A tough, tiny, totally waterproof smartphone

Unihertz’s shockproof Atom comes packed with features despite weighing a mere 108g

Unihertz Atom, $299
Unihertz Atom, $299 | Image: Hugh Threlfall

Back in April, I featured the world’s smallest smartphone, the positively Lilliputian Jelly Pro from Shanghai’s Unihertz. I would be the first to admit the diminutive thing was just a wee bit gimmicky, even though it worked extremely well and, rather brilliantly, had two SIM slots – which few full-size phones have.


Well now Unihertz has released this, the ruggedised Atom, which is waterproof and shockproof, and for me, the firm has crossed the Rubicon dividing amusing, though potentially useful, gimmick from serious device. By chance, I received the Atom days after I went swimming in Greece with a supposedly waterproof smartphone from one of the big makers in my trunks pocket. The smartphone turned out not to be waterproof at all and it expired permanently. It was also, truth be told, way too big for a swimming trunks pocket. 


At not much bigger than an ear, the Atom would have been a far better idea. I drowned my sample in two metres of water for an hour and it was absolutely fine. It also seems impossible to break it, and in an attempt to replicate the indignities phones go through in real life – the dropping onto concrete, sitting on and so forth – I really did try. Unihertz hasn’t skimped on features, either: the Atom has both a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera and an eight-megapixel front-facing one, NFC for mobile payments, a front-mounted fingerprint sensor and even an FM radio – all in a device weighing 108g and capable of being worn on a tether round your neck.

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