A $200 eco-phone with a 4-year warranty

Teracube 2e back with plant in the background

Recognition: C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

There are many ethical issues in the smartphone industry. Labor exploitation, questionable methods of mining precious metals, e-waste, carbon footprints – the list goes on and on. Of course, no smartphone is going to change all of that, but the Teracube 2e is here to do what it can.

In short, the latest Teracube phone is a budget Android device with an emphasis on sustainability. It offers the most basic smartphone experiences at a low price, while also making the buyer feel less bad about how their purchase could negatively impact the environment.

Connected: The Best Affordable Phones You Can Buy Right Now

Today the Teracube 2e hits general sales after an incredibly successful Indiegogo campaign. The company sent us a unit to check out before starting. If you’re on the fence about getting one or just curious, we’re here to answer some of your burning questions.

Teracube 2e: what you need to know

Teracube 2e with the battery removed

Recognition: C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

There are three aspects of the Teracube 2e that set it apart from pretty much every other smartphone on the market. These are the main selling points of the device. In short, if you aren’t into all or most of these features, you probably aren’t the audience for this phone.

  • Replaceable battery: Just like in days gone by, you can always remove the plastic from the phone and replace the 4,000 mAh battery. This allows you to take multiple batteries with you and easily replace a faulty battery.
  • Four year guarantee: If something goes wrong in the first four years you’ve owned your phone, you can have it replaced. In addition, you can replace it as often as you like. There is a flat fee of $ 39 for each replacement, but you’ll never have to worry about cracked displays, faulty charging ports, or other issues again. There are also three year guaranteed Android updates.
  • Environmentally conscious values: Everything about the Teracube 2e is about sustainability. The packaging is minimal and the protective cover provided is biodegradable. In order to improve fixability, everything in the phone is connected with screws, not glue. No chargers, cables, or headphones are included. Even the plastic that makes up most of the phone is made from 25% recycled polycarbonate.

Other than these three functions, the phone is basically your running budget device. It has a pretty weak processor, hot design, and lackluster cameras. There aren’t many functions that people care about either, such as: B. wireless charging, an IP protection class or a display with a high refresh rate. However, all of this makes up for it in its price, which is currently at a very affordable $ 200.c

The Teracube 2e only works with GSM networks, so it works on most major network operators. In the US, it will work with all airlines other than Verizon and its subsidiaries and MVNOs.

What I like about the Teracube 2e

Teracube 2e front display

Recognition: C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

As already mentioned, the three main features of the Teracube 2e are the interchangeable parts, the four-year guarantee and the environmentally friendly orientation. These are the main reasons why you should buy this phone.

Replacing the battery is very easy. There are small grooves in the lower corners of the polycarbonate back that make it easy to grab and peel off. Once you do, the internals of the device are laid out in a way that even people not interested in technology can understand. The battery pops out easily and the places where you put the microSD and two SIM cards are obvious.

The best features here are the ones we all miss: replaceable battery, notification light, standard Android, headphone jack …

As for software, you’re dealing with standard Android. This means that all of the basic functionality of the operating system is there, but very few additional features have been added. The hardware of the Teracube 2e won’t let Android 10 fly, but it keeps up well enough. This won’t compete with top notch Android phones, but it does the job.

Teracube 2e with exposed battery

Recognition: C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

One of the more notable features is another recall on yesterday’s phones: a notification light. It’s very small, to the right of the top speaker. It’s been a long time since I’ve used a phone with this benefit and it was very nice to have it again.

After all, probably the best thing about this phone isn’t the device itself, but the community around it. Teracube’s forums are full of people who are enthusiastic about the company and its products. There are tons of posts from the creators themselves too. There are clear instructions on how to unlock the bootloader, root the phone, and other technical stuff.

What I don’t like about it

Teracube 2e camera app

Recognition: C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

It would be very easy to fill this section with all of the features I’m used to from flagship Android phones. However, with a device at this price point, you can’t knock it over very well as it doesn’t have a refresh rate of 120 Hz, right?

With that in mind, the biggest problem with this phone is the camera. The stock camera app is anemic and the image quality was terrible. Granted, a third-party camera app may give better results. Likewise, future Android updates (like Android 11 landing this summer) could make things better. However, because it is ready to use out of the box, this is not a phone I would use for any type of photography. This is a real shame as competitor phones can offer a lot more, even at this low price.

Another problem is power delivery. Remember that the Teracube 2e does not come with a charger or charging cable. This wouldn’t be a big deal if it were charged with whatever you throw at it. Unfortunately, the included MediaTek hardware only works with USB-A to USB-C chargers / cables, and won’t charge with USB-C PD chargers. Hence, you need to choose carefully which chargers to use.

Connected: The Best Chargers: A Buying Guide

Finally, my bluetooth connection to the phone wasn’t great. I can usually leave my phone on my desk and move around the house with my headphones on without falling. With the Teracube 2e, however, I couldn’t go too far before the songs skipped. Following similar complaints on the Teracube forums, it can be assumed that this is not an isolated issue.

Teracube 2e specifications

Teracube 2e
display6.1 inch IPS LCD
HD + (1,560 x 720)
Water drop notch
processorMediaTek Helio A25
Octa-core
1.8 GHz
R.A.M.4GB
camp64 GB internal
MicroSD card slot
power4,000mAh removable battery
USB-C wired charging
No charger or cable in the box
CamerasBack:
13MP main
8MP wide angle

Front:
8MP

ConnectivityBands:
LTE – 1/2/3/4/5/7/12/17/20
GSM – 850/900/1800/1900
3G – B1 / B2 / B4 / B5 / B8

Wi-Fi a / b / g / n / ac
Bluetooth 5.0
NFC support (works with Google Pay)

Ports3.5 mm headphone jack
USB-C connector
Dual SIM
MicroSD card slot
softwareStock Android 10
safetyFingerprint on the back
Unsafe face unlock
Dimensions / weight155.2 x 73.3 x 10.1 mm
190 g
colourblack

Teracube 2e: should you buy it?

Teracube 2e with case and box

Recognition: C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

At just $ 200, the Teracube 2e won’t compete against a Samsung Galaxy S21 or a Google Pixel 4a. Here in the US it competes against cell phones like the Moto G Power, the Nokia 3.4 and the Samsung Galaxy A11. With that in mind, the new Teracube phone has pretty much everything these phones offer. Additionally, the Teracube 2e features a sustainability ethic that phones don’t, which is great.

Terracube 2e

Most smartphones last an average of two years or less. Teracube phones are designed and serviced to last four years and beyond.

The biggest downside is that these competitor phones likely offer much better photography than the Teracube 2e. In short, if decent quality photos and videos are an important part of your smartphone buying decision, this is not the phone for you.

Aside from one feature, the Teracube 2e is pretty competitive. That one feature is of course the camera, which is important to many buyers.

Of course, this shortcoming could be offset by the novel features of this phone. The removable battery, notification light, microSD card slot and headphone jack are no longer present in many phones these days.

Overall, this phone should appeal to a very specific buyer, and that particular buyer would likely be happy with it. However, do not be under any illusions: if you are on the fence about a phone like this, this is probably not for you. With the Teracube 2e you feel great when it comes to reducing electronic waste and protecting the environment.

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