BlackBerry isn’t the coolest commodity in town right now; in fact it’s been quite a while since we got all giddy sharing BB pins amongst our friends after boarding the BlackBerry-hype train. However, the Canadian manufacturer is working hard to regain its cult status with a number of new releases, one of which is the BlackBerry Leap.
But is the Leap a step in the right direction from BlackBerry, or is it just another phone aiming to slow their decline? Let’s find out with our BlackBerry Leap review.
Looking berry goodWe’re giving BlackBerry full marks for the overall look we get with the BlackBerry Leap, but if we were judging on creativity it would be getting a big fat F on its school report card. This comes down to the fact that it’s almost identical to the design we were shown on the Z10 and Z30, two BlackBerry phones which we’ve had for donkeys’ years.
This doesn’t take much away from the Leap however, which looks like it could offer great performance without actually being too costly. Like the Z10 and Z30, the Leap sticks to a fairly simple touch screen build, once again leaving out the QWERTY keyboards which are synonymous with the business mantra often employed by BlackBerry.
The design is sturdy and solid as well, and even sports a curved back side for added grip, whilst the textured feel is friendly and subtle. As you’d expect, all of your charger slots and memory card ports are where you’d expect to find them, with only one flappy cap in the way (we can deal with just one).
Overall, the design is well done by BlackBerry, admittedly it’s nothing too special, but it doesn’t mess anything up and definitely looks the part – which is more than you can say about some other smartphones nowadays…
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We’re not going to kid you into thinking that the Leap is a flagship competing handset. It’s based solidly in the mid-range market and proud of it, so don’t get too excited for fancy features and the like.
A HD display is included and it’s of a half-decent size (five inches to be exact), so if you find yourself squinting at your current phone then you should see an improvement with the Leap. However behind the display there’s not a whole lot to get too excited about.
BlackBerry has crammed in the same kind of specs that were also included on some of its older phones. This doesn’t let the performance suffer, but then again it never gives the Leap anything that makes it stand out, making it consistently average throughout.
One area which we found to be a good performer was its battery, which despite being a fairly standard size actually lasts a heck of a long time in practice. We’re not entirely sure what BlackBerry has done to it, but the Leap is a real marathon handset – we even think Mo Farah would be proud.
For photo fanatics we get another standard offering, with an 8 megapixel and 2 megapixel duo offering good quality, but nothing that’ll be grabbing any major headlines anytime soon. However, from a mid-range perspective you should be more than happy with the performance of the lenses, which will do no harm to your Instagram feed.
As with all other BlackBerry phones it’s the BB OS which is coming along for the ride beneath the hood, this time in its tenth instalment.
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Unlike previous versions, we actually get a decent performance which will have you forgetting about the bug-ridden early versions of the software. However, if you’re a serial app downloader then you might be better off looking for your droids elsewhere, as the BlackBerry Store still doesn’t quite match up with the Apple or Android efforts.
It does offer plenty of business-centric qualities however, making it the perfect phone if you have productivity in mind, with BlackBerry’s business roots still holding major undertones. There is some leisure to be had on the Leap, but it’s just not quite in the quantity you’d expect from someone like Apple or Google…
Leap of faith
The BlackBerry Leap definitely isn’t a bad phone, in fact it’s quite the opposite, it just won’t be blowing your socks off with features anytime soon. It’s a great addition to a business-based pocket thanks to the operating system underneath, and it also looks classy, but it’s no flagship either.
The Specs aren’t too spectacular either, but it won’t be letting you down with its performance. Simply put, considering its affordable price tag, you won’t be denting you bank account or your ego by grabbing this smartphone, although if you’re after some extra entertainment you could definitely do better. But who said smartphones were meant to be fun anyway, right?