BlackBerry has expanded its line-up of BlackBerry 10 smartphones with a new device intended to appeal to younger users who want productivity features, a modern design and security and privacy protection.
Announced at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, the BlackBerry Leap has a 5in HD touchscreen with 4G LTE network support and the latest version of BlackBerry's operating system, and is claimed to last for more than 24 hours on a single charge.
BlackBerry styles the new handset as an affordable smartphone "built for career builders and companies who value security and privacy when pushing productivity to the next level".
In other words, the firm is trying to pitch the BlackBerry Leap at the tech-savvy youth market while still emphasising the corporate credentials of its smartphones and the BlackBerry infrastructure behind them.
Driving this home, Ron Louks, BlackBerry president for devices and emerging solutions, said that personal and corporate data are frequently under attack from hackers in today's mobile world.
"BlackBerry Leap was built specifically for mobile professionals who see their smartphone as a powerful and durable productivity tool that also safeguards sensitive communications at all times," he said.
The device weighs 170g and has a 1280x720 resolution display. It is based on a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm MSM 8960 processor with 2GB memory and 16GB of storage, expandable using a micro SD slot.
It features a 2MP front-facing camera and 8MP rear camera capable of capturing full 1080p HD video, while the non-removable 2,800mAH lithium ion battery is claimed to deliver up to 25 hours of heavy use.
The BlackBerry Leap includes 4G/LTE wireless support, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS capability.
The handset comes preloaded with the latest BlackBerry 10.3.1 operating system, offering a new look that incorporates updated icons and an instant action bar.
Support for encryption is included, plus built-in malware protection and back-up, wipe and restore capabilities, BlackBerry said.
It also comes with the BlackBerry Assistant, the firm's answer to Apple's Siri and Microsoft's Cortana, plus support for two app stores: BlackBerry World and Android apps via the Amazon Appstore.
BlackBerry has yet to disclose when the Leap will be available or what it will cost.
Open source solutions provider makes acquisition in bid to shore up cloud development tools business
Aims to "end data bottlenecks"
Looking to boost your career in IT? Here are the best-earning roles out there!
The BlackBerry KeyOne is a strange device that brings the best of BlackBerry and Android together in a Qwerty-equipped package, but it won't be for everyone