Silent Circle Blackphone 2

7.2/10 AVG.
RATING
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Specs summary

Screen
5.5"

The Silent Circle Blackphone 2's screen is 5.5 inches with 1080 x 1920 pixels resolution.

Processor
1.7 GHz

There is a Qualcomm MSM8939 Snapdragon 615 Octa core 1.7 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Silent OS operating system (OS).

Camera
13+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 13+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 5+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
32 GB

Internal memory is 32 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 128 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
3060mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol), 3060 mAh battery. Silent Circle's performance ratings are 10.6 days standby time, minutes (2G), 1530 minutes (3G).



The Blackphone 2 is the most secure smartphone you can get your hands on today.

- Zack Whittaker , Cnet 

Reviews summary

7.2/10AVG.
RATING
Based on 8 reviews

What's good

  • 128-bit AES encryption
  • Spaces
  • Granular permissions controls
  • Ample storage
  • Good battery life
  • Bright, clear screen
  • Comfortable design

What's bad

  • Price
  • Mid-tier performance
  • Non-removeable battery
  • Weak camera

There’s no question that with the rise of mobile phones and the Internet, more of your personal information is out in the world than ever before. Mobile phones act as offices, address books, photo albums and journals. They’re a gold mine of private data that hackers or investigators would love to see.

Whether you’re storing personal business information on your mobile or simply want a little more peace of mind when using your phone, the Silent Circle Blackphone 2 claims to offer a level of security that you won’t find in any other Android handset. But does the specs and feature descriptions add up to a good experience and is the handset actually more secure?

We’ve scoured reviews on this secretive new handset to find out what people are saying.

The phone’s design definitely has a touch of stealth inspiration. The all-black plastic case and non-descript markings don’t scream “I’M USING A SECURE PHONE!” In fact, most reviewers didn’t mention much about design at all. ZD Net mentioned, “It's curved corners and lightly textured edges makes it easy to hold, despite being on the larger size.” Otherwise, there were a few grumblings about fingerprints--an issue to be expected in a glass backed phone.

Flipping around to the front, you’ll find a 5.5-inch 1080p IPS display. Reviews on this were notably better. Forbes stated, “The 5.5-inch full HD screen is a real beauty, bettering or equalling most others on the market.” TechRadar agreed, noting, “The display is bright and quality-wise it's on par with other efforts at the high-end of the smartphone market.” The resolution and screen size should offer crisp text and good detail in movies and games.

Keeping the phone moving along at a respectable pace, you’ll find a 1.7Ghz octa-core Snapdragon processor. While not the fastest processor available, ArsTechnica says, “Rest assured, the Blackphone 2 will handle most daily usage with little trouble.” In all, reviews on the performance of the handset were positive.

It’s not a flagship or gaming phone by any stretch, but it should provide enough power for most users. With 3GB of RAM, basic multitasking and productivity work showed no signs of delays either.

32GB of internal storage ensures you can fit all of your favorite apps and content on the phone. While there is support for microSD cards up to 128GB in capacity, keep in mind that security of external data is not provided.

Where the handset starts to differ from other high-end Android phones is the software. Silent Circle’s SilentOS is a heavily modified version of Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. While it looks like a fairly stock version of Android on the surface, it offers options you won’t find on any other phone currently available. Granular permission controls, multiple profiles known as Spaces and default 128-bit AES encryption provides the basis for improved security. There’s also the Silent Phone app which provides end-to-end encryption for communications.
The phone does allow sideloading apps and access to Google Play. So security breaches are not impossible. However, the level of control over permissions and data access are second-to-none. ZD Net tried out all the settings and declared, “By patching up the conventional ways that a hacker (or government spy) can attack, the Blackphone 2 goes far above and beyond in securing your data than any other smartphone on the market today.”

To keep your phone up and running throughout the day, Silent Circle included at 3060mAh battery. While not removable, nearly every review found they had enough juice on a single charge to last an entire day. Forbes put the QuickCharge 2.0 feature to the test and found, “Battery life was fairly typical, a full charge taking roughly three hours and lasting just over 24 hours when consistently used.”

One area where the reviews were less than stellar was the phone’s cameras. The 13+ megapixel rear camera and 5+ megapixel front-facing lens took a beating from most reviewers. You won’t find the laser focusing, wide-aperture lenses or optical stabilization in similarly priced phones. Instead, you’ll find an average camera. The Guardian took their phone around snapping shots about town and ruled, “The 13-megapixel camera is nothing to shout about. It produces average photos in good lighting, but washed out, dull images when shooting indoors under artificial light.
The five-megapixel front-facing camera is fixed focus and equally anaemic.”

Overall, reviews agree the the phone does exactly what it claims to do. However, all agreed the price might be a tough sell. You’re looking at flagship prices for the specs of last year’s flagship phones. But is the price for the added security worth it? That’s up to you.

Wired applauded the phone, saying, “This new device blows apart every preconception you might have about a ‘security phone.’ It doesn’t feel like a security phone. It feels like a regular phone. Regular apps will run on it.” ArsTechnica was impressed, noting, “So it might not have a stylus, the fastest processor, or the most powerful graphics engine, but it will serviceably perform as a smartphone while not giving you up to surveillance.”


Reviews (7.2/10 Avg. rating)


What Mobile

Supremely secure

from What Mobile

The BlackPhone 2 is an excellent secure handset but falls short as an actual smartphone, having under-powered hardware, poor battery life and a middling camera. If they had paired the fantastic software with an equally good handset, this could've been something very special indeed. As is stands,...More

The BlackPhone 2 is an excellent secure handset but falls short as an actual smartphone, having under-powered hardware, poor battery life and a middling camera. If they had paired the fantastic software with an equally good handset, this could've been something very special indeed. As is stands, this would make an excellent work device but not necessarily a daily driver. A corporate tour de force that needs better hardware in order to appeal to consumers.

