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Tink Tabs Cell Phone T1 im Hands on: The better hotel phone is safer and faster

Sunday, September 10th, 2017 | Gadgets

The startup Tink Labs wants to provide hotel visitors with the product "mobile phone" an easy access to smartphones, especially if they travel from abroad and would normally have to pay high roaming charges. The appliances provide Internet access and free telephony, as well as the use of apps and local hotel information.

However, we tested the first version of the smartphone because an old Android version is being used and there are further security and usability problems. After the article was published, Tink Labs Golem.de demonstrated the new version of the smartphone, which makes much better.

    The security updates are on a significantly more recent stand than the predecessor (picture: Hauke ​​Gierow, Golem.de)

The device is currently being introduced in various hotels in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The old, uncertain version came and is not used in these countries at all. The devices tested by us in Madrid and London are also to be exchanged at short notice – at all locations worldwide. The smartphones are available to users during their stay outside the hotel.
The T1 runs differently as its predecessor with Android 7.0, the updates were in the test on the status of 1 June 2017 – a clear progress. The device is manufactured by Foxconn for Tink Labs and has been specially designed for the intended use. The manufacturer should in any case have the necessary resources to secure the equipment permanently. Foxconn is not only manufacturer of devices, but also one of the largest investors of Tink Labs.

According to the manufacturer, the T1 has a QuadCo chip of type A53 manufactured by Qualcomm with 1.4 Ghz and a 5-inch display with HD resolution (720p). The back camera supports a maximum resolution of 8 megapixels, the battery is extensively dimensioned with 4,000 milliamper hours. The memory is 2 Gbyte large, for users are still about 500 Mbyte available.
Because Tink Labs does not use a normal USB port, but its own proprietary plug, access to the USB interface is at best not to be done without disproportionate effort. In addition, the developer mode Android Device Bridge can not be activated with the device we have tried, which can reduce the corresponding attack scenarios.
The device is more powerful
In the hands on we like the device at first glance much better than the predecessor, which could not convince even from the handling. The operating system runs much more smoothly and should not be noticed by customers. Different apps can be used and international calls can be made free of charge.
Included are all EU countries and some countries freely selectable by the hotel. The phone number is newly generated for each customer, whether Voip or another solution is used, according to Tink Labs varies from country to country.
Tink Labs has also improved in the deletion of the customer data. If a customer takes the device for the first time after the check-in, a check-out date must be chosen by means of a calendar. On this day, customers' data are automatically reset. The described mechanism will also be used in the first-generation devices, which will soon disappear completely anyway.


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