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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
Eric Franklin led the CNET Tech team as Editorial Director. A 20-plus-year industry veteran, Eric began his tech journey testing computers in the CNET Labs. When not at work he can usually be found at the gym, chauffeuring his kids around town, or absorbing every motivational book he can get his hands on.
Eric Franklin
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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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