BlackBerry Leap unboxing and first impressions

BlackBerry and T-Mobile’s relationship might be temporarily on hold, but that doesn’t mean you can’t grab one of the company’s devices to use on your favorite carrier’s network. The most recent of those is the all-touch BlackBerry Leap; the company’s latest attempt at cracking the budget end of the market. It’s an interesting concept and is – sort of – the latest descendent of the BlackBerry Z10 which didn’t do so well a couple of years ago.

This latest smartphone by the Canadian tech firm features a 5-inch, 720×1920 LCD display. It may seem a little underwhelming on paper but at 294 pixels-per-inch its not far from that “magical” 300ppi number. On first impressions it seems sharp, color accuracy is good and viewing angles are decent. It’s powered by a dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor and has 2GB RAM along with 16GB internal storage (expandable further to 128GB via Micro SD). Camera specs aren’t enthralling. But given BlackBerry’s history with cameras, it’s hardly surprising that early shots with the 8MP rear camera and 2MP front camera are disappointing. I’ll share some of those images with you with my review later this month. If that doesn’t whet your appetite, maybe the promise that the 2,800mAh battery will get you through “25 hours heavy use” will.

Most important – of course – for T-Mobile users is the knowledge that the device sold unlocked at ShopBlackBerry.com supports both LTE bands 2 and 4 (sorry, no band 12). So you’ll be able to take advantage of both the 1900 and 1700/2100 bands as well as swapping SIMs for other carriers if you need to. It’s available to order now for $275.00.

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  • Philip

    My unlock phone also doesnt support band 12. WIll T-mobile switch off band 2 n 4?

    • Joe

      No why would they even do that?

    • Cam Bunton

      No. Band 12 is just there to add strength to the existing band 2 and 4. It’s not a replacement, it compliments them by adding better building penetration. 2 and 4 are still very much the “main” two bands.

  • AJ

    I don’t mind buying factory unlocked blackberry devices direct from Amazon or ShopBlackberry, but just waiting for the day Magenta will support wifi calling on the Blackberry Classic/Passport/Leap. Would be really handy in high rise office buildings or for free texting on gogo inflight wifi. Altogether, I like using the new BB device on Magenta

  • Zacamandapio

    The only thing holding me back on this one was the MHL, HDMI thing.
    Otherwise, nice phone.

    • eanfoso

      Get a slimport, much better by far than MHL and you don’t need anything extra.

      • Zacamandapio

        I thought it wasn’t compatible with slimport either.

        • eanfoso

          what?! who on earth told you that?! BlackBerry and slimport go hand in hand!

        • Zacamandapio

          I honestly only the Passport and Classic were compatible.

  • eanfoso

    Honestly, one would be better off with the BlackBerry z30 almost same specifications but on the cheapest side

  • Philip

    Very ugly. Might as well give it up.

    • churchofyoda

      Don’t be so hard on yourself (but you might want to put down the burger).

      • Jwest

        WITH THE ETHER

    • Nessie B

      You’re ugly!!

  • xBURK

    Looks good. Ty

  • Fadzly Salleh

    Great! Love the Leap.
    So now the Z30 is on sale for $229 (just until the 8th of May, right?)
    Sporting higher clocking frequencies on its 1.7 Ghz process and just a bit more battery capacity, but other than that, it sports the same RAM and could we say, almost the same phone?
    The design though, I’d prefer the Leap.

  • aRg

    Screen resolution is 720 x 1280 pixels not 720×1920

  • AS118

    I’m more interested in one of their keyboard phones honestly. And I wish that Blackberry would officially come back to T-mobile.

  • jbrizzy

    Blackberry. It’s time to hang it up

  • Michael Dodd

    Looks like the slider will double as an all touch device. it’ll be rad. Fragile but rad. First q10 style capacitive keyboard, great specs and huge battery also.

    Cam, couldn’t help but notice the shortcuts and speed dial option in settings. Can you please tell me if you can use the virtual keyboard to assign hot key shortcuts in the universal search? In particular, emailing, texting, instant messaging certain contacts and app launching?

  • Clifford Haight

    I am still on my Z10, still hoping that I can get a modern blackberry with wifi calling. All other major carriers sell blackberry, but don’t offer wifi calling. AT&T and Verizon claim that they will but say they really don’t need it because their coverage is good enough. In truth this is not always true plus good coverage in the US is useless outside the US. Wi-Fi calling should be a very attractive option to enterprises, but it’s implementation has been limited. The only bb10 keyboard phone with wifi calling is the q10. In real world use I found the Q10 keyboard much to cramped, especially compared to the the curve. If t-mobile carried the blackberry classic it would be a great choice of users like myself. That need to be able to work from their phone and sometimes be in another country at moments notice, while offering a secure OS and good keyboard to work productively and accurately from my mobile.

    • AJ

      Love using the BB Classic on Magenta! Simple, efficient and does what I need. There could be improvements to the OS, but haven’t for one day regretted switching from iPhone. But yes, really wishing Magenta would enable wifi calling on the new blackberrys. Emailed John Legere last night letting him know there are customers who really would want this feature brought back. Also provided the same feedback to the BB dept in TMOs CS while I was on the phone with them today.

      • jelp2

        If you haven’t already, please send an email to this address executiveresponse@t-mobile.com They will respond and via email and phone call. They said the more BB users that email, the better chances of a reunion of the 2 companies.

  • Tamara2589

    [>/#

    • nexus1981

      Yea ok so u telling me, u have a McLaren F1 but u live in a apartment… Ok I got ya an by the way u used ‘there’ wrong, its their.

  • mary5652

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