Unihertz Titan Pocket Review: The Perfect Phone in the Right Situation

The well-molded QWERTY keyboard and utility applications make this the perfect phone for getting work done. Just don't expect to be enjoying video streaming or games to their full extent on this screen. 

  • Brand: Unihertz
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Memory: 6GB DDR4
  • Operating System: Android 11
  • Battery: 4000 mAh
  • Ports: USB-C
  • Camera (Rear, Front): 16MP Rear, 8MP Front
  • Display (Size, Resolution): 716 x 720
  • Comes with many utility apps
  • Incredibly drop resistant
  • Powerful speaker is great for music and podcasts
  • A well-made full QWERTY keyboard
  • Lots of apps don't fit the screen correctly
  • Small details can be hard to see
  • Tough to find a stand that will hold the phone

The modern age of touchscreen devices is a beautiful thing. Not only has it meant bigger screens, but it's also meant more interesting ways for us to interact with our devices. Having said that, under certain circumstances, and for certain tasks, you just can't beat a physical QWERTY keyboard.

Enter the Unihertz Titan Pocket, the smaller, and more portable cousin to the regular Unihertz Titan. Does the smaller size equate to a harder time using the device?

The History and Features of the Titan Pocket

Unihertz' history as a company starts in 2017 with the release of the Jelly, selling itself as the world's smallest 4G smartphone. Since then the company has successfully released a total of five different models, all targetting different niches. That includes the aforementioned Jelly, the small but rugged Atom, and the full-sized Titan.

The Titan Pocket is the company's latest offering, a more lightweight version of the Titan that retains the QWERTY keyboard, and rugged design. The device's Kickstarter page claims the Pocket version to be 31% smaller than the original.

As well as featuring a tactile QWERTY keyboard, the Titan Pocket features a 3.1 inch 716 x 720 display, a biometric fingerprint scanner, a 4000 mAh battery, and the same drop-resistant design as its predecessor. Please be aware that the phone doesn't retain the waterproof rating of the original Titan, so swimming with it is not advisable. It's also running the latest version of Android and will set you back around $250 if you get the special Kickstarter price.

The Kickstarter page doesn't make it clear what chipset is being used for the phone, or if the screen glass has any sort of standardized strength rating. What we do know is that the Titan Pocket comes with 6GB of DDR4 RAM, running at a clock speed of 1600Mhz, and 128GB of internal storage. You can also choose to expand the storage with a Micro SD card, or mount two different SIM cards in the phone depending on your needs.

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How Does Typing on the Titan Pocket Feel?

The most significant and visually noticeable feature of the phone is the keyboard. If it's not immediately clear by looking at it, the Titan Pocket is designed for people who do a lot of typing on their phone. Everything from emailing colleagues, to chatting on social media is completely in the Pocket's wheelhouse.

The keyboard is nice and responsive, and depending on the size of your hands should be easy to use. Even if you are thin-fingered though, you might find the keyboard takes some getting used to.  Typing letters is easy thanks to the great molding, but to use symbols or numbers you have to press the Alt key before typing anything. This really slows down the typing experience, especially for anything like an alphanumeric code.

You may also find yourself accidentally pressing the wrong buttons when you first start using the phone. While the letters are arranged in a QWERTY configuration, the backspace and enter key are a little lower than most computer keyboards. If you're used to a Blackberry keyboard, this will feel very familiar to you.

The keyboard feels great, but it does necessitate the loss of screen real-estate, which has in turn, affected other aspects of the Titan Pocket's usability. To make space for the keyboard, the screen has been squashed into a squarer aspect ratio. This means things like reading emails or taking notes fits neatly, but if you plan on using your phone for entertainment purposes, things get a little more uncomfortable.

A Phone Designed for Work, Not Play

Video streaming apps are pretty hard to watch. 16:9 video results in large black bars on the nearly 1:1 ratio screen. Even if you could get past the tiny image, the rounded design of the base makes it nearly impossible to find a stand that will hold the phone. There are some out there, but most of them will require you to cover up the speakers on the back, making videos harder to hear.

These problems with aspect ratio also carry over to other applications. A lot of games and social apps have sections cut off, or are zoomed-out, causing eye strain over long periods. To be clear, in most cases applications will still work, but you might find yourself unable to perform certain actions. You can also use the built-in mini mode that forces the screen to show everything, but this doesn't fix the issue of barely visible details.

Beyond background viewing, it seems like any sort of entertainment application just isn't what the Titan Pocket is designed for. The screen is clear enough, but the fact that the screen area has been sacrificed for the sake of the keyboard should tell you everything you need to know about the design philosophy that Unihertz had going in.

It's not all bad news on the entertainment front, however. The speaker on the back of the phone is reasonably powerful, so things like listening to podcasts or music while you're working are no problem. The Titan Pocket is also great for emulating older titles. In particular, the screen and keyboard make a great pair for playing old GameBoy games.

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The Titan Pocket's Special Features

The Titan Pocket features an 8-megapixel front camera and a 16-megapixel rear camera. Compared to modern flagships, neither of these cameras is anything to write home about, but they're adequate for documenting details or recording video memos.

As well as the power, and volume controls, the Pocket features a red button on the side that gives you quick access to various functions. Double-tapping the button takes a screenshot and holding it down toggles the flashlight.

You can program the keyboard with different shortcuts accessed from the home menu, or from any app by holding the 'fn' key while performing the shortcut. These can be mapped to any application, and a variety of different phone functions. You can even map shortcuts in-app functions like adding events to your calendar or starting a new email.

You can also scroll using the keyboard once you've turned on the scroll assistant. This function helps to alleviate some of the issues caused by the smaller screen, making it less tedious to scroll through your news or social feeds.

Extra Utility Functions

It's clear that the Titan Pocket is designed around utility more than entertainment. As well as the stock Android 11 applications you also get a toolbox application that features various useful tools. These include a heart rate monitor, a protractor, and even a tool to measure large objects from a distance.

Several of the utility apps seem directly aimed at certain jobs and situations. For instance, the sound sensor warns the user when they're in an environment with dangerous audio levels. The long-distance measuring tool seems like it would fit perfectly for someone involved in a construction project, from a foreman to an architect.

There's also an IR sensor, allowing you to use the phone as a remote for televisions and other IR devices.

You should expect to get at least a full day of use out of the phone's 4000mAh even if you use a lot of power-intensive applications. If you use the phone more sporadically or don't leave Bluetooth and location services turned on, then you should find the battery will last you a couple of days without needing to charge.

Should You Buy The Unihertz Titan Pocket?

Overall, the Titan Pocket is a great phone under the right circumstances. If you're looking for a phone that will help you to get your work done and provides you with an incredibly smooth typing experience, then you might have found your perfect device. If you can't live without a phone to scroll through social media or stream video with, then you might find the Titan Pocket disappointing.

Thanks to the square screen, most smartphone apps that aren't purpose-built for the phone and any 16:9 videos provide a sub-par experience. The choice between cutting off parts of your apps or squashing them into a hard-to-see format is a tough one, mostly because neither option is particularly favorable.

Having said that, the wealth of features and rugged design make the Pocket perfect for a workaholic, whether that be an office worker, or something more practical. From the home to the workplace you'll find the numerous utility apps perfect for cutting straight to the heart of many tasks. Plus the access to a real tactile feedback keyboard is a must-have for anyone who does a lot of typing on the go.

If you're part of the Titan Pocket's target market, you'll find a well-designed, rugged phone for a decent price. Not only is the device perfect for getting work done, but it will furnish you with features that make life much more convenient. The right person will wonder how they ever managed to live without it.

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