Is this the age of the ultra-secure smartphone?

Back in black

In the other black corner, the GeeksPhone Blackphone is aimed squarely where Boeing and other ultra-secure phone makers haven't yet tread: at consumers.

The Blackphone is the result of a partnership between GeeksPhone and Silent Circle, a company that specializes in encrypted communications. It runs another custom version of Android, this one called PrivatOS. It encrypts all your phone calls and texts, and all web browsing is anonymous.

The Blackphone also gives you total control over how much access to your phone and network every individual app is given. If an app does something suspicious, you can stop it in its tracks.

It also has a smart Wi-Fi manager that turns your Wi-Fi off when you leave trusted locations, and you get extra licenses to get friends and family hooked up with Silent Circle services so you can communicate with one another in private.

In terms of specs the Blackphone sports a 4.7-inch HD display, a 2GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of memory, 16GB of storage, and an 8-megapixel camera on the back. And it will go for $629 (about £377, AU$700) when it drops in June.

The 'Snowden Phone'

Another new secure phone has emerged in the form of the FreedomPop Privacy Phone.

Its nickname - the "Snowden Phone" - is sort of ridiculous, yes, but the phone itself is totally serious.

In reality the Privacy Phone is just a Samsung Galaxy S2, but FreedomPop has locked the device's talk and text up tight with 128-bit encryption. Naturally its internet browsing is anonymous by default as well.

Virus and phishing protections are built in too, and contacts and call history are of course confidential.

Users who don't mind using a slightly outdated phone can order FreedomPop's modified Galaxy S2 now for $189 (about £113, AU$210). It comes with three months of free unlimited voice and texts and 500MB of data, and you can even buy it with Bitcoins.

Paranoia pays

The smartphone security arms race is clearly just beginning to heat up.

Boeing may one day decide to give the Black (or another phone like it) a wider commercial release, or it may not. It doesn't really matter in the scheme of things, because the GeeksPhone Blackphone is already there - and others aren't far behind.

Motorola has a security-focused Android phone called the AME 2000 that's currently being used by federal agencies. Apple published a 33-page document this month detailing the security features of iOS 7. Following Apple, Samsung recently equipped the Galaxy S5 with a fingerprint scanner. The company also launched KNOX marketplace, a secure, business-oriented app store for BYOD clientele.

Even the upcoming LG G3 is rumored to have a fingerprint sensor - or possibly something so sci-fi as an eyeball scanner.

There will no doubt be many more phones down the road seeking to define security. And in today's age, when parties ranging from identity thieves to the government itself may try at any time to gain access to our personal and private data, that's more important than ever.

Michael Rougeau

Michael Rougeau is a former freelance news writer for TechRadar. Studying at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Northeastern University, Michael has bylines at Kotaku, 1UP, G4, Complex Magazine, Digital Trends, GamesRadar, GameSpot, IFC, Animal New York, @Gamer, Inside the Magic, Comic Book Resources, Zap2It, TabTimes, GameZone, Cheat Code Central, Gameshark, Gameranx, The Industry, Debonair Mag, Kombo, and others.

Micheal also spent time as the Games Editor for, and was the managing editor at GameSpot before becoming an Animal Care Manager for Wags and Walks.