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BlackBerry DTEK60 unboxing & hands-on review

BlackBerry DTEK60 unboxing & hands-on review: The DTEK60 is finally here to elevate the company’s mobile portfolio to include more competitive, flagship-level hardware for 2016 and we unboxed the phone to see what you can expect.

BlackBerry DTEK60: Specs at a glance

Screen size 5.5-inches
Screen resolution Quad HD (2560×1440)
Weight 165 grams
OS Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Front camera 8-megapixels
Rear camera 21-megapixels
Processor 2.15GHz/1.6GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
Memory 4GB RAM
Storage 32GB. Expandable via microSD up to 256GB

3000mAh w/ Quick Charge 3.0 (83% in 30 minutes)

BlackBerry DTEK60: Unboxing & hands-on review

The box itself is a wholly unassuming affair, a black package embossed with the company’s signature six pip insignia all over. Along with the model name on the front, like the DTEK50 before it, the DTEK60 is cited as a ‘secure smartphone’ just above the company’s brand name, reiterating the whole reason for opting for a BlackBerry over any rival Android device. Beyond that, there’s little else to see.

Lifting the lid you’re presented with the phones itself, covered by a pre-fitted screen protector adorned with another BlackBerry ‘pip’ logo, this time set into a silver shield, whilst the back is protected by plastic film detailing instructions on how to pop out the hybrid SIM tray, which accommodates both a nanoSIM card and a microSD card.

Peeling them both off, the first thing we noticed was how nice the DTEK60 felt in the hand. The glass on both sides of the phone curves off at the edges, meeting at a bead-blasted metal frame which houses the power key on one side, the volume rocker and the manufacturer’s signature convenience key on the other, and an offset Type-C USB port along its bottom edge – a first for BlackBerry.

It doesn’t offer the same levels of grip as the DTEK50’s studded plastic back, made all the more challenging by its larger size, but it certainly offers more grip compared to some metal-bodied smartphones out there. At 165 grams it’s not the lightest 5.5-incher out there, but certainly not the heaviest either, helped by its 7mm thin profile, only disturbed by the notable camera bump on the back.

Much like the Vodafone Smart Platinum 7, another handset manufacturer by TCL (along with the Alcatel Idol 4S on which the DTEK60 is based), you’ll find a centrally positioned fingerprint sensor, another first for BlackBerry that would up the convenience factor somewhat, where it not built flush against the phone’s glass back. With only the slightest lip to distinguish the sensor from the rest of the phone’s back, it’s not the easiest to locate without looking, other devices get around this by offsetting the fingerprint sensor with a lip, such as on the Google Nexus 6P.

Once we jumped through the basic setup and accepted a lot of permissions requested to us by the BlackBerry launcher and its respective apps, we reacquainted ourselves with the user experience. Aside from a handful of minor cosmetic tweaks, there’s little to differentiate the DTEK50 and DTEK60 at a software level. Like the company’s other 2016 smartphone, the DTEK60 comes running the company’s own skinned take on Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

That all means you can expect offerings like BlackBerry Messenger and the excellent BlackBerry Hub out the box to help you keep tabs on all of your social media, email, and text exchanges, as well as the DTEK app, which analyses your phone’s current security configuration and suggests ways in which to improve upon it. The apps drawer gives you quick access to widgets and shortcuts too, whilst swiping up on select apps on any of your desktops can also summon pop-out widgets, so that they don’t occupy space on your desktops all the time.

Back to the box and under the tray in which the DTEK60 was positioned lies a card flap then when lifted, reveals the SIM tray removal tool and paperwork covering quick setup, warranty, and safety information. You’re then left with a power adapter, a USB to Type-C USB cable and in-ear headphones complete with an in-line remote.

We’ll be putting the DTEK60 through its paces soon, so stay tuned for comparisons, a camera review and a full review.