Tool Review:

Bittium Tough Mobile 2 C Smartphone


The Bittium Tough Mobile 2 C is one of the many devices that Bittium offers. The smartphone has a multi-layered security structure. It employs both a secure design that relies on the addition of proprietary software. The combination of the two security layers offers users both a top of the line smartphone and a device. So, when used correctly, it is private.

The functionality of the device applies:  

  • The Android 9 Pie operating system
  • Proprietary hardware solutions
  • Information security features
  • Software integrated with the source code

The phone’s price point is approximately a minimum of £2,000.00, once you add the cost of the device with the necessary security software.

The device was not designed to be a personal phone. Bittium phones have a high level of security and a high price point. With all of the security features, this phone was designed for those who work specifically in the security industry or hold government positions.

One appealing feature of the phone is that it is built to work as two separate phones -one for private use -and one in a secure mode.

Bittium is a security-focused communications technology project and currently offers over 50 different similar products. The company has been developing advanced radio communication technologies for 35 years.

Bittium’s products extend from smartphones to healthcare technology. Devices built by Bittium include monitoring of bio-signals for cardiology, neurophysiology, rehabilitation, occupational health, and sports medicine. In 2020 net sales amounted to EUR 78.4 million, and an operating profit was EUR 2.1 million. Bittium is currently listed on Nasdaq Helsinki. 

User Demographic

The value of this particular device is entirely dependent upon the intended use. For those who just want a more private smartphone, there are certainly other options. And if you want a good smartphone, there are Apple and Android models on the market that out-perform the Bittium Tough Mobile 2 C.

Those who purchase and are satisfied with this smartphone are those who need a highly secure phone for work. The total cost will take the user over £1500.00 (around $2k), and even if you manage to keep the phone for 3 or 4 years, you are still spending a significant amount for security and privacy. Moreover, you are not just looking at the price of the phone, but the cost of software and cellphone service.

And, although using the dual phone model is an easy learning curve, one does wonder why you wouldn’t just keep two phones -if you need such a secure phone, in the first place. By using the dual feature, your usability is somewhat decreased –  might be necessaryaddingas you must shut down and restart the phone each time.


This device is completely designed and manufactured in Finland, where Bittium supervises all levels of manufacturing of their smartphones. From Finland, Bittium also supplies its smartphones directly to its customers.

Bittium builds smartphones with the following features:

  • Smartphones which can be audited and used by authorities
  • Bittium Secure Suite, which device management and encryption software product -the software can be certified and used by government officials
  • The tamper-proofed design of the phone is to prevent data theft and hardware manipulation
  • Non-rootable device firmware
  • Uses a dedicated secure element to store credentials and encryption keys on the hardware
  • Disk encryption
  • A boot with hardware and software integrity validation
Secure Call Features

The phone is designed for persons who require extremely high-security protocols to use the Bittium Tough Mobile 2. As such, users must also use their proprietary security software, the standard-issueBittium Secure Call communication application.

With the security of the phone design, Secure Call offers the following features:

  • end-to-end encrypted voice and video calls
  • a feature that destroys messages after a set time
  •  supports deployment in commercial and private networks and does not depend on public Internet or cloud services

Bittium Secure Suite: Offers the user device security management, which includes the application of an additional VPN layer. VPNs remove network access to the IP and location of the device. The additional VPN layer provides a dual encryption for all communications. The Bittium Tough Mobile 2 also requires Bittium’s Secure Suite software. Bittium’s proprietary software enables remote management of Bittium phones, as well as encrypted data transfers.

Privacy Switch: With the flick of a switch built into the phone, privacy mode is enabled. The privacy switch automatically disables microphones, the camera, and Bluetooth. Privacy mode also reduces the accuracy of sensors.

Workspaces: With workspaces, users can securely manage the data of multiple different organizations. It also maintains the privacy of personal data and social media applications, all within the same Bittium Tough Mobile 2 device. Bittium phones support the use of several isolated and secure workspaces.


