Published in Mobiles

Blackberry starts shipping phones again

by on04 March 2015

Looking before they leap

BlackBerry has announced a new mid-range handset, called Leap, and revealed an upcoming slider phone, which CEO John Chen referred to as “The Slider”. 

Leap is not your normal BlackBerry it is all-touchscreen with no physical QWERTY keyboard. In other words the sort of designs have not helped BlackBerry at all.

The Slider is more like something Blackberry might make.

BlackBerry says that it designed Leap to appeal to young professionals and companies that prioritize privacy and security, two of its core valus. The smartphone is designed to keep up with active users, being said to last 25 hours with heavy use. The price certainly reflects its mid-range ambitions, as it will cost $275 when it goes on sale in the following months. Europe will get it in April.

It will have a 5-inch display with a resolution of 720 by 1,280; 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor; 2 GB of RAM; 2,800 mAh battery; 8 MP main camera with 1080p video recording; 2 MP secondary camera; 16 GB of internal storage; microSD card slot which supports cards up to 128 GB in size; 4G LTE; Wi-Fi 802.11n; FM Radio; Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy; BlackBerry 10.3.1 OS; physical dimensions of 144 x 72.8 x 9.5 mm and weight of 170 grams.

Leap has all the typical BlackBerry 10.3.1 OS features, including the two app stores (BlackBerry’s own and Amazon’s Appstore), Blend and Link software, and much more. It remains to be seen whether its target market will be impressed by the software enough to buy it.

Details about the Slider are thin on the ground. It is codenamed Keian, after Keian Blundell, the son of a CrackBerry contributor who died and will feature a dual curve display, and is designed in collaboration with Porsche Design.

The Slider features a physical QWERTY keyboard and a pretty large touchscreen. Chen says it will ship later this year, without mentioning a specific release date.

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