The Blackphone wasn’t able to cash in on the post-Snowden privacy craze as much as its developer may have wanted, but that didn’t stop Switzerland-based Silent Circle from coming back with a successor. The Blackphone 2 went on sale this week for $800 unlocked, and all the reviews indicate that, while the smartphone has some lackluster hardware and the performance can be poor at times, the privacy and security options for the heavily-customized version of Android that the device runs are second-to-none. Some of the more tech-savvy Android users out there can achieve the same level of privacy and security on their own, but the Blackphone 2 offers it right out of the box, which is great for enterprise users.
You wait ages for the next gen of pro-privacy smartphones to come along and then a couple of contenders start making noise at once… Today Silent Circle’s Blackphone 2 has gone on sale — with an RRP of $799 (excluding taxes). The company started taking pre-orders for the device last month, having first announced the phone back in March at the Mobile World Congress trade show. Meanwhile, on Friday, BlackBerry CEO John Chen finally confirmed the various leaks pointing to a forthcoming Android-powered BlackBerry, due to go on sale by the end of this year in “major markets”. The BlackBerry Priv — as it’s called — runs “Google”, as Chen put it, while demoing the Qwerty slider to BNN. There’s no word on the Priv’s price-tag at this point. Silent Circle’s Blackphone targets the enterprise segment where BlackBerry used to dominate, before it fell behind the Android and iOS curve. Blackphone 2 runs the company’s security-hardened flavor of Android, now called Silent OS. And although this is an Android fork it now includes Google services — such as the Play Store — as well as support for Google’s Android For Work program, to check the IT department’s ‘mobile device management’ box.