The ‘world’s smallest’ 4G smartphone goes rugged

    Unihertz, makers of the 3.6″ Jelly Pro smartphone, has launched one other tiny gadget on Kickstarter: the Atom.

    The Atom is a religious successor to the Jelly Professional, however with a twist: It is ruggedized, and it appears to be like the half. Black with crimson detailing on its (assumedly) shock-absorbing corners, the Atom is thick at practically two-thirds of an inch.

    Its physique is sq., like different rugged smartphones, and the entrance is Corning Gorilla Glass. It is IP68 certified as effectively— the Atom Kickstarter page options a picture of a scuba diver filming with one underwater.

    In the event you’ve learn earlier Jelly Professional protection on TechRepublic you understand how small the telephone was—practically impossibly small.

    Sadly for the Jelly Professional, that small dimension made it extremely gentle, and its plastic physique made it really feel virtually like a toy—particularly when held subsequent to the Atom, which is in each half an enchancment over the Jelly.

    The Atom is a telephone with heft—you are feeling it sitting in your hand and it actually gives the look of being a hearty gadget that may take a beating. There’s seemingly an excellent cause for that, too: A Unihertz spokesperson mentioned that the corporate likes to develop its product roadmap primarily based on suggestions from backers.

    It is apparent what the suggestions from the Jelly Professional was: Backers wished a more durable, longer-lasting gadget to make use of as a secondary telephone. In the event you owned a Jelly Professional and have been excited for the way forward for tiny telephones, or simply wished to see what the way forward for miniature Android units could be, the Atom is your reply and it is a good one.

    Unihertz Atom: The great

    The Atom is a stable telephone: It feels good and suits effectively within the hand, and the supplies are prime quality—the display screen particularly. The Jelly Professional’s display screen was sadly darkish, ever-so-slightly grainy, and was clearly plastic, whereas the Atom’s has the standard of picture and contact responsiveness you’ll count on in a higher-tier gadget.

    Talking of responsiveness, the Atom is a efficiency supercharge from the Jelly Professional. Android eight.1, which the gadget ships with, is snappy and responsive because of the Atom’s octa-core 2GHz processor. There’s little to no lag when tapping or swiping on the display screen, system visible results are clean, and stuttering is as unusual as it’s on high-end units (all of those points have been current with the Jelly Professional).

    The gadget’s thickness might look like a disadvantage—zero.7″ is almost twice the thickness of my iPhone SE—however not if you understand why the gadget is that large: It is packing a 2,000 mAh battery (the iPhone X, by comparability, is 2,716 mAh) that retains it going for a very long time.

    Battery life was the most important disadvantage of the Jelly Professional, which solely had a 950 mAh battery that lasted lower than a workday. Whereas testing the Atom I’ve left it unplugged for 2 days and it nonetheless had half a cost.

    The Atom carries on the Jelly Professional’s legacy efficiently, making it an easy-to-recommend gadget for individuals who want a telephone with two SIM slots, assist for practically each cell band possible, and good name high quality.

    Different easy additions to the gadget make it merely higher to make use of than the unique: A remappable operate button, a fingerprint scanner, face recognition, and a USB-C charging port all make the Atom really feel just like the manufacturing mannequin to the Jelly Professional’s idea construct.

    Unihertz Atom: The okay

    Most of the issues I discussed as being “okay” in my evaluation of the Jelly Professional have been made good within the Atom, so there’s not as a lot to say right here. What does make the grade as being acceptable, however not nice, is among the similar considerations as final time: the digital camera.

    The Jelly Professional solely had an 8MP main digital camera that took grainy photos that lacked the colour richness of a nicer smartphone digital camera. Sadly the identical is the case for the Atom, regardless of its 16MP main digital camera (the iPhone X solely has 12).

    A picture shot with an iPhone SE (left) and an Atom (proper).

    Picture: Brandon Vigliarolo/TechRepublic

    The Atom’s digital camera is unquestionably a step up in high quality and readability from the Jelly’s, however the pictures nonetheless lack depth and vibrance that fashionable smartphone cameras have.

    Unihertz Atom: The dangerous

    In the event you recall the Jelly Professional’s shortcomings, they have been primarily centered across the battery: It drained too quick and obtained very popular when making calls. The Jelly Professional additionally had points with app interfaces not scaling accurately, which meant elements of some apps would not show correctly. I am glad to say that every one three of these issues have been resolved within the Atom, no less than so far as my checks have concluded.

    That is to not say the Atom is with out flaws. A serious, and really disappointing one, is available in a function that plenty of Jelly Professional customers have been most likely hoping for on a future Unihertz gadget: the fingerprint scanner.

    SEE: BYOD (bring-your-own-device) policy (Tech Professional Analysis)

    With a telephone as small because the Atom you’ve gotten two decisions when attempting to squeeze in a house button that doubles as a fingerprint scanner: Make it tiny or attempt to cram a full-sized one in. Unihertz tried to go together with the latter on the Atom, and it did not work out for the perfect.

    The fingerprint scanner itself is of high-quality high quality, and there would not seem like an issue with it—the issue lies in its proximity to the Again and Current Apps buttons.

    I’ve but to efficiently enroll a fingerprint, and for the primary day I had no concept what I used to be doing mistaken. I reached out to Unihertz, who instructed me my downside was most certainly bumping a type of two buttons, and it turned out they have been proper.

    Every time I used to be transferring my finger to enroll edges and sides I might invariably bump my finger on the Current Apps button, which might open its display screen of open apps and reset the fingerprint enroll course of.

    It is unlucky that I used to be unable to get it working correctly, although Android’s face unlock, which is not the most safe, does work reliably and makes unlocking the Atom simpler than a passcode.

    Unihertz Atom: In conclusion

    If the Jelly Professional was an excellent gadget to advocate as a backup business-issued journey telephone, or a telephone for these solely wanting utility, then the Atom is all that however higher.

    I actually favored the Jelly Professional, however now that I’ve examined the Atom I perceive that my opinion of the Jelly was extra for love of the idea than the gadget itself. The Atom is a smartphone that I can truly advocate as greater than a fascination: It is a useful telephone.

    With the Jelly Professional it was clear Unihertz had an fascinating assertion to make about smartphones, and with the Atom it appears the corporate has discovered its stride: making small, powerful units which can be nice subject telephones and backups.

    If you’re in search of a telephone to maintain as a backup, journey with and never fear about dropping, take into hazardous areas like building zones, and even maintain in a bug-out bag as an emergency telephone, the Atom is value trying out.

    You may again the Atom now on Kickstarter, with $159 required to order a tool. As of this writing the Atom has earned over $900,000 of its $50,000 aim so you will not have to fret about not getting one.

    Do not watch for the Atom to go to retail if you need one: That $159 is $140 off the seemingly retail value when the Atom is out there in October.

    Additionally see


    Picture: Brandon Vigliarolo/TechRepublic

    Recent Articles

    Q&A: How ViacomCBS cut Zoom costs, not jobs, during the pandemic

    In February 2020, earlier than lockdown restrictions had even come into power in lots of nations, Zoom introduced it had already added extra new customers within...

    The work-from-home employee’s bill of rights

    Remote work turned the brand new regular rapidly as COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns got here into drive in spring 2020, and it’s clear that after...

    Related Stories

    Stay on op - Ge the daily news in your inbox