With all the news we are hearing about the National Security Agency (NSA) in the US tracking information from smartphones without us knowing, a lot of people are worried about their privacy being compromised. A new smartphone aims to give everyone a peace of mind by being Privacy focused as much as possible–the BlackPhone.
Announced during the Mobile World Congress 2014, Silent Circle and Geeksphone officially released the specs and details on the BlackPhone. The phone is running on an Android based PrivatOS, which will be discussed later onto this article. But first, let’s talk about the specs.
The BlackPhone comes with a 4.7 inch IPS display powered by a 2GHz quad core processor with 2 GB worth of RAM. There’s a 16 GB built-in storage, 8 megapixel camera on the back with LED flash plus LTE support.
What’s different about the BlackPhone is the OS. The PrivatOS comes with subscription based “Silent Circle” apps and features that makes the phone secured. There’s the Silent Call, Silent Text and Silent Contact apps, which pretty much encrypts your texts, phones calls and file transfers. The catch is, for this to work, the person you’re communicating with should either have the BlackPhone too, or is at least subscribed to the Silent Circle service available at a premium price for Android and iOS devices.
There’s also a firewall app called the BPSecurity, Private browsing and search through Disconnect VPN service, SpiderOak secure cloud storage of 5 GB as well as a remote wipe-and-kill feature.
The Silent Circle bundle of apps, Disconnect VPN service and SpiderOak cloud storage are all paid subscriptions worthing to up to $480 (or more than Php 20k) for 2 years. BlackPhone’s manufacturers decided to throw all these in for free with the phone, including a three 1 year subscription to “Friends and Family” Silent Circle subscriptions (worth $360).
After your subscription has expired, you’d then have to stash a lot of money to enjoy these features and services once more, which is why you got a BlackPhone in the first place. Extra security comes with a price, after all. The BlackPhone starts shipping unlocked by June and is now available for pre-orders at $629 (or ~Php 28k).
Now the BlackPhone might have chances of being a sure hit in the US and some European countries, at least for those who are very much into protecting their privacy. And on a side note, the possible vulnerability of the BlackPhone are those communication exchanges done outside the bundled apps, over your network provider.
BlackPhone official specs:
- PrivatOS (Android-based, without Google services)
- 4.7 inch Full HD IPS touch display
- 2GHz quad core processor
- 2 GB of RAM
- 16 GB of ROM
- 8 megapixel main camera with LED flash
- 1.3 megapixel front camera
- WiFi 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0, 3G/HSPA+/LTE support
- GPS among other sensors
- Silent Circle apps, Disconnect VPN service, SpiderOak cloud service