SGP Technologies, a joint venture of Silent Circle and Geeksphone, has unveiled the Blackphone, a smartphone that places privacy and control directly in the hands of its users. The smartphone was launched at Mobile World Congress being held this week in Barcelona.
Blackphone includes a unique combination of operating system and application tools that offer unparalleled security and privacy to information workers, executives, public figures, and anyone else seeking privacy, the company said. Blackphone’s PrivatOS, built on Android and combined with a full suite of privacy-enabled applications, “allows users to regain control over their communications activities. No longer will the use of a smartphone demand acceptance of unauthorized surveillance, commercial exploitation of activity data, and the loss of privacy, security and fundamental human rights,” the company said in a press release.
Blackphone is powered by a >2 GHz quad-core SoC and features a full set of premium features, including GPS, a 4.7-inch HD IPS screen, LTE, HSPA+, 2GB DDR3 RAM, 16GB of storage, >8MP primary camera with flash and 1.3MP front camera, Bluetooth 4.0, and 802.11n WiFi.
Blackphone comes unlocked and features several pre-installed privacy tools, including the Silent Circle suite of apps (Silent Phone, Silent Text, and Silent Contacts); anonymous search, private browsing, and VPN from Disconnect; and secure cloud file storage from SpiderOak. In addition, Blackphone ships with the Smart WiFi Manager from Mike Kershaw, Chief Architect for SGP Technologies, and a powerful remote-wipe and device recovery tool.
Blackphone is available for pre-order to individuals and enterprises as an unlocked device with a starting price of US$629, and will also be available through selected partner carriers from launch, including KPN Mobile, the inaugural launch carrier for Blackphone serving European regions including Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany. Customers will always have the option of buying direct rather than through a carrier if that is their preference.
Blackphone is scheduled to ship to the first end users in June 2014, and testing units will be provided to partner carriers in the April timeframe.