BlackBerry launches all-touch Leap with $275 price tag

The smartphone has a 5-inch screen and a dual-core processor

The BlackBerry Leap has a 5-inch screen, dual-core 1.5GHz processor, an 8-megapixel rear camera and 16GB of storage.

The BlackBerry Leap has a 5-inch screen, dual-core 1.5GHz processor, an 8-megapixel rear camera and 16GB of storage.

BlackBerry isn't giving up on the smartphone market, and now hopes to make a mark with the Leap, an all-touch LTE device with a keen price tag.

The company launched the new product on Tuesday at an event in Barcelona, where Mobile World Congress is now in full swing. And just like many other vendors at the event, BlackBerry isn't focusing on the high end of the market but the mid-range, with smartphones that cost about US$300 or less.

The Leap will run BlackBerry 10 OS and cost $275 unlocked when it goes on sale in April. The smartphone has a 5-inch, 720 x 1280 pixel screen and is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor from Qualcomm.

That's a less powerful chip than competing products have under the hood. For example, the similarly priced Xperia E4g from Sony and the Blade S6 from ZTE both use the eight-core Snapdragon 615.

Other features of the Leap include an 8-megapixel rear camera, a 2-megapixel front camera, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of integrated storage that can be expanded by up to 128GB using a microSD card.

The phone measures 144 x 72.8 x 9.5 millimeters and weighs 170 grams, which is quite heavy for a device with a 5-inch screen. The battery is unfortunately non-removable, and has a 2,800 mAh capacity.

That the Leap's specifications don't quite measure up to competing Android-based smartphones will make it an even harder sell than it already is. But those who still want one can pre-register on BlackBerry's website.

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Mikael Ricknäs

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