DTEK50
BlackBerry's First Touchscreen Android Phone, the DTEK50

BlackBerry announced its second Android smartphone DTEK50 on July 26, following the Priv which arrived at the end of 2015.  This device is a midrange, all-touchscreen smartphone, which is now available for preorder direct from BlackBerry for $299.99.

While the name may not sound interesting, the phone itself seems promising at a price point of $299; in total contrast to its predecessor, the BlackBerry Priv that originally launched at a whopping $700.

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With this phone, BlackBerry is focusing on addressing people’s concerns over personal security – by offering enhanced protection.

The ‘DTEK50’ moniker comes from the company’s DTEK security app which is pre-installed on this smartphone; just like it was on the BlackBerry Priv.  What about the number 50?  BlackBerry seems to be continuing its numbering order with QS, Q10, Z10, Z30 and now 50.

DTEK50 comes with some decent specs and a low price tag of $299, £275 (around AU$400).

BlackBerry DTEK50 Design and Display

DTEK50
DTEK50 comes with a full touch-screen keyboard

The most important design element is the removal of the iconic physical keyboard and opting for a full screen.

This is the thinnest BlackBerry phone ever with manageable dimensions of 147 x 72.5 x 7.4 and is also light at 135g. It has a metal frame and a coarse textured grippy rear, giving the phone a rugged feel.

The phone is almost like Alcatel Idol 4 and Blackberry confirmed that it used a reference device from TCL and tweaked the hardware and software to make it feel more like a BlackBerry device.

It has a 5.2” (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) scratch and smudge resistant full HD display. (Not AMOLED)

DTEK50 Specifications

A solid design and decent display aren’t all that DTEK50 has up its sleeve.

Here are the specs:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 octa-core processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 16GB of internal storage
  • MicroSD slot that supports up to 2TB, offering plenty of room for expansion. This additional space is treated as internal storage and adopted by the Android OS.
  • 13mp rear camera
  • 8mp front snapper with flash for selfies
  • 2610mAh built-in battery (no removable battery)
  • It runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow with BlackBerry’s software features, such as the Hub. (Similar to the software on the Priv)

DTEK Security

DTEK50
BlackBerry’s DTEK Security app

BlackBerry touts the DTEK50 Android smartphone as the “world’s most secure.’

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The company understands that standard specifications and a reasonable price may not be enough to ensure success of this smartphone, so it is focusing on security at various levels, from hardware to software.

According to BlackBerry, “With an NFC ‘bump’, bank info can be stolen. With malware, family pictures can be downloaded. It’s scary, but this does happen on other phones. With DTEK50, you don’t have to worry about this happening to you.” 

DTEK actually analyzes the security of your phone and lets you know how secure different aspects are. It also offers suggestions on how you can improve security.

It has data encryption by default, so everything is encrypted on the device. It tracks your apps and notifies you when someone is accessing your phone without your knowledge.

BlackBerry says that it has incorporated its own technology developed for the BB10 platform into Android, making the device more secure. The company also promises frequent updates and security patches soon after release.

BlackBerry’s Savior?

Those are interesting specs for a smartphone below $300, but only time will tell if this phone will be BlackBerry’s savior.

Blackberry lost ground to rivals in the past years and although the Priv did stir some interest upon its debut, it could not help the company make a comeback, which is attributed to the steep price.

The new BlackBerry DTEK50 may sport mid-range specs but it is priced right, making it more accessible.

As far as performance goes, reports VIA Tech Radar, who got their hands on a DTEK50, suggest an impressive performance. While they haven’t put the phone through any demanding tasks yet, they find the navigation smooth and loading quick.

Price and Availability

The device is sold unlocked and will be compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile in the US.

The company said it would also offer the DTEK50 through security resellers and other distributors, in an attempt to target more business customers.

While DTEK50 will be sold by various carriers in Canada; the device will be sold at Best Buy, Amazon and B&H in the US.

BlackBerry’s latest Android smartphone should be hitting retail and be available from August 8, 2016.

DTEK50 is currently available for Preoders from BlackBerry at $299.99.

Does DTEK50 sound like your type of smartphone? Share your thoughts on this new smartphone in the comments section.