Hands On with the BlackBerry Leap
BlackBerry’s strategy under its new CEO John Chen has been to dramatically cut down the number of phones the company pumps out. So a new all-touch phone like the Z10 is a big deal. That describes the Leap, although not completely. It’s very much like the Z10, but also much much lower-end. We spent some time with it. Read on for our impressions.
AD article continues below...
The Z10 had decent specs when it came out. But it's been a while, and the Leap is almost the same exact phone. As the state of the art has moved forward, that leaves the Leap as a relatively low-end phone. The screen is larger than the Z10, but the other components are the same, including a measly 8-megapixel camera and a truly ancient Snapdragon S4 processor. It comes with 16 GB of memory and a memory card slot.
I feel like BlackBerry missed an opportunity to put some unique, differentiating feature in this phone. They did not. It's completely generic.
It's targeted at “young professionals”, which to BlackBerry means a certain amount of price sensitivity. I'm not sure that's any way to compete for the attention of people who'd probably rather have an iPhone, or anything trendier than this boring grey slab.
The Z10 had a nice design and materials. The Leap has neither. It looks as generic and cheap as a phone can. Its sides and back are made from a very soft plastic that feels somewhat rubberized. This helps the blocky phone feel more comfortable to hold. The grip is fantastic; this phone could never slip from your hand accidentally. While it feels solidly-built, the shape, materials, and weight do exactly nothing to convey quality. It feels cheap.
As for the rest of the hardware, the screen looks good, but the side buttons are terrible; they're too flush with the surface and they have to little travel and feedback. The lock button up top is a bit better, but only slightly.
The Leap supports LTE bands to work well in the U.S. on the AT&T and/or Verizon networks, and BlackBerry is proud to have a good relationship with those carriers again. I could see it coming to one of them eventually, although the initial launch market is Europe.
I have trouble putting my finger on who would buy this phone. The design and specs will attract zero consumer interest. There's no hardware keyboard. If you need a BlackBerry for work, one would hope your employer would spring for a better BlackBerry than this. So the target market seems to be very cheap IT departments, I guess? It's a head-scratcher.
Mar 3, 2015
BlackBerry today announced the Leap, a new smartphone with standard slab touch screen form factor. It's much like the Z10 that launched BlackBerry 10, but with a larger 5-inch, 720p HD display.
Mar 3, 2015
BlackBerry today discussed its hardware roadmap for 2015 at an event in Barcelona. The company promised an "innovative" new design with a dual-curve display, large touch screen, and slide-out keyboard.
Apr 15, 2015
BlackBerry today said its Leap smartphone is now available in the U.K., with other countries to follow shortly. The Leap is similar to the Z10 and has a 5-inch, 720p HD display and an older Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor clocked at 1.5GHz.
After "soft-launching" with the Plex phone last year, TCL is now previewing its first widely-available lineup of own-brand phones: the 10 series, all of which offer premium features for under $500. TCL officially announced very few details of the three phones, but shared more with Phone Scoop in a hands-on session.
Oct 3, 2018
LG today announced the W7, a unique, hybrid wearable that combines certain aspects of regular watches and smartwatch. LG says the watch was developed with the help of Swiss watchmaker Soprod SA, meaning it has a traditional design with a chrome bezel and support for standard 22mm straps.