We don’t know exactly what percentage Chinese phone makers are out there, but there’s tons of them, that’s needless to say . Today, we’ll be watching a handset from Ulefone, one among the larger phone makers therein region, with an outsized selection of models.
In the Ulefone range are cheap 3G starter phones, more powerful phablets and therefore the Armor products that are designed to handle but ideal environmental conditions. This series now includes the first Armor, Armor mini, Armor 2, 2S, 3, 3T, X, X2, and Armor 5, and our review covers the recently released ulefone armor 3w.
From the surface , the Armor 3 is strongly like other Chinese-made rugged phones we’ve covered recently. Indeed, the planning of this phone is extremely almost like the Doogee S80, although the Ulefone handset features a marginally smaller screen, and as a result, it weighs a touch less.
That said, this is often a considerable device that tips the scales at nearly 365g, and you continue to wouldn’t want to drop this on your foot. To avoid that scenario, Ulefone has given the metal sides large bevels that make gripping it much easier – also making the phone easier to carry .
The designers of the Armor 3 went with a rather unusual button layout with the quantity rocker on the left, and therefore the only button on the right-hand side is that the power. This choice allows the fingerprint reader to get on the right-hand edge where a right-handed person can easily use their thumb to unlock the device.
The left side features a PTT (push-to-talk) button to be used with a walkie-talkie option, and surprisingly no SIM card slot. It took us a while to figure out where the SIM slot was, the clue being the tiny Torx screwdriver included within the extensive library of accessories for this phone.
You see, on the rear , below the rear camera, may be a large metal plate adorned with the Ulefone logo, and 4 screws holding it very firmly in situ . You’ll got to remove this plate with the screwdriver to reveal two SIM slots and an area to feature additional storage via a microSD card.
Many of the twin SIM phones we’ve seen recently could either use two SIMs or one and a microSD card, but this design can accept all three simultaneously, which is sweet to ascertain .
Along with the screwdriver, Ulefone includes many accessories within the box with the phone, like two different power adapters to enable you to vary it with a USB charger, if you forgot the Type-C one provided.
The Type-C cable may be a high-quality affair with some cable management clips that are most welcome.
There is also a wrist strap which will attach via two loops on the rear of the phone, and a rubberized mounting frame that features a clasp designed for putting it on the handlebars of a motorcycle .
The only missing item is an antenna for the walkie-talkie, which we assume only comes with the 3T version of the phone. We can’t say if it’s possible to source that antenna and make this feature work, but the threaded connector for it’s on this handset.
It’s solidly made, features a large and colorful screen, a superb specification and lots of genuinely useful features.
The Armor 3 comes either as entirely black or black with orange highlights, so you’ll always back the latter if you favor a more sporty appearance for your phone.
The specification of this phone mirrors an outsized number of Chinese-produced devices we’ve seen. all of them use the MediaTek MT6763T (Helio P23) octa-core processor and ARM Mali G71 MP2 GPU combination, and on the Armor 3, this CPU is clocked to its maximum 2.5GHz.
This SoC is outshone by the newest Snapdragon designs, but unless you want to have the fastest possible phone, it’s quite enough power to drive this device.
Our benchmark tests (see below) revealed that it’s slightly faster than most of the phones that use this SoC which we’ve tested, thanks to a touch extra clock speed and therefore the better quality non-volatile storage during this design.
The Android Oreo 8.1 installation on this phone purrs along nicely with 4GB of RAM, and therefore the 64GB of ordinary storage can handle many apps and data before you would like to think about adding a microSD card.
The screen is an IPS panel with a natural resolution of two ,160 x 1,080, making it very suitable for reviewing pictures or videos, and providing excellent clarity.
Ulefone Armor 3
But there are two features in here that overshadow the remainder in their usefulness, the primary of these being the surprisingly good camera.
The Sony-made IMX230 Exmor sensor can snap single images in 6,144 x 3,456 resolution with excellent color saturation and focus. It’s a three-year-old chip, but still very competitive and at the guts of the many cameras and phones.
Our only reservation is that during this context it only offers 1080p video capture and not the 4K resolution that the sensor is capable of.
A custom camera app has three basic modes: picture, video and panorama. Picture mode has HDR, self-timer and therefore the ability to capture sound when taking snaps. Sound capture is additionally available in panorama, which mode features a simple but effective guide system for aligning the pictures that generated some excellent results.
If you can’t take a couple of decent holiday pictures with this hardware, then you’re not trying very hard in the least .
The other feature that’s a better specification than we were expecting is that the mobile communications platform that’s truly global within the channels and ranges it supports. In theory, you ought to be ready to use this phone in any country, because it handles 2G, 3G and 4G-LTE across a really large range of frequencies.