This year, I decided to take my first ever train ride. Before this trip, the closest I had ever gotten to a train was while sitting in a car at a railway crossing. We would hear the alarm go off to notify us that a train was approaching and the barriers would fall into place as vehicular road traffic came to a stop. Shortly after, we would see the train rumble by and on its way.

On this my first ever train ride, I had two smartphones with me, Apple iPhone SE 2022 and Unihertz Tank. The latter is literally a tank of a phone that is designed for tough and rough experiences, especially outdoors. I figured that a train ride to Abeokuta and back would be a good opportunity to see some of the other features that the Tank possessed.

Unihertz Tank rugged smartphone

By definition, the Unihertz Tank is a rugged smartphone. This one is built to withstand dirt, immersion in water, and drops. As such, it is big and hefty. If I were to ever hit someone with this…. It is safe to say that the Tank was not designed for the average phone user. If you work on the field in rugged and extreme conditions – on an oil rig, construction site – or go hiking through nature and climb rocks and mountains, this is the kind of phone you want to have on you.

How fast was the train?

One of the features that the Tank has built in is a speedometer app, which measures your speed. Which is a good thing, because I was curious about how fast the train moved. Using the app, I was able to measure the speed of the train all through the ride. For the most part, being a short journey with stops, we stayed below 80km per hour most of the time. We did clock 104 km per hour at 44 kilometres into the ride to Abeokuta, and that was our fastest trip all through the journey.

The Unihertz Tank's speedometer app
The Speedometer app

How did Unihertz Tank handle choppy network coverage in the countryside?

I had an MTN SIM card in both the iPhone and the Unihertz Tank. At multiple points in the countryside, data was unusable on the iPhone but continued to work fine on the Tank. I even swapped the SIM cards between both phones, to be sure that it wasn’t a situation where one SIM was having issues. The iPhone kept struggling to provide me with mobile data, while the Tank just did it effortlessly.

I am not surprised about the performance of the iPhone, though. For all of the glamour surrounding it, Apple iPhones do not have the best wireless radio tenacity. They usually lose a signal before phones from Nokia and other brands do. It was a good thing I had the Unihertz Tank with me, otherwise I would have been offline for stretches of time during the trip.

Does Unihertz Tank take good photos?

Unihertz Tank: Train Journey from Lagos to Abeokuta and Back 1
The 32MP selfie camera has a lot of highlight. I am not a fan.
Rail tracks at a train station - shot with Unihertz Tank rugged smrtphone
The 108MP main camera takes good, not great, photos
Unihertz Tank: Train Journey from Lagos to Abeokuta and Back 2
Shot with the Unihertz Tank’s 108MP camera

The last photo above gives you an idea of the terrain of Professor Wole Soyinka train station at Abeokuta. It is on the outskirts of the city and you need a ride into town. There are bikes and cabs. Whichever you take, you are in for a bumpy ride, as there is no road from the station into town (yet). Just a rough, winding dirt track.

Unihertz Tank: Battery Life

What about battery life? Please, don’t get me started. The entire return trip barely made a dent in the 22,000mAh battery of the Tank. As a matter of fact, the full charge that I left Lagos with did not empty until 6 days later. Mind you, I was watching Netflix and DsTV back-to-back for hours each day all that time. You simply can’t kill the battery of the Unihertz Tank.

The train ride to Abeokuta and back to Lagos was fun and generally uneventful. I rode Business Class; the coach was clean and comfortable. It has a charging port beside the window, so passengers can charge their gadgets. I needed to top up the iPhone SE 2022 at some point (iPhones and battery life; ugh), but not the Tank.

I look forward to taking more train rides in the months and years to come – and with different sets of phones and smartphones. In the meantime, if you are interested, you can access a more detailed review of the Unihertz Tank. In the meantime, I just might take the Unihertz Tank with me when next I go climbing the awe-inspiring hills in Ekiti or Taraba. Or when visiting the Wikki warm springs in Bauchi.

Unihertz Tank: Lagos to Abeokuta and back by train

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By Mister Mobility

Tech blogging since 2003, I have owned and reviewed hundreds of smartphones running EPOC, Symbian, Palm, PocketPC, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.

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