BlackBerry made a bold statement today when it unveiled its second Android smartphone, the DTEK50. With today’s unveiling, BlackBerry is telling the world that it is not done with the smartphone business.
The DTEK50 shares similar hardware specifications and design with the Alcatel Idol 4, and also runs on the world’s leading mobile operating system, Android. According to BlackBerry, the DTEK50 is the “world’s most secure smartphone.” The device will be sold unlocked and is available on preorder from Tuesday for $299.99 from BlackBerry. In the US, the device will be compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile.
BlackBerry’s DTEK50 has a 5.2-inch, 1080p display, 3GB RAM, 13-megapixel camera, 2,610mAh battery and Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor. The device runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow with BlackBerry’s software features. For selfie lovers, the phone’s 8-megapixel front camera comes with a flash. The phone’s “screen is made of scratch-resistant glass and features a specialized Oleophobic coating to protect against fingerprint smudges.” The device is BlackBerry’s first touchscreen-only Android; but this is not an indication that the company is ditching future plans to include keyboards.
Perhaps, the biggest selling point of the new device is the DTEK software, which protects you from malware and other security vulnerabilities. This is a clear departure from what is often the problem with Android devices. With the DTEK, you can quickly get a summary of the smartphone’s security and initiate prompt action on any potential threat. What the Waterloo Ontario-based company has succeeded in doing with the device is, modifying the Android OS with its own technology developed originally for the BB10 platform to make it secure. BlackBerry also promised rapid updated to deliver security patches as soon as they are available.
DTEK, according to BlackBerry “will automatically monitor your OS and apps and let you know when your privacy could be at risk and how you can take action to improve it. With just a quick glimpse you can see the overall security rating for your device—excellent, fair or poor—and what you can do to improve it,” the company said on its website on Tuesday.
Access to millions of apps on Google Store
Over the years, one of the biggest limitations to BlackBerry users all over the world has been how to access tons of useful apps. Running its new device on the popular mobile Android operating system opens its users to a world of beautiful apps on the Google Play Store. Popular apps such as Instagram, Uber, Spotify, Snapchat and a host of others will now be impressive additions to BlackBerry’s equally impressive lists of apps. One to look out for is the Hub, an aggregator of unread emails, instant messages, calendar notifications, app notifications, scheduled tasks and frequent contacts.
At $299.99, the DTEK50 is probably a better fit for most users (including business users) than the Privy that came with a hefty price tag of $700. It remains to be seen how people respond to the device—but at $299.99, added to the loads of privacy and security features the DTEK50 boast of, it might yet be a success.
Video Credit: TNW
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