There’s something about phone reviews. I personally prefer to own them, tinker with them and then give my verdict. The “initial impressions” are just hot air. Its important to know that if we are recommending something, it has to have the complete “ownership experience” translated before we can go out to buy it. Ladies and Gentlemen! Presenting the BlackBerry DTEK50!
It’s a little late to party but after having owned the device for over two months, I can safely say that it’s the best bet for your hard earned money. It is a petite phone (you can use it one handed) weighing in at 135gms at 5.2 inches screen size (about 70% screen to body ratio). The screen has 1080 x 1920 pixels (~424 ppi pixel density) which is fairly constant in the direct sunlight. The front facing screen has a rear back; a grainy texture material that helps to grip the device well.
The DTEK50’s camera is a tiny blip on the rear but it has decent 13 MP, f/2.0, phase detection auto-focus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash. It doesn’t come near Priv or it’s fancy optics but gets the work done with the new software updates. It has a nice convenience key (which can be programmed in the settings). The sound comes out of bottom stereo speakers with the standard 3.5mm jack for using headphones. Yes, it is a standard that BlackBerry has adhered to.
This nifty device is powered by Qualcomm MSM8952 Snapdragon 617 chipset with a Octa-core (4×1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4×1.2 GHz Cortex-A53) as CPU and Adreno 405 GPU. The specifications are decent. The battery is 2810mAh.
The device is nicely built and the essential part is ownership experience.
BlackBerry has clearly mentioned this as a “fleet device”. This is aimed at the mass market. However, why would you want to own this?
Clearly for it’s locked down secured Android kernel and BlackBerry’s promise that it is not going to abandon its users. Priv released almost two years back but it’s still getting upgrades. Infact, it is a very capable device. April 2017 security updates are rolling across the world as I write this. And the phone doesn’t lag.
Yes, it doesn’t lag unlike the others in same segment. This is because of software optimisations made to kernel. You get the essential BlackBerry software (like Hub Plus) while running Android and more importantly, the icing on the cake- BlackBerry’s keyboard. Unlike others, this keyboard stays private and doesn’t participate in collecting user information. Your passwords etc stay close to you on device and not in the “cloud”.
There’s a way to turn off Google and use NetGuard Pro as your firewall. I am happy to have paid up for the software to get fine granular control over what services can be allowed to connect. This also keeps the background data in check and hence impacts the battery life.
DTEK50 can easily last the whole work day-14 hours on whole charge easily. This is pretty decent; Quick Charge 2.0 is supported via a after market charger. I haven’t used it but it’s supported.
Verdict: It’s a perfectly capable phone for decent budget and decent specifications. But you are getting more for your money’s worth. An excellent build quality and security backed by legendary BlackBerry.