BlackBerry today debuted the DTEK60, its third Android phone, positioned to sit between the mid-ranged DTEK50 and the high-end Priv. That said, we’re still expecting at least one more Android phone from the company this year. The DTEK60 is now available at ShopBlackBerry.com, priced at $499 USD ($650 CAD, €579, and £475). It’s available in eight countries: Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, the U.K., and the U.S.
Just as the DTEK50 is a rebranded Alcatel Idol 4, the DTEK60 is based on a TCL-reference design (specifically the Idol 4s and the Idol 4 Pro). The new smartphone runs Android Marshmallow, plus BlackBerry’s additional security, privacy, and productivity tools, like the Priv.
Unfortunately, BlackBerry couldn’t get Android Nougat on the DTEK60 in time for launch and wouldn’t commit to a date for when it will. The same goes for BlackBerry’s existing Android phones — it offers no commitment as to when owners can expect the latest and greatest version.
On the hardware side, this is a 5.5-inch Quad HD (2560x1440px) touchscreen phone, no hardware keyboard included. The 165g device is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and has 4GB RAM, 32GB of storage (expandable up to 2TB via microSD), a 3000 mAh battery, a 21MP rear-facing camera, and an 8MP front-facing flash camera. And yes, there is definitely a big camera bump on this phone.
BlackBerry naturally states the DTEK60 is part of its “series of most secure Android smartphones.” The features that the company boasts for that title remain the same:
- 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 DTEK60.
- Secure Boot Process: Starting with the root of trust, each stage of DTEK60’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, improves upon Android’s native Address Space Layout Randomization and reduces the number of system applications and services running with elevated permissions. This makes it more difficult for attackers to compromise the OS.
- 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.
- 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: DTEK60 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.
In short, if you want a BlackBerry phone running Android but don’t want a hardware keyboard, this is for you. But keep in mind that you’re foregoing the latest version of Android in return for getting BlackBerry’s security software.