- Occasional delays in performance
- Sealed battery
- Tinny speakerphone
It’s no secret that BlackBerry doesn’t enjoy the success it once had. In their latest attempt to get back in the smartphone market, BlackBerry handed off device design to another company to freshen up their line-up. Touting the world’s most secure smartphone is quite a claim, but with security concerns out of the way, is the handset worth owning?
The reviews are rolling in and we’ve dug through them all to bring you this summary!
Reviews on the phone’s aluminum-lined design are positive. And with good reason--the phone’s shell is essentially a modified Alcatel Idol 4. The only complaints about the device was button placement. Many reviewers found the placement of the power button awkward.
Flipping around to the front of the phone, you’re greeted to a blank glass slate. Thin bezels help the keep the phone slim and trim and front-facing stereo speakers offer a boost to the media experience. Phonescoop noted, “[Audio] quality is good enough that you can probably skip using a Bluetooth speaker in small quarters.”
The 5.2-inch 1080p IPS display also received plenty of praise. Multiple reviewers pointed out how bright the screen was the excellent visibility in bright lighting. Phonescoop said, “The LCD panel offers excellent viewing angles. Text, images, icons, and web sites are sharp and free of pixelated edges. It's a fine display.” While 1080p might not cut it for VR usage, it’s more than enough for daily tasks when paired with the smaller display.
To keep your apps and games humming along, BlackBerry went with an eight-core Snapdragon 617 with 3GB of RAM. Overall performance is solid, even with gaming. Reviews noted that apps loaded quickly and multitasking wasn’t a problem. Some reviewers noted minor stuttering at random times. Pocket Lint described the experience, saying, “Most of the time the DTEK50 runs smoothly. However, at least once or twice during a single stint of use, the phone has paused or frozen for a couple of seconds before continuing with its tasks.”
BlackBerry kept changes to the Android 6.0 software to a minimum apart from a few privacy additions. Reviewers particularly loved their approach to widgets. They also enjoyed the DTEK app for auditing security tweaking app permissions on the phone. BlackBerry claims the phone will be the most secure smartphone in the world, thanks to monthly security updates and zero day patches.
One other addition caught reviewers by surprise--the BlackBerry keyboard app. Reviewers raved about the accuracy and customization options. If you’re a frequent texter or use your phone for email and writing, the keyboard might be worth a look.
Media junkies will find plenty to love about the phone. While it only offers 16GB of internal storage, the microSD slot lets you add up to 2TB of storage space.
The phone’s 2610mAh battery is sealed, so you can’t swap it out if you’re running low. However, support for Quick Charge 2.0 offers a half charge in just 30 minutes. Unfortunately, you must spend more to take advantage of this feature as BlackBerry does not include a QC2.0 charger with the phone. Little was mentioned on battery life in reviews--though no one mentioned any problems either.
While the DTEK50 won’t replace your DSLR, reviews on the 13MP rear camera and 8MP front-facing lens are decent. The rear camera features an f/2.0 lens and two-tone flash for greater color accuracy. The front-facing lens includes a flash for making the most of your selfies or late night Skype sessions. Phonescoop took the camera out in the city and said, “I'd say most people will be happy to use the DTEK50 for everyday photo and video needs. It can handle most ordinary shooting environments.”
Reviews on BlackBerry’s latest phone are good if not leaning toward blandly average. The only questionable issue is the price. Pocket Lint summed up opinions well, saying, “The only thing the BlackBerry DTEK50 really has going for it is the added security. And if protecting your information and keeping an eye on your phone's vulnerabilities is invaluable to you, then the less-than-perfect hardware is definitely a cross worth bearing.”