Unihertz Titan Slim: For those who want a physical keyboard for their phone

The Android smartphone scene was very crowded but very good. The main competition means no phone brand can rest on its reputation. This means that flawed designs or bad ideas are quickly removed, and new innovations and popular ideas are adopted quickly overall. The result is an Android phone scene where all the major phones are very nice and stylish, yet very similar. Samsung, Google, and Vivo’s new phones may not be distinguishable from the front.

So, if small cell phone brands are to be successful, they have to step outside the box and try something different. Shenzhen-based Unihertz has been making phones with physical keyboards. I tested one a few years ago and liked the hardware, but it was a bit bulky brick. Others felt the same way.

So Unihertz’s latest offering, the Titan Slim, is much smaller. It measures 5.79 x 2.67 x 0.51 inches and weighs 0.45 pounds. Despite the name, it’s not really that thin as it’s easily thicker than most modern smartphones. However, it is very easy to hold with one hand because it is narrow from left to right.

But this thinner width also makes the keyboard feel cramped than older Unihertz devices or other phones with physical keyboards. On the first day, I couldn’t type fast without making a lot of typos. But by the second day, my fingers got used to it, old muscle memories started using my Blackberry device, and I was pounding on long emails without much difficulty.

But considering that the keyboard is the biggest selling point of this phone, this is a big deal. With this physical thumb keyboard, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to type any faster than a typical smartphone touchscreen. To use a real thumb keyboard, you have to press each button, which takes a second longer than actually pressing an on-screen button. Clicks and tactile feedback feel satisfying, but most high-end Android phones now have great haptic features that simulate the same tactile feedback.

But I may not be the target audience for this phone. I’m not exactly young, but I’m a bit younger than the group of business people who used Blackberry devices a lot in the early 2000s (I was still in school at the time). That group, who should be in their 40s by now, would prefer a physical keyboard. And if you judge Hot reaction on Kickstarter Where Unihertz launched these phones, the group is still eager to return to keyboard phones.

Besides the keyboard, the Unihertz Titan Slim is a standard budget Android phone with an entry-level chip (Mediatek Helio P70), a 48-megapixel main camera and an 8-megapixel selfie camera, and a 4.2-inch LCD screen playing at 60Hz. .

Regardless of brightness or color clarity, the display here won’t beat the $200 Xiaomi smartphone, but it’s definitely fine for a phone aimed at productivity use. The text is clear enough.

The software is the default version of Android 11, but Unihertz has added a nice touch of software that utilizes the keyboard. First, the keyboard also acts as a kind of trackpad. Swipe the keyboard with your thumb to cycle through the home screen or scroll through articles.

Second, you can launch certain apps by holding down the keyboard button, just like holding down the G key can quickly launch Gmail. Both of these are very useful and improve the overall experience.

Above the keyboard is a fingerprint scanner that acts as a home button, but you can also “go home” with a swipe gesture, as on most Android phones.

As mentioned, the camera performance isn’t quite as good as of 2022, but the battery life is good. A single charge can power your phone for at least two days, even with heavy use. Of course, not graphics-intensive tasks like gaming or shooting videos, but social media, sending emails, and reading articles and documents.

By the way, this is a typical Android phone capable of running all Android apps, but the display is too cramped for the most ideal experience.

The Titan Slim also uses a plastic case that feels cheap, but the $250 or less; Comes with rubber case and build material is acceptable.

The Unihertz Titan has other advantages such as charger included, global band and dual SIM card support. So for those who truly crave the era of Blackberry phones, the Unihertz Titan Slim basically wins. Because there really aren’t many other options.

But if, like me, you’ve been accustomed to modern smartphones for a long time, the phone’s physical keyboard feels more like a trick than a necessity.


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