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Back with a Bang

BlackBerry brings the DTEK 50, a sleek new mid-segment smartphone that runs on Android.
twitter-logoNidhi Singal | Print Edition: January 1, 2017
Back with a Bang

'Never give up' - is an adage that BlackBerry has taken seriously. After a long struggle, trying its luck with BB OS 10, and finally embracing Android OS, BlackBerry has now launched DTEK 50. This mid-segment smartphone follows the launch of the flagship Priv last year. Will BlackBerry be able to win back its loyal customers?

Unlike the Priv, the DTEK 50 is an all-touch device with a 5.2-inch full HD display dominating the front. The company claims to have used a scratch resistant glass with oleophobic coating. The power key sits on the left edge, while the convenience key, along with the volume keys and the SIM tray, are on the right edge; the 3.5-mm jack rests at the top. The camera module and the lens are on the top left of the rear. The DTEK 50 is sleek and light - 7.4-mm thickness, weighing 135 gm. I was able to conveniently operate this smartphone with one hand, but while typing long messages and emails, I had to use both my hands. The convenience key on the right is customisable - use it to speed dial, turn on the flashlight or open an app. It can be confused with the power key, due to its placement.

BlackBerry aims to offer the best of both worlds - a pure Android UI with a BlackBerry layer on top. The much appreciated BlackBerry Hub brings communication and incoming notifications under one hood - including emails, messages, WhatsApp, etc. One can multitask with ease just like on the BB 10 OS. It is a no-nonsense device that can launch multiple apps at the same time. It is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 octa-core processor, and is paired with 3 GB of RAM. Its 16-GB internal storage is expandable by up to 2 TB.

Over the past couple of years, BlackBerry has improved its camera optics significantly. It may not compare with Xiaomi Mi 5 and OnePlus 3, but the images captured with its 13-MP rear camera are impressive.

While BlackBerry has adopted the Android ecosystem - prone to security threats - it hasn't compromised on the security aspect. The DTEK app keeps a close watch on all the apps in use and the information they access. One can review the permissions that apps are seeking within the DTEK app.

@nidhisingal

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