I have so many mixed impressions about BlackBerrys DTEK5 0, a $300 Android-powered phone.
Im disillusioned the company went with a reference design from a manufacturing partner for the hardware, while at the same hour aroused to use a device that weds Android with BlackBerrys software suite.
As a former diehard BlackBerry user, its hard not to root for BlackBerry to strike it hot with its move over to Android. Regrettably, a recycled hardware design fails to rekindle my exhilaration for all things BlackBerry.
Im still in love with the Hub
For some reason I cant begin to explain, I still truly enjoy use the BlackBerry Hub. The Hub is where all of your emails, text messages, call log, Slack, Facebook, Twitter, and who knows what else are combined into one, overloaded creek of notifications.
The simplicity of opening a single app and having access to nearly my entire online existence, pending alerts and messages awaiting my attention is something Ive enjoyed since BB10 was a thing.
The problem with the present Hubs implementation is its full of bugs.
The problem with the present Hubs implementation is its full of glitches. Tapping the compose button followed by Text Message was like clicking Googles Im Feeling Lucky button you only dont know where youre going to end up. Sometimes it would do what I expected, which is create a new text message thread and wait for me to select a contact. Other hours it would go to a random text thread, or back to the home screen, and on a few occasions it would loop back to the Hubs main screen.
Outside of the Hub, BlackBerry tweaks Android just enough to build you aware youre not use a completely stock Android device. The app drawer sets your apps, widgets and shortcuts to common tasks( adding a contact, compose email, etc .) in the same place.
Apps with widgets will have three-dots only below the icon on your home screen, indicating you can tap and swipe up on the icon to position a widget. According to BlackBerry, this is done to help keep users home screens clutter-free while maintaining a level of privacy by not permanently displaying personal information.
Is that an Idol 4 in your hand ?
The biggest downside to the DTEK5 0( outside of its name) is that its not a unique design. For the DTEK5 0, a hardware manufacturer came up with a generic phone design, shopped it around to a few different phone companies, who then customized and tweaked different aspects.
Look at Alcatels Idol 4, and you will think its a DTEK5 0. Or is it if you look at a DTEK5 0 youll think its an Idol 4? I forget.
The biggest aesthetic difference between the two devices is on the back. Instead of using a glass back as Alcatel did, BlackBerry used a rubber back attaining it easier to grip( thank you !).
The Idol 4 and DTEK5 0 also share some of the same interface design components, such as the power off menu that displays Restart, Power off and Airplane mode.
For those that am worried about specs, the DTEK5 0 has a 5.2 -inch 1080 p showing. Its easy to view in direct sunlight, and seems just as good as any 1080 p smartphone display on the market. The phone fits comfortably in your hand, aided by the previously mentioned rubber back.
Inside is a 2,610 mAh battery with is supportive of Quick Charge 2.0, 3GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage and microSD supporting up to 2TB. A Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor provides enough power to carry out everyday tasks like email and Facebook, but dont expect the DTEK5 0 to excel at gaming.
As for battery life, I was able to sneak in a full day of use, but merely scarcely. You will need to charge the device nightly, or take advantage of its quick charge capabilities if you plan on going out after a long days work.
Whats in a name ?
According to BlackBerry, names are important and DTEK5 0 is a emblem of that importance. The name DTEK5 0 is inspired by the companys DTEK security app, with the 50 paying respect to the Z10 and Z30 BlackBerry 10 devices of a few years back.
BlackBerry first introduced the DTEK app with the Priv last year. The apps primary focus is to see any possible security issues and bring them to a users attention.
For example, if you dont have some sort of lock screen pin or pattern set, the app will advise you on how to set it up in order to better protect your data. Furthermore, you can position a list of installed apps and the various facets of your personal data theyve requested permission to access, along with how many times that data has been accessed.
BlackBerry is advertising the DTEK5 0 as the most secure Android device available.
Looking at Facebooks petitions through DTEK will build you sick, I know it induced me nauseous. According to DTEK, in a weeks hour Facebook has accessed my place on 519 different occasions. Some of those instances were done when I wasnt even in the Facebook app. A fact I know because DTEK logs the requests and showings it in a convenient timeline.
BlackBerry is advertising the DTEK5 0 as the most secure Android device available, citing the DTEK app, steps taken during manufacturing and the companys eagerness to push out critical security patches once available. I cant vouch for how secure the device genuinely is, and even though its easy to shrug off DTEK as a gimmicky app, the ability to view how often your personal data is being accessed is enlightening and welcome.
A device built for a specific type of user
On paper and in use, the DTEK5 0 isnt a phone thats going to draw a massive sum of new users. Its a mid-range phone mean for BlackBerry loyalists whove grown to love and rely upon BlackBerrys productivity apps. In that consider, the DTEK5 0 is a success.
Triaging my email and managing my calendar on the DTEK5 0 had a familiar feeling, and I instead enjoyed it. But then I would do things like take a photo and it would come out grainy and somewhat blurry, and I was reminded of the fact Im use a BlackBerry.
Despite BlackBerry giving it a solid attempt, the DTEK5 0 only isnt a device built for mainstream users. Dont believe me? Just look at the name. DTEK5 0 is not a consumer-friendly name, lending itself to marketing the documentation and billboards.
This is a very niche device built for a niche decide of users, the majority of members of which work for big corporations or the government.
Still, at $300 its hard to beat what the DTEK5 0 has to offer. Although, you could spend another $100 and get something like the OnePlus 3 or the ZTE Axon 7, both of which blow the most recent BlackBerry away.
BlackBerry DTEK5 0
The BlackBerry Hub still rocks Inexpensive
Crappy camera Uninspired design Terrible name
The Bottom Line
Even diehard BlackBerry fans may not care for this mediocre phone. Unless you really, truly am worried about security.