timeframe when it becomes available. Other new releases announced by the company at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona include the Blackberry Classic, which will become available in white, bronze, and white, plus a brand new slide keyboard Blackberry.
This comes on the heels of the company’s announcements regarding the Blackberry Passport and its flagship classic. While some sneered at Blackberry going ‘back in time’, the company might have taken a fair, albeit safe bet by releasing them in recent months. If anything, these new devices went a long way in telling the world that they can still rely on the device maker to produce solid quality QWERTY keyboard mobile devices. One look at the Blackberry Classic will confirm this: it comes with a trackpad, phone call key, a back button, and a key that ends calls. The Blackberry Q5 and Q10, whose performances on the market were mediocre at best, did not feature any of these navigation keys.
The Blackberry Leap will come packed with several native apps, such as the Blackberry Keyboard and Blend tools. The latter enables users to transfer all phone content, including messages, to their computer or portable tablet. It will also feature Blackberry’s version of Apple’s Siri: the Blackberry Assistant.