Bittium provides a Yubico NFC key on a lanyard, which is the second level of security. The NFC keys must be touched to the underside of the phone for it to start. If the NFC key is lost or the phone’s unlock code is repeatedly entered, the phone is permanently locked and rendered unusable.

Another security feature is that the version of Android 9 Bittium uses has anti-modification mechanisms in place. If any of the features of the phone are intentionally tampered with, the phone is disabled.

Pricing and Design

Essentially, to purchase a basic Bittium Tough Mobile 2, you are looking at a minimum spend of £1500.00 or around $2000.

The exact price of Bittium products is difficult to determine. The total price of any device will depend on the features and implementations that the user chooses. The final price is determined by how the user plans on using the phone and then which security layers are applied.

To get a quote, contact Bittium here.

Bittium Tough Mobile 2 has 3 main options:

  • include a standard Android phone
  • a secure Android implementation
  • and the 2 C offers both options in a single device

With all the security features available, and the target customer is someone who demands a high level of security for government or business use. These devices are among the costliest secure phones on the market today, but that is not without reason.


The company claims that the design of Bittium phones is minimalist, with only essential physical features.

  • The phone is black.
  • A custom rubbstandard-issue standard issue: the bumper is removable. Underneath the bumper, there is a logo. Under the logo is an instructional sticker for the functions of the buttons and the SIM card tray.
  • The button selection: power on/off, privacy mode, volume up and down, push-to-speak, and the emergency button.
  • Charging: USB-C port
  • Audio jack: Located on the top left side, 3.5mm

Features that are NOT included with this phone:

  • fingerprint reader
  • multi-lens camera
  • wireless charging capabilities

*The absence of these features is because they can reduce the reliability of the security features.

Dual Modes

Bittium Tough Mobile 2 has two modes: one for personal use and the other is for totally safe use. Therefore, the device accepts a dual SIM.

Two modes mean that there are two separate platforms, each configured with separate settings. In order to change between the two modes, the phone must be rebooted. The default is to reopen to the security setting. You must actively choose the personal mode when rebooting the phone.


The one major drawback of the dual feature is that the phone divides the memory and storage into two. This is because the device segregates the two phones so that no information is shared between the personal and private modes. The quoted storage is 64GB. However, because it is essentially two Android phones in one, each Android installation only gets 16GB of space (42GB total).

That means that the phone shares 64GB of storage, or 32GB on each side -and the security software takes up a portion of that storage space. Users are looking at an estimated 16GB of free storage. For more memory, you can add a 256GB Micro SD card via the SIM tray. But because it is two phones in one, only one side will have exclusive access to the extra memory.

SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 SoC Chip

The core of the device is an SoC built around the Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 SoC and Adreno 615 GPU combination. It is a chip that was launched in 2018. The same chip is used in the Google Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Oppo R17, Vivo X23, or Vivo Z23.

Unfortunately, this is not the fasted chip from Qualcomm, nor is it the most popular chip from them. The chip has an eight-core structure and uses two 2.0 GHz Kryo 360 Gold (Cortex-A75 derived) and six 1.7 GHz Kryo 360 Silver (Cortex-A55 derived) cores.

Although the SoC is not the best on the market in terms of speed, it has been around for a while, which may justify Bittium using a trusted and tested chip over newer untested models.

Given the basic design of the phone, even making simple alterations threatens the security of the phone.

Performance and Use

Frequency support and Connectivity: The device supports travel and uses the following network connections: LTE, GSM/GPRS/EDGE, and UMTS/HSPA bands.

*There is no 5G connectivity.


The rear camera is only a 12MP autofocus, and the front camera uses 5MP fixed focus. As such, these are fairly low-resolution cameras in comparison to other smartphones. However, the rear camera is a Snapdragon 670, which makes 4K video recording possible. Unfortunately, due to the limited storage space available, adding a Micro SD card might be necessary.