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Ultra tough 4-inch smartphone “Unihertz Atom L'' review-Engadget Japan version

Unihertz, a Chinese venture-based smartphone maker, has shipped the Android smartphones “Atom XL'' and “Atom L'' terminal bodies that were established by recruiting investment from cloud funding since mid July 2020 as reward products Is starting.

The "Atom XL" and "Atom L" are toughness-type smartphones announced at Kickstarter on the cloud funding site in February 2020, and are the successor models of the company's minimum-sized toughness smartphone "Unihertz Atom" Will be.

The previous Unihertz Atom was a smartphone characterized by a minimum and toughness that could be held by a 2.45 inch display, but this time the “Atom XL'' and “Atom L'' became 4 inch displays, which was a common size a long time ago. It became a smartphone with a different screen size.

We, niche gadget enthusiasts, love terminals with a sharp concept like the original Atom, but for some people they are “too small to operate,” “tight for presbyopia,” “too small to be too small,” “carelessly stepped on” I suffered a great deal of damage to my feet (actual story)." It seems that many people are impressed by the "Atom XL" and "Atom L", which are the size that can be operated while holding with one hand, and the screen is large and easy to see with the toughness specification.

Atom L and predecessor Atom (predecessor) body comparison. Close to the screen size of a general smartphone

Of course, SoC, operating memory, battery capacity, camera performance, etc. have been greatly enhanced, and they have sufficient performance of the current Android smartphone's middle range class or slightly higher.

This time, the real machine of "Atom L" arrived as a reward product of crowdfunding, so I will send a review of features and functions in this article.

Unihertz Atom L external appearance

This time I got "Unihertz Atom L". In terms of performance as a smartphone, there is no difference from the "Atom XL", but the Atom XL has a transceiver (DMR type) function, and it can reach up to about 8 km without using the mobile network. You can talk to any DMR transceiver. However, in order to use this function in Japan, it is highly likely that "procedures for using overseas transceivers in Japan" will be necessary, so I felt that it was quite a hurdle to fully utilize the Atom XL in Japan. That was the motivation for choosing the "Atom L".

But the Unihertz Atom L's individual packaging box clearly says "ATOM XL". (ATOM L is printed on the sticker on the box)

The appearance looks like a huge Unihertz Atom as it is, but there are minor differences such as the arrangement of the volume key, power button, smart key (physical key that can register application startup etc.) is reversed ..

The front side has a screen ratio of 16:9 and a resolution of 1136 x 640 dots (resolution slightly larger than WSVGA) 4-inch display on an in-camera of about 8 million pixels, microphone for call, fingerprint sensor also serving as home button, proximity sensor etc. Sensors are arranged.

On the back side, there is an autofocus compatible 48-megapixel camera (single configuration), a flashlight for shooting, an external speaker, and a strap hole for a microphone for shooting movies.

The outer shape of the main body is 134.5 in length × 65 in width × 17.5 mm in thickness, and the weight of the main body is about 224.5 g. When I held it with one hand, I felt it was heavy at first, but I was not so concerned because it fits well when I hold it with one hand.

As a basic spec, SoC is MediaTek chipset Helio P60 (2 GHz × 8 cores), operating memory is 6 GB RAM, main body storage capacity is 128 GB ROM, and battery capacity is 4300 mAh.

Supports DSDV (DualSIM/DualVoLTE) with two SIM card slots. One of them is exclusive with a microSD card, and you cannot use the microSD card with two SIM cards inserted.

By the way, although the previous Unihertz Atom had two SIM card slots, it was not compatible with memory cards, so many people may be happy with memory card support.

As a "(physically) strong" smartphone that is also the appealing point of this machine, it is waterproof and dustproof to IP68 and shock resistant according to MIL-STD-810G. The smart key can also be used as the shutter button of the camera and the volume key as the mode switching button of the camera, so you can shoot underwater.

The main camera is a single specification, but it has been greatly enhanced from the previous 20 million pixel sensor to 48 million pixels

As a bundled item, a USB Type-C cable, USB charger, manuals, SIM pins and a spare screen protection sheet are included. A display protection sheet is already attached to this unit.

