BlackBerry has announced its latest smartphone today, the oft-leaked DTEK60. Succeeding the DTEK50, which was announced earlier in the year, the DTEK60 is also made by Chinese manufacturer TCL, but steps up the specs, and the price, significantly, for people looking to interact with BlackBerry's heralded Android software suite.
With a 5.5-inch QHD display, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a 3,000mAh battery, and 21 megapixel rear camera, the BlackBerry DTEK60 is considerably more powerful than its predecessor, but at $499 USD ($650 CAD), it is not in the same price range, either.
According to BlackBerry, the phone "provides enterprises and organizations with full access to the Android ecosystem and higher-end specs to help power productivity. It comes equipped with all the security features that BlackBerry's Android OS devices have, including best-in-class security patching and the DTEK by BlackBerry app that allows users to monitor and control their privacy on their phone."
The phone itself, as powerful as it is, was unveiled with little fanfare and no carrier support in the U.S. or Canada. While it does have some features that the DTEK50 lacked — a fingerprint sensor, a high-resolution camera with 4K capture support, and a high-density display — BlackBerry is not emphasizing the hardware, but the software. This mixed message is something that BlackBerry does very well, and is best seen in the introductory paragraph of the DTEK60's press release:
BlackBerry Limited, a global software leader in securing, connecting and mobilizing enterprises, today announced the latest in its series of most secure Android smartphones, DTEK60.
It's the software that the company wants people to care about, and rightfully so: it had almost no influence over the DTEK60's hardware, but has built its version of Android into a powerful, attractive and, most importantly, secure conduit for its enterprise-first philosophy.
To that end, the DTEK60 has the same security features as its Android predecessors: DTEK, the app; Hardware Root of Trust; FIPS 140-2 encryption; Secure Boot; and Android for Work support, in partnership with Google. Because of that extra security, it launches with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, with no immediate plans to update to Nougat.
According to BlackBerry, "customers who order DTEK60 from ShopBlackBerry.com will receive a complimentary accessory bundle. US and Canada customers will receive a DTEK60 Soft Shell and Rapid Charger for free and customers in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands will receive a DTEK60 Pocket Case and Rapid Charger for free. This offer expires on November 8th at 11:59 pm PST." Go get it!