BlackBerry is bringing more of its talents to Android. The company has announced the Dtek50, an Android smartphone that incorporates a number of BlackBerry's security features, such as encryption and a password manager. Available for $299, the DTek 50 will be sold unlocked, but available for those on AT&T and T-Mobile networks.
Similar to the BlackBerry Priv, Security features on the DTek50 will include the DTek by BlackBerry app, which monitors how your apps are using and sharing your information, and what sensors and hardware they're accessing, such as the camera and GPS. However, the DTek50 also has built-in encryption, as well as a password manager and secure boot loader. Other security features include BlackBerry Enterprise Mobility Management, allowing IT departments to deploy the phone across an organization. Curiously, though, there's no fingerprint reader on the DTek50.
The DTek50 is the first BlackBerry since the Z30 not to have a physical keyboard; however, BlackBerry's on-screen predictive text keyboard has proven highly accurate in past experiences with BlackBerry smartphones. Other BlackBerry-centric features include the Hub, a one-stop shop for messages and notifications from all your email accounts and social networks.
Physically, the DTek 50 looks very similar to the Alcatel Idol 4. BlackBerry's phone has a scratch-resistant 5.2-inch, 1080p display, measures 5.8 x 2.85 x 0.29 inches, and weighs 4.76 ounces. Like the Idol 4, the DTek50 also has a programmable circular button on the right side: Alcatel calls it the Boom key, while BlackBerry refers to it as the Convenience key. Whatever you call it, you can set it to perform almost any action you like, such as launching an app or sending an email.
The DTek50 is powered by a Snapdragon 617 Octa-core processor, 3GB of RAM, and 16GB of Flash memory, and runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Its 2610 mAh battery should provide up to 8 hours of video playback and 17 hours mixed use. The rear camera has a resolution of 13-megapixels, along with phase detection auto focus, HDR, a dual-tone LED flash and image stabilization. The front camera has an 8-MP sensor with an 84-degree field of view, which should let you cram a few more friends into your selfie. It also has a forward-facing flash.
Will the DTek50 help revive BlackBerry's flagging fortunes? Not on its own, but BlackBerry adding its own special sauce to Android phones is a step in the right direction. Stay tuned for our hands-on and full review of the BlackBerry DTek50.
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