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A closer look at the BlackBerry DTEK50 smartphone

Alcatel's new BlackBerry smartphone isn't amazing, but it isn't bad either.

Sean Hollister
When his parents denied him a Super NES, he got mad. When they traded a prize Sega Genesis for a 2400 baud modem, he got even. Years of Internet shareware, eBay'd possessions and video game testing jobs after that, he joined Engadget. He helped found The Verge, and later served as Gizmodo's reviews editor. When he's not madly testing laptops, apps, virtual reality experiences, and whatever new gadget will supposedly change the world, he likes to kick back with some games, a good Nerf blaster, and a bottle of Tejava.
Sean Hollister
blackberry-dtek50-2566-001.jpg
1 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET

BlackBerry DTEK50

The BlackBerry DTEK50 is the least BlackBerry-ish BlackBerry yet: No BlackBerry keyboard, no BlackBerry operating system and it wasn't even designed by BlackBerry to begin with. (It's basically an Alcatel Idol 4.)

So we added some actual blackberries to make this photo more palatable.

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2 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET

BlackBerry DTEK50

The only physical difference between the DTEK50 and that Alcatel phone is the BlackBerry has this tacky, grippy plastic back cover instead of a smooth glass one.

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3 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET

BlackBerry DTEK50

Admittedly, it does look more at home in a conference room than the Alcatel might've.

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4 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET

BlackBerry DTEK50

But let's get down to business. The fact the DTEK50 is basically a standard Android phone doesn't mean it's bad...

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5 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET

BlackBerry DTEK50

...it's thin and airy, and in the right light it's actually a little attractive.

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6 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET

BlackBerry DTEK50

Here it is next to a Samsung Galaxy S7. Not bad, right?

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7 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET

BlackBerry DTEK50

The shiny beveled metal edges positively gleam, and this programmable button (it launches any app of your choice) is pretty neat.

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8 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET

BlackBerry DTEK50

This seam is a little unsightly, sure, but it's because there's a slot for the DTEK50's SIM card and microSD storage expansion (up to 2TB).

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9 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET

BlackBerry DTEK50

The 5.2-inch, 1,920x1,080-pixel IPS display is sufficient, and twin stereo speakers make for some decent Netflix viewing.

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10 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET

BlackBerry DTEK50

I can't say it's got the best call quality, though. On T-Mobile, my partner always sounded a little muffled on the other end of the line.

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11 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET

BlackBerry DTEK50

The camera's another sore point. It's a little slow to focus, and crummy at low-light shooting, even if daylight images are perfectly okay.

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12 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET

BlackBerry DTEK50

Here's a closer look at that camera module -- an f/2 aperture for a 13-megapixel sensor.

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13 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET

BlackBerry DTEK50

The stereo speakers also extend to the back of the phone, so music doesn't get muffled when you set it down.

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14 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET

BlackBerry DTEK50

In case you're wondering, this phone still uses the standard microSD port for charging and not USB-C. You also won't find any wireless charging here.

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15 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET

BlackBerry DTEK50

One last look at the BlackBerry DTEK50.

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