Silent Circle Announces The $799 Blackphone 2 With Google Play Support

28 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Silent Circle’s Blackphone 2 Now on Sale.

Featuring a more premium design than its predecessor, the 5.5-inch 1080p handset is covered in Gorilla Glass 3 and runs a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 chip. The phone’s Silent OS 1.1 software is built on Android, but boasts default full device encryption, and lets users control and fine-tune individual app permissions and data access. It is not NSA-proof, but offers tighter security than your average handset. “The launch of Blackphone 2 is a game changer for the mobile sector and for the way we provide individual and enterprise privacy,” Silent Circle CEO Bill Conner said in a statement. “Blackphone 2 combines an enhanced Android operating system with a suite of apps designed to keep your enterprise and personal information separate and private.” The Silent OS mobile operating system also includes “Spaces,” which lets users build separate, secure environments for business data, personal information, and social apps. “Today our privacy is increasingly threatened by governments, businesses, and individuals,” Conner said. “In addition, the growing number of companies where employees work on their own devices in and out of the office means that it is ever more vital to build smartphones that deliver on privacy.” This year’s follow-up marks the first component in Silent Circle’s Enterprise Privacy Platform (EPP)—a cloud-based mash-up of software, services, and devices that connect to the Internet for added privacy. “Blackphone 2 is a highly disruptive product.

The way it handles app permissions is smart: Instead of forcing people to accept or decline app requests for access to personal data, the phone lets you pick and choose which permissions you want to allow. Besides app permissions, you do get a respectable suite of privacy features for your money: Silent Circle’s PrivateOS 1.1 has a compartmentalized UI, putting up a virtual wall between the stuff you do when you’re working and what you do when you use the phone privately. Of course, if you’re in a business that requires a ton of burner phones (I don’t know your life) then the Blackphone 2 will actually be a good investment. Blackphone 2’s Silent Phone service makes encrypted calls and messages easy, and its Smart Wifi Manager prevents your phone from connecting to untrustworthy wifi. Blackphone 2 has decent but unexceptional hardware— a 5.5-inch screen, a 13 MP camera—and I’d be surprised if anyone bought it for its looks alone.

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