Since the ‘scandal’ which was released by Snowdon what seems like decades ago now, everyone has been worried (quite rightly) about the security and privacy of data online. We’ve seen it done on TV, but would the government really hack into your phone to steal your personal data? We know the papers do (or did), so what is there we can do to stop this? A joint venture between security company Silent Circle and Spanish manufacturers Geeksphone has the answer; a phone that is completely secure from hacking, eavesdropping and external influencers: The Blackphone.
Blackphone goes on sale:
So what is The Blackphone Smartphone? Well it has an Android based OS called PrivatOS, which has been tweaked by Silent Circle to include a host of their secure apps called Silent Phone, Silent Text, Silent Contacts, al of which are secure against outside interference. The phone also comes with a firewall and further secure settings such as remote wipe, secure cloud storage and smart WiFi options.
Under the hood, Blackphone has a NVIDIA Tegra 4i 2GHz Quad-Core Processor SOC, 1GB LPDDR3 RAM with 16GB on-board storage expandable up to 128GB with a Micro SDXC card, all under a 4.7 inch IPS Screen at a resolution of 1280×720 and comes unlocked so it can be used on any network. The Blackphone also has LTE/4G Cat. 3 (100mbps), so you won’t feel left out. A faster Cat. 4 (150mbps) 4G/LTE Blackphone is in the process of being made too. The Blackphone also contains a 8MP AF camera on the back and a 5MP FF camera on the front for crystal clear video phone calls.
The question is, is this phone really needed? Or is it pandering to the public fear instilled by shows like CSI, NCIS and… well, any cop show on TV now days. Having previously worked for the police in the UK, I cant guarantee that, yes, people really think their local Police force can hack into their phone and see where they are and what they’re seeing (no, they can’t… REALLY!). So, is this a necessary purchase? For me?
I don’t think so, but then again, I haven’t been a victim of the hacking scandal which has ripped through the UK Media in the last three years. I can well imagine that Hugh Grant, the Royal Family or 007 will find it very useful and would put their mind at ease. And at $649 (£379/€474), it’s by no means the cheapest phone on the market (especially with those mid-range hardware specs). So I ask again, is this phone really needed? Well, it certainly plugs a hole in the market, but I don’t think Samsung, HTC or LG will be losing any sleep over it.
The next batch of Blackphone Smartphone’s will be dispatched some time in the middle of July 2014, and is available from their website.