Contents of Atom L's individual packaging

Very few pre-in apps

In addition to Google-made apps that are familiar to Android smartphones such as Gmail, YouTube, and Google Play, pre-installed apps include student mode (kids mode and its settings), voice recorder, emergency alert setting app, FM radio, remote control fairy (infrared Remote control setting application), Game mode (changing notification settings while using the game application), NoteBook (text input application), sound level meter, compass, heart rate system etc. The "toolbox" of apps that are grouped together and third-party apps other than Unihertz's own apps are not pre-installed. That's all, "there are few apps that do bad things in the background," so I'm happy with it.

Home screen of Atom L. It consists of all four Discover+3 cards and does not have an application drawer (icon that calls the application list).

Main camera is greatly enhanced

Although the rear main camera of the Atom L (XL) is a single camera, it has approximately 48 million pixels, which is a significant improvement over the previous Atom camera of approximately 16 million pixels.

The author had many uses for the previous Atom, such as using it as a small memo instead of taking notes or recording it (because the display is very small, it is difficult to see the preview directly on the Atom screen). ), but I can see that the Atom L has clearly improved camera performance compared to the previous Atom.

However, since it is a simple camera without functions such as scene detection, it is advisable to add a third-party camera app separately if necessary.

The overall impression is that the main rear camera has been significantly strengthened, and if it's a small picture of the daytime, it's decent. However, I was not good at shooting in the dark, and noise was generated.

Good toughness, but in harsh environments…

Atom L continues to appeal from the previous Atom that it is a "physically strong" smartphone that is waterproof, dustproof and shockproof, but it is robust in terms of physical strength of waterproof and dustproof and shockproof. There is no problem, but compared to the Kyocera toughness model smartphone, "TORQUE" and Panasonic sturdy handheld series "TOUGHBOOK · TOUGHPAD" series, it is compatible with seawater, high temperature / low sound environment, low pressure environment etc. Since it has not been tested for durability in intense places (probably not compatible), it is unknown or uncertain whether it can be used in marine sports etc. There are also points.

Nonetheless, there is no doubt that it is sturdy and sturdy enough not to be talked about with smartphones around there. I feel that there is no particular problem with taking it out for a short walk outdoors such as camping or hiking.

Things I noticed while using

Although it is a tough model smartphone that can be handled with one hand, I realized that it was more comfortable to operate than I expected.

The SoC (chipset) is MediaTek's Helio P60 for middle-range smartphones, but it has the advantage that "the screen resolution is not high", and the smooth operation feeling is smooth. The movement also moves smoothly.

Although the screen resolution of Atom L (XL) is not high, it is 1136 × 640 dots, which is almost the same value as iPhone 5, and I feel that there is no problem for normal use.

Score measured with the benchmark app, PC Mark (median value measured three times). It's not expensive at all, but you can see a good result that slips to a slightly higher grade in the middle range

In addition, I also felt that the battery life was quite good. Due to the low resolution mentioned above, the load on the CPU is light, and the display size is 4 inches, which consumes less power than that of the current major Android smartphones. In addition, the fact that the battery capacity of this unit is 4,300 mAh, which is a large capacity, is combined, and it is a big appeal point that it can be used continuously for a long time. (Especially when viewed as a terminal to bring out when going out outdoors)

In a nutshell, "It's a toughness model, so it's a little heavy, but it's a large-capacity battery suitable for long-term operation, an energy-saving design, and a spec that is just enough. In fact, it is also a smartphone that is "a balanced and honorable student with a solid construction".

Of course, some of the functions and services included in the smartphones that are sold by major communication carriers and the Osaifu (FeliCa) function cannot be supported, but it's better than I actually thought. Isn't it one of the Shibu that comes?

In addition to waterproof and dustproof functions, there are parts that can not be compared with smartphones such as TORQUE and Toughpad, which are domestic manufacturers with accumulated know-how such as design that can be washed with hand soap and designed for use in harsh conditions. There is no doubt.

However, now that the main body size has become larger due to the larger screen of smartphones, this small body size with the current standard main body specifications is valuable, and the toughness part which is the selling point of this unit I think that it is one that is attractive even if you think without it.

Although it is not yet released to the general public, I think that it will line up in the store at a price not too high in the near future, like the Unihertz smartphones so far.

From my personal impression, I thought that it would be enough to choose this unit as a "strong sub-machine" rather than using it as a main product.

The rugged and sturdy terminal is also wonderful.

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