The Jelly Pro: Hands on with the 'world's smallest' 4G Android smartphone

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Smartphones hold getting bigger—nice for these with large palms and roomy pockets, however not so unbelievable for many who need an easier-to-carry, much less obtrusive, or simply plain smaller system. Shanghai-based Unihertz may have the answer for you within the type of the Jelly Pro.

The Jelly Pro is a tiny—and I imply TINY—Android smartphone. Its display has a vertical of two.45 inches, the system itself whole three.6 inches, and it weighs in at simply 2.1 ounces.

Like I stated—small.

It could be straightforward to dismiss the Jelly Pro as pure gimmick, however do not promote it brief: This Lilliputian telephone is completely usable, and even fairly enjoyable. It’s additionally excellent for these touring internationally for enterprise due to an unusual, but very sensible, characteristic: twin GSM SIM slots.

Not to say an extremely low worth.

Note: For this overview I am solely masking the Jelly Pro. While the usual Jelly mannequin continues to be obtainable by way of the venture’s Kickstarter, Unihertz knowledgeable me that it’ll solely offer the Pro model on the market to most of the people.

Jelly Pro: The good

Image: TechRepublic/Brandon Vigliarolo

I have been utilizing the Jelly Pro for a few weeks, and the very first thing I observed is what number of heads it turns. Its small dimension has stunned numerous individuals, particularly once they understand it is an Android telephone working Nougat and never a featurephone.

The Jelly Pro’s “look at me” issue apart, there are a variety of issues to love about it.

As I discussed above, enterprise customers will completely love two options of the Jelly Pro: Its worth and its twin GSM SIM slots. Once it goes on sale to most of the people the Jelly Pro might be priced round $110—excellent for a backup system or one you tackle enterprise journeys.

SEE: The Comprehensive Android Development Bundle (TechRepublic Academy)

Those serious about getting the Jelly Pro for a bit cheaper ought to head over to its Kickstarter. If you again the venture as of this text’s writing you will get one for $95.

The twin SIM slot is what actually makes the Jelly Pro helpful for professionals, and it is as straightforward to make use of each traces as plugging within the playing cards. I’ve T-mobile and FreedomPop SIMs within the Jelly Pro I have been testing, and each obtain calls with no downside.

It’s additionally value noting that utilizing primary apps on the Jelly Pro is as straightforward as you’d anticipate on a tiny display. You’re not going to need to scroll by means of your Instagram feed or get the newest Facebook updates on the Jelly with any regularity, however that is not what it is for: It’s a smartphone designed to be unobtrusive and good at doing the fundamentals, and it does that basically properly.

Call high quality is nice, the telephone does not lag or cling that badly, and Google Assistant works nice with the Google Now launcher put in.

Jelly Pro: The okay

If primary usability, twin SIM slots, and simply being plain neat is the nice of the Jelly Pro, then on a regular basis smartphone options all of us take without any consideration are the not-so-good.

Using the Jelly Pro for the previous few weeks has made me very conscious of how a lot of a crutch my iPhone has grow to be. When I am bored I surf Reddit, I scroll by means of Instagram, or I simply plain stare on the display. Doing that with the Jelly Pro is feasible however is not practically as sensible.

The display picture on Jelly’s TFT LCD display is not as sharp as a bigger, dearer telephone, and which means pictures do not look pretty much as good, lack colour depth flagship telephone customers are used to, and might seem a bit pixelated even when zoomed in for a better look. Again, it is a terrific display for the value you pay, however do not anticipate to see all of the nuances of a closely filtered Instagram picture.

iphonel-jellyr.jpg

A photograph taken on an iPhone 7 (left) and the Jelly Pro (proper).

Image: TechRepublic/Brandon Vigliarolo

The digital camera—if that is an essential characteristic for you—could also be a little bit of a sticking level too. At 8MP (2MP for the entrance digital camera) it does not take pictures as nice as an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy. The images are nonetheless simply tremendous, however they don’t seem to be going to exchange your DSLR anytime quickly.

Typing on the Jelly’s tiny onscreen keyboard is not straightforward, however it’s not inconceivable both. I spent a pair days studying to be extremely exact and I discovered it simpler to regulate than I believed I might. I did surrender on the inventory keyboard and put in Google’s Gboard although—its swipe typing possibility made utilizing the Jelly to ship texts and emails a breeze.

Jelly Pro: The dangerous

A smartphone that prices $110 and is barely a bit greater than three inches tall is bound to have some drawbacks, and that is the case with the Jelly Pro.

The most obtrusive downside is the battery. It’s solely 950mAh. That’s over 1,000mAh smaller than the iPhone 7 battery and fewer than a 3rd the dimensions of the Samsung Galaxy S8’s. The Jelly Pro has been sitting on my desk principally idle right this moment, and as of two:30 pm (it got here off the charger at 7:30 am) it is at 64%. My iPhone 7, which I have been utilizing usually continues to be at 77%.

SEE: 10 suggestions to enhance Android battery life (TechRepublic)

I used the Jelly Pro to report a 2-mile run with MapMyRun a number of occasions too, and it drained a mean of 10% of the battery—that is rather a lot, particularly contemplating that the Jelly’s Kickstarter web page boasts of three days of working time and 7 days of standby. I’ve finished my finest to show off pointless options in an try to enhance the life, and I nonetheless cannot get it to final rather more than a full day—and even that is pushing it.

I reached out to Unihertz on the Jelly Pro’s battery life, and so they stated the three days/seven days statistic was simply theoretical.

Some apps do not scale correctly for the small interface both, leaving some important UI components (like login buttons) hidden under the underside of the display. That made a number of of my usually used apps ineffective, although Unihertz did say they’d take suggestions on particular apps to assist repair these points.

The Jelly Pro additionally has some warmth points when speaking on the telephone. In the course of a 20-minute name I observed that it received actually heat. Not painfully so, however positively noticeable and a bit worrying.

Jelly Pro: In conclusion

I do not need to sound like I am being too exhausting on this tiny little system. I’ve loved utilizing it fairly a bit and it positively fills a job that is sorely missing within the trendy smartphone market.

Having a telephone in my pocket that does not really feel like a burden is refreshing, and I actually hope that extra producers observe go well with and begin releasing miniature variations of their gadgets. (I am taking a look at you, Apple.)

I can confidently advocate the Jelly Pro for 2 classes of smartphone customers: enterprise vacationers who need an affordable journey system and those that need to rework their smartphone relationship from fixed distraction to utilitarian instrument.

Unihertz and the Jelly Pro are positively value keeping track of, particularly future fashions which will remedy among the issues that got here with this new, and largely experimental, system.

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