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The Unihertz Jelly Star is a small but powerful Android smartphone that has captured the attention of tech enthusiasts. Despite its compact size, this device packs impressive features and functionality. In this full review, we will explore the strengths and weaknesses of the Unihertz Jelly Star, highlighting its unique selling points and its potential as a powerful tool.
We got early access to this Kickstart-backed mini-phone for around 4 weeks. While it still has some of the same limitations as its predecessor, it’s a worthy upgrade to the Jelly lineup.
The Unihertz Jelly Star showcases a compact and sleek design that fits comfortably in the palm of your hand. Its small size, measuring only a few inches, makes it highly portable and easy to carry around. The size will take you back if you haven’t held it before. The Jelly Star is smaller than a standard credit card. Yeah, it’s that small. When you place it in your pocket it almost fades away and you’d swear you forgot it at home.
The device features a vibrant display that, despite its small size, offers sharp and clear visuals, enhancing the overall user experience. Whether it’s browsing social media, watching videos, or reading text, the Jelly Star’s display delivers surprising quality for its size.
The Jelly Star’s controls mostly live on the right side of the phone. Here you’ll find the power button, the dedicated red action button, and the USB-C charging port. On the opposite side, you have a lone volume rocker. But let’s be honest, the “star” of the Jelly Star are the two LED lights embedded into the backplate, and more on that later.
Encased inside the top LED strip you’ll find the camera array and fingerprint sensor. The small size of the Jelly makes the sensor hard to position at times, but once you get the hang of it, the reader authenticates well.
Performance and Software
Under the hood, the Unihertz Jelly Star impresses with its capable performance. It is equipped with a powerful MediaTek Helio G99 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage ensuring smooth multitasking and responsiveness. Despite its modest specifications, the Jelly Star handles everyday tasks with ease, including browsing the web, checking emails, and running apps.
The device operates on the Android 13 operating system, offering a familiar and user-friendly interface that allows for customization and access to a wide range of apps through the Google Play Store. It’s a fairly stock build with Unihertz adding in very few alterations.
There’s nothing to write home about here other than the additional options in the menus for setting the actions of the red button on the side and how the LED lights are handled. Here you can manipulate how the LEDs interact with apps and the brightness levels. You can even make the red button utilize them like a flashlight to pair the two features together.
Camera and Multimedia
The Jelly Star surprises with its 48MP camera capabilities, considering its diminutive stature. It features a respectable rear camera that captures vibrant and detailed images. While it may not rival high-end smartphone cameras, the Jelly Star’s camera is more than sufficient for casual photography.
It’s hard to tell on the small display, but the photos in good lighting are pretty decent once you pull them over to a larger screen. The pictures captured have crisp edges and good processing. As with many of the budget Android phones, once you start to lose natural lighting, or add motion, the Jelly Star can struggle. But for a phone meant to add more meaningful and conscious usage, I think it’s adequate.
Battery Life and Connectivity
Despite its small form factor, the Jelly Star manages to offer a decent battery life. With moderate usage, the device can easily last a full day before needing a recharge. It also supports fast charging, ensuring that users can quickly power up their devices when needed. In terms of connectivity, the Jelly Star offers dual SIM support, allowing users to stay connected on multiple networks simultaneously. It also supports 4G LTE, ensuring reliable internet access wherever you go.
User Experience and Accessibility
The Unihertz Jelly Star focuses on providing a user-friendly experience. Its small size may take some adjustment for users accustomed to larger smartphones, but its compactness also makes it convenient for one-handed use.
The device’s physical buttons are well-placed and responsive, enhancing overall usability. Additionally, the Jelly Star offers an accessible experience for individuals with visual impairments, as it features a built-in screen reader and accessibility settings.
Again, the Jelly line is meant to have users have a phone that forces them to slightly disconnect. It’s focused on consumers looking to take a step back from being addicted to their internet devices. Here, the Jelly shines with additional horsepower and new LEDs. You have a powerful, tiny phone when you need it, and can be easily stowed away in a pocket when you don’t.
The Unihertz Jelly Star defies expectations with its compact size and surprising performance. Despite its diminutive stature, this Android smartphone delivers a powerful and capable user experience with a fun LED light system. From its sleek design to its impressive display, the Jelly Star offers a unique proposition in the smartphone market.
While it may not cater to those seeking the latest flagship specifications, its portability, and functionality make it an appealing choice for individuals looking for a secondary device or those who prefer a more compact smartphone experience. The Unihertz Jelly Star proves that great things can indeed come in small packages.
Right now, the Jelly Star is available for pre-order on Kickstarter. This early bird pricing can snag you this fun little phone for just $139 with other packages reaching $1510.