Many more months have passed, the Jelly Pro is still in my life, and it now runs Android 8.1.
Android 8.1 runs well, but one configuration setting absolutely must be changed:
settings → smart assistant → power save manager and then turn that off. The power saving regime provided by Android 8 is better, and the third-party
power save manager Unihertz has included confuses Android's JobScheduler into thinking that apps are broken when they're working perfectly well. This is why Signal doesn't receive messages, and it also prevents apps from e.g. scheduling heavy work to be run while the phone is charging.
Many reviews of the Jelly Pro describe insufferable battery life. That's true and accurate, but it's also a tiny little bit irrelevant for me since what I want is a phone that can run smartphone apps but I don't want to check the phone every few minutes. I am the master, the phone serves me, and any app that buzzes me needlessly loses its permission to issue notifications. The battery is good enough for my kind of usage. (Update: Good enough for me at home, but not while travelling, I'm sorry to say.)
I do wish the phone would charge faster though.
Another few weeks have passed.
I have made up my mind to ditch the Jelly and go back to a bigger phone, in fact I've made up my mind to that several times. And I've also made up my mind that I cannot possibly do that.
It's difficult. One one hand many things work so well on the Jelly. I have apps, for example Google Authenticator, on a device that is unobtrusively small and is not a timewaste magnet. On the other, data entry can be a pain. Last Satuday I wanted to know whether I had time to get to a shop before it closed, and I remembered the shop's location but not its name. I found it, which makes the Jelly qualitatively different from other small phones, but the data entry was impractical compared to a large smartphone.
I don't buy a lot of hardware any more, and nothing out of the ordinary... but I have a credit-card-sized smartphone called Jelly (a Jelly Pro actually, with 2GB RAM).
A smartphone should be small and light, have a large screen and battery, be fast enough, and not have too many bugs. Obviously there's a conflict between overall size and screen/battery size. The Jelly is a very different compromise than most smartphones — most phones fit barely in a pocket, or only in some pockets, and provide large screens on which apps work well. The Jelly starts by fitting easily in any pocket, and makes the apps work as well as possible on a very small screen.
It succeeds on size: I can stick the Jelly in tight jeans pockets and sit down without noticing that it's there. […More…]