You could be forgiven for thinking that BlackBerry had all but shuffled off this mortal coil, but the company isn’t dead yet, in fact, it’s got a brand spanking new smartphone lined-up which could be just what it needs to get back on track.
The device is called the BlackBerry Leap, an LTE-enabled touchscreen smartphone, and the company claims it’s aimed at the “young career builder” which, judging by the promo, seems to be a euphemism for a cliché-ridden man-child who thinks a Nerf gun battle in the office can be used in lieu of a personality.
The Leap is a staunchly built touchscreen-only affair which is faced by a 5-inch HD display and powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus chip, clocked to 1.5GHz, and 2GB RAM.
It will sport 16GB of internal storage space and a microSD card slot will allow users to expand that with cards up to 128GB in capacity, which should be plenty for all your apps, games and snapshots, courtesy of the device’s 8-megapixel primary shooter and 2-megapixel secondary.
One area in which BlackBerry claims the device will shine is battery life. The company states that the Leap’s 2,800mAh cell will provide 25 hours of “heavy use”, which would be a real selling point should real-world tests corroborate the sales spiel.
The device’s lower-powered processor and modest camera aren’t likely to hold out against the raft of Snapdragon 810-toting opposition on the market, but one area in which BlackBerry usually excels is security – and the Leap appears to be well catered for in that department. It will offer users out-of-the-box encryption and malware protection, and ‘Berry’s messaging services are still some of the most secure around.
The Leap will run BlackBerry OS 10.3.1 and will offer access to both the BlackBerry World store and Amazon’s AppStore, for Android apps, giving users the best of both worlds.
The device will launch in April and is expected to cost around $275 (£180) SIM-free, which could be the biggest selling point of all.
We’ll bring you more on the BlackBerry Leap once we’ve had a chance to put it through its paces.