Nokia 3310 rival? No, tiny $70 Jelly is a full 4G smartphone running Android 7

The teeny-weeny Jelly 4G smartphone wants to act as backup to your big and expensive smartphone.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

The new Jelly 4G smartphone doesn't look that different to a feature phone but isn't hobbled by an outdated operating system.

The Jelly phone comes from Shanghai-based Unihertz and is being pitched to US consumers much in the way Microsoft promoted its Nokia basic phones before handing them off to HMD Global -- as a backup phone.

HMD will sell the reborn classic Nokia 3310 for €49 ($53), offering a cheap and small option, with a 2.4-inch screen 2.5G feature phone running on Nokia's Series 30+ OS.

The 4G Jelly, on the other hand, qualifies as a proper smartphone, which runs on Android 7.0 Nougat and supports "virtually any" app from Google Play, albeit on a much smaller display than usual.

Indeed, the biggest feature of the Jelly may be how small it is, measuring about a quarter of the size of the iPhone 7 Plus and a tad smaller than the Nokia 3310. With GPS and access to most Android apps, its small size could make it a good workout device.

The Jelly project launched on Kickstarter yesterday, billed as the "world's smallest smartphone" and is already well over its modest $30,000 goal. However, the Jelly is still more expensive than a feature phone, costing $69 during the campaign, and $110 at retail. An introductory offer of $59 has sold out.

The basic Jelly phone is powered by a 1.1GHz quad-core CPU, and features 1GB RAM, 8GB onboard storage, and a 950mAh battery with an advertised three-day battery life with average usage.

It also features a two-megapixel front-facing camera and eight-megapixel rear camera, dual nano SIM cards, and a microSD expansion slot, while the TFT LCD display is at a 240 x 432 pixel resolution. The handset is 92.3mm long, 43mm wide, and 13.3mm thick (3.6 x 1.7 x 0.5 inches). It also has Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth 4.0.

The Jelly is Unihertz's second attempt at selling a tiny smartphone. It previously launched the 3G Micro X with Android Kit Kat, which had a two-megapixel main camera, dual-core 1GHz CPU, 512MB RAM, and 4GB storage.

There's also a Jelly Pro version available for $95 in the campaign that will cost $125 at retail, which offers double the memory and storage. The super early bird offer for the Pro was $75, but that's sold out too.

The device doesn't support CDMA networks, so it won't work on Verizon and Sprint. However, Unihertz says it will support AT&T and T-Mobile, as well as major carriers in European markets, including BT, Orange, Vodafone and Telefonica.

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