Ulefone is more known for its elegant smartphones packed with the latest features and available for a song. Almost all the Ulefone handsets we have reviewed came with attractive names, stylish design and at least one selling point making them out of competition. This statement refers to the Ulefone Metal, Ulefone Future, Ulefone Vienna, Ulefone Power and many more. So when the company announced a rugged smartphone dubbed as the Ulefone Armor, we rolled up our sleeves and began learn every info known about this handset.
We know how rugged smartphones look, and it was very interesting how Ulefone’s IP68-certified handset looks. Surprisingly it doesn’t differ much from other devices belonging to this category like the Homtom HT20, NO.1 X3, Blackview BV6000, Conquest S8, etc. However, we used to see Ulefone smartphones sporting decent features, and know what’s amazing, the company has managed to pack this solid phone with features seen in high-end devices. At the same time, Ulefone doesn’t make it expensive – the Ulefone Armor is priced at $159.99.
Ulefone Armor Appearance
Actually we are dealing with a fearless smartphone. The latter refers not only to the solid appearance but also providing great performance and capturing good photos in low light conditions. But before we jump to its features let’s see what makes this handset rugged externally.
The housing is made of a hard polycarbonate and a soft cover of TPU. This combination helps the phone to protect from drops, slams, and crashes. Plus, the Ulefone Armor comes with an IP68 protection, which means this device is water- and dust-proof. In other words, the ARMOR can survive temperatures from -20? to 80?. As for the water-proof feature, the phone can be left at depths more than 1 meter (usually it’s mentioned as 1.5 meters) for up to 30 minutes and nothing bad will happen to it.
You understand such handsets with the highest level of protection should come with more capacitive buttons. The Ulefone Armor does it too. We can clearly see some physical keys made to improve the interaction in extreme conditions.
For example, the navigation buttons are clickable, which is made to work even when the users operate with gloves. There is also a physical button for the same reason. At last, there is one more button for emergency mode (holding it for 5 seconds will make a call to your emergency contact as well as send a text message with your current GPS coordinates).
As you can judge from pictures above and below, the Ulefone Armor can’t be considered as an elegant smartphone with refined lineaments. The phone body is wrapped into a rubberized bumper that is fixed by a dozen of screws. As I said, there are three physical navigation buttons located below the screen, while the sensors, front camera and speaker are placed above it. We can also see the Ulefone logo at the lowest part of the front panel. You have also to know there are also touchable navigation buttons located above the physical keys. Thus they are on screen.
The back of the ARMOR carries a rear camera accompanied with a flash light, a microphone hold, and a speaker. But what makes me wow is the ‘IP68’ text hinting this is the selling point of the device. However, I guess many customers unaware of this certificate would think it’s the name of the phone.
The mini USB port, 3.5mm audio jack (they are protected by a special cover), and power on/off button are located on the top side. The abovementioned SOS button is on the upper side of the left, while the dedicated camera button is at the lower part of the same side. Finally, the volume rocker is located on the left side. By the way, the combination of down volume button and the power button (or the up volume button + SOS button) takes screenshots.
Two more things on the design of the Ulefone Armor – there is a special metal hook for a cord, and the SIM card slot is located on the back under a removable hood. It’s a dual SIM supporting handset, but you don’t have to scarify one of the slots for memory expansion, as there is also a separate slot for this deal.
There are two color options you can choose from – orange and black. It’s reasonable to expect heavy weight from this phone – the Ulefone Armor comes at dimensions of 147.9 x 75.8 x 12.5 mm and weighs 195 grams.
Ulefone Armor Display and Hardware
The screen of this device is not the best thing we’ll seen in its specs list, but it still provides a satisfactory viewing performance. Here we are dealing with a 4.7-inch IPS-OGS panel at a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels and a pixel density of 313PPI. The screen is also protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 with a superb oleophobic coating, therefore no scratches are dangerous for it as well as no fingerprints will be left on it.
As for the Ulefone Armor performance, though it’s considered as a mid-range handset, I guess many phones from this category would dream to come with features we can see on this device. The phone is packed with a MT6753 octa-core SoC, which is also paired with a 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal memory. This device was tested via AnTuTu and it scored 37.528 points. That’s not an excellent result, but agree it’s satisfactory for daily use.
This chipset can be found on many devices, but the coolest thing about this CPU is the support for a wide variety of 3G and 4G bands, as MediaTek calls it ‘WorldMode 4G LTE and CDMA2000’. This is one of key features of this handset, because it’s designed for people who likes active lifestyle and travels a lot. Below is the complete table of supported bands, so you can check it out in order to learn whether it’s compatible with the mobile services of the countries you are going to visit.
Many say the cameras on the Ulefone Armor are not great. I can agree with this statement if comparing this smartphone with cameraphones like the Huawei P9 or Ulefone Gemini Pro. But this is a mid-range smartphone, therefore the most of its features should correspond this title. Well, the Ulefone Armor sports a 5MP camera on the front, and a rear camera at 13MP.
Check out the Ulefone Armor camera samples
The Ulefone Armor features a 3500mAh battery providing 7-8 hours of normal usage. It also supports OTG and comes with Android 6.0 out of the box.
Ulefone Armor Packaging
The phone comes in a black packaging with the Armor logo on the front. It’s a shield-shape carrying the name and the selling point of the device – water-proof feature and IP68 certificate.
The box includes the phone itself, a USB cable, a charger, user manual in English, a screwdriver, and a headphone extension cable.
Ulefone Armor vs BlackView BV6000
Many think the Ulefone Armor is the main rival to the BlackView BV6000. So we decided to come in with a comparison table to show which of these devices deserves the crown of the toughest smartphone.
As you see, these are almost the same phones, and they are even priced identically.
- IP68 protection
- Gorilla Glass 3 screen protection
- Octa-core SoC
- 4G Support
- SOS button (programmable)
- Dual navigation buttons (on screen and physical)
- Large battery
- 720p display
- 13MP rear camera
When unveiling the Ulefone Armor the company said it has given a brutal look to the phone deliberately. There are many handsets with IP68 certificate looking elegant, but agree a rugged smartphone with shock – , water – and dust – proof features should look differently. Personally, I have had the Sony Xperia Z Ultra, a water – proof handset with the slimmest body, but it stopped working properly after I captured an underwater video. So every time when a look at a solid handset, I want it to look like the Ulefone Armor.
The phone is currently available for $159.99 for pre-order, but its price tag is $199.99 once it’s launched.