Silent Circle has promised and now it is delivering on it second attempt to corner the still niche market for enterprise hardened mobile devices designed to keep your data in and intruders out. The Blackphone 2, now equipped with a larger screen and more or less updated specs, is now available for purchase. Sadly, that extra bit of security and privacy does come at a rather high price than most high-end smartphones. But for some, particularly in the enterprise, that might be something worth paying for.
This isn’t Silent Circle’s first rodeo, as the number might not so subtly tell. The first Blackphone was shipped a little over a year ago but was immediately hacked, calling into question the credibility of the whole proposition. Hopefully, this second chance will last a few good months before caving under intense hacking pressure.
As an Android smartphone, the Blackphone 2 might not be all that much. It runs on an unnamed quad-core Qualcomm CPU, probably a Snapdragon 810, with 3 GB of RAM and a 5.5-inch 1080p screen. Its real value, however, is in the software running on top of the hardware, particularly the Android-based Silent OS (previously PrivatOS). SilentOS introduces the concept of “Spaces”, practically silos you can set up for particular scenarios, like work, family, or even social networks, without worry that one’s data will bleed into the other. So even should your “Social” space get compromised, your “Work” remains intact and protected.
For this second round, Silent Circle adds another feature to its list. The smartphone is now part of Android for Work, Google’s own push to place Android in the workplace. This has two benefits for the Blackphone 2. First is added exposure and marketing. The second is access to Google Play Services and, therefore, Google’s apps. Aside from Android for Work, the smartphone is also certified with other mobile device management suites such as MobileIron, Citrix, Good and SOTI.
And just how much does the Blackphone 2 cost? A solid $799.