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Review: Silent Circle Blackphone 2 - Sub Title: Privacy Please


So, so many of the phones we review here at WIRED are boring. There's really nothing special to tell you about most of them. We can talk about processors or fun camera tricks, but like the paintings of Thomas Kinkade, every phone is just a variation on a common theme.

A security-minded Android phone that's easy for normal people to use. With a 5.5-inch screen and modern features, it feels like a mainstream phone. One free year of secure VPN voice, text, and video-chat service with purchase. Awesome permissions management for installed apps.

Performance lags a bit compared to other current handsets. Secure calling and texting is a paid feature after your free year is up. Probably still a bit of a learning curve for most.

  |  Silent Circle

The Blackphone 2, the second device from the Swiss company Silent Circle, is unique. It promises a fully private experience, with advanced security features, deep permissions management, and encrypted voice, text, and video chat built in. The phone, which runs a heavily modified version of Android, lets you fiddle with the most granular permissions settings of all your apps, giving you a level of privacy control that far exceeds that of regular Android phones. And when you make a call, send a text, or fire up a videoconference, your communications travel encrypted across Silent Circle's private cloud VPN, better protecting you from spies.