Blackphone, a smartphone focused on the user’s privacy, is now available for pre-order from its own official website for $629 (Rs. 39,000 roughly). While the pre-orders are open for Blackphone, the device will start shipping from June 2014. The privacy-focused smartphone was scheduled to be launched at MWC 2014, after it was unveiled earlier in January.
The Blackphone, which is a creation of GeeksPhone, a Spanish smartphone maker, along with Silent Circle, an encrypted communications firm, is available with free shipping charges for a number of countries including India. However, along with 15 percent tax, the smartphone will ultimately cost $723 (roughly Rs. 45,000) in India, not to mention the local custom duties that you may attract while importing the phone.
The Blackphone can be pre-ordered from here. The company says users can also return the Blackphone back if they are not satisfied, and they will be refunded later.
Some of the hardware specifications listed for Blackphone on the pre-order page are: 4.7-inch HD IPS screen; >2GHz quad-core SoC; 2GB DDR3 RAM; 16GB Storage; 8-meapixel rear camera; 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera; Bluetooth 4.0; LTE connectivity; Wi-Fi 802.11n, GPS and HSPA+. Other specifications like battery capacity, sensors and expandable storage option are not known yet.
The Blackphone is powered by a custom version of Android made by GeeksPhone in association with Silent Circle, called PrivatOS. The OS will allow the user to make and receive secure calls, send encrypted text messages, store files securely and browse the web through an anonymous VPN.
Phil Zimmermann, one of the creators of the Blackphone, stated, “I have spent my whole career working towards the launch of secure telephony products. Blackphone provides you with everything you need to ensure privacy and control of your communications, along with all the other high-end smartphone features you have come to expect.”
Powered by a secure version of Android called PrivatOS, the unlocked Blackphone runs over any GSM network and offers you more privacy, control and security than your average Android handset. According to co-founder Mike Janke, Blackphone is a high-end smartphone. But specs weren’t the focus of the team that created the device. “The number one priority in creating Blackphone,” says co-founder Phil Zimmermann, “is to uphold the objectives of privacy.”
A worldwide team helped put together the phone, which will no doubt have some appeal to those who are constantly concerned about who is listening in to their calls, viewing their texts or other personal communications. Blackphone says that it gives users the tools to make secure phone calls, send and receive secure text, have secure video chats and privately browse the internet. Using a virtual private network, you move through the internet anonymously.
Blackphone will start taking pre-orders at MWC next month in Barcelona, where it will be on display. Pricing has yet to be revealed. For those of you out there afraid to use your smartphone since the NSA scandal broke, this could be the solution that you’ve been looking for.