Privacy-focused Blackphone starts shipping to early adopters

The manufacturer plans to take new orders starting July 14

The wait is almost over for early adopters of Blackphone, an Android-based smartphone that promises enhanced privacy and security.

Geneva-based SGP Technologies, the phone's manufacturer, announced that the Blackphone handsets began shipping Monday to customers who pre-ordered them.

SGP is a joint venture between Silent Circle, a provider of encrypted communications services based in National Harbor, Maryland, and Geeksphone, a smartphone manufacturer based in Madrid. The two companies announced Blackphone, a phone that runs a customized version of Android called PrivatOS and bundles Silent Circle's secure messaging and calling services, at Mobile World Congress in February.

The device also comes preloaded with several privacy-focused apps and services that provide anonymous Web search, private browsing and secure storage. Those apps include Kismet Smarter WiFi Manager, which prevents connection history and other information leaks to wireless hotspots, Disconnect Secure Wireless for virtual private networking and SpiderOak for encrypted cloud storage.

The phone also has a built-in remote wipe feature, uses Disconnect Search to hide the user's IP address, browser cookies and other personal information from search engines and comes with a Security Center feature that allows users to control app permissions in detail.

The Blackphone costs US$629 and comes with two-year subscriptions to the bundled Silent Circle, SpiderOak and Disconnect secure communications and storage services.

The phone has a 4.7-inch IPS HD screen, is powered by a 2Ghz NVIDIA Tegra 4i quad-core system-on-a-chip coupled with 1GB LPDDR3 RAM and has 16GB of on-board storage space, extensible via a microSD card slot.

According to its creators, the Blackphone was designed to prevent bulk data collection and snooping by cybercriminals and intelligence agencies, but it cannot protect against targeted surveillance that involves the use of more sophisticated methods and exploits.

At the moment the device can't be bought through its official website because the initial inventory sold out, but SGP Technologies plans to begin accepting new orders on July 14.

Users in certain countries can buy the phone directly from their carriers. For example, Dutch telecommunications provider KPN will sell it to customers in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, following a partnership signed in February with the device manufacturer.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags GeeksphoneSilent CirclesecuritySpiderOakKPNmobiledisconnectSGP Technologies

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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?