BlackBerry Leap Review: Adequate performance but not what you expect at Rs 21,490
Massive productivity in a no-nonsense package, sturdy construction, smooth and intuitive interface, Android app compatibility + Amazon app store.
Specifications: 1.5Ghz dual core Snapdragon S4 Plus processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage + micro SD (up to 128GB), 5-inch IPS LCD (1280 x 720 pixels), 8MP rear camera, 2MP front camera, 3G/4G, WiFi, Bluetooth, 2,800mAh battery, BlackBerry OS 10.3, 170 gram
Positive point: Massive productivity in a no-nonsense package, sturdy construction, smooth and intuitive interface, Android app compatibility + Amazon app store
Negative point: Dated hardware compared to others in the same price, bland design, adequate performance but not what you expect at the price
Despite what the naysayers will have you believe, BlackBerry still has some fight left in it. The company has been on a slow path to recovery after some course corrections. BB10 has been evolving and it is now in devices with different form factors: touch+QWERTY devices like the Q10 and Classic, the unique Passport and the more conventional rectangular devices like the Z10, Z30, Z3 – and now the latest Leap. While QWERTY devices still exist for the BlackBerry purists, the new all-touchscreen Leap is meant for the young go-getter who scoffs at (and has never used) physical buttons on a smartphone.
The Leap is like an update to the Z3 (and you can be forgiven for confusing the two). The Z3 was for a few emerging markets (hence the lower price tag) but the Leap is a global product. Upgrades include a better screen (720p vs 960x540), higher storage & RAM (16GB & 2GB vs 8GB & 1.5GB), better cameras (8MP & 2MP vs 5MP & 1.1MP) and a newer processor (1.5Ghz dual core vs 1.2Ghz).
The Leap is serious-looking device. The non-removable back panel has a grippy, dimpled soft touch finish. The power button and headphone jack are on top, the volume rocker is on the side and the micro USB port is on the lower edge. SIM and micro SD slots are hidden behind a sturdy hinged flap.
It’s a bit chunky but feels comfortable. Some may not like the power button placement on top since it’s hard to reach — but you can always switch it on with a swipe. Like other BB10 devices, you need to learn a few basic swiping gestures to operate the device. Once you understand these, BB10 can do a lot.
The hub is especially useful, instantly organising & collating all your incoming communication and presenting it to you in a useful, actionable format.
The 8MP camera is capable of producing some nice results — even though it tends to capture warmer colours than actual and the autofocus isn’t as fast as we’d like. Multimedia, web and calling performance is great.
The keyboard is great for feel and responsiveness – you can keep on typing with a fair amount of speed, hitting the keys at somewhat the right place, confident in the knowledge that it will correct your mistakes.
And it will. You can’t change keyboards though and that’s a price you have to pay for security.
The only real issue we faced was a general sluggishness with opening certain apps and switching between them. Our gripe was that it doesn’t perform like a Rs 20k device.
If you see the device for what it is — a competent overall package of hardware, software & services (with a healthy dose of security and enterprise manageability) — then it starts to make more sense.