BlackBerry has released what it claims to be the world’s “most secure Android phone”. The DTEK50 is aimed squarely at business users, providing both protection and software designed to aid productivity.
With the Android marketplace being so saturated nowadays it can be hard for companies to put their own unique spin on devices. With BlackBerry, the most obvious way to do it was with software. It was something that worked well on the Priv, and has yet again been implemented in to the DTEK50.
Starting with the most obvious – and where the phone gets its name from – the DTEK app is a very simple tool for checking up on your phone’s security. It will tell you the device’s current security status and, more importantly, give you access to more granular controls for choosing which permissions are allowed for individual apps.
If an app that shouldn’t get access to your location, or the microphone has been getting permission to access, then you can switch the permissions off. You can also see how many times a specific feature or function has been accessed by any app.
Like the Priv, the DTEK app has the Productivity Tab, which slides in from the right and gives you quick access to your upcoming events and tasks, as well as favourite contacts and messages.
BlackBerry has also implemented its great predictive software keyboard for easy typing. And there’s the Hub which collects notifications, messages and events from across the device and collates them in to one, easy-to-use inbox.
As well as that, there’s the useful pop-up widgets from the home screen. Any app that has white dots under its icon has widgets available, which you can access by just swiping up from the icon. This saves lots of space on the home screen, ensuring you won’t have any potentially confidential information always on display.
Along with the added apps and the Hub, there’s the software keyboard – which is easily one of the best Android keyboards out there. The software keys are nicely spaced, making them easy to type on. What’s more, the predictive text feature lets you quickly swipe up on a single letter to select the next word quickly.
Like many other keyboards you can customise elements like enabling the Swype-like flowing from key to key, adjusting key sounds and feedback, or adding extra languages. As a bonus, it can even have multiple languages installed at once, so if you’re bilingual or multilingual you can use predictive text without having to constantly change languages in the settings.
All these software tweaks are joined by a handful of BlackBerry apps like the calendar app, BBM, Device Search, Password Keeper, Notes and Tasks. While many might class these as bloatware, the company has been careful about including only the software which improves the experience and makes it more BlackBerry-like.
On top of all this, BlackBerry is committed to delivering prompt security updates. So when Google releases its monthly security patches on Android, BlackBerry is usually one of the first to follow in updating its own devices.
The only problem we faced with this software is with the BlackBerry calendar. For whatever reason it merged two different accounts, syncing events from a personal account with a work account. We soon started seeing birthdays from personal contacts appear in the team calendar, which everyone could see, and had to be manually deleted server-side. No other app has ever given us this issue, even third-party ones.