Blackberry finally launched its third Android phone last week, without as much as an official announcement. The DTEK60 – formerly referred to as the Argon – is, by the sounds of it, the company’s 2016 flagship phone. It’s a big, all touchscreen device with a powerful processor and support for the latest Quick Charge and Type-C connectivity.
BlackBerry DTEK60: Design
Like the DTEK50, the DTEK60 is an all-touch device, rather than a portrait slider hiding a physical keyboard underneath. That could mean that the Priv form factor is short-lived and that the only keyboard-equipped device in BlackBerry’s lineup for 2016/17 is the mid-range Mecury which we’re still hoping will be announced at the beginning of next year.
As was suspected through the recent rumour cycles, the DTEK60 looks very similar to the Alcatel Idol 4S, albeit with a slightly different design on the back. BlackBerry is taking a similar approach to the DTEK60 as it did with the DTEK50, which is basically a rebranded Alcatel Idol 4.
With the Canadian tech company having recently announced that it will no longer build or design its own phones, it makes sense that it would use another reference design from its hardware partner, TCL. This same manufacturer produces Alcatel-branded phones as well as devices for carrier partners, like Vodafone in the UK.
The one main difference between the DTEK50 and DTEK60 design-wise is that, instead of using a textured plastic back, BlackBerry opted to keep a more premium glass finish. While it will be more slippery, it does help distinguish between the two models, ensuring we don’t miss the fact that this is the more expensive one.
At 153.9mm tall, 75.4mm wide and 7mm thin, it has exactly the same measurements as the Idol 4S and incredibly similar design to the Vodafone Smart Platinum 7.
Its design was previously clearly hinted at in a leak by Evan Blass on Twitter, which also gave us our first look at the brand name.
Like the DTEK50, the DTEK60 has the customisable BlackBerry Convenience key which is programmable to launch any apps or functions you want it to, and mutes calls during an active phone call.
BlackBerry DTEK60: Display
Just like the BlackBerry Priv, the DTEK60 features a large 5.5-inch AMOLED display boasting Quad HD resolution, that means an impressive pixel density of around 534ppi (pixels per inch).
There were rumours that we’d see the same curved edges found on the PRIV, but those rumours didn’t turn out to be true. While there are some slight curves towards the edges, they aren’t anywhere near as pronounced as the Galaxy Edge-like curves on the PRIV.
BlackBerry DTEK60: Camera
Blackberry is upping the ante on its cameras this year, at least when it comes to the number of pixels packed in to the sensor. The DTEK60 is has a 21-megapixel sensor in its rear camera with 4K video capture and a six element f/2.0 lens. It’s paired with a dual-tone LED flash and has full manual controls. The front camera has an 8-megapixel sensor and full HD video.
BlackBerry DTEK60: Hardware specs
The hardware spec-list, at the moment, reads like the spec sheet of almost every other flagship out there. That means we’re looking at seeing 4GB of RAM, 32GB storage and a 3,000mAh battery all built in to a device featuring a fingerprint scanner, Quick Charge 3.0 support and a Type-C connector.
As for the processor, BlackBerry went with one of the top-end version of Qualcomm’s processor family, and has equipped the DTEK60 with the Snapdragon 820 processor.
It’s worth noting, it’s not the Snapdragon 821 chip found inside the Pixel phones and a handful of other high-end devices. This suggests there’s no Daydream VR support, and won’t be even when the software is updated to Android 7.0 Nougat from the Marshmallow OS it’s currently loaded with.
Like both other Android phones so far, the DTEK60 runs a version of Android with BlackBerry’s custom launcher, keyboard and Hub on top. That means you get several benefits of BlackBerry’s old operating system, and all the benefits of having an Android phone. Part of that is the phone’s name-sake security software, DTEK, which makes it easier to see which apps are accessing what data, and manually restrict those that are getting access to more than they should.
The Type C port on the bottom edge supports full USB 2.0, which is more than usual 1.0 support we’re used to seeing on phones. Storage will be expandable via microSD card, up to an extra 2TB, and the phone will ship with a USB Type C to Type A connector.
BlackBerry DTEK60: Release date and price
The BlackBerry DTEK60 is available to order now, direct from BlackBerry and costs £475 in the UK. For that price you get the phone and a Rapid Charger as well as a genuine leather “Smart Pocket” case.
Want to know more?
We’ll be keeping an eye on all the rumours surrounding the BlackBerryMercury/Vienna/Rome (whatever you want to call it) and updating as we learn more. You can follow all the news and reviews on the BlackBerry hub!