If you thought BlackBerry was about to bow out of the smartphone race for good, it looks as if you’re wrong as the once-dominant Canadian manufacturer has decided to press on with what seems to many like the daunting task of trying to compete in a market which has been saturated for years. So how does the new BlackBerry DTEK50 compare with its predecessor, the Priv?

BlackBerry DTEK50 Vs BlackBerry Priv

Until recently, the DTEK50 had been referred to as Hamburg and Neon. While it’s not the first Android handset BlackBerry has produced, it does show that the company may have forgotten about the disaster that was the BB10 OS and is about to move in a fully Android direction. Let’s take a look at some of the more popular features of the new handset.

BlackBerry DTEK50
Image Source: BlackBerry.com

Design compared: BlackBerry DTEK 50 vs. BlackBerry Priv

Holding the handsets one in each hand, it instantly clear that the DTEK50 is much lighter than the Priv.

  • The DTEK 50 weighs in at 135grams.
  • The Priv weighs in at a much heftier 192grams.

As for the size of both devices, they are almost identical except for how thick they are. The DTEK50, compared to the Priv, is slender and feels much more controllable in the hand.

  • The dimensions of the DTEK50 are 147 x 72.5 x 7.4mm.
  • The Priv’s dimensions are 147 x 77.2 x 9.4mm.

If you take a look at each device, it is clear to see why the DTEK50 is lighter and slimmer. The fact that the Priv has a sliding physical keyboard makes all the difference here. However, the Priv does look like a BlackBerry handset, while the DTEK50 with its all-touchscreen layout looks more like a standard Android handset.

There is also another reason the DTEK50 looks more like an Android handset than its predecessor, and that is because it shares the design of the Alcatel Idol 4. The only real difference in design is the BlackBerry logo on the back of the handset and a textured finish to the body.

Displays compared

In my experience, companies like BlackBerry (those that produce one or two new handsets each year) always look to surpass their previous models in almost all aspects of design and specification. However, with the DTEK50, it seems as though BlackBerry could have forgotten (deliberately) about improving the display, as its specs are in no way superior to those found on the Priv.

  • The DTEK50 has a 5.2-inch display which features full HD resolution and has a pixel per inch density of 424ppi.
  • The Priv has a larger 5.4-inch display and has a pixel per inch density of 540ppi.

So as you can see from the spec details above, the display on the BlackBerry Priv is superior to that found on the BlackBerry DTEK50. Apart from the size difference, there should be a noticeable difference in sharpness and depth.

BlackBerry Priv
Image Source: BlackBerry.com

Cameras compared

Moving on to the cameras of both devices, this is a little more convoluted affair because only one small change in, for example, the size of an aperture, can make a huge difference.

The new DTEK50 comes with a 13-mega-pixel rear camera with an aperture of f/2.0. It also benefits from an onboard dual-tone flash, optical image stabilization, and phase detection auto-focus. It can record 1080p video at 30fps. There’s also a front-facing camera with eight megapixels and an f/2.2 aperture.

So, how does this compare to the BlackBerry Priv? To start with, the Priv has a rear-facing camera with a higher megapixel count; in fact, it offers five more megapixels, making it an 18-megapixel camera. As seen on the DTEK50, it also has onboard dual-flash; however, it has a slightly narrower aperture at f/2.2.

As for its video recording capabilities, the Priv is capable of recording video in 4K, but its front-facing camera does not compare to that found on the DTEK as it is only a 2-megapixel snapper.

Hardware compared

Hardware is more often than not the element of a phone’s makeup that will either make or break it, so let’s take a look at how the new DTEK50 compares to the older Priv.

The DTEK50 sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor and an Adreno 405 graphics chip. If you then throw in 3G of RAM, from initial impressions, this device looks rather impressive. However, with only 16GB of onboard flash memory, its storage capacity is limited. To negate this limitation though, BlackBerry has thrown in a microSD card slot, which can expand the device’s storage by up to 256GB.

The BlackBerry Priv, on the other hand, features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 CPU, which, if you forget that the number is higher than that found on the DTEK50, is actually an older CPU. Also as with the DTEK, the Priv has an Adreno graphics chip and is also using 3GB of RAM. So as you can see, so far performance-wise, I would expect the DTEK50 to have a slight edge.

However, the Priv comes with double the storage capacity that is found on the DTEK50. At 32GB, this is what most modern handsets are expected to come pre-installed with. And like the new handset, this older model is also carrying a microSD card slot which is capable of holding a 256GB card.

Specs compared

BlackBerry DTEK50 and BlackBerry Priv Spec Sheet

Final thoughts

From simply holding the devices and comparing their specifications, it is not entirely clear what BlackBerry is attempting to do with the DTEK50. Compared to the Priv, it feels cheaper and more plastic-like in the hand. In fact, its overall build quality is inferior. The front-facing camera is superior to the one found on the Priv, but does this make it worth buying the handset, especially when you consider that it has a smaller battery, slower CPU, and less onboard storage space than the Priv?

As for its price, at $299, the DTEK50 is much cheaper than the Priv at $649, and that shows in the specs and feel of the device. That being said though, I personally do not think that the DTEK50 was ever meant to compete with the Priv. Instead, it is more likely BlackBerry’s attempt at targeting a mid-range consumer.