first_imgStay on target Are You a Bad Enough Dude For Land Rover’s Toughest Phone Ever?For $200 Cheaper, the Samsung Galaxy S9 Comes Pretty Close to the iPhone X Cybersecurity firm DarkMatter introduced its first smartphone—an uber-secure handset designed to block spy agencies.Named after the Arabic word for “silence,” the Katim phone launched Monday at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.A “personal vault” for private communication, this device was developed to defend against “the most advanced modern mobile security threats,” according to the product page.At first glance, Katim looks like any other 5.2-inch smartphone on the market; it’s powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor and runs the Android operating system (albeit a “hardened” version). Even some of its security features—two-factor authentication, fingerprint verification, data encryption—are nothing to write home about.But look a little closer, and you’ll find noteworthy functions like locked mode, which disables microphones, the 5- and 12-megapixel cameras, motion sensors, and Bluetooth for added peace of mind.“You always tend to find people leaving their phone outside the meeting,” DarkMatter CEO Faisal Al Bannai told CNBC. “It’s because you can’t trust that no one, no super agencies, are able to turn on that mic while you are sitting in the room.”That’s not an issue with Katim.Simply flick a switch on the side of the device to turn on shield mode, which physically disconnects power from all recording services.So, “unless that super agency has a way of physically shifting that button back, there is no way that mic is turning on and listening to what you’re saying,” Al Bannai said.DarkMatter isn’t the only modern manufacturer focused on security.GranitePhone maker Sikur returned this week with what it claims is a “hack-proof” smartphone that safely stores cryptocurrencies. Only 20,000 units are available for presale at a discounted price of $799.Huawei, meanwhile, unveiled the MateBook Pro X laptop, with the camera hidden in the keyboard. Press a spring-loaded button in the top function row to reveal a 1-megapixel webcam.For more MWC coverage visit our sister site PC Mag.Editor’s Note: This article was updated on Feb. 28 with the correct spelling of DarkMatter CEO Faisal Al Bannai’s name.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more