Unihertz Titan: Back to the future

Need a tough, rugged smartphone with a physical keyboard? The Unihertz Titan may be the handset for you.

Do you loathe on-screen keyboards and miss the day when you could buy a smartphone with a physical keyboard? Do you want a rugged phone that you can use outdoors with gloves?

The Unihertz Titan may be the Android smartphone for you. A rugged device with a look that is strongly reminiscent of the Blackberry Passport or Nokia E71/72.

Let's get a first impressions on this tank.

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From a physical point of view, the Titan is a true Titan. It's a huge slab of rubber, metal, and glass. The thing is huge, dwarfing even the big iPhone 11 Pro Max, with the construction held together using screws. It'll be familiar to anyone using the new style of ruggedized smartphones, such as those from Doogee or Blackview.

It's tough and IP67-rated water-resistant, dustproof and shockproof

Unihertz Titan

On the hardware side of things, the Titan is also quite impressive.

  • Display: 4.5-inch 1430 x 1438 touchscreen with Corning Gorilla Glass
  • CPU: Helio P60 MT6771
  • GPU: G72
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Expansion: microSD
  • Rear camera: 16-megapixel
  • Front camera: 8-megapixel
  • Keyboard: Backlit QWERTY keyboard
  • OS: Android 9
  • Battery: 6,000 mAh
  • Weight: 303g
  • Dimensions: 153.6 x 92.5 x 16.7mm
  • Connector: USB-C
  • SIM: dual-SIM
  • Security: Fingerprint reader and face recognition
  • Network: 3G/4G
  • Radio: Built-in FM radio (requires earphones to be fitted)
  • Charging: Cable and 10W wireless

I've been using this handset now for a week and I have to say that I like it.

Yes, the keyboard took a bit of getting used to -- partly because I've been using on-screen keyboards for years, partly because it's big and chunky, and partly because it is QWERTY but doesn't have numbers on the screen. For this, it uses a pre-installed customized version of the Kika keyboard, which has a bit of a patchy history.

There's also no obvious way to turn off the keyboard backlighting, with is a minor niggle.

The battery is a monster 6,000mAh unit and gives me a few days of runtime without much worry, and the combination of USB-C and wireless charging gives me flexibility.

The cameras are acceptable. I'm spoilt by being an iPhone 11 Pro Max user, but the array on the Titan output perfectly acceptable captures.

The accessories bundled with the Titan were mediocre. The usual fayre of cheap earphones, a cheap charger, and a USB-A-to-USB-C cable. What was nice is that it came with a spare screen protector. one was factory fitted, with is a nice idea, but I find it almost impossible to peel the protective layer off without peeling the whole screen protector off.

The Titan has dual-SIM support, but if you want to use a microSD card for storage, then you lose one of the SIM slots.

As far as durability goes, I've no concerns here. I've taken it outdoors, dropped it, got it wet, and it still works like new.

With a recommended price of $339.99, the Unihertz Titan is a decent bundle. Sure, it's a bit big for most people to use as a daily driver -- unless they have big hands and pockets -- but for people who work in harsh environments, or who wear protective gloves, the Titan is a compelling choice.

I wish that the Titan came with an upgrade to Android 10, and a way to replace the Kika keyboard with something with a less sketchy history. But despite this, the Titan is a great choice for people who need a rugged Android smartphone that will take endless abuse and still work.