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Geeksphone's Blackphone promises user privacy (pictures)

The minimalistic and austere Blackphone emphasizes deep security.

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Eric Franklin
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1 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

The ultraprivate Blackphone

BARCELONA, Spain -- Running what Geeksphone calls "PrivatOS," (which is based on a modified version of Android) the $629 Blackphone handset was showcased this year at MWC and emphasizes user privacy.

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Encryption made easy

The Blackphone's straight-forward interface style states clearly how each choice you make will affect your information.
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Setup

During setup the Blackphone gives you a little insight into the philosophy behind the phone.
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Loose phones sink ships

The Blackphone runs on an modified version of Android; one in which the OS has been extensively altered, with a focus on increasing security and user privacy. Dubbed PrivatOS, essentially everything you do is kept secret.

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Traditional apps interface

The traditional Android apps interface is still available for the Blackphone.
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An 8-MP shooter for photogs

On the back is an 8-megapixel camera with flash.

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Here's what you get

The Blackphone's free subscription services makes its $630 price a bit easier to swallow.
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A look at the screen

The phone houses a 4.7-inch screen with a 1,280x800 resolution IPS display.

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What's really going on

The Blackphone explains how app permissions work.
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Access to your contacts

The above screen shows you which apps have access to both the Internet and your system-level contacts.
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Security, your way

Security options are user-controlled and intended to be easily implemented. The UI is a simple and straightforward, while allowing for a great deal of flexibility with regard to which apps and services can access your information and which cannot.

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Smarter Wi-Fi

Smarter Wi-Fi turns off your Wi-Fi unless you're at a place -- home, work, etc. -- you've designated.
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The circle

The silent circle takes you home.
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Quad-core power inside

Inside the handset is a 2GHz quad-core processor. Users will also get 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage.

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Running 4G LTE and more

It supports the usual protocols like Bluetooth 4.0, 801.11n Wi-Fi, LTE, and HSPA+, with 2GB of internal RAM and 16GB of onboard storage.

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Unsubsidized for under $700

The phone will ship this June; however, pre-order is available now. The basic starting package starts at $629, plus delivery costs.

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