Silent Circle aims at the enterprise market with Blackphone 2

The new phone's features make it more enterprise-friendly than its predecessor

Silent Circle's second privacy-focused device, the Blackphone 2, is designed to meet the management and security needs of enterprises, while not alienating workers who will end up using it for their personal affairs as well.

The phone, launched Monday, integrates with Google's Android for Work program, which allows companies to manage and secure the Android devices of their employees. The phone also works with major device management platforms including those from MobileIron, Citrix, Good and SOTI.

One of the most important new features of Blackphone 2 is called Spaces and allows users to create virtual phone environments with different security settings.

Users can have separate spaces for work and personal use, with a different selection of apps and file storage that is separated using a hardware-assisted mechanism. Companies can also create and manage their own enterprise space on their workers' Blackphones.

Blackphone runs PrivatOS, an operating system based on Android that was created by Silent Circle to provide more granular control over security and privacy settings.

The PrivatOS Security Center can be used to manage spaces, but also provides fine-grained control over each installed application's permissions. Users can remove permissions that they feel some apps shouldn't have -- and many Android apps do ask for excessive permissions.

Silent Circle is so confident in the OS's ability to limit what applications can do on the device that they've included support for Google Play in Blackphone 2. This opens up the whole Android app ecosystem to Blackphone users, something that wasn't available on the first device.

The new phone also gets encryption by default, which is enabled during the initial setup; Silent Circle's encrypted voice, text, video conferencing and file transfer service, and over-the-air firmware updates.

The Blackphone 2 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor, a 5.5 inch full HD display, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. There is a microSD card slot for storage expansion and decent cameras both in the back and at the front, 13 megapixels and 5 megapixels respectively.

The device's $799 retail price puts it in the range of high-end Android devices, even though hardware-wise it's not on par with some of them. Blackphone's value, though, comes from the security-focused software and services that are bundled with the device.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?