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The Guardian

Privacy doesn't have to come at the cost of usability

from The Guardian

The Blackphone 2 promises to be the most secure Android smartphone available. It’s not the most advanced, its cameras are weak and its design is rather plain, but it is surprising just how useable its software and services are. The Blackphone 2 keeps the bests bits of Android and doesn&rsqu...More

The Blackphone 2 promises to be the most secure Android smartphone available. It’s not the most advanced, its cameras are weak and its design is rather plain, but it is surprising just how useable its software and services are. The Blackphone 2 keeps the bests bits of Android and doesn’t get in your way like a lot of privacy-orientated services do.

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Tom's Guide

Security, for a price

from Tom's Guide

Trustworthy and tight-lipped, the Blackphone 2 is like your most reliable confidante. Your sensitive information is safe, and you can tell it exactly what you want it to hear. But just like any friend, the Blackphone 2 has its flaws. It's slower than the average smartphone and doesn't last very l...More

Trustworthy and tight-lipped, the Blackphone 2 is like your most reliable confidante. Your sensitive information is safe, and you can tell it exactly what you want it to hear. But just like any friend, the Blackphone 2 has its flaws. It's slower than the average smartphone and doesn't last very long on a charge. Plus, its camera doesn't work very well in low light.

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Mashable

Solid specs, tons of security features

from Mashable

Blackphone 2 is a pretty unique Android smartphone. It's expensive for its mid-to-high-range specs, but those looking for a secure, private device should definitely give it a look.

Read full review

Blackphone 2 is a pretty unique Android smartphone. It's expensive for its mid-to-high-range specs, but those looking for a secure, private device should definitely give it a look.

Read full review

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Forbes

A slick but very expensive prophylactic for your Android security woes

from Forbes

The Blackphone is a fine device. It’s attractive, it’s fast. There’s a wonderful array of easy-to-use security settings, surpassing anything on the market, whilst much of the good work is done by the Silent Circle crew patching vulnerabilities and issuing updates. For dilettante...More

The Blackphone is a fine device. It’s attractive, it’s fast. There’s a wonderful array of easy-to-use security settings, surpassing anything on the market, whilst much of the good work is done by the Silent Circle crew patching vulnerabilities and issuing updates. For dilettantes of the privacy and security spheres, or anyone who wants good protection from digital threats with little fuss, the Blackphone 2 is an ideal choice.

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ZDNet

A secure Android phone with a privacy punch

from ZDNet

The Blackphone 2 is an elegant handset that packs a privacy punch and a whole lot of potential.

Read full review

The Blackphone 2 is an elegant handset that packs a privacy punch and a whole lot of potential.

Read full review

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Wired

Blows apart every preconception you might have about a security phone

from Wired

Performance lags a bit compared to the latest iOS devices and the big Android phones. The Blackphone 2 runs a Snapdragon octa-core processor and has 3GB of RAM, but I still experienced some lag when scrolling in Chrome, flipping through my Twitter timeline, and editing docs in Google Drive. It&rs...More

Performance lags a bit compared to the latest iOS devices and the big Android phones. The Blackphone 2 runs a Snapdragon octa-core processor and has 3GB of RAM, but I still experienced some lag when scrolling in Chrome, flipping through my Twitter timeline, and editing docs in Google Drive. It’s not a deal-breaker, but you should be aware that you’re trading some performance for the increased privacy.

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Cnet

A potent phone for the paranoid and privacy-minded

from Cnet

The Blackphone 2 delivers the most secure consumer smartphone for the privacy-minded, but it will have an uphill battle against more established players for government and corporate markets.

Read full review

The Blackphone 2 delivers the most secure consumer smartphone for the privacy-minded, but it will have an uphill battle against more established players for government and corporate markets.

Read full review

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Darn, there are no reviews yet for this phone.



Prices (Where to Buy)


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Full Specs

Overview
Release date September 28, 2015
Regions available USA, United Kindom
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1700/1900 /2100 MHz
LTE:
2100/800/850/900 /1800/2600/2300 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
SIM card Nano-SIM
Dual SIM No
Operating System Silent OS
Processor Qualcomm MSM8939 Snapdragon 615 Octa core 1.7 GHz
Internal Flash Memory 32 GB
RAM 3 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Digital compass Yes
Flightmode Yes
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
Noise Cancellation No
SAR Head: 0.203 W/kg
Body: 0.993 W/kg
Languages No
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included Data Cable, Headphones, Manual, USB Power Adapter
Power & battery
Type Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol)
Battery Capacity 3060 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Unknown
Wi-Fi Surfing Time Unknown
3G Surfing Time 420 minutes
4G Surfing Time 420 minutes
Talk Time Unknown
3G Talk Time Up to: 1530 minutes (3G)
Standby Time Up to: 10.6 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Plastic
Colors Black
Dimensions [H x W x D] 15.2 x 7.6 x 0.8 cm (6 x 3 x 0.3 in)
Weight 165 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Antenna Type Internal
Changeable Faceplates No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels
Pixel density 401 pixels
Size 5.5 inches
3D No
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features -
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 128 GB)
PC Synchronization No
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC No
UMA Support No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallett No
PictBridge No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
13+ megapixels
Dual lens
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (Dual LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Geotagging, Self-timer
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels)
Front Camera
Resolution
5+ megapixels
Zoom
Yes
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MIDI, MP3, MP4, eAAC+, AAC+, AAC, WMA, WAV
Radio Yes (FM)
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringtone Composer No
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Viewable document types No
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad No
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Yes
Included Software / Apps -
More
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