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Hands on with the Unihertz Titan

Hands on with the Unihertz Titan

The Unihertz Titan smartphone.

I’m always excited about new tech but sometimes new tech comes in the guise of the old and that’s the case with the Titan smartphone. A BlackBerry-like Android smartphone that has a physical keyboard and a nowadays Instagram friendly 1:1 aspect ratio screen. 

I’ve been using the Titan as my primary phone for a week now and coming from a Razer Phone 2 it has been a big departure but I’ve been pleasantly surprised for most of the way. The Titan does not have the absolute fastest processor but it is no slouch, performance is more than adequate. Apps open fast, switching between them is fast enough and so is taking pictures and video. The display in the Razer is 120 Hz and that’s the biggest pain point. When you get used to that refresh rate it’s hard to go back to anything lower than that. But, for $250 the Titan is an incredible value in the raw performance department.

The keyboard is not perfect and will take some getting used to. Like a Blackberry it’s a little cramped and the travel of the keys isn’t much. It gets the job done and is more pleasant for typing anything longer than a tweet than swinging your finger around a screen.

Software-wise the phone is running Android 9 and hopefully it gets an update to 10. The biggest problem I had was getting the Mi Fit app to run in the background without the aggressive battery and performance settings shutting it down. Without this app, my Amazfit Bip smart watch does not get notifications and becomes basically useless. It took me awhile to figure out that the “Duraspeed” section in the Android settings is the ultimate arbiter of what app gets to run when it’s not in focus. And green lighting any app in there lets it keep running, so any app you want to give you swift notifications should be set here.

Finally, the wireless radios in the Titan appear to be better the Razer. I have a couple dead zones in my house that do not phase the Titan. The 6000 mAh battery is also nearly twice as big as the Razer’s which is a big deal for me. At the end of the day my heavy use got the Titan down to about 45% which would be nearly dead for the Razer. The Titan has 15W charging which is fast but not the fastest. I usually charge overnight though so it’s fine and the giant battery shouldn’t need a top up during the day.

So until the next weird shiny object catches my eye I’m going to be using Titan as my main phone. It’s currently not available for sale officially since the Kickstarter is over. Only through random eBay sellers but I’d say if you’re into this form factor it’s worth it up to about $400 if you can snag one around there.

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