For a long time since Android started to mature as an Operating System, Blackberry was thought of as a lost cause as the firm continued to plod along with their own operating system, which clearly wasn’t gaining traction with consumers and the industry alike.
But last year, with the arrival of Blackberry PRIV, fans and industry watchers saw a little hope for Blackberry. The PRIV ran on android, and shipped with the software Blackberry fans loved. Blackberry as a company has changed since then, with the PRIV being the last true Blackberry phone as the company then closed down on their hardware division.
The Blackberry PRIV was a great overall device with certain surprisingly missing features, such as a fingerprint scanner, and a hefty price tag which didn’t work in its favour. Blackberry then introduced the DTEK50, a phone it touted as the most secure, with a mid-range pricing, but also with mid-range hardware, no fingerprint sensor and that didn’t turn out very well either.
Learning from past mistakes, Blackberry has today announced the DTEK60, a flagship phone with a finger print sensor and a relatively lower $499 ($650 CAD) price tag. Succeeding the DTEK50, which was announced earlier in the year, the DTEK60 is also made by Chinese manufacturer TCL and has a very similar appearance to Alcatel’s Idol 4S.
The 5.5-inch display has quad HD resolution and the metal-framed, dual-glass panel design is considerably nicer than the DTEK50’s utilitarian finish. BlackBerry has upgraded a number of other specs in the phone compared to the Alcatel version, giving it Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 processor and a higher-resolution, 21-megapixel rear camera. A 3,000mAh battery, a USB Type C port, a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, and a customizable side button round out the DTEK60’s spec sheet.
The name of the game for BlackBerry has always been security, and according to the company, the DTEK50 is the “world’s most secure smartphone.” BlackBerry has included a new application, DTEK, that is the derivation of the devices name. The DTEK app continuously and automatically “monitors your OS and apps and lets you know when your privacy could be at risk.”
The DTEK60 features of course the whole suite of BlackBerry productivity apps. While the device will launch with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, the Canadian firm say they are hard at work with Google to bring Android 7.0 Nougat to the device shortly. Other niceties here include the customizable hardware button on the right-hand side of the device, as well as all kinds of secure features like BlackBerry’s Hardware Root of Trust and improvements to Android under-the-hood.
The DTEK60 features 4GB of RAM and 16GB of expandable storage. While Quick Charge 3.0 – via the USB Type-C port – is supported here, a Rapid Charger isn’t included in the box. Instead, customers who order DTEK60 fromwill receive a complimentary accessory bundle. US and Canada customers will receive a DTEK60 Soft Shell and Rapid Charger for free and customers in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands will receive a DTEK60 Pocket Case and Rapid Charger for free.
The phone itself, as powerful as it is, was unveiled with little fanfare and no carrier support in the U.S. or Canada. While it does have some features that the DTEK50 lacked — a fingerprint sensor, a high-resolution camera with 4K capture support, and a high-density display — BlackBerry is not emphasizing the hardware, but the software. This mixed message is something that BlackBerry does very well, and is best seen in the introductory paragraph of the DTEK60’s press release:
BlackBerry Limited, a global software leader in securing, connecting and mobilizing enterprises, today announced the latest in its series of most secure Android smartphones, DTEK60.
It’s the software that the company wants people to care about, and rightfully so: it had almost no influence over the DTEK60’s hardware, but has built its version of Android into a powerful, attractive and, most importantly, secure conduit for its enterprise-first philosophy. Consumers can buy it if they really want to, but it’s primarily going to be sold to businesses and governments that will deploy it to their employees.
Anyways, the DTEK60 seems like a BlackBerry you might actually want to carry unlike the DTEK50.
Full Specs :
|Operating System||Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
Adreno 530 GPU
|Expandable||microSD up to 2TB|
|Rear Camera||21MP f/2.0, PDAF
dual-tone LED flash
HDR, 4K, 30fps
|Front Camera||8MP f/2.2
|Charging||Quick Charge 3.0
|Security||DTEK security suite
FIPS 140-2 Full Disk Encryption
Android For Work, Google Play for Work
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11ac, 5GHz, Bluetooth 4.2 LE, NFC
|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||153.9 mm x 75.4 mm x 6.99 mm|
So does this impressive specsheet, the addition of the fingerprint scanner, and the added security make you want the DTEK60? I’d rather have had all this on the PRIV because that hardware keyboard really made it stand out and it had some inventive features as well. Would you like to see Blackberry continue experimenting with hardware keyboards?