Mobile phones come in all flavors of sizes and specs these days which means that you should have no problem finding the perfect phone. These days, you can pick up phones in extra large sizes, more manageable smaller sizes, folding phones, and even rugged phones to withstand an adventure. Of course, one phone factor that has fallen out of favor is phones with built-in physical keyboards. These types of phones were super popular back when Blackberry’s ruled but not so much now. There have been some attempts to bring this form factor back and the latest to try is Unihertz with their Titan Slim.
The Unihertz Titan Slim is their newest QWERTY smartphone and named the slim because it’s the smallest and thinnest of the Titan series. However, you wouldn’t really know it from looking at it. If you look at it dead on, it’s actually not a bad-looking device. The display is 4.2″ and obviously isn’t as large as a touchscreen-only device but it’s large enough that apps won’t look weird on it. The keyboard is roughly the same size as what the old Blackberrys used to have.
Overall, the face is pretty handsome and what you’d expect a QWERTY smartphone to look like. However, it isn’t until you turn it to the side that you wonder why is this phone so thick? It’s about 2-3mm thicker than my Galaxy S21 Ultra but not quite as thick as a Galaxy Fold 3 when folded. The thickness gives it some girth, but surprisingly, doesn’t make it uncomfortable to hold. In fact, the Unihertz Titan Slim is pretty easy to hold and all the rounded edges and corners make it quite comfortable in your hands. I can’t even imagine how much thicker the other Titan phones are if this is their slimmest one.
Other than the dimensions, we get the standard power and volume button o the right and a customizable shortcut button on the left. The Unihertz Titan Slim also has two sim card slots, and something I haven’t seen in a long time is an IR Blaster. This phone also does not have expandable storage via SD Card so you’ll have to make do with the 256GB storage onboard. There is also a fingerprint reader up front, located on the keyboard.
Lastly, there are only two cameras on the Unihertz Titan Slim, an 8MP selfie camera and a 48MP read autofocusing camera.
Spec-wise, the Unihertz Titan Slim would be considered something like a mid-range phone. It has an octa-core Mediatek Helio P70 with 6GB Ram and 256GB of DDR4 UFS 2.1 storage. It has a 4100mAh battery which isn’t too bad actually. You’ll probably be disappointed to hear though that the phone comes only with Android 11 and not the latest Android 13.
In terms of connectivity, this is an unlocked device so you should be able to use it with any carrier. Here are all the bands this phone supports: G GSM (Band 2/3/5/8), 3G WCDMA (Band 1/2/4/5/6/8/19), 3G CDMA2000 (Band BC0/BC1), 4G FDD-LTE (Band 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/12/13/17/18/19/20/25/26/28A/28B/66), 4G TDD-LTE (Band 34/38/39/40/41).
You also get Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2.4GHz/5GHz Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi Hotspot. Bluetooth 4.1 and NFC are also available as well.
In the box, you’ll get a headphone jack adaptor (USB-C), and Type-C charging cable, a TPU case, and a screen protector. Surprisingly enough, you also get a charger.
It’s been a long while since I’ve used a phone with a physical keyboard. While I used to really enjoy them, I’ve grown used to virtual touchscreen keyboards as well as being able to swipe type one-handed. Using the Unihertz Titan Slim took some getting used to both in terms of typing and navigation. The main thing here is now I need to use two hands to type instead of just one with the swipe method. While it is possible to type one-handed with this phone as it is slim enough, it’s just much slower having to key in one button at a time with your thumb. The fingerprint button also sort of gets in the way of typing as it can also be used to close apps or bring up Google Assistant. You just have to be careful not to accidentally brush up against it. Also, the keyboard is laid out a bit strangely in that the number keys aren’t all o the top row like they should be so some of the symbols are placed in different places. There is a physical symbol key though which brings up a virtual symbol keyboard on the screen that you can use.
For navigation, the phone uses pretty much the same gestures that regular Android employs. But there are physical buttons too for the more traditional method of navigation, which is a plus for those who dislike the gestures.
Will you enjoy the return of the physical keyboard? It depends. There was a point in time when I thought I wanted a physical keyboard back, but that time has long since passed. A virtual keyboard is just so much faster now that there isn’t a point to the physical keyboard for me anymore. However, I can see where this might be a plus for older folks who might have issues tapping on screens or just want something more tactile. Plus the phone itself seems pretty solid and looks like it would take a good beating before something broke.
All-in-all, the Unihertz Titan Slim is still an Android phone and one that works pretty much like any other Android phone. The only difference is that it has a smaller screen and a physical keyboard. It’s actually not that bad of a device at all and I’m sure there’s a market for it somewhere. It is certainly an oddity these days though when almost every other phone out there has done away with physical inputs. But again, there are those out there who would welcome such a device.
On that note, there are some improvements I would certainly make on the next Titan series phone. For starters, I’d find a way to make the phone thinner, at least by a few millimeters. That could probably be accomplished by getting rid of the IR Blaster and this is a feature that no one really uses anymore.
Other than that, not a bad device at all for anyone who wants a physical keyboard on their Android phone.
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