BlackBerry Leap review: Bouncing up and down

Bouncing up and down

GSMArena team, 21 July 2015.

Image gallery

The image gallery, dubbed Pictures, has a simple interface. You can sort by date or albums, and images will appear in a non-zoomable thumbnail interface. Using the slider on the right will pop up a small image preview in the center.

Multiple images can be selected for deleting and sharing. There are also options to edit the image, start a slideshow or use DLNA to push images to a compatible TV.

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The image gallery

Viewing individual images gives you the same options. The Edit option in the gallery app is pretty powerful. The Transform tab in the editor can rotate and flip the image and there's a free transform tool as well if you want to crop out a specific part of the image. Then there's Enhance with the standard image tweaking options available (brightness, contrast, sharpness, noise reduction) as well as a selection of filters.

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Viewing and editing an image

Video player

The video player has a very similar interface to that of the image gallery. It can sort by date, library, or favorites, and can display items either as a list or in a grid. You can search for a video, mass delete videos, share them or push them through DLNA to a compatible player.

The video player handled all the popular file formats easily, with the often met exception of videos with AC3 audio. There was even support for MOV files, and subtitles.

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Watching a video

Another thing that impressed us was the Edit option - it took a 1080p video and offered to trim its start and end points, rotate and crop the video, adjust its brightness, contrast color and sound too.

There is an additional Story Maker app lets you pick multiple movies and photos and puts together a video slideshow with a soundtrack of your choice. There are several different preset styles, which add an effect over the entire video (vintage, bleach pass, etc.).

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Story maker

You can go back and add/remove items, rearrange them and put them through the image or video editor if they need to be tweaked.

By default, Story Maker saves the resulting videos in 720p resolution. You can switch to 1080p if you like.

The Music player has the FM radio

The music player's UI is pretty similar to the image gallery and video player in how it handles files. The music library can sorted by Artist, Album or Genre and a dedicated tab displays all the playlists.

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Going through the music collection

The Now playing interface is pretty simple with prominent album art in the middle, surrounded by playback controls (including shuffle and repeat buttons). If you tap on the album art (or drag it down) you get the current playlist so you can easily jump between songs (swiping left and right to skip tracks doesn't work).

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The now playing UI • Equalizers

There are no playback controls on the lockscreen or the shade on top of the screen, so you'll have to use the volume keys instead. The volume up and down buttons change the volume for short presses or act as skip buttons when long-pressed. The middle button is play/pause.

The music player is DLNA-enabled, just like the gallery and video players. There is also equalizer support. But you'll have to use one of the available presets as there's no custom equalizer option available.

Finally, you can access the FM radio through the side menu of the Music player. It's pretty much standard affair - you can favorite stations, play through the loudspeaker and supports RDS.

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FM radio

Excellent audio quality

The BlackBerry Leap delivers in the audio quality department. It’s not the loudest smartphone around, but the clarity of its output is near perfect.

When hooked to an active external amplifier the Leap showed flawlessly clean output, posting great scores top to bottom. Volume levels were below average.

Plug in a pair of headphones and you get a very small amount of extra stereo crosstalk, with the other readings remain just as good. Volume levels are still somewhat disappointing, but if you don't have very high-resistance headphones, you'll be perfectly pleased with this one.

And here go the results so you can see for yourselves.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
BlackBerry Leap+0.16, -0.23- 0.014-90.3
BlackBerry Leap (headphones attached)+0.36, -0.04-90.790.90.020 0.034-74.8
BlackBerry Classic+0.16, -0.26-91.491.40.0081 0.013-90.8
BlackBerry Classic (headphones attached)+0.16, -0.25- 0.032-60.7
BlackBerry Passport+0.02, -0.08-91.591.00.0056 0.012-92.5
BlackBerry Passport (headphones attached)+0.06, -0.03- 0.043-70.0
Apple iPhone 6+0.06, -0.02-
Apple iPhone 6 (headphones attached)+0.11, -0.06-93.893.80.00220.099-65.1
Samsung Galaxy Alpha+0.01, -0.04-96.692.80.0058 0.0091-97.1
Samsung Galaxy Alpha (headphones attached)+0.04, -0.01-95.792.70.013 0.033-65.6
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact+0.02, -0.08-
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact (headphones attached)+0.10, -0.01-85.485.40.0200.045-45.1

BlackBerry Leap frequency response
BlackBerry Leapfrequency response

You can learn more about the tested parameters and the whole testing process here.

Reader comments

  • Lalit

I love blackberry leap bit does it support WhatsApp

  • Trev

I want to sell BlackBerry Leap but don't remember that ID . They ought to withdraw this phone from Amazon eBay etc. There is no help from Blackberry at all

  • Ashlyn

How do I download snapchat and instagram on this device it don't allow me to log in snap chat I says "Google services cant support Device" can someone help me?