smartphone-365072_640After Z10’s flop a few years back, it seemed that BlackBerry disappeared off the face of the tech market. Fans were scared they were not going to hear from the super brand anytime soon.

The company admitted to a $965 million loss due to Z10’s failure to meet expectations, both in sales and specs performance. Within the first quarter upon its release, it only managed to sell 5.9 million units. On the other hand, Apple smartphones sold 9 million units within the first weekend.

With fans and vendors alike disappointed by the sales turnout, BlackBerry went under the radar –staying quiet even through the release of the iPhone 5s until the recent launch of iPhone 6 and 6+.

What people didn’t know was that it was just biding its time for the release of something bigger and better, the BlackBerry Leap. Is this the chance at redemption BlackBerry has waited for? It’s for the experts to review and for the fans to decide.

Display

The Leap has a 5-inch, 1,280 x 720 (720p) LCD display, an average size for most smartphones out today. It boasts a good quality panel, with sufficiently vibrant colors and effective white balance setting. The viewing angles are satisfactory; however the sunlight readability can certainly be improved.

Camera

Following its ancestors, the Z10 and Z30, the Leap has an 8-megapixel camera, with 2-megapixel front-facing shooter designed for selfies and video-calling. For a device meant for business applications and productivity, the back camera’s versatility would surprise the unsuspecting user.

For users who are into light stock camera interfaces, the Leap is a decent choice. From the settings menu, users can set the flash, timer and aspect ratio. Additionally, they can set HDR, choose among normal, panorama, burst-capture and time-shifting modes.

White balance settings, ISO values and exposure compensation are automatic. Like the iPhone, however, the loud shutter sound can’t be turned off.

Software

The Leap runs on BlackBerry OS 10.3.1, with a Dual-Core 1.5 GHz Krait. Except for the Amazon appstore, which startled most critics, it offers all features expected of the new BlackBerry. There isn’t much improvement from the Z series when it comes to response speed.

In fairness to the Leap, counter other critics, there’s a feeling of seamlessness in the navigations that was missing from the Z-series.

Perhaps the Leap’s most notable upgrade comes from the keyboard, which is the common problem among Android smartphones. The typing experience is fantastic, flawless even, other experts claim. Almost as smooth as – dare we say – the iPhone?

Being an Enterprise gadget with surprisingly high-performing camera features and long battery life, the Leap might just be the comeback Blackberry needs. Some critics forgive it for its shortcomings and encourage all BlackBerry fans to experience the upgrade.