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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobiledisconnectKPNGeeksphoneSilent CircleSpiderOakSGP Technologies

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

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?