Eleven days ago, BlackBerry made the announcement of the launch of its second Android smartphone, following the PRIV. Named after the app DTEK, this latest device from BlackBerry paints the picture of detecting security risks, something that will resonate with those that are security conscience, given the many reports we have seen about Android’s security vulnerabilities. With this background, it easy to recognize the marketing message promoted by BlackBerry to showcase its latest phone as “the world’s most secure Android smartphone” but is it really?
Back in April of this year, 8,000 Android smartphone users in the US were surveyed; the responses collected revealed that half believe that their smartphone is somewhat secure while one in six doesn’t know about Android security patches.
The results as David Kleidermacher, Chief Security Officer of BlackBerry points out is by “having a smartphone that doesn’t take your privacy seriously” is like leaving “the doors of your house unlocked at night” and this is something that we won’t want to do.
With security attacks becoming more rampant through malicious apps, scareware notifications and even with cyber-attackers tapping into insecure Wi-Fi connections, we can see why BlackBerry is positioning the DTEK50 to address the security and privacy needs of Android users. And the way that BlackBerry has approached this is by placing a unique hardware in the devices to secure both the DTEK50 and the PRIV.
Some of the features to help you stay secure on Android with the DTEK50 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, zygote ASLR, and pathtrust 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.
“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,” said Ralph Pini, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager, Devices, BlackBerry.
- Weight: 135g / 4.76 oz
- Navigation: All-touch screen, with intuitive gesture based navigation
- Keyboard: On screen BlackBerry® Keyboard
- Resolution: 424 PPI, 1920 x 1080 resolution
- Screen Size: 5.2” diagonal
- Processor: Qualcomm 8952 with 64 bit Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 and Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A53
- Memory: 3 GB RAM, 16 GB Flash
- Expandable memory: Expandable memory via hot swappable microSD memory card (Up to 2TB)
- Ports: USB 2.0 fully supported with standard microUSB 2.0 cable (included in box)
- Battery: 2610 mAh 4.4V non-removable Lithium-Ion battery QC2.0 Enabled – 50% charge in 51 minutes
- Battery life: Up to 17 hours mixed battery life
- Rear Camera: 13-megapixel auto-focus camera
- Front Camera: 8MP Fixed-Focus, f2.2
- BlackBerry Applications: BlackBerry® Keyboard, BlackBerry® Hub, BlackBerry Calendar, Contacts by BlackBerry, Notes by BlackBerry, Tasks by BlackBerry, BlackBerry Camera, BBM®, DTEK™ by BlackBerry®, BlackBerry Device Search, BlackBerry Launcher, BlackBerry Services, BlackBerry Help, BlackBerry Password Keeper, Microsoft exFAT Technology for BlackBerry, BlackBerry Content Transfer, Yahoo!® Finance
- Android Applications: Gmail™, Hangouts™, Google Chrome™, Google Drive™, Google Maps™, YouTube®, Google Play™, Google Photos, Messenger (SMS), Android Device Manager
If you are interested in the DTEK50, it is currently available to pre-order as a bundle (smartphone and mobile power charger) from ShopBlackBerry.com for CAD $429.
To answer the question that we’ve started with, is the DTEK50 really the most secure Android smartphone? Well, from the features we have reviewed, it sure looks that way. But that leads to another question, would people even care?
If you are currently using an Android smartphone, would you consider switching to the DTEK50 because of the security features? We would be happy to hear your thoughts.
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