Hands-On: BlackBerry DTEK50

Just two weeks ago, BlackBerry released the newest addition to their Android lineup: The DTEK50

A device that the company is touting as The World's Most Secure Android Smartphone -- a stance they didn't exactly take with the Priv; especially when Chen can be quoted as saying that they're likely comparable to Samsungs' Knox platform. Regardless, it's an interestingly strong slogan to place on the device.

If you missed the unveiling for the DTEK50, be sure to click here and give the webcast a watch. Naturally, the BlackBerryCentral team has spent some time with the device both before and after launch, which means it's time to bring you a hands-on of the latest from our favourite tech giant! Stay tuned, as we release our content over a span of weeks - where we'll talk accessories, device, camera, battery, speakers and much more.

Check out our gallery style hands-on and be sure to drop us any comments you might have about the device!


Weighing in at just 135g (4.76 oz), the DTEK50 is definitely a light device in the hand. Thankfully, BlackBerry opted to change the back of the device to something along the lines of the Passport Silver Edition - a Diamond shaped texture that makes gripping the device a breeze.

If you guessed that the device is thin too, then you'd be right. In fact, this is technically BlackBerry's thinnest device to date - coming in at a mere 7.4 mm (0.29 in). With a height of 147 mm (5.79 in) and a width of 72.5 mm (2.85 in) this also means the device isn't far from the Privs' footprint.


On the front of the DTEK50, you'll find two speakers - one located on each the top and bottom of the handset. A crisp 5.2" 1080p display greets you on the front as well, but you'll notice that just above the screen is simply your camera and a few sensors. No BlackBerry branding as we're accustomed to - but that's because this isn't your average BlackBerry. Proving further that they're transitioning fully into a Software company (that happens to design hardware products that compliment their software portfolios) - the device is actually a rebranded TCL device that was produced to bring end consumer costs down drastically. If you haven't heard, this cool phone retails for just $299 USD ($429 CAD / £275) -- but don't let that price fool you into thinking this isn't a great piece of hardware. Powered by a 2610 mAh 4.4V non-removable Li-Ion battery, the DTEK50 has just enough juice to get you through the day - but we'll test this more closely in our review segments.Holding the device for the first time, you'll immediately notice a couple of things; like how light, thin, yet solid it is. The metal band that surrounds the device is responsible for most of this, but the back texture is what really brings things home. A diamond textured plastic surrounds the back, a lot like the texture found on the Silver Edition Passport - which makes gripping the device easy.Here's what you'll see taking a spin around the device:

  • On the top of the device, you'll find: Headset Jack, Antenna Bands, Microphone
  • On the left side of the device, you'll find: Sleep / Wake Button
  • On the right side of the device, you'll find: Volume Rocker, User-Programmable Convenience Key, SIM + SD Unitray
  • On the bottom side of the device, you'll find: Microphone, MicroUSB 2.0 Port, Antenna Bands



The DTEK50 comes with a delicious 5.2" diagonal 1080p LTPS IPS display, packing a crisp 424 PPI. The screen is composed of a scratch-resistant glass, and features a specialized Oleophobic coating to prevent greasy hand smudges. Overall, we'd probably give the display a quick 7.5. When colours look natural, it makes the overall usability of the device much easier. Text is smooth, and sunlight isn't as harsh on this display as it can be on some OLED devices or LCD devices. We'll have more about the display in our upcoming videos about the DTEK50, where we'll test the device through every day tasks.If you're coming from the Priv, you might miss the curved display - but that doesn't mean you don't still get the Productivity Tab. Yes, it's in there - and it makes things from a software point seamless. Nothing has really changed there, which isn't a bad thing - but we'd love to see the addition of more apps.  

C O N V E N I E N C E  K E Y

Miss the old days when you had a convenience key? Luckily, the device that BlackBerry chose to tweak has what's otherwise called a Boom Key. The BlackBerry software allows you to program this key to launch an app, speed dial, send a message, or even add a shortcut. It's pretty cool to see this on a BlackBerry handset again, even if it wasn't an original intention - a lot of users have asked for this type of button brought back to devices like the Classic and Q10.There's not an incredibly amount of info to run over when it comes to this part of the device, but you're guaranteed to end up using this function key at some point. Drop us a comment and let us know what you'd program it to do! 


Being BlackBerry's Mid-Range Android smartphone, the DTEK50 comes packed with a 13MP rear facing camera, which despite sounding average, can take some great pictures. Here's some brief specs on the Rear Camera:

  • 13 megapixel auto-focus camera
  • Phase Detect Auto Focus (PDAF), Fast focus lock
  • HDR
  • 6-element f2.0 lens
  • Dual Tone LED Flash – Enhanced photo colour balance
  • 4x digital zoom
  • Continuous & touch to focus, face detection, image stabilisation
  • Panorama, Burst, Live Filters
  • Multi-frame Low Light Enhancement
  • 1080p HD video recording at 30 fps

How does it stack up? We'll take a deeper look later, but be sure to follow @realDHabkirk on Instagram or @BlackBerryCentral for camera samples. With the equipped lens, the DTEK50 lets in a lot of light, and makes it easier to get less grainy photos out of it. Chances are, you're going to get brighter photos - so we're excited to put it up against the Priv to see how they stack.It's hard to not add an above to the Camera title - since this is the first BlackBerry device with a solid front facing camera. Due to size limitations in the sliding mechanisms on the Priv, a 2MP camera had to suffice. This time around, BlackBerry's newest device has an 8MP front facing camera - and it takes really great selfies. If a good front camera is important to you, be sure to check out the DTEK50. 

P R I C I N G  &  A V A I L A B I L I T Y 

"DTEK50 is available to pre-order from ShopBlackBerry.com in the U.S., Canada, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and The Netherlands for $299 USD ($429 CDN, €339, and £275). Additionally, for a limited time, customers who pre-order DTEK50 will receive a complimentary BlackBerry Mobile Power Pack, a high-capacity portable charger worth $59.99 USD ($69.99 CDN, €59.99, and £54.99) that powers all your compatible mobile devices to maximize your productivity and play time. This offer expires on August 8th at 11:59 p.m. PST. DTEK50 will be available in a number of channels around the world, including more than 40 partners from electronics stores, carriers, VARs, and distributors. This includes Rogers, Bell, TELUS, WIND, Videotron, and SaskTel among others in Canada. In the U.S., DTEK50 will initially be available in Best Buy, B&H, and Amazon. Availability of DTEK50 in additional global channels and countries will be announced in the coming weeks." - BlackBerry 


Are You Sold On The BlackBerry DTEK50 Yet? Don't Forget To Leave Us Questions!