The second-generation Blackphone handset focused on a secure mobile experience arrives next month. Pre-orders of a sort have begun, although the company hasn't yet announced the phone's price and is simply having potential buyers fill out an online form.
The Blackphone 2, announced this past March, is a successor to the original Blackphone from 2014.
That device retailed for $630, promising a higher level of privacy and security than other Android phones. Last year's model included a one-year security service subscription with payments of $10 a month to continue after that. Silent Circle, makers of the Blackphone, offer encrypted communications and data on the handset.
Blackphone 2 brings the handset more up to date when it comes to hardware. The phone has a larger 5.5-inch display made from Gorilla Glass 3, has a 1.7 GHz octo-core processor, 3 GB of memory, microSD card expansion slot, 13 megapixel rear camera and Quick Charge battery capabilities.
In addition to Silent OS, the Android-based platform that the Blackphone 2 runs, Silent Circle also includes its own suite of apps revolving around online security.
The company describe its communications security this way:
When a Silent Circle subscriber makes a phone call or video chats with another Silent Circle member, that transmission is secured and encrypted end-to-end on our crystal-clear secure network. ZRTP provides true peer-to-peer key negotiation and management for secure VOIP communication.
Silent Circle doesn't keep the communications encryption keys and it says its ZRTP protocols offer two protection layers against man-in-the-middle attacks.
Clearly, most consumers won't likely ever hear of the Blackphone 2 but for enterprises, Silent Circle could be on to something. Indeed, the online pre-order is geared specifically for enterprises, asking how many handsets you'd like to buy. And the U.S. Department of Defense has already trialled the original Blackphone.
Without a price, however, it's difficult for I.T. departments to commit to sales of any quantity; I expect the company will announce the price you'll pay for such security and privacy when it officially debuts the handset next month.