Watch Review: BlackBerry Leap - old Wine in new Bottle

BlackBerry is trying to get their core competency right, and has taken a leap of faith with the new BB Leap.

Tech News
4 min read
BlackBerry Leap (Photo: TheQuint)

BlackBerry has made some mistakes in the past when they strayed away from their core competency, which was making enterprise friendly devices. And now the company is trying to get back to their strength.

First they came out with the BlackBerry Passport in 2014, and then the BlackBerry Classic. Both phones offered BlackBerry’s unmatched security and awesome physical keyboards.

Watch: The Review of BlackBerry Leap

Now they plan to relive their glory days with a new touch smartphone offering, Leap. It is indeed a big leap of faith that the company has taken, and they plan to woo the BlackBerry loyalists and people who moved away from their platform to Android and iOS.

BlackBerry Leap costs Rs 21,490 which is a bit too steep. But does this phone do justice to that enterprise space, let’s find out.

What’s Good?

For starters one thing that was really impressive on the BlackBerry Leap was its battery. The 2800 mAh battery on this phone is a marathon runner. It actually lasted two days. We wish Android can replicate something like this.

Blackberry Leap runs on BlackBerry OS 10.3.1. This is the latest version of the BlackBerry 10 operating system. Though there is not much difference than the previous version, there are some minor changes.

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BlackBerry Leap (Photo: TheQuint)

The user interface (UI) is easy to use and this phone basically functions a lot on gestures rather than tap input. It takes a little time to get used to it. People who have been using the earlier BlackBerry Z10 or the Z30 won’t face any problems adapting to this smartphone.

The BB hub, active panel and app panel is how the user interface is divided into and that makes it easy to organise your data.

The phone also includes BlackBerry Meetings. It is BlackBerry’s new cross-platform video and voice conference app that is great for having if your company has a lot of BlackBerry users. You can add up to 25 participants from their mobile device for video conferencing.

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BlackBerry Leap (Photo: TheQuint)

To solve BlackBerry’s app availability problem the Leap comes loaded with the Amazon Appstore from where users can find and install Android apps. That is one big plus point of this smartphone.

The virtual keyboard typing experience on the BlackBerry leap is also pretty smooth. The display keyboard is well spaced and easy to adapt to. It’s even much better than many custom Android keyboards that you find on smartphones.

What’s Bad?

BlackBerry Leap is a bulky smartphone and resembles a lot to its cousins the Z10 and the Z30. Considering it’s a 5 inch smartphone in 2015, the looks are just bland. This design lines on the BlackBerry Leap could have been amazing for the year 2007.

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BlackBerry Leap (Photo: TheQuint)

BlackBerry Leap sports a 5 inch HD LCD display with 1280x720p resolution. But, here’s the thing, the display is not bright enough, the colours are washed out and again it would have been an amazing display in the year 2011 not 2015.

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BlackBerry Leap (Photo: TheQuint)

BlackBerry Leap’s 8 megapixel rear camera with auto-focus and LED flash, and a 2 megapixel front facing camera are just not up to the mark. The camera app lacks a lot of control for settings, that are standard on other smartphones. The images though are decent enough and acceptable.

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BlackBerry Leap (Photo: TheQuint)

This smartphone works on outdated internals, in-fact BlackBerry’s first full-touch smartphone, Z10, featured the same processor.

The Leap is powered by a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor and 2GB RAM. Yes, they have optimised the operating system for this processor to function seamlessly, but that is no reason to not put in the latest generation processor.

Why Buy It?

For Rs 21,490 the BlackBerry Leap is not a phone for college kids to flaunt.

It’s actually a good productivity smartphone for people working in the corporate sector or Startups. But it’s the same old wine in a new bottle.

But, people who have been using earlier BlackBerry 10 devices can let this one go for now.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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