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BlackBerry DTEK50 Is ‘World’s Most Secure Android Smartphone’

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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BlackBerry DTEK50 falls back on it security credentials in bid to stay relevant in competitive Android smartphone market

BlackBerry says its slimmest ever device is also the world’s most secure Android smartphone, hoping the DTEK50 can revive its fading fortunes in the market.

The handset runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow and comes equipped with hardware and software based security features aimed at both consumers and businesses, particularly as privacy concerns become increasingly important

The DTEK software automatically monitors both operating system and applications, issuing notifications if it detects anomalies. These include unauthorised SMS, location sharing, picture taking or microphone use, helping protect against a number of Android threats.

Read More: Why BlackBerry CEO John Chen doesn’t care about market share

Super secure Android

BlackBerry DTEK50 6BlackBerry has also pledged to issue Android patches as soon as Google makes the information available, bringing it in line with the Nexus range of devices.

The DTEK50 is also protected by hardware level security as soon as it boots up, full disk encryption and Android itself has been hardened with other measures such as improved random number, address space generation and certificate pinning.

“We take our customers’ privacy seriously,” said Ralph Pini, BlackBerry’s head of devices. “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.”

On the outside, the BlackBerry DTEK50 has a 5.2 inch display, ultra thin design and 8 megapixel front facing and 13 megapixel rear facing cameras. Storage can be boosted with a MicroSD card of up to 2TB and the smartphone costs £275 SIM free – cheaper than the company’s other Android handset the BlackBerry PRIV.

BlackBerry DTEK50

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BlackBerry DTEK50 2

BlackBerry security strategy

It’s clear that BlackBerry sees security as a way of securing share in the crowded Android market as Google’s mobile operating system is more susceptible to threats than iOS. Earlier this month it denied it was abandoning the device market, claiming only it could marry the usability of Android with the security of BlackBerry.

“We wanted to merge the best of BlackBerry with Android – the notion of a new merged BlackBerry platform meant we would provide the security and connectivity BlackBerry is known for, with the content available in the Android ecosystem – all in one environment,” COO Marty Beard said at the time, hinting at more devices.

“BlackBerry is the only one with this unique flavour of smartphone in the market today. PRIV was the first iteration…and soon there will be others.”

BlackBerry has not confirmed it is working on smartphones running its proprietary BlackBerry 10 OS but has pledged to support the platform and create QWERTY devices as long as its customers demand them, despite the discontinuation of the BlackBerry Classic.

However despite the fighting talk, CEO John Chen has repeatedly cast doubt on the future of its handset business and has reportedly given it until the end of the year to be profitable.

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