Regular readers know that I have a history of testing Unihertz’s unique offerings, and a few of its phones have been in my pocket for months. The latest works as a powerful, rugged phone with an interesting little display on the back. There’s some functionality in this little display, with more to come, but I wouldn’t say there’s a big reason to take it.
For the past two weeks, I’ve been carrying the initial prototype of Unihertz TickTock. It has a huge 6,000 capacity battery and lasts for at least two days while I have also experienced the fastest speed.Downloads I’ve ever seen on T-Mobile. We don’t know the price yet as it will be launching on Kickstarter soon with the initial baker options likely to be available, up to 35% off the retail price.
Unihertz TickTock is the seventh phone to be launched on Kickstarter, and I’ve had the opportunity to test the last six. Phones are usually cheaper, even outside of Kickstarter’s special offerings, and target specific segments of the smartphone market. Everyone has exceeded the modest goals of Kickstarter, and I’m sure there will be a similar reaction. This phone has a lot to like, even if you are not so interested in the previous display.
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- Processor: MediaTek Dimensity 700
- Main display: 6.5 inches, 2340×1080 pixels resolution TFT LCD
- Rear display (subscreen): 1.3 inch, 360×360 pixels touch screen
- Operating system: Android 11
- Ram: 8 GB
- Storage: 128GB internal storage with microSD support
- Dust / water resistance: IP68
- Camera: 48 megapixel rear camera and 8 megapixel front camera
- Wireless technology: 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC, GPS / BEIDOU / GLONASS, FM radio, infrared
- LTE bands: 1,2,3,4,5,7,8,12,13,17,18,19,20,25,26,28A, 28B, 34,38,39,40,41,66
- 5G bands: 1,2,3,5,7,8,12,20,25,28,38,40,41,66,77,78
- Sensor: Fingerprint, accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity, ambient light, barometer, and compass
- Battery: 6,000mAh non-removable
- Length and breadth: 176 x 85.6 x 14.9 mm and 308 grams
The Unihertz TickTock is a large and heavy phone with a lot of bezels around the display and an unusual shape element. The front is dominated by a 6.5 inch display with rounded corners and the front camera is notched. The display looks great with vivid colors and crisp fonts. It is also a flat display so there is no problem with inadvertent screen press.
The top and bottom angles of the phone are up to the tops at both ends, which we haven’t seen before and it looks like it’s just a design element. On the right, we have two metal volume buttons and then the power button below them, right in the middle of the right. This power button also serves as a reliable fingerprint sensor, and I like it. The metal side piece is also slightly indented so that the phone can be slightly tightened on both sides.
On the left are two buttons, red, which can be customized for your use. They can also be used to turn the back display on and off. The SIM / microSD card slot is located at the top left. An IR transmitter is embedded in the top of the phone. The USB-C port is hidden under the rubber port cover.
Tick TickTock, and you can see why Unihertz named this phone. A round 1.3-inch diameter color touch display is centered on the upper back with a 48MP camera on the left. There’s a flashlight on this camera, but it looks like there’s a camera on the right side of the display. I have yet to find out what this second camera is and I have asked my contact for more information if it is an element of the prototype design.
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There is also a mono speaker under the Unihertz label at the bottom left of the back. The back panel has a matte, Kevlar shape and feel. The metal housing around the display and camera is ample and is a prominent feature of this phone’s design.
Unihertz TickTock launched out of the box with Android 11, and the prototype I tested has the Android Security Update installed on September 5, 2021. While I’ve tested all Unihertz Android phones, in the prototype phase, I haven’t seen regular software updates, and I recommend that you buy the phone when it sells.
The phone runs a fairly stock version of Android with a back display, extra buttons and just a few specific settings for intelligent support. Intelligent support settings include network manager, app blocker, LED notification (green light on top back), flip to mute, QR code scanner, and more.
In addition to the basics of Google, such as Calculator, Calendar, Camera, Chrome, Gmail, Maps, Messages, and more, you get some apps from Unihertz. These include FM radio, IR remote control app, music player, notebook, sound recorder, and toolbox.
The toolbox is full of useful utilities that enhance the functionality of the phone. Toolbox tools include a sound meter, compass, flashlight, bubble level, picture hanger tool, heart rate monitor, altitude utility, magnifier, pedometer, barometer, speedometer, alarm, plumb bob, and protractor. It’s nice to see the camera used with some of these tools to provide an enhanced reality experience that gives you a tool for accurate measurement.
The home screen also supports generic app widgets to customize your Android experience. The Quick Controls section from the notification shed can also be customized to your personal preferences.
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Early use experiments
The Unihertz TickTock has a huge 6,000mAh battery inside, and despite the heavy usage, I’ve been able to spend the whole two days with the phone for the past two weeks. It also supports 30W fast charging, and the battery has been one of the areas I never thought of using this phone.
These unlocked phones usually have some deals with coverage and support for all available bands on your carrier that are designed for use worldwide. The same is true here, but the T-Mobile n41 is one of the supported 5G bands, and I’ve seen faster speeds with this phone (below 492Mbps) than any other phone I’ve tried in the last one year. I have seen much more speed. I was clearly blown away by the performance of 5G. Phone calls and LTE coverage with tick talk was also very good.
I dipped the phone in the water and ran with it in the rain, knowing that it was designed to withstand elements thanks to its IP68 rating.
Over the past two weeks, I’ve tried to make sure to use the previous display and have found myself using it primarily to check time and take selfies. On-display can always serve the same purpose on other phones, so at the moment, I find it quite limited. As mentioned above, there are specific settings for managing what you can do with this display. Unihertz said it is working to add more functionality and capability to the display. It will be interesting to see what the company brings, but it is also a display just to see because the keyboard will be used sparingly. Do you have any idea what Unihertz can do to make this display more useful?
The phone worked well and was very responsive. I am spoiled by the 120Hz refresh rate on the display and I can’t go back to my 60Hz phone as my daily driver. Then again, I always think about the battery on my Z Fold 3 so it was refreshing to never think about the battery on TickTock.