BlackBerry is adding a new phone to its stable today, the higher-end DTEK60. It follows the release of the DTEK50 from earlier this year and has better specs and features than the entry-level model. The DTEK60 is available unlocked direct from BlackBerry’s website starting today for $499.
Like the DTEK50, the DTEK60 is based on a reference design from TCL and has a very similar appearance to Alcatel’s Idol 4S. The 5.5-inch display has quad HD resolution and the metal-framed, dual-glass panel design is considerably nicer than the DTEK50’s utilitarian finish. BlackBerry has upgraded a number of other specs in the phone compared to the Alcatel version, giving it Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 processor and a higher-resolution, 21-megapixel rear camera. A 3,000mAh battery with QuickCharge 3.0, a USB Type C port, a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, and a customizable side button round out the DTEK60’s spec sheet.
For software, the DTEK60 is launching with Android 6.0 Marshmallow and BlackBerry says it is working with Google on an upgrade path for Nougat. The company is pitching the device as more secure than other Android phones, thanks to its secure bootloader, Hardware Root of Trust, DTEK app, and quick updates for security patches. The phone also includes BlackBerry’s suite of productivity apps, such as the Hub, Calendar, and keyboard.
The DTEK60 continues BlackBerry’s transition from a full hardware manufacturer to a company that licenses its brand to other makers. BlackBerry says it had more of a hand in the specs and design features of the DTEK60 than it will with future devices that are fully developed by the licensed manufacturers.
BlackBerry’s plans for the DTEK60 are similar to how it sold the DTEK50: consumers can buy it if they really want to, but it’s primarily going to be sold to businesses and governments that will deploy it to their employees. If you are in a company that’s signed up for BlackBerry’s device services, the DTEK60 appears to be a much better choice than the lower-end DTEK50.