BlackBerry DTEK50 Android phone launches as ‘most secure’

blackberry_dtek50_front_angle

When BlackBerry was flying high in its heyday, one of the benefits of the devices was how well they played with corporate IT environments, especially the heightened security requirements. Since then the company has tumbled, but recently has been trying to make a comeback on the back of Android powered devices. Today BlackBerry officially announced the launch of the new BlackBerry DTEK50, which the company describes as “the world’s most secure Android smartphone.”

BlackBerry indicates that in a world full of cybercrime and attempts to access sensitive data, whether it is personal or corporate in nature, it is increasingly important for users to have access to devices that can help protect their security and privacy. BlackBerry brings this to the market with the DTEK50, and to an extent with last year’s PRIV, through a combination of hardware and software security measures. The DTEK50 comes with encryption of all user information on the device, malware protection, additional controls over what device features apps are able to access, and “same day” delivery of Android security patches once released by Google. A host of other software features meant to harden the phone against attacks will come onboard as well.

As an Android smartphone, the DTEK50 is the company’s thinnest device yet and comes with a 5.2-inch full HD screen, a Snapdragon 617 processor, 3GB of RAM, 16GB of internal memory, a 13MP rear-facing camera equipped with Phase Detection Auto Focus, an 8MP front-facing camera, and support for up to 2TB of additional microSD storage. BlackBerry also equipped the DTEK50 with a “Convenience Key” which is a physical button on the side of the device that can be customized by the user to perform a chosen action. The DTEK50 also benefits from Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0 technology for fast charging of the device.

Although it sits below flagship grade smartphones, the DTEK50 should be a decent performer. With a price point set at only $299, the device should provide some good bang for the buck. BlackBerry is currently accepting pre-orders for the device, which includes a BlackBerry Mobile Power Pack for portable charging valued at $59.99. Units are expected to start shipping on August 8th. One potential downside is that the BlackBerry DTEK50 will only be compatible with T-Mobile and AT&T networks in the U.S.

BLACKBERRY ANNOUNCES THE WORLD’S MOST SECURE ANDROID SMARTPHONE– DTEK50

DTEK50 delivers BlackBerry’s unmatched security, privacy and productivity to price-conscious consumers and businesses

Waterloo, ON – July 26, 2016 – BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ: BBRY; TSX: BB), a global leader in mobile communications, announced today that DTEK50TM, the world’s most secure Android smartphone, is now available for pre-orders at ShopBlackBerry.com. DTEK50 is BlackBerry’s second smartphone powered by Android, following the PRIV. Fully equipped with Android Marshmallow 6.0, DTEK50 combines BlackBerry’s unique security, privacy and productivity with the full Android experience in an all-touch design, at a price point that’s accessible for consumers and ideal for enterprise fleet deployment.

“We take our customers’ privacy seriously. That’s why we’re proud to have all the security and privacy functionality that’s built in our newest Android smartphone. DTEK50 merges the unique security and connectivity features BlackBerry is known for with the rich Android ecosystem,” said Ralph Pini, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager, Devices, BlackBerry. “DTEK50 adds to BlackBerry’s lineup of secure smartphones, providing choices to our customers with different price points on both BlackBerry 10 and Android platforms.”

Android Security at the Forefront

In a recent survey1 of Android smartphone users, BlackBerry found that 50 percent believe their smartphone is only somewhat secure, and what’s more, despite data security fears, one in six Android users don’t know about Android security patches.

“With an increase in cybercrime on smartphones, people need to recognize that the private details of their lives – where they live, their bank info, pictures of their kids – are at risk on their personal device. You wouldn’t leave the doors of your house unlocked at night. Having a smartphone that doesn’t take your privacy seriously is the equivalent,” said David Kleidermacher, Chief Security Officer, BlackBerry. “It’s equally important for businesses to protect their sensitive data from cyberattacks at all points of their mobile environment – from the device to the network and servers.”

DTEK50 was designed to address the security and privacy needs of today’s uncompromising Android users. Smartphones are increasingly being targeted for cyberattacks through tactics like malicious apps, scareware notifications and insecure Wi-Fi connections. BlackBerry’s Android smartphones, including DTEK50 and PRIV, have unique built-in hardware security.

DTEK50 encrypts all users’ information, including business critical data and personal data such as pictures, videos and contacts. Malware protection is also built-in along with back-up, wipe and restore capabilities. Additional software provides users with visibility and control over which apps get access to personal info or device features such as the microphone or camera. BlackBerry also delivers security patches on the same day that Google publicly releases information about them, while many popular Android smartphones put the users’ private information at risk of being hacked due to slow security updates.

