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Unihertz Titan Slim first look overview: Cheap, chunky, and pointless in 2022


Three years in the past I attempted out the large Unihertz Titan smartphone with a really massive bodily QWERTY keyboard. I cherished the BlackBerry Passport, however the Titan was simply too massive for me to hold day by day and use it to get work accomplished commonly. In 2021, I examined the Titan Pocket which was shut in measurement and design to the BlackBerry Daring so I discovered it a bit interesting. 

For the previous couple of weeks, I’ve been testing an early prototype of the Unihertz Titan Slim and I feel somebody at Unihertz meant Titan Slim and never Titan Slim. The Titan Slim is likely one of the thickest telephones I’ve examined in years, measuring 12.35mm in depth. That is simply 2mm thinner than a folded Galaxy Z Fold 3 and has no enterprise calling itself slim.

Like

  • Giant variety of accessible keyboard shortcuts
  • Excessive capability battery
  • Cheap

Do not Like

  • Tiny keyboard
  • Thick
  • Low cost supplies
  • Subpar digital camera efficiency

Specs

  • Processor: MediaTek Helio P70
  • Show: 4.2-inches 768×1280 pixels decision
  • Working system: Android 11
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 256GB inside storage (examined as 128GB)
  • Cameras: 48-megapixel rear digital camera and 8-megapixel front-facing digital camera
  • Wi-fi expertise: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, GPS/BEIDOU/GLONASS, FM radio, infrared
  • Sensors: Fingerprint, accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity, ambient mild, and compass
  • Battery: 4,100mAh non-removable
  • Dimensions: 146.85 x 67.6 x 12.75mm and 204 grams

The Titan Pocket is the sixth telephone launched on Kickstarter by Unihertz and I’ve had the chance to check out the final 5. The telephones are affordably priced, even outdoors of the Kickstarter particular affords, and goal area of interest segments of the smartphone market. Each has far exceeded the modest Kickstarter targets and with the Titan Slim we see there are already greater than 2,000 backers with pledges virtually reaching $535,000 (on the time of publishing this text).

{Hardware}

When Unihertz first reached out to me in regards to the probability to check out a Titan Slim, I used to be excited as a result of I believed it will be an up to date model of one thing like a BlackBerry Key2. I rapidly opened up the plain bundle and virtually fell out of my chair laughing on the thickness of a telephone with slim within the title. The Key2 measures 8.5mm in thickness, 4mm lower than the Titan Slim. For sure, this isn’t a slim or glossy telephone.

Evaluation: BlackBerry KEY2: An old-school idea, up to date

Now, in comparison with the opposite Unihertz Titan telephones, this one is glossy and slim, however these different fashions are huge. The telephone is pretty slender at 67.6mm so Titan Slim could be a extra applicable title. Nonetheless, the width of the telephone additionally signifies that the keyboard is pretty tiny and my growing old fats fingers had hassle sustaining any type of velocity on the keys. Somebody with small fingers might benefit from the tactile expertise, however in 2022 I see no motive for a {hardware} QWERTY keyboard on a smartphone.

Black Unihertz Titan Slim and red BlackBerry Key2

Unihertz Titan Slim (left) and BlackBerry Key2 (proper)

Matthew Miller/ZDNet

The central fingerprint sensor is purposeful and in addition serves as a succesful residence button. The keyboard features enabled by way of the software program appear like they have been copied from BlackBerry with very related icons once you arrange shortcuts. You’ll be able to set up an enormous variety of fast launch shortcuts, swipe up and down on the keyboard to scroll by way of lengthy pages of textual content and knowledge, and the tactile really feel is first rate on the tiny keys. The house bar is small, the shift and different vital keys are approach up on the highest row, and there may be simply an excessive amount of bouncing round between the keyboard and the show to offer a seamless expertise.

Beginning on the entrance, we’ve got the 4.2-inch LCD display, which is ok for viewing textual content content material on the telephone. The colours look nice on the show and it is shiny sufficient for any lighting situation.

