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BlackBerry's cheaper DTEK 50 skips the keyboard, but keeps Android

The full touchscreen midrange phone is the latest product from the struggling phone maker. BlackBerry touts the DTEK 50 as the most secure Android phone in the world.

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BlackBerry's head of devices, Alex Thurber.

Screenshot by Roger Cheng/CNET

BlackBerry is back with another phone. But does anyone care?

The struggling phone maker on Tuesday unveiled the BlackBerry DTEK 50, its second phone powered by Google's Android mobile software. Unlike the company's first Android phone, the Priv, the DTEK 50 does away with BlackBerry's signature physical keyboard and opts for a full screen. It will sell for $299.

BlackBerry hopes the DTEK 50 addresses one of the key complaints about the Priv: its lofty $700 price tag, which put it above higher-profile flagship products like the iPhone 6S. The company had looked to the Priv and its embrace of Android as potential catalysts for turning around its phone business, but sales have been disappointing.

So BlackBerry is at it again. The company on Tuesday reiterated its focus on security as the main selling point of its phones by kicking off its webcast press conference with a video reminding people about the personal nature of your phone. Alex Thurber, head of devices, touted the device as "the world's most secure Android smartphone."

Why DTEK 50? BlackBerry said it represents the company's commitment to securing Android.

The phone will have a 5.2-inch full high-definition display and runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor with 3 gigabytes of RAM. The phone comes with 16 gigabytes of storage, but it can support a 2-terabyte memory card. It will ship with Android 6.0, also known as Marshmallow.

For photographers, the phone will have a 13-megapixel auto-focus camera in the back and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera for selfies.

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The BlackBerry DTEK 50 goes the budget route.

BlackBerry

Blackberry also vowed to quickly offer security patches and claims it manufactures the phone so the security is part of the foundation of the device.

The company said it would go beyond selling the phone through carriers and offer the DTEK 50 through security resellers and other distributors as it angles for more business customers.While the Canadian carriers will sell the phone, in the US the DTEK 50 will be sold at Best Buy, B&H and Amazon.

As for future products, Thurber teased another new Android-powered phone with a physical keyboard "coming shortly."

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