Unlike last year’s premium Priv, we’re working with a midrange list of specifications: an octa-core Snapdragon 617 chipset with 3GB of RAM and an Adreno 405 GPU. Alas, there’s no physical keyboard this time; you’ll be typing your messages on a 5.2-inch, 1080p IPS LCD touchscreen. Flanking the display is a surprisingly capable pair of stereo speakers, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera and a notification LED up top. But don’t get too excited, BlackBerry loyalists: It only blinks white. Meanwhile, the DTEK50’s backside is home to a 13-megapixel camera (with phase-detection autofocus, no less) and a two-tone LED flash.

There is no a fingerprint scanner

For a phone that’s so focused on security, it’s a little odd that the DTEK50 doesn’t have a fingerprint scanner. The reason is purely practical: BlackBerry had to keep costs down. That’s probably also why the DTEK50 comes with only 16GB of internal storage. (Thankfully, you can add up to 2TB of storage by way of a microSD card slot.)

What we got instead of said scanner is a convenience key that sits below the volume rocker on the phone’s right edge. The premise is simple, enough: You can set it to launch apps or perform specific actions like calling someone or turning on the flashlight. Alas, the convenience key isn’t always very convenient. It won’t work while the phone is locked — something its distant relative, the Idol 4S, does just fine — and you can’t use it to snap a quick photo or take screenshots. More important, that key sits where most phones have their power buttons, and it took me an entire week to get used to that tricky placement. (If you’d rather not reset your muscle memory, you can make the convenience key unlock the phone too.)

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Display and sound

The Priv’s fancy, curved AMOLED panel obviously wasn’t going to make the jump into a midrange phone, but — surprise, surprise — the 5.2-inch LCD we got on the DTEK50 is pretty damned good. It runs at 1080p (that’s a pixel density of 424 ppi, if you didn’t feel like doing the math), making for plenty of crisp text and visuals. It lacks the sort of punchy colors and deep blacks we got from the Priv, but who cares? They’re accurate, and the screen and scratch-resistant glass covering it are laminated together, so viewing angles are great. (If the color temperature doesn’t do it for you out of the box, you can tweak it in the device’s settings.)

In fact, the only time the DTEK50’s display seems to fall short is when you look at it next to other devices that cost about the same. ZTE’s Axon 7 will cost only $100 more when it launches in the US in September, and it features a beautiful Quad HD screen. Would it have been nice to get a higher-res screen on the DTEK50? Sure. Would it have made any sense, considering BlackBerry is trying to sell these en masse to businesses? Not even a little.

The audio quality another pleasant surprise, given that BlackBerry has never paid much attention to it in the past. I always feel a little twinge of giddiness when a phone I’m reviewing has stereo speakers, and the DTEK50’s offer crisp highs and decent channel separation for immersive sound. Even better, the speaker setup is replicated on the phone’s back so the jams won’t stop even when the DTEK50 is lying face down. Still, they’re far from perfect: Most songs I tried sounded hollow. What’s more, the DTEK’s maximum volume isn’t terribly loud, though it’ll do fine for podcasts and YouTube videos. The DTEK50 also comes with Waves’ MaxxAudio tuner, but your mileage may vary. The app’s presets usually succeeded in making my songs sound different, but not necessarily better.

Software and security

Now that the company is willing to almost completely outsource hardware design and production, BlackBerry’s soul boils down to two things: software and security. Unless it nails both of those things, then, there’s little reason to buy into the company’s vision. As far as the former goes, there’s no point in hiding it: I dig BlackBerry’s take. Things haven’t changed dramatically since the Priv’s days — the company didn’t mess with Android 6.0.1 itself. Most of the same tricks are back and they still focus on getting things done fast.

Swiping up from the bottom of the screen, for instance, brings up shortcuts to the dialer, the Device Search app and BlackBerry’s Hub. Long story short, the hub acts as a one-stop shop for your messages, be they emails, BBMs, texts, Facebook messages or Viber pings. I typically prefer the rush of pseudo-productivity that comes with jumping in and out of multiple apps, but it didn’t take long to appreciate having a single place to triage all the stuff that flew into my inbox. (As a bonus, you can now download this app from the Play Store and use it on other Android devices too.)