If you read our article from September, titled “BlackBerry gives up on building phones,” you’re likely confused. If the company isn’t building phones anymore, how come it just launched a new Android smartphone, the DTEK60?
This is because BlackBerry, even though it heavily refocused toward software, has not entirely given up on selling phones, so a Chinese company called TCL is building BlackBerry-branded models.
The problem with these devices is that they’re not very exciting. The 5.2-inch DTEK50, which launched in July, was pretty much the same phone as the Alcatel Idol 4 (which is also built by TCL).
And sure enough, BlackBerry’s new 5.5-inch DTEK60 is very similar to the Alcatel Idol 4S.
This is not necessarily a bad thing, as Alcatel sells solid phones on the cheap, and the DTEK60 has some improvements in terms of specs. Besides the 5.5-inch QHD display, the highlights are the fingerprint scanner on the back, the 3,000mAh battery and a microSD slot (BlackBerry doesn’t say how much storage memory the phone has). The 21-megapixel rear camera on the DTEK60, however, is more powerful than Alcatel’s 16-megapixel one.
Of course, the DTEK60 also has the distinction of coming with BlackBerry’s security-oriented software, including secure booting, disk encryption, privacy monitoring and the promise of rapid security patches. In fact, if you visit BlackBerry’s website, you’ll see that software is at the forefront, not the phone itself.
It’s too early to give any sort of verdict on the DTEK60, but it would be unfair to compare it to the top flagships of today. It’s a phone with solid specs and some robust security software (and, finally, a fingerprint scanner), which is what BlackBerry is aiming for, unexciting design be damned.
The BlackBerry DTEK60 is available now from BlackBerry’s website with the price tag of $499.