Most Android phones claim to be good at keeping your private stuff private. But the Google Pixel is the most secure Android phone you can buy, thanks to the latest Android software, and the fastest updates.

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Google Pixel

Google Pixel

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The Google Pixel is the most secure Android phone you can buy, and one of the most secure phones of any available today.

Without disabling any security protections, the Pixel and Pixel XL are protected against known public security exploits and remote installations are monitored by Google's scanning software which blocks potential malicious content. While security and privacy are two very different things, when you decide you want private things to stay private you need to make sure your phone is secure to keep them that way.

One of the things that make the Pixel and Pixel XL the best is that they use the latest — and most secure — version of Android. It's also updated monthly with fixes for security exploits (both known and unknown) directly from Google. For those who can't wait for the update to reach them, the update files are hosted by Google for download and installation. More importantly, the changes and code behind these fixes are available for peer review so they can be made more robust. The people trying to break in are working hard, so the people trying to prevent it need to work harder. Google's bug bounty program and developer community combined with Android's open nature make the Pixel and Pixel XL the most secure Android phones you can buy.

Bottom line: The open-source nature of Android and the dedicated Android security team work in tandem to make the Pixel and Pixel XL the best phones when it comes to security and privacy.

One more thing: The Pixel and Pixel XL also show us that a secure phone that's great to use is a reality.

Why the Google Pixel is the best

A phone you want to use can also keep your data safe — and it comes in two sizes to fit everyone.

Every device that can connect to the internet has exploits available that break the default security configuration. If your phone isn't getting timely updates to combat them, you're simply not secure. We keep a vast amount of private — and priceless — data on our phones, and we all should care about keeping it safe from outside attacks. After you read all the agreements and decide what you're willing to give away, you should expect the remainder to stay private.

The Pixel phones are updated directly from Google with the latest version of Android. Outside of any new features that may come with, the device security model has been updated and strengthened by a dedicated team who regularly audits and enhances the code used to build Android. On top of this, Google releases updates to the security model at the beginning of every month for the people who build Android phones to apply to their software. These are important. More important than any other update. the Nexus 6P will get every one of them for its lifespan.

Equally important, but often overlooked, is transparency. You shouldn't have to trust a company when they say something is secure or updated, and the Android code for both the platform version and all updates is available for anyone to take a look at. Plenty of people do, and despite any opinions to the contrary, Android, as written, has proven to be a very secure platform. A phone like a Pixel is the embodiment of this.

Most important of all is that both Pixel phones are not only secure but are also phones that you'll want to use. No compromise is needed and the 5-inch Pixel and 5.5-inch Pixel XL both share the same fast processor and other internal components. A great — and secure — experience is available for fans of both sizes.

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BlackBerry Priv

BlackBerry Priv

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BlackBerry's Android debut brings a QWERTY sliding keyboard to a premium smartphone. And the security is nothing to sneeze at.

BlackBerry is legendary when it comes to mobile device management and security, and they follow that trend when they use Android to power their phones. In some ways, the Priv is more secure than any other Android phone — the bootloader and application manager use what BlackBerry calls a root of trust so that the phone just won't work if software is able to get through the first line of defense. We've put that to the test, and while hyperbole usually surrounds any claim coming from a company who wants your money, this one rings true.

Two things keep the Priv from being our overall best choice — Android platform updates don't come as quickly as we would like, and BlackBerry isn't very transparent when it comes to the things they do to further harden Android. Monthly updates for existing and potential security issues come the first Monday of every month, and we have no reason to doubt BlackBerry's commitment to security — we just shouldn't have to take their word. If you're looking for a secure Android phone that's great to use and has a legendary BlackBerry keyboard, the Priv is right for you.

Bottom line: BlackBerry is a company with a reputation on the line when it comes to mobile security. they live up to expectations with the Priv.

One more thing: The BlackBerry is usually the first phone to get the monthly Android Security Bulletin update — hours before google releases the bulletin itself!

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BlackBerry DTEK50

BlackBerry DTEK50

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BlackBerry says the DTEK50 is the world's most secure Android phone.

Using the same methods as the more expensive Priv to keep Android up to date and hardened to BlackBerry's specifications, the DTEK50 adds an enhanced version of their DTEK software tool to monitor application and system use to warn you when something isn't playing nicely. While this software is available as an update for the Priv, the out-of-the-box experience on the DTEK50 lets BlackBerry claim the most secure title.

In addition to the things that keep the Priv from being our pick, the experience of using the DTEK50 isn't as pleasant as the other phones on our list. Clearly designed as an entry-level phone for people who need connectivity and security, the phone is well worth the asking price. But it's just not a smooth as any of the other phones here.

That shouldn't tarnish the DTEK50's reputation, though. If you're looking for something safe and affordable with access to well over a million apps — and a tool to monitor them all — the DTEK50 may be just what you're looking for.

Bottom line: BlackBerry knows that security doesn't only apply to the flagship phones and the DTEK50 is a welcome addition for many users and IT managers.

One more thing: Scott Wenger, VP of design and devices for BlackBerry says DTEK stands for "Detection."

Conclusion

Media outlets like to give Android a bad reputation when it comes to security, and it's difficult to blame them. Old, outdated software from manufacturers with no real concern for your security or privacy are the norm when it comes to phones running Android. But it doesn't have to be this way.

The Google Pixel delivers a great smartphone experience that ticks all the boxes for reviewers and users alike, and with no modifications, your personal data is very safe. A team of security professionals and engineers are dedicated to keeping it that way. Any of the phones on our list will do a great job when it comes to security, but the overall experience makes the Google Pixel the best.

Best overall

Google Pixel

Google Pixel

See at Google See at Verizon

The Google Pixel is the most secure Android phone you can buy, and one of the most secure phones of any available today.

Without disabling any security protections, the Pixel and Pixel XL are protected against known public security exploits and remote installations are monitored by Google's scanning software which blocks potential malicious content. While security and privacy are two very different things, when you decide you want private things to stay private you need to make sure your phone is secure to keep them that way.

One of the things that make the Pixel and Pixel XL the best is that they use the latest — and most secure — version of Android. It's also updated monthly with fixes for security exploits (both known and unknown) directly from Google. For those who can't wait for the update to reach them, the update files are hosted by Google for download and installation. More importantly, the changes and code behind these fixes are available for peer review so they can be made more robust. The people trying to break in are working hard, so the people trying to prevent it need to work harder. Google's bug bounty program and developer community combined with Android's open nature make the Pixel and Pixel XL the most secure Android phones you can buy.

Bottom line: The open-source nature of Android and the dedicated Android security team work in tandem to make the Pixel and Pixel XL the best phones when it comes to security and privacy.

One more thing: The Pixel and Pixel XL also show us that a secure phone that's great to use is a reality.

This article was originally published in October 2016. It was last updated in November 2016 with information about the Google Pixel.