The headset speaker and front-facing 8MP digital camera are above the show. There may be an IR transmitter on the highest, however regardless of the telephone thickness, there isn’t a 3.5mm headphone jack. There may be software program included on the telephone so you possibly can manipulate distant controls for varied digital merchandise. The USB-C port and mono speaker are on the underside of the telephone.

Side view of Unihertz Titan Slim and BlackBerry Key2

Aspect view of  Unihertz Titan Slim (high) and BlackBerry Key2 (backside)

Matthew Miller/ZDNet

The amount buttons are positioned on the higher proper aspect with the ability button under it. A customizable crimson button is discovered on the left aspect with the 2 SIM card trays above this button. There’s a utility to customized a press and a press and maintain of this button.

Additionally: Unihertz Titan first impressions: Huge, rugged, long-lasting, QWERTY Android telephone

The 48-megapixel digital camera is discovered within the higher left nook with a flash to the precise of the digital camera. The again is reasonable, shiny black plastic, and mixed with the shiny black sides provides the telephone a relatively horrible really feel. I assume on the estimated $250 value, we will not ask for an excessive amount of.

The cameras have been relatively poor with timelapse, video, picture, and guide modes accessible. Most photos have been blown out with poor colours and focus so they could be good for primary doc seize or sharing restricted pictures on social media.

Software program

The Unihertz Titan Slim launches with Android 11 out of the field and the prototype I examined has a September 5, 2021, Android safety replace put in. I checked a few different Unihertz telephones, and there’s no document of updates for firmware or month-to-month safety updates. Android 12 has been out now for practically a yr and Android 13 is correct across the nook. Don’t purchase this telephone with an expectation of ever receiving updates, which might pose a safety danger for anybody shopping for this for enterprise use.

The telephone runs a reasonably inventory model of Android. The Google Uncover web page is out there once you swipe from left to proper to the primary panel, very similar to a Pixel telephone.

Along with the Google fundamentals reminiscent of calculator, calendar, digital camera, Chrome, Gmail, Maps, Messages, and extra, you get a number of apps from Unihertz. These embrace an FM radio, IR distant management app, music participant, NoteBook, sound recorder, and Toolbox.

The Toolbox is filled with helpful utilities that improve the performance of the telephone. The instruments within the Toolbox embrace:

  • Sound meter
  • Compass
  • Flashlight
  • Bubble stage
  • Image hanger instrument
  • Coronary heart charge monitor
  • Peak measuring utility
  • Magnifier
  • Pedometer
  • Speedometer
  • Alarm
  • Plumb bob
  • Protractor

It is cool to see the digital camera used with a few of these instruments to offer an augmented actuality expertise that gives you with a tool for correct measurements.

The house display helps widespread app widgets too so you possibly can customise your Android expertise. The Fast Controls part from the notification shade can be custom-made to your private preferences.

Additionally: Unihertz Atom XL hands-on: 4-inch show, 48MP digital camera, and DMR help for lower than $330

Preliminary utilization experiences

Unihertz appeals to a distinct segment market and it seems there are a number of thousand folks world wide who’re interested by low cost telephones with a QWERTY keyboard.

Whereas I didn’t get pleasure from utilizing the keyboard, I did like {that a} BlackBerry-esque interface exists to arrange customized shortcuts. It is also good to have the keyboard perform as a trackpad for scrolling with out touching the show.

The telephone often locked up and froze on me in settings and a few apps. I didn’t need to reset it although and switching again to residence and one other app appeared to get out the difficulty. The inventory Android expertise is nice, however safety updates and firmware help are horrible.

I loved the soft-touch matte designs of previous Unihertz merchandise and am not a fan of the shiny end used on the Titan Slim. Fingerprints collect all around the sides and again whereas the fabric feels low cost within the hand.

Battery life appeared fantastic, however I actually could not hold my SIM in too lengthy to try it out as a result of I didn’t benefit from the expertise of utilizing the telephone. Fundamental community help is supplied with no 5G functionality. The Unihertz Titan Slim just isn’t a telephone I can suggest, however there are clearly a number of individuals who do not thoughts spending about $250 to check out one thing distinctive.

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