The Blackberry DTEK50 mobile features a 5.2 Inch display and runs on Android v6.0 (Marshmallow) operating system. The device is powered by a Octa core (1.5 GHz, Quad core, Cortex A53 + 1.2 GHz, Quad core, Cortex A53) processor paired with 3 GB of RAM. As far as the battery is concerned it has 2610 mAh. Over that, as far as the rear camera is concerned this mobile has a 13 MP, Auto focus sensor and the front snapper is powered by a 8 MP
Only a few years ago, BlackBerry was a name synonymous with powerhouse smartphones meant for those with serious productivity needs. But the arrival of the iPhone and Android (both OS and smartphones) completely caught BlackBerry off-guard. And even though the company introduced the touch-interaction based BlackBerry 10 OS in 2013, along with some new smartphones like the Z10, it couldn’t really compete against the dominant iOS and Android.
Conceding defeat, the company went the Android way and launched its first Android smartphone – Priv, in 2015. The Priv was introduced in India this year, but couldn’t gain much traction because of its hefty price tag.
But even though it seems like it, it’s not the end of BlackBerry smartphones. The company followed up with the launches of two more Android smartphones – DTEK50 and DTEK60, earlier this year and recently, brought them to India as well. Just like the Priv, the new Blackberry DTEK50 and DTEK60 run Android, but their version of the OS is strengthened with BlackBerry’s enhanced software security features.
Now, the Canadian company has always been renowned for its powerful enterprise security features. But is security enough to turn things in favour of BlackBerry, especially given the highly competitive nature of the Indian smartphone market?
We took the more affordable of the BlackBerry’s latest smartphone duo – DTEK50, for a spin, and here’s our review.
Design and display
BlackBerry DTEK50 is quite a well-made smartphone. Although it’s based on Alcatel’s Idol 4 smartphone, BlackBerry has tweaked the design a bit to make it stand out. The smartphone is impressively lightweight and sleek. Thanks to the 5.2-inch display, it’s fairly comfortable to use with one hand as well. Surrounded by a metallic rim, it has curved edges.
In today’s world where just about every smartphone comes with a metallic unibody design, the DTEK50’s polycarbonate construction feels nostalgically good. The textured back panel enhances the smartphone’s grip quite a bit.
The front panel of the DTEK 50 has two dual-direction speakers, one each at the top and bottom. Above the display, there’s an 8MP front camera, LED indicator, proximity sensor and of course, the earpiece. As for the rear, it’s where the 13MP primary camera (with LED flash) The rear of the device houses a 13MP camera with dual-tone LED flash (in the top left corner), the other side of the aforementioned dual speakers and BlackBerry logo right in the centre.
The power button is on the left, while the volume rocker and SIM tray is on the right. The device also has a circular ‘convenience’ key positioned on the right, which can be configured to quickly launch favourite apps.
Talking about the display, the BlackBerry DTEK50 has a Full HD IPS LCD display of 1080×1920 pixel resolution, secured further with a layer of scratch-resistant glass.
During our testing, we found the screen to be pretty good. Colour reproduction is accurate and viewing angles are nice as well. The pixel density of 424ppi ensures that everything from text to graphics look great on the DTEK50’s screen. That said, sunlight legibility could’ve been a little better.
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Performance and camera
Under the hood, BlackBerry DTEK50 is powered by a 1.5GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor coupled with 3GB of RAM. There’s also 16GB of internal storage, expandable further with microSD cards of up to 256GB in size.
Over the course of our testing, the BlackBerry DTEK50 performed admirably well. Overall performance is decent and there are no lags or heating issues, even during multitasking and playing graphic intensive games.
In all, the DTEK50 is more than capable of handling the day-to-day computing tasks.
Talking about the software, the BlackBerry DTEK50 runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow with BlackBerry’s software-based security enhancements layered on top of it. The app drawer lists both apps and widgets. Users can also set up a shortcut of their choice by swiping up from the on-screen Home key. Recently used apps appear in a grid-like layout and notifications can be grouped together. The keyboard also performs quite well; you can swipe upwards for the next letter and delete unwanted words by swiping to the left.
BlackBerry has incorporated various security features that make sure user data is safe and secure. The smartphone comes pre-installed with a DTEK app. Using this app, users can do everything from configuring the device lock to getting updates on the applications that are running and accessing device resources.
Along with this, the BlackBerry Hub can be accessed by swiping to the side of the screen. You can pin as many apps as you want to the Hub for quick and easy access.
BlackBerry DTEK50 comes with a ‘password keeper’ app. As the name suggests, it lets you securely store all your important passwords in a single location. All the stored information is encrypted and is protected by a single master password. The company has also incorporated a ‘factory reset protection’ feature in the device. So even if the device gets stolen, it can’t be reset without the Google Account that’s associated with it. Gesture controls like flip to mute and double tap to wake are thrown into the mix as well.
We found both the audio and call quality on the DTEK50 to be quite good. Signal reception is decent and there are no call drops, even in areas like elevators. BlackBerry DTEK50 is backed by a 2,610mAh battery. While the battery capacity is a bit on the lower side, it easily lasted us a day with average use. There’s support for Qualcomm QuickCharge 2.0 as well, which enables faster charging.
For photography purposes, the DTEK50 has a 16MP rear camera (with dual LED flash) and an 8MP front-facing shooter for selfies. The camera app itself is quite minimal and there aren’t many features to experiment with. However, common shooting modes like Panorama and HDR are included. A manual mode is there too, something that was missing in the Priv.
As for the picture quality itself, we found it to decent. There’s quite some digital noise in the clicked pictures. Daylight shots are mostly good, but that’s not the case with low-light images. The 8MP front-facing camera too, left us disappointed. It produces selfies that are average at best.
BlackBerry DTEK50 is definitely one of the more secure Android smartphones out there. Its security enhancements ensure that your data remains safe and the design is also really good.
If you want all the features of Android with the enterprise-grade security of BlackBerry, the DTEK50 is definitely worth buying. At a price of Rs 21,999, we think that this is value-for-money smartphone. But in case you’re looking for alternatives