The DTEK60 is the latest BlackBerry-branded smartphone manufactured by partner TCL, the Chinese company behind the Alcatel handsets. The difference in hardware design is immediately obvious. Spotting a gorgeous glass back and a smooth, curvy body just 6.99mm thick, the phone (HK$4,488) is by far the most beautiful BlackBerry phone that runs on the Android system.
Like its predecessor, the DTEK50, the overall design remains minimalist, but the new release comes with a fingerprint sensor that is conveniently located at the back of the phone right below the camera lens.
Never mind about its top specs – it runs on Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 and Snapdragon 820 processor with a 21 megapixel auto-focus camera – it is the security aspect of their phones that BlackBerry would like to emphasise again and again. And it is a feature that the company believes will eventually win it a bigger share in the highly competitive mobile phone market.
Its argument for better protected smartphones is both convincing and persuasive, especially at a time when more and more users are making money transactions on their phones while smartphone security is known to be compromised or breached.
The New York Times reported this week that security contractors in the US have discovered thousands of mobile phones have “a back door that sends all your text messages to China every 72 hours”. According to the US-based security firm Kryptowire, who discovered the vulnerability, a software created by a Chinese company, Shanghai Adups Technology Company, would transmit “the full contents of text messages, contact lists, call logs, location information and other data to a Chinese server”, says the report.
BlackBerry also cited data from Check Point Software Technologies that an unknown item of malware is downloaded every four seconds, a high-risk application is used every four minutes and a host accesses a malicious website every five seconds.
With its monthly security update patches, BlackBerry is saying their Android phones are more secure than any other Android phones on the market.
Whether that feature alone will turn the fortune of the Canadian company is yet to be seen but if the DTEK60 is anything to go by – a solid phone with full Android capabilities and top security features – the brand is not going to disappear from the market any time soon.