Review unit provided by Unihertz
Unihertz is one of the more interesting phone companies right now. They have small phones with 3-inch displays (Jelly series), rugged phones (Atom series), phones with keyboards (Titan series) and phones with a "watch" on the back (Ticktock series). Their focus on specific niche helps make the company and their phones stand out.
Unihertz Tank is the latest rugged phone and will be released in late 2022. The pre-order price is US $399.
This is a phone targeted at people who are outdoors for days where there's no access to power. It should be good for such as campers, hikers, wildlife photographers. This phone is the essential item during a zombie apocalypse.
Here are the specs:
- Dimensions: 175.6 × 85.30 × 23.9 mm
- Weight: 560 g (With Battery)
- CPU: MT6789 Octa-Core 2.0-2.2GHz
- OS: Android 12
- Memory: 8GB + 256GB LPDDR4
- Battery: Non-Removable 22000mAh Battery
- SIM Card Type: Dual Nano SIM Card
- Micro SD: No
- Cover Glass: Panda MN228
- Display Size: 6.81 inch
- Resolution: 2340 × 1080 pixels
- Rear Camera: 108MP Main Camera + 20MP Night Vision Camera
- Front Camera: 32MP
- NFC: Yes
- Bluetooth 5.3
- Infrared Port: Yes
- USB: USB Type C
- USB OTG: Yes
- 3.5mm Headphone Jack: Yes
- Splash, Water & Dust Resistant: Yes
The key features are the 22000 mAh battery capacity, 1200-lumen flashlight and the rugged build quality.
These are the items in the box:
- Unihertz Tank
- 1x plastic screen protector
- 1x glass screen protector
- 1x matte screen protector (already applied)
- 66W charger
- USB-C charging cable
The iPhone 14 Pro Max (right) looks puny beside the Unihertz Tank. After using the 560g Tank, the 240g iPhone feels so light even though it's supposed to be heavy.
Design of the Unihertz Tank is utilitarian. The design looks alright and it actually looks kinda stylish in its own way.
The warm gray metal is exceedingly dense and probably can be used as a hammer. The black parts are matte textured hard plastic. Speaker is back-facing and located near the lanyard loop near the bottom. There are 22 exposed screws.
On the right are buttons for volume control and a power button with fingerprint sensor built in.
Corners of the phone are thicker for drop protection.
On the left is a red programmable shortcut button where the default function is set to the flashlight, and double clip for screenshots. The button near the top is for the 1200-lumen flashlight and switching between different lighting effects.
The dual slot SIM tray at the top can be pulled out if you have long enough fingernails.
This phone has IP68 rating and according to the company can withstand submersion under 1.5m of water for 30 minutes. When dropped in seawater, the company recommends submerging the phone in clean water for minutes.
Behind the rubber flap at the bottom is a 3.5mm audio jack and the USB-C port. And on the exterior near the USB-C port is a mic for calls.
The rubber flap is an area of concern for wear and tear. Should the rubber break off in the future, I'm not sure how it can be repaired to get back the IP68 rating. The bottom should have used the same design as the SIM tray.
The 1200-lumen flashlight should be called a floodlight instead because it's so board and bright. This floodlight will be useful for night photography or when used as a fill or bounce light.
This photo was taken with the normal flashlight.
This photo was taken with the 1200-lumen floodlight. The difference is night and day.
If you can find a way to mount this on a bicycle, this will light up metres of ground and it can blind people if you point this at them.
Above the floodlight is a 20MP Infrared camera, 108MP main camera and a 2MP macro camera. There's no ultra wide or telephoto camera.
The review unit I have comes with a matte screen protector already pasted on it. The company has also provided additional plastic and glass screen protectors.
This phone weighs 560g so it's heavy. Try holding your current phone with a can of soft drink beneath to get a sense of how heavy it will be. You will definitely feel the effect of the weight after a few seconds. With other phones, I can have my pinky finger below to support the phone, but with the Tank I prefer to cradle the phone in the both my palm when typing.
The visual experience with watching videos and playing games is enjoyable on with the 6.81-inch display. I kinda wish there's a built-in stand to prop up the phone so you don't have to hold it while watching shows. The phone uses back-facing speakers and the audio quality is alright, and thankfully does not sound hollow.
Display resolution is 2340 × 1080 pixels with no noticeable pixelation.
There's no mention of how bright the display is but it looks bright enough for me under indirect sun.
Colours are vibrant and look surprisingly better than I expected.
The Meditek MT6789 processor in this phone is released in Q3 2022. It's an entry level 8-core 2.2Ghz chip designed for 4G smartphones.
The phone runs on stock Android 12 with no bloatware. There's 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. There's no microSD card slot.
Overall performance of the phone is fast and smooth even with many apps opened. I tested Genshin Impact and the gameplay is surprisingly smooth without any lag.
The battery life is incredible as you can expect from a 22,000 mAh battery capacity.
I used the AccuBattery Pro app to track battery life and measured 34h+ screen on time with auto brightness, and 24+ hours with maximum brightness. If you use the phones 8 hours day with auto brightness, the phone can last for 4 days.
It is possible to use this phone as a power bank to charger other USB-C devices such as phones, tablets or even laptops. But the charging speed is very slow.
There's fast charging with the 66W charger provided but it will still take a long time to charge a battery this big. According to AccuBattery Pro, charging for 2 hours can get you 65%.
The compromise for having such high battery capacity is the phone has to be made much heavier.
It's obvious that this phone is made for people who have to be out for days with no access to electricity to charge the phone. This is a well designed phone, actually it's an over-engineered phone, for those who need as much as they can get from a phone. This phone is rugged, has a floodlight, infrared cam, NFC, IP68 and it's so hard it can be used as a hammer.
The price of US $399 is quite reasonable for all the included features. Things I wish could be improved or added in the next model are front facing speakers, built-in stand, tripod mount (why not), telephoto and ultrawide cameras.
If you happen to be in the market for a rugged phone, definitely consider the Unihertz Tank. I'm pleasantly surprised as how good this phone is, more specifically at how well it's made and the feature set.
Pros and cons at a glance:
+ Solid build quality
+ Vibrant and bright display
+ Sharp display with no noticeable pixelation
+ Has flashlight and 1200-lumen floodlight
+ Dual SIM tray
+ Fast and smooth performance
+ Stock Android with no bloatware
+ Battery life last for days
+ Can be used as a power bank
+ IP68 rated
+ Has NFC
+ Has IR emitter
+ Has night vision cameras
- Back facing speakers
- Heavy at 560g
- No telephoto and ultrawide cameras
- So-so image quality with main camera
- No built-in stand
- Bottom rubber flap an area of concern for wear and tear
- Power bank charging speed is very slow
You can find the Unihertz Tank and other interesting phones on Unihertz online store.
Update 3 Jan 2023
Phone bricked. LCD is lit but shows black. Haptics works. Camping light works. But can't get to home screen.
Sending the phone back to Hong Kong from Singapore with registered airmail will cost SGD 48.60. Unihertz said a new phone replacement will be US $20.
Someone on Twitter had the exact same problem. https://www.reddit.com/r/unihertz/comments/108tzdk/tank_bricked_itself_h...