Last week, we brought you the news about the BlackBerry Rio Z20 becoming the new BlackBerry Leap, and even though at the time it was just a rumor, it seems we were spot on. The BlackBerry Leap was introduced to the public today at the Canadian company’s press conference, and the all-touch phone is rather impressive, although it’s not what we’re excited about. If you read our BlackBerry Leap news last week, you might remember me saying something about a hidden keyboard smartphone that I was expecting to see at the MWC 2015. Well, it seems BlackBerry agreed with me on the need for such a smartphone, and has unveiled the new BlackBerry Slider, which is exactly the phone I’ve been talking about, even though I had no idea I was right about it. Neat, huh? I’m very excited about this, how about you?
Let’s get the BlackBerry Leap out of the way first, as we were fairly sure about that phone coming to the MWC 2015. We expected a mid-range all-touch smartphone from John Chen and co, and that’s exactly what we got, maybe even a bit better. BlackBerry is targeting those who are just planning on entering the smartphone world with the Leap, and didn’t even say too much about the phone at their conference in Barcelona. Their exhibit and showed focused more on enterprise and software solutions that the company is planning to implement in the future, and with good reason. BlackBerry seems to have much more pull in the smartphone and mobile security industry than in the smartphone industry itself. Nonetheless, we’re glad to see that new non-conventional phones are on their way from the Canadian company.
BlackBerry Leap specs include a 5 inch display which has a pretty neat resolution of 1280*720, which adds up to 293 ppi pixel density. The ideal ppi pixel density for the average human eye is above 350 ppi, but the Leap actually looks rather nice, even though it’s below that threshold. The company slapped an 8 MP camera on the rear, which canr ecord 1080p video. The front camera is a standard 2 MP sensor which can also record 720p video if needed. Under the hood, the BlackBerry Leap comes with a Qualcomm Snapdraon S4 Plus processor clocked at 1.5 GHz, and honestly, it’s a rather outdated CPU to put on a current generation phone. Alas, it’s a mid-ranger targeted at young people, according to the speakers at the MWC 2015, so we’ll let that slide this time. When it comes to memory, the Leap gets 2 GB RAM to work with and 16 GB internal storage, which can be expanded to 128 GB with the aide of a microSD card.
The BlackBerry Leap benefits from a 2800 mAh battery unit, which should make for decent usage, but sadly, it’s not user replaceable. It seems new smartphones are gradually abandoning this trend, even though there are many users out there who would rather switch out their batteries whenever they are depleted. Alas, there’s nothing we can do about it, even though there’s tremendous demand. Moving on, the BlackBerry Leap runs on BlackBerry 10 OS, completely equipped with all you need, including BlackBerry Blend and BlackBerry Link. Moreover, the mid-ranger is equipped with LTE. Luckily, the company decided that it would be nice to reveal all that could be necessary about the Leap. That includes pricing. The BlackBerry Leap price is set at around $280, unlocked, which is an acceptable price for a mid-ranger. We would have advised for an even lower price-point for the Leap, because it’s definitely not that special and the mid-range smartphone market is even more competitive than the flagship market, especially when we’re talking about BlackBerry.
On to the star of the show! We have little information about the BlackBerry Slider, aside from a few demo units we’ve seen on the MWC 2015 floor. But those were enough for us to determine that the BlackBerry Slider is a behemoth of innovation, honestly. As Samsung launched the Galaxy S6 Edge, John Chen is going to counter with the Slider, which has similar dual-edge curved displays, but with the added benefit of a slide-out physical keyboard. That simply makes the BlackBerry Slider one of a kind, and one of the most practical smartphones I’ve ever laid eyes on. To be fair, I’m easily impressed with technology, but hey, who wouldn’t be?
The Slider wasn’t really up for grabs, as BlackBerry still hasn’t finished working on the device, but our insiders tell us that the company will be ready to launch the BlackBerry Slider by the end of April. Take that with a grain of salt, though, because we don’t have confirmation from the company on that. It’s a truly remarkable device and I honestly BlackBerry pairs it with neat, sleek software that will take advantage of both the curved edge displays and the sliding keyboard. As I wasn’t impressed by the HTC One M9, Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 Edge, I didn’t expect to feel awed by what BlackBerry unveiled today. This might just be my next phone. I hope it will be priced decently, below $800 unlocked, at least. I would definitely prefer a price as close to $500 as possible, but come on, the BlackBerry Slider price should reflect the innovation and the premium design, not to mention the many uses we might have for this tech. That being said, I’m saving up, that’s for sure. BlackBerry, here I come!