World's 'most secure' smartphone in 2 weeks

Blackphone, the Android device that has earned the unofficial moniker of being the world’s ‘most secure’ smartphone has started shipping to those who preordered the device.

According to a company spokesperson, the device could be made available in retail stores in the Middle East and the UAE in future, although anyone from anywhere in the world can order the device online. The web store will reopen on July 14, 2014, for new orders.

The Blackphone runs on Privat OS, built on the Android platform and comes preinstalled with the Silent Circle suite of apps, including Silent Phone, Silent Text, and Silent Contacts. Users can make VoIP calls and communicate with those within the circle and with an additional add-on with those outside the circle and the transmission is totally encrypted.

While Blackphone comes preinstalled with all these features free for two years, other Android and iOS users will have to subscribe for the facility for a monthly fee of $9.95 (Dh36.54). For out-circle access, users will have to pay a total of $33.90 (Dh126) per month.

According to Toby Weir-Jones, CEO of SGP Technologies, “the pent-up demand for Blackphone shows there is strong, international demand for our brand’s devices and services that stand apart by placing privacy before all else.”

The success of the device has initiated the company into planning different versions of the smartphone and a possible tablet as well.

SGP Technologies SA is the Switzerland-based joint venture of Silent Circle and Geeksphone. The Blackphone was initially launched earlier this year at the Mobile World Congress (MWC).

The phone uses the Android KitKat OS and is specially designed keeping in mind the user’s privacy such as encrypted voice and video calls and text messaging, a secure Wi-Fi Manager that prevents Wi-Fi hotspots from capturing Blackphone users’ wireless connection history and other information; a security centre that gives owners complete control over application permissions, allowing immediate changes without rebooting or reinstalling and a facility to remote wipe the device apart from other features such as anonymous Web browsing and VPN and a private cloud storage.

Priced at $630 (about Dh2,300), the 4.7-inch device has a HD IPS Screen, 2 GHz Tegra 4i processor, 1GB DDR3 RAM, 16 GB Storage with an option of expanding the memory with Micro SD support, 8MP rear and 5MP front facing camera and as good as any other flagship devices currently in the market.

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