Abu Dhabi-based DarkMatter says its corporate mission is «to enable businesses and governments to become smart, safe, and cyber resilient.»
With the KATIM R01, their new tricked-out Android smartphone, DarkMatter is definitely true to their stated purpose, because it fulfills a need that far too many other manufacturers never address: military-grade safety and security.
No joke, this is James Bond stuff. If you think about it casually, Bond seems like he’d rock a stylish top-notch iPhone, but let’s face it: iPhones are not known for their toughness.
The KATIM R01’s short list of features geared toward tactical use are damn impressive. From their own description:
KATIM® R01 is tough. It has the strength of five layers of hardened case and can handle being dropped, run over and immersed in water. It has a tamper protected design so all data in the device stays safe and a USB interface protected against data theft and malware.
KATIM® R01 is even tougher inside with multiple layers of defence: hardened KATIM® OS with a hardware-based crypto root of trust, KATIM® Secure Communications suite of applications based on custom and quantum-resistance cryptographic protocols, and back end infrastructure with the KATIM® Command Centre.
Together, these layers form a unique, ultra secure system. In extreme conditions, it gives an optimized user experience with good grip, extra loud audio for noisy environments, dedicated buttons for Push-to-Talk and SOS, and a touch screen that’s accurate for gloved and wet hand operation.
There are 4GB of RAM on board with 128GB of storage that the user can expand with a microSD card. The phone’s 5.65” display is made with Corning Gorilla Glass 5, and it comes with a fingerprint sensor in addition to dual-SIM support.
The KATIM runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip and its OS is basically a forked version of Android 8.1, which can be upgraded as needed.
Even if much of the above is technobabble to some, the bit about handling the phone with wet hands is remarkable enough. We may all have supercomputers in our pockets now, but one of the great ironies in that is how they’re unusable if you just walked in out of the rain.
On top of all this, the KATIM R01 just looks badass, like the RoboCop version of your standard-issue Android device.
The kicker: The phone can only be purchased from DarkMatter, and pricing is only available on request—so it probably has a pretty steep price tag. If DarkMatter can back up its claims with performance, though, it’s worth it.