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BlackBerry unveils Leap smartphone, software updates

Posted: 06 Mar 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:BlackBerry  Mobile World Congress  Leap  BBM 

At the Mobile World Congress show Tuesday, BlackBerry debuted the Leap, a new smartphone slated to go on sale later this year. BlackBerry said three more handsets are on deck, as wells as a revised mobile device management software.

While BlackBerry's turnaround efforts are moving forward at full speed, it's debatable whether or not it's simply too late for the beleaguered smartphone maker to remake itself, especially with a new focus on device management software.

First up is the Leap, an all-touch smartphone that strongly resembles the 2013-era Z10.

BlackBerry at 2015 MWC

The specs define it as a mid-range smartphone. It has a 5in, 720p HD touch screen and is powered by an older 1.5GHz Qualcomm S4 processor with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. It has an 8Mpx main camera that can capture full HD video, and a 2Mpx user-facing camera for those selfies. BlackBerry claims the 2,800mAh battery delivers 25 hours of continuous use. Connectivity options run the norm. It'll support LTE in most markets and also includes Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, NFC, and Wi-Fi.

The Leap runs BlackBerry 10.3.1. It offers all the features expected of a modern BlackBerry, which means the Hub for managing communications and BBM for those business-related chats. Perhaps most importantly, the phone will include the Amazon Appstore and can run the Android apps contained therein. BlackBerry claims there are tens of thousands of Android apps that will run on its hardware.

The Leap will go on sale, initially in Europe, for about $275.

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