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BlackBerry Priv standout features: Hub, pop-up widgets and security app

A few superb software features, combined with better security functions, help the Priv stand out from the crowded Android pack of phones.
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Written by Kevin Tofel, Contributing Writer on

Along with a complete bottom-up approach to privacy and security, the BlackBerry Priv has a few other features that aren't found on competing Android devices.

BlackBerry shared this video on Thursday explaining what those are for the $699 handset with hardware keyboard.

The BlackBerry Hub, a complete integration of all communications in a single app, will be extremely useful: It's one of my favorite features that's carrying over from the company's BB10 operating system.

With it, you can manage incoming email, messages, calls, calendar events and social media accounts in one centralize place.

BlackBerry is also putting a twist on traditional Android widgets, making them pop-up on command with swipe. Rather than clutter up home screens with various widgets, it looks like they'll have the option to be hidden until you want to see them.

Lastly is another security and data privacy feature called DTEK.

DTEK is pre-loaded on the BlackBerry Priv and monitors your device's level of security, providing a quick-glance dashboard for items such as screen lock, factory reset protection and remote device management features.

The software also monitors apps on your phone for the following:

  • Taking pictures or videos without your knowledge
  • Turning your microphone on
  • Sending a text message
  • Access to your contacts
  • Access to your location

Granted, Android 6.0 brings more granular app permissions but DTEK sounds a little more proactive. And it will notify you when an app accesses sensitive data.

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From the sounds of it, DTEK appears to be something Android should do natively, but doesn't quite; at least not yet.

As a result, unless BlackBerry brings DTEK -- and the BlackBerry Hub -- to the Google Play Store, the only way to get them is to invest in a Priv.

Does a safer, more secure Android phone with integrated communications appeal to you enough to buy a Priv?

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