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Unihertz Jelly 2E Review Compact Android Phone With Headphone Jack

Friday, November 11, 2022



Unihertz targets the niche market of enthusiast phones with a cute and quirky phone - Jelly 2E - which encourages less digital interference and increased productivity!
 
Its mini size and low weight (124 grams) is the biggest selling point of the Unihertz Jelly 2E smartphone. It is super compact with rounded edges but thicker than the average a smartphone. The backside of the Unihertz Jelly 2E is not flat. It has a curved dom, which makes the phone rock on a desk. 
 
Like most smartphones, the Unihertz Jelly 2E lacks an optical zoom lens. Even popular phones such as the iPhone 14 Pro Max and Galaxy S22 Ultra do not have true optical zoom. Instead, they achieve zooming digitally interpolating their ultrawide and telephoto cameras to achieve a very good zoom performance. 


The Unihertz Jelly 2E single rear camera isn't ultrawide or telephoto but the digital zoom performance is very good, being to able to capture a clear (non-distorted) picture far away. This is most likely due to Unihertz Jelly 2E thicker camera bump, which boosts the focal length effectively. The Unihertz Jelly 2E camera application features a Pro mode for manually adjusting settings such as ISO, shutter speed, exposure levels and white balance settings to accommodate different lighting conditions. 

Despite the small size, the Jelly 2E smartphone is equipped with similar hardware you would expect from a regular full size smartphone. These include proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, power key, volume key, sim card tray, front facing selfie camera, flashlight, fingerprint reader, USB-C port for charging and data and back button. Not even the "mighty" iPhone has a dedicated back button. There are also two microphones: one for calls and a "sub mic" which is a separate noise cancelling microphone located next to the IR blaster.
 
The Jelly 2E is also equipped with a smart button to program actions. The smart button functionality is accessed via Settings> Intelligent Assistance> Shortcut settings> Turn off the " Use of PTT key"> Programmable key> choose" None". It works as follows:
1. Short press> choose the feature you want;
2. Long Press> same as above
3. Double press> same as above
You can also set the PTT key as ctrl key but the other shortcut features will be disabled.


Other Jelly 2E specs the single rear facing 16MP autofocus camera, the 8MP selfie fixed focus camera and 2000mAh battery built-in - not removable. While the overwhelming majority of smartphones also have a non-removable battery, it would have been a massive selling point for the Jelly 2E phone if the battery could be removed. Luckily, the Jelly 2E phone has a dual purpose sim card tray that accepts two nano sim cards or one sim card + micro SD card up to 2T (2 terrabyte). 


Another feature that would have been a great selling point for Jelly 2E is the integration of a physical QWERTY slide out keyboard - similar to the old Sony Xperia Mini Pro and Samsung Intensity series phones. The hardware performance of Jelly 2E is acceptable but it runs Android 12 with a basic ARM SoC CPU (MediaTek A20 processor)
 
Couple that with just 4GB of RAM, the Jelly 2E is mainly suited for lightweight daily tasks like texting and browsing and not really for gaming and resource intensive tasks. The fact also that Jelly 2E uses a quad-core with 1.8 GHz clock speed doesn't help. A dual-core processor with higher clock speeds will always be better than multiple cores with lower clock speeds. This is because most apps are optimized to run on one CPU core at a time, so the faster the individual core performance it is, the better.
 
Jelly 2E's Mediatek Helio A20 MT6761D entry-level CPU has been paired with a PowerVR GE8300 GPU - a decently fast midrange graphics card that can handle 1080p desktop gaming. However, on the Jelly 2E the PowerVR graphics card isn't able to run to its full potential. You can play demanding games but only at lower frame rate. 


There is no USB OTG support on the Jelly 2E, which is a pity because USB OTG lets you wire a phone to an external USB device such as a USB flash drive, a keyboard, a mouse, printer, DSLR camera, MIDI compatible music instruments, USB microphone, Ethernet cable and, even an older Xbox 360 controller. That said, Jelly 2E does support WiFi-Direct so, you can print wirelessly.
 

Potential deal breakers
  • Phone gets warm to the touch after a 1 hour of use - a natural drawback of being so small
  • Curved back panel makes the phone rock on a desk
  • The included phone case does not have a raised screen bezel to protect the phone screen against frontal impacts.
  • 4GB RAM is okay for daily tasks like texting and browsing but it's not enough for gaming and other tasks 
  • Low end CPU
  • Small 3 inch display 
  • Low resolution 480 × 854 pixels means the screen isn't as sharp and clear
  • Does not support NFC
  • Supports Bluetooth 4.1 only
  • Does not support USB OTG
  • No wireless charging
  • Not ideal for texting, writing emails due to small size
  • Side facing USB-C port
  • Software support
  • Does not work with AT&T - only with AT&T MVNO which are mobile providers who use AT&T's network to provide their mobile connection. For UK/ EU MVNOs, you will need to check if their band is within Jelly 2E supported band.
  • Runs Android 12 - not the latest Android 13. Another drawback with Android 12 is that Android Auto for phone screens is not supported so, you have to rely on the Google Assistant Driving mode
  • Plastic construction, including buttons, back panel and frame
  • Microphone amplification not as loud (watch video test)
  • Supports SBC only - no aptX, no AAC
  • No quick/fast charging - 5V/2A (10W max)
  • No 5G support and with 4G you can only use one frequency band at a time


Selling points for Jelly 2E
  • Good zoom performance
  • Pro camera Mode
  • Small and compact
  • Includes a phone case
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Weighs 124 grams with silicone case
  • Dedicated back tap button
  • Smart button for remapping actions
  • Noise cancelling microphone for calls with call quality performance similar to Samsung A32/A52 phones. Approximate call time battery life is about 12 hours.
  • External storage via micro SD card
  • Dual purpose sim card with space for micro SD card (up to 2T)
  • Respectable internal storage (64GB)
  • Midrange graphics card
  • Supports Wifi 2.4GHz/5GHz
  • Facial recognition
  • Equipped with infrared blaster (IR) - useful for controlling devices such as TVs, set-top boxes, and air conditioning units.
  • Comes with a blocking app called "student mode" - a password function that lets you restrict access to applications at system level. Once the app is blocked, that's it, it's blocked! - perfect for parental control
  • Long battery life - about 2-3 days from a single 2 hour charge
  • It is an unlocked phone and works with all EU and UK mobile networks. In the US, it only works with Verizon and T-Mobile. As far as 
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 3 screen


 As well as the silicone case, you get a 1 meter long USB-C cable, a lanyard, a screen protector and a pin tool to eject the sim card tray. The lanyard feels nice quality, it is a shoelace style padded lanyard. The included clear TPU protective case has a raised lip bezel to protect the camera bump, as well as cutouts for the headphone jack, speaker and microphone. 
 
The Jelly 2E phone case has tactile bumper buttons too and an anchoring point for the wrist lanyard. The phone case is the same size as Jelly 2E since both phones have the same exact dimensions. Unihertz does not sell Jelly 2E cases, but there are many third party sellers selling cases for Jelly 2 online. You can buy the Jelly 2E phone from Unihertz.

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