The BlackBerry Leap, first announced at the MWC in March and launched in the country just last month, is a five-inch HD device that sports a Snapdragon chip, an eight-megapixel rear camera, and what is said to be unmatched security offered by the company’s own BlackBerry 10 OS. The folks from BlackBerry PH were able to lend us a unit for review, and here are our first impressions upon our unboxing.
Opening its rather thick box gives us the standards — lots of user manuals and other papers in multiple languages, a USB to microUSB 2.0 cable, a wall charger adapter which uniquely puts its USB slot at the side, and the phone itself as the star of the show.
To give you an idea of ports and slots, the power/lock button and the 3.5mm audio port sits atop of the device, and a removable cover flap hides the SIM and microSD card slots at the left side. Both slots use a push-push mechanism to keep them in place.
At the right side of the Leap are three keys — the two long ones on top and bottom are used for controlling media volume, while the short one in the middle is a direct key to the BlackBerry Assistant which can be accessed with a long press. The microUSB port remains uncovered at the bottom and is positioned to be symmetrical with the power button at the top.
At the back lays the glossy part where the eight-megapixel camera and LED flash standing out against the textured polycarbonate casing. The BlackBerry logo is also emphasized as it is adorned in a metallic silver finish, and the speaker can be seen at the lower-left side.
Weighing in at 170 grams, users who hold the device for the first time may feel a bit of heft for some due to its rather huge 2800mAh battery capacity, which is non-removable by the way. Nonetheless, the build quality looks well-designed and feels solid.The textured back helps in handling the phone, giving the device more precise grip and control. Sadly, the unit we got was out of power so we couldn’t test any of its software on the first run and have to recharge first.
BlackBerry Leap specs
- 5-inch HD display, 1280 x 720, 294ppi, 65.7% screen-to-body ratio
- 1.5GHz Dual-Core Qualcomm MSM8960 Snapdragon S4 Plus
- Adreno 305 GPU
- 2GB RAM
- 16GB internal storage
- expandable via microSD card up to 128GB
- 8MP rear AF camera with LED Flash
- 2MP front camera
- Single SIM
- 4G LTE, 3G HSPA+
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 LE with A2DP, GPS with A-GPS, FM Radio
- BlackBerry OS 10.3.1
- 2800mAh battery (non-removable)
- 144 x 72.8 x 9.5 mm, 170 g
The BlackBerry Leap is currently priced at Php 13,490. Does the Canadian company still have what it takes to produce a smartphone worthy of standing out against the competition? Stay tuned for our review this week.