The Blackberry DTEK50 has been officially launched. Bearing similar features with Alcatel’s Idol 4 – same reference design from Chinese manufacturer TCL, BlackBerry however, has stepped things up to give the DTEK50 some individuality. The DTEK50 is specced as an affordable performance phone, in the same vein as handsets such as the Samsung Galaxy A7. Meet the new Blackberry DTEK50 dubbed the world’s most secure android phone.
Last year, BlackBerry finally decided to join the Android train. It launched it’s first Android-powered flagship, Blackberry Priv, but the price tag was a major concern to many lovers of the BB OS. Though a supplement rather than a successor, the DTEK50 has come to bridge the gap between security and affordability.
According to Scott Wenger, BlackBerry’s Global Head of Design, “first and foremost, we are focused on meeting the needs of our users — and they want and expect the best in security, productivity, function and design. To meet this demand, we partnered with TCL to manufacture DTEK50 because we saw a great fit between our software solutions and an existing hardware platform to meet those needs.”
Many consumers switch from laptop to smartphone and forgot to take all of their security concerns with them. And given the large number of third-party apps we regularly download, we’ve opened so much of our precious information up to both malware and snooping, courtesy of a piece of hardware that essentially amounts to a collection of sensors.
DTEK was born with these concerns in mind and it’s already a populist device. This fact is reflected in the video that opened the product’s launch event, in which the company questioned people on the street about smartphone security. See video below:
A Quick Look at BlackBerry DTEK50
The DTEK50 has textured plastic back giving it a nice feel yet solid grip. It’s the thinnest BlackBerry ever, with a 7.4mm thick body featuring a finely milled and slanting aluminium frame that paired with a low weight of 135 grams. Spotting an eight-megapixel camera at the top, the device clearly points to the fact that it’s set to do more than just taking selfies.
The power key is placed in a rather contentious position – high up on the left side, which makes it a tad tricky to get at, there is also a convenience key – a programmable hardware button that you can set to perform certain actions or map to your favorite apps. At top is a headphone jack and on the bottom is the microUSB slot (no USB-C here).
Blackberry DTEK50 Android phone comes with a 5.2-inch scratch resistant display, producing pleasing overall imagery with accurate colours, good brightness and excellent clarity. To spice things up, BlackBerry has also added double-tap to wake and sleep to the phone, so you can knock on the display to activate the DTEK50 if you prefer.
Powered with Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The new BlackBerry DTEK50 phone arrives with a secure boot process and much more to ensure that it is the most secure it can be. The BlackBerry Hub is a great way to stay on top of multiple email accounts, social feeds, calls and texts, the ever-present Productivity Tab lets you quickly address upcoming calendar entries or messages, and you can swipe up on selected apps to expand their chosen widget; letting you glance at your calendar for example, without having to leave a widget permanently on show on one of your home screens or having to open the calendar app up completely.
Encryption is enabled by default at various levels throughout the phone’s hardware and software, BlackBerry’s DTEK app to serves as a form of security health check. It gives various ratings like how secure the current setup of your DTEK50 is and suggest ways in which you can improve it. This native Android security feature is placed at a more readily accessible place than the stock experience does, which we’re all for.
The internal hardware is totally different form the one found in Blackberry first Android-powered Priv even though the software experience is almost identical.
It runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor and 3GB of RAM with 16GB of internal storage, making for a fast, fluid user experience. This means, you may not encounter notable dips like warm up during extensive camera use and gaming.
DTEK50 doesn’t feature a removable back but fortunately, you can get at a microSD card slot, which supports cards up to 2TB, so no worries about the low internal space. Tow other important concerns are the fingerprint sensor which is absent and a low battery power of 2610mAh.
For a phone that puts security first, many have pondered as to why the DTEK50 forgoes a fingerprint sensor. The main reason is to make the phone affordable. It is more about convenience than outright securities anyways. Not to mention the ease at which it can be overridden.
As for the low battery power, the device is powered by Qualcomm chipset which gives fast charging capability (up to 50 per cent in 51 minutes). Also, higher battery power means higher cost. So, for many BB OS lovers who have crucified the Balckberry Priv on the alter of outrageous price tag, these are features we have to live with, at least for now.
Blackberry DTEKSO Specification and Pre-order Price
Operating System: Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Display: 5.2-inch, 1920×1080, Scratch-resistant
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 617, Quad-core 1.5GHz, Adreno 405 GPU
Expandable microSD: up to 2TB
Rear Camera: 13MP f/2.0, PDAF, dual-tone LED flash, HDR, 1080p/30 video
Front Camera: 8MP f/2.2, 1.12-micron pixels, Selfie flash, 1080p/30 video
Battery: 2610 mAh
Charging: Quick Charge 2.0
Water resistance: No
Security: DTEK security suite, FIPS 140-2 Full Disk Encryption, Android For Work, Google Play for Work
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2 LE, NFC, GPS, GLONASS
Network (NA): LTE Band 1/2/3/4/5/7/12/17/20/29, HSPA 850/900/1700/1900/2100 MHz, GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
Network (ROW): FD-LTE Band 1/2/3/7/8/20/28A, TD-LTE Band 38/40/41, HSPA 850/900/1900/2100 MHz
GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
Dimensions: 147 x 72.5 x 7.4 mm
Weight: 135 grams
Pre-Order Price: $299 from shopblackberry