We have tested for you the new BlackBerry Leap which is not yet available in the UAE, as per information from the BlackBerry Store in the Dubai Mall it could arrive nevertheless within this month.
In recent months, BlackBerry has released three new smartphones. We got the current top model, the BlackBerry Passport, followed by the BlackBerry Classic and now the BlackBerry Leap. The devices each have different target groups. The BlackBerry Passport is designed to appeal to new customers offering the latest hardware and an unusual design. With the BlackBerry Classic BlackBerry wants to pick up Customers which are still using an older model to join the new BlackBerry 10 platform, while for the BlackBerry Leap thanks to its comparatively low price it should open the market for new rather price sensitive customers.
In terms of build quality and everyday usable design nothing negative could be said about the Canadian Manufacturer. It has the perfect size and is still small enough to fit in your pockets. On the Leap nothing moves, nothing squeaks. The relatively high weight (170 grams) further underlines the robustness of the phone. The dimpled pattern on the back supports the rubberized back in its slip resistance. On the right side you can find the usual three buttons for volume and voice control, left a door for SIM and microSD card. On top sits the really useless on-off switch, Useless because this function works way more convenient by swiping.
BlackBerry follows the trend and uses a 5-inch IPS display. Whether viewed from the front or side, the view remains perfectly. Despite the relatively low resolution of 1280×720 pixels the display is pretty good and does not give any reasons for complain. The the dual-core processor (Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus 1.5 GHz) on the other side would also not be able to run a higher resolution. The S4 Plus is a discontinued model and since October 2012 in the market. The launch of Apps takes a short moment but when it is running there are no further delays to notice. For those if you who do not manage with the available 16GB storage (10.3 GB available after first start) will be happy that you can extend the memory via a microSD card to a maximum of 128 GB.
With the Z30 the Canadians first showed that they can shoot as well good photos from a mobile phone. Compared to the Z3 the Camera on the Leap is much better, but surely not perfect. Sometimes the camera focuses too slowly and shoots at the end visibly blurry pictures. The software suggests a particular screen modes while focusing, for example HDR. To activate you only need to tip on it. That is quite helpful. Once you get along with it, the results are quite impressive. The colors do show largely correct but are somewhat exaggerated colorful. Shot pictures are slightly lacking of detail, but on the other side almost no noise is visible. Overall, you get pretty good pictures if the lightning conditions are good. We should not forget in which price segment we are with the Leap, and for that the camera does deliver good, solid results.
Touching the Leap is a pleasure. The rounded rear has good grip and fits comfortably in your hand. BlackBerry OS 10 is pure fun when operating. It is easy to control the menus and apps with wipes and gestures which lets you use it entirely without pressing any buttons. Especially when viewing videos or playing games you do not accidentally press any button – great! What additionally works very well, is the reading mode in the browser. The reading mode prepares every website in a way that makes it easier to read and annoying advertisements or navigation menus disappear. That makes surfing twice as much fun – but the Leap unfortunately lacks a keyboard shortcut for it. Where on the Passport it is enough to press the “R” key, the Leap requires to call up the menu and then select the read mode. Nevertheless this is not a big deal. Overall the phone did a good job in my daily usage..
The exterior promises what the technology on the inside keeps: a solid performance. The Leap is not a high flyer, but met everyday tasks in a very sufficient speed. The display shines brightly, allowing even work in the bright sunshine. And whoever is looking for a durable, solid device, cannot go any wrong with the BlackBerry Leap. Looking at the build quality and the price of around 1100AED competition for the Leap is hard to find. There is no definite date for the availability here in the UAE, but I guess it won’t be long.