BlackBerry’s MWC press conference might not have been as glamorous as some of the others we’ve seen so far, but it was still productive – as the company unveiled its latest mid-range smartphone.
The BlackBerry Leap definitely isn’t a trend-setting device, but does offer fans of the company a cheaper option if they fancy picking up a new handset.
Boasting a 5” HD display, the Leap has a good quality screen, but is somewhat let down by the lack of power behind it.
A Snapdragon S4 Plus chipset is good but quite outdated in today’s market – especially with devices like the Samsung Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9 sporting 810 chips.
Also, the 1.5GHz dual-core processor won’t be blowing you away with its performance, but does offer good running times and is an ideal addition considering the device’s budget focus.
2GB RAM and 16GB expandable storage also make the cut on the Leap, giving users plenty of memory to play with.
Topping off the internal spec sheet is a 2800mAh battery, which BlackBerry says can handle 25 hours of heavy use – we’ll have to wait and see just whether this is proven true however.
BlackBerry 10.3.1 is the operating system behind the handset, giving users access to the latest updates whilst also being connected with the Amazon app store.
Finally, if you’re a photography fan then you should be happy enough with the 8 megapixel rear based lens, which is assisted by a 2 megapixel front effort as well.
Avoiding the temptation of using a physical keyboard on all of its handsets, BlackBerry has gone for a very standard and minimalistic approach with the Leap.
The front of the handset is dominated by the 5” display, with the back side featuring a classy textured plastic look, which also helps when gripping the phone.
The rounded sides are also a nice touch, adding a friendlier feel to a manufacturer which is typically a fan of sharper and harder designs.
Other than this it’s business as normal for the BlackBerry device, making for a simple yet effective design.
BlackBerry had one final sting in the tail at its press conference – showing off a sliding handset that also features what looks like a curved edge design.
Boasting a retro sliding form factor, a physical keyboard does make the cut on this handset – giving it a more productive look and feel.
The manufacturer only gave us a glimpse of the handset, and hasn’t exactly followed this sneaky peek with any information, but it is a quick look at what could be on the horizon from BlackBerry.
There’s no word whatsoever on any specs for the slider device or on when it will be hitting the consumer market, so we’ll have to wait for BlackBerry to give us some more information on that front.
The BlackBerry Leap however should be available in the near future, with the company already letting consumers pre-register for release information. The device will cost approximately £180 – with contract deals likely to settle at around £20/month.
Written by Luke Hatfield