BlackBerry DTEK50 - Battery life and verdict

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BlackBerry DTEK50 – Battery

The DTEK50’s battery is a key reason I can’t recommend it. It has been quite some time since I’ve come across a phone that barely lasts until 7pm with fairly minimal usage. Over a period of four days, I managed only 1-2 hours of intensive use from the meagre 2,610mAh battery, which simply isn’t good enough.

Related: Best Phablets 2016

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I lost 20% while streaming an episode of Stranger Things on Netflix (with 70% brightness, Wi-Fi on) and 18% watching Masterchef on BBC iPlayer. The battery dropped from fully charged to 65% following 30 minutes of Asphalt 8, meaning you’ll barely get 90 minutes of gaming without having to reach for the plug.

Standby times are poor too, even though Google’s Doze feature is enabled. Leaving the phone unplugged overnight saw a 7% drop, which is more than double on the Moto G4 and OnePlus 3.

On the plus side, the BlackBerry DTEK50 supports Quick Charge 2.0 through the microUSB port. However, the device takes around two hours to charge to full capacity. When I can powerup the Samsung Galaxy S7 fully in 70 minutes, and the OnePlus 3 in less than an hour, this is something of an annoyance.

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Between 1 and 2 hours of screen-on time is the norm

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Some days, the DTEK50 didn’t make it past the middle of the afternoon

I remember classic BlackBerry devices with batteries that lasted for days, and while this is virtually impossible nowadays, it would have been good to see something that could at least make it from breakfast to bedtime without requiring a top-up.

Should I buy the BlackBerry DTEK50?

The BlackBerry DTEK50 appears to be the sort of device that businesses could buy in bulk and dish out to all employees.

If you’re upgrading from an age-old Bold or Curve then you’ll love it, but now that BlackBerry has pushed the majority of its best software to all Android users, the reasons to buy this phone deplete further.

Dull build aside, the DTEK50 suffers two significant issues: slow performance and poor battery life. Can I forgive these on a £279 phone? Not really.

However, the display is good and the camera takes decent enough pictures for social media. I’m also a fan of the software tweaks; this is one of the best versions of Android I’ve used – and this does count for something.

For £279 you could pick up the Moto G4 Plus and have money left over; forking out a little more buys you the the OnePlus 3. If you’re on Vodafone, then the Smart Platinum 7 is an option.

Verdict

Sluggish performance, poor battery life and a dull design make this privacy focused device difficult to love – even if it benefits from some really neat software tweaks.

Score in detail

  • Performance 5
  • Camera 6
  • Design 5
  • Battery Life 5
  • Value 6
  • Software 9
  • Calls & Sound 8
  • Screen Quality 8
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