The newest BlackBerry clone is an affordable pocket-sized Titan with a clicky QWERTY keyboard
Love it or hate it, the classic QWERTY keyboard was sure a nice alternative to have for business professionals and texting addicts who enjoyed the natural feel of good old fashioned buttons on a mobile device.
Along with truly compact designs, physical keyboards have been effectively cancelled in the modern smartphone era, but while we obviously don't expect any major handset vendors to take an iPhone 12 mini-grade gamble on a BlackBerry copycat of some sort in the near future, that's precisely what a little company called Unihertz did back in 2019.
Pledge a measly $179 today, get your money's worth in the fall
Evidently, the nostalgia-inducing Titan proved at least moderately successful, raising close to $800K in Kickstarter pledges and ultimately yielding a pocket-sized sequel with an... interesting design, fairly respectable specifications, and an awesome price point.
$50K Kickstarter goal within a matter of minutes of its official debut earlier today.It's safe to say the aptly named Unihertz Titan Pocket has got off to a more than decent start of its own, absolutely crushing its weirdly modest
It remains to be seen just how high the Android 11-based phone will be able to go by the end of its 30-day crowdfunding window, but with over $350K to its name by the time of publication, we fully expect this retro-looking bad boy to far exceed the popularity of its larger, slightly higher-end, and costlier forerunner.
Priced at a measly $179 (at least if you hurry), the Titan Pocket is scheduled to begin shipping in September 2021 with a rugged yet relatively lightweight body housing a reasonably powerful octa-core MediaTek Helio P70 chipset and a 6GB RAM count.
The spec sheet on the whole is certainly not bad for the sub-$200 smartphone market segment (or even the $219 you'll need to cough up if you miss the aforementioned early bird special and the subsequent $199 Kickstarter VIP offer), also including 128 gigs of internal storage space, a hefty 4,000mAh battery, a single 16MP rear-facing camera, and an 8-megapixel selfie shooter.
The past meets the present (but maybe not the future)
Of course, the main claim to fame is the "clicky" keyboard, which hides quite a few neat tricks up its sleeve apart from said clickiness, supporting 15+ language inputs, as well as a very handy native scrolling feature.
That's right, you can navigate your content directly from the QWERTY keyboard... or use the 3.1-inch square-shaped touchscreen with a resolution of 716 x 720 pixels. "Highly programmable", the physical keyboard can be customized in many different ways, with popular functions like the camera, flashlight, and clock (along with all of your favorite apps) supporting one-click access.
The Titan Pocket also comes with global 4G LTE compatibility (including all three major US carriers), which is pretty cool albeit not as impressive as the 5G support promised for that next-gen BlackBerry device expected to be released at some point in 2021 as well.
Keep in mind that TCL is no longer in charge of the once-beloved mobile brand abandoned by Research in Motion (RIM) all the way back in 2016, and technically, Unihertz is a considerably more experienced company than OnwardMobility, having successfully crowdfunded and manufactured the Jelly, Atom, Atom XL, and Jelly 2 handsets in addition to the OG Titan.
In other words, it might not be wise to wait for that mysterious 5G-enabled BlackBerry if you're nostalgic about productivity-enhancing keyboards. Unless, of course, you're hoping to get a bigger display, faster processor, and more advanced camera system from OnwardMobility, which is a definite possibility.