Features that make DTEK50 the most secure Android smartphone, include:

  • Rapid Security Patching: BlackBerry has a record of being the quickest to deliver security patches, setting the bar in incident response and patch management to protect your device from malicious threats.
  • DTEK™ by BlackBerry App: Enables users to automatically monitor their OS and apps to know when their privacy could be at risk and to take action to improve it. The DTEK app also tracks applications and notifies you when someone is: taking pictures or videos without your knowledge, turning your microphone on, sending a text message, or accessing your contacts or location.
  • Hardware Root of Trust: BlackBerry’s manufacturing process uses a proprietary technique that adds security from the start, allowing for the tracking, verification and provisioning of DTEK50.
  • Secure Boot Process: Starting with the root of trust, each stage of DTEK50’s secure boot chain must first verify that the next component is fully intact before proceeding, ensuring your device has not been tampered with since the last restart.
  • Android OS hardening: BlackBerry provides additional security patches, improved random number, address space generation and certificate pinning to make it more difficult for attackers to target a device by scrambling application/system memory.
  • FIPS 140-2 Compliant Full Disk Encryption: Protects your private information, like pictures or bank information, from being stolen if you were to lose your phone.

Ready to Work

DTEK50 combines the world’s most secure smartphone with BlackBerry’s enterprise management solutions to produce a powerful device capable of powering any work day. Key features include:

  • Android™ for Work and Google Play™ for Work: Allows for fast, simple and secure integration with an enterprise environment as well as easy access to numerous rich business and IT-managed apps.
  • Full Enterprise Mobility Management Support: DTEK50 supports BlackBerry’s powerful suite of EMM applications and secure productivity solutions, including: WatchDox by BlackBerry for secure file-sharing, Good Work for business-class email and collaboration tools, Strong Authentication by BlackBerry as a VPN solution, SecuSUITE for Enterprise for secure voice and instant messaging communication, BBM Protected for encrypted messaging and – BES12 for secure cross-platform management.

Design Meets Function

DTEK50, BlackBerry’s thinnest device ever, represents the best of BlackBerry with Android to make users more productive and responsive, pairing security with intelligent design. Key features include:

  • BlackBerry Intelligent Keyboard: DTEK50 has a smart keyboard designed to learn from users and increase typing accuracy and speed. It provides word suggestions as you type and includes up to three languages, letting you flick them into place for faster conversations.
  • BlackBerry Hub: This unified inbox is an irreplaceable tool for consolidating all of your messages in one place – whether it’s email, calendar, social or phone calls.
  • Customizable BlackBerry Convenience Key: With the press of a button, the Convenience Key provides quick access to your most used applications and more.
  • Stunning Screen: DTEK50 has a 5.2″ full HD display, capable of displaying 16 million colors. The screen is made of scratch-resistant glass and features a specialized oleophobic coating to protect against smudges and fingerprints.
  • Expandable Memory: With support for micro SD cards up to two TB, DTEK50 provides the flexibility to add affordable and hot-swappable memory to download, install, capture and share as your needs evolve.
  • Dazzling Camera: DTEK50 is engineered to deliver professional-looking photos with an 8MP front facing camera and a 13MP auto-focus rear camera. Plus, features like Phase Detection Auto Focus and a dual-tone LED flash are designed to help the camera focus instantly and accurately for a blur-free, realistic looking photos, even in low light.

Availability and Pricing

Starting today, DTEK50 is available to pre-order from ShopBlackBerry.com in the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and The Netherlands for $299 USD. DTEK50 will be available in a number of channels around the world, including more than 40 partners from electronics stores, carriers, VARs and distributors. This includes Rogers, Bell, TELUS, WIND, Videotron and SaskTel among others in Canada. In the U.S., DTEK50 will initially be available in Best Buy, B&H and Amazon. Availability of DTEK50 in additional global channels and countries will be announced in the coming weeks.

For a limited time, customers who pre-order a DTEK50 on ShopBlackBerry.com only will receive a complimentary BlackBerry Mobile Power Pack, a high-capacity portable charger worth $59.99 USD ($69.99 CDN, €59.99 and £54.99) that powers all your compatible mobile devices to maximize your productivity and play time. This offer expires on August 8th at 11:59 pm PST.


About the Author: Jeff Causey

Raised in North Carolina, Jeff Causey is a licensed CPA in North Carolina. Jeff's past Android devices include an HTC EVO, a Samsung Note II, an LG G3, and a Motorola Moto X Pure Edition along with a Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1. He currently uses a Samsung Galaxy S8 and (very rarely) a Nexus 7 (2013). He is also using a Verizon-branded Motorola Moto Z Play Droid supplied by his job. Jeff used to have a pair of Google Glass and a Moto 360 Sport in his stable of gadgets. Unfortunately, his kids have all drunk the Apple Kool-Aid and have i-devices. Life at home often includes demonstrations of the superiority of his Android based devices. In his free time, Jeff is active an active runner usually training for his next marathon, owns a MINI Cooper, and plays Dungeons & Dragons. Jeff has three mostly grown kids and a golden retriever.