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Silent Circle Blackphone 2
Silent Circle Blackphone 2
Silent Circle Blackphone 2

Informr score
The Silent Circle Blackphone 2 currently has an Informr score of 7.2 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 8 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

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.”

Operating system
Operating system
1.7 GHz
1.7 GHz
Screen Size
Screen Size
13+ MP
13+ MP
3060 mAh

What the Critics Are Saying...

What Mobile
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, thi...

- Thomas Wellburn, What Mobile
The Guardian
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’t...

- Samuel Gibbs, The Guardian
Tom's Guide
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 long...

- Cherlynn Low, Tom's Guide

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.

- Stan Shroeder, Mashable

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&rsquo...

- Michael Calore, Wired

Prices (Where to Buy)

Common Questions

Silent Circle backs up the Blackphone 2 with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.

If your Blackphone 2 has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Silent Circle support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Silent Circle's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.

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Screen Size

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

1.7 GHz

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


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

13+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 13+ MP camera.

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

32 GB

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


The phone is powered by a Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol), 3060 mAh battery. Silent Circle's performance ratings are 1530 minutes.

Blackphone 2 Specs

Release Date September 28, 2015
Regions Available USA, United Kingdom
Operating System Android Silent OS

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm MSM8939 Snapdragon 615 Octa core 1.7 GHz
Internal Storage 32 GB
Hearing Aid Compatible No
Noise Cancellation No
SAR Head: 0.203 W/kg
Body: 0.993 W/kg
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included USB Power Adapter, Manual, Headphones, Data Cable
Mobile / Cellular Data
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
SIM Type
Dual SIM No
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
Mobile Hotspot Yes
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 128 GB)
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Main Camera
Resolution / Aperture
13+ Megapixels
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 / Aperture
5+ Megapixels
Additional Front Camera Info
Video Recording Parameters
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels
Pixel Density 401 pixels
Size 5.5 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Power & Battery
Battery Type Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol)
Battery Capacity 3060 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Unknown
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Cellular) Up to 420 minutes
Talk Time Up to 1530 minutes
Standby Time Up to 10.6 days
Mixed Usage
Physical Characteristics
Design Type Bar
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
Headset Jack 3.5mm
External Speakers Yes
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Input / Keyboard Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor No
Additional Information Other Names (AKA):
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