We don’t know precisely what number of Chinese cellphone makers are on the market, however there’s numerous them, that’s for positive. Today, we’ll be taking a look at a handset from Ulefone, one of many larger cellphone makers in that area, with a big number of fashions.

Where to purchase?

Online Chinese retailer, Gearbest, offered the pattern and sells the Ulefone Armor 3 for £210 or $259.99 on the time of writing. Note that, whereas this worth consists of supply, it’s unique of any taxes that could be levied by HMRC or the courier corporations on behalf of the seller. Want to purchase tech from on-line Chinese retailers?

In the Ulefone vary are low-cost 3G starter telephones, extra highly effective phablets and the Armor merchandise which might be designed to deal with lower than excellent environmental circumstances. This collection now consists of the unique Armor, Armor mini, Armor 2, 2S, 3, 3T, X, X2, and Armor 5, and our evaluation covers the not too long ago launched Armor 3.

Design

From the skin, the Armor 3 is strongly harking back to different Chinese-made rugged telephones we’ve coated not too long ago. Indeed, the design of this cellphone is similar to the Doogee S80, though the Ulefone handset has a slightly smaller display, and because of this, it weighs rather less.That stated, it is a substantial system that suggestions the scales at almost 365g, and you continue to wouldn’t need to drop this in your foot.

To keep away from that state of affairs, Ulefone has given the steel sides massive bevels that make gripping it a lot simpler – additionally making the cellphone extra snug to carry.The designers of the Armor 3 went with a barely uncommon button format with the amount rocker on the left, and the one button on the right-hand aspect is the ability. This alternative permits the fingerprint reader to be on the right-hand edge the place a right-handed particular person can simply use their thumb to unlock the system.

The left aspect has a PTT (push-to-talk) button to be used with a walkie-talkie possibility, and surprisingly no SIM card slot. It took us a while to work out the place the SIM slot was, the clue being the small Torx screwdriver included within the intensive library of equipment for this cellphone.You see, on the again, under the rear digital camera, is a big steel plate adorned with the Ulefone brand, and 4 screws holding it very firmly in place. You’ll must take away this plate with the screwdriver to disclose two SIM slots and a spot so as to add further storage by way of a microSD card.

Many of the twin SIM telephones we’ve seen not too long ago might both use two SIMs or one and a microSD card, however this design can settle for all three concurrently, which is sweet to see.Along with the screwdriver, Ulefone consists of a lot of equipment within the field with the cellphone, comparable to two completely different energy adapters to allow you to alter it with a USB charger, if you happen to forgot the Type-C one offered.The Type-C cable is a high-quality affair with some cable administration clips which might be most welcome.There can be a wrist strap that may connect by way of two loops on the again of the cellphone, and a rubberized mounting body that has a clasp designed for placing it on the handlebars of a motorbike.The solely lacking merchandise is an antenna for the walkie-talkie, which we assume solely comes with the 3T model of the cellphone. We can’t say whether it is potential to supply that antenna and make this function work, however the threaded connector for it’s on this handset.Overall, our preliminary impressions of this cellphone have been good. It’s solidly made, has a big and colourful display, a superb specification and plenty of genuinely helpful options.The Armor 3 comes both as completely black or black with orange highlights, so you possibly can all the time plump for the latter if you happen to want a extra sporty look on your cellphone.

Spec Sheet

Here are the complete specs of the Ulefone Armor 3:

  • CPU: MediaTek MT6763T octa-core 2.5GHz
  • GPU: ARM Mali G71 MP2
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB
  • Screen measurement: 5.7-inch
  • Resolution: 2160 x 1080Weight: 365g
  • Dimensions: 164.8 x 79.2 x 11.9mmRear digital camera:  21MP
  • Front digital camera: 8MP (interpolated to 13MP)OS: Android 8.1
  • Battery: 10,300mAh

Specifications

The specification of this cellphone mirrors numerous Chinese-produced units we’ve seen. They all use the MediaTek MT6763T (Helio P23) octa-core processor and ARM Mali G71 MP2 GPU mixture, and on the Armor 3, this CPU is clocked to its most 2.5GHz.This SoC is outshone by the newest Snapdragon designs, however until you need to have the quickest potential cellphone, it’s greater than sufficient energy to drive this system.Our benchmark assessments (see under) revealed that it’s barely sooner than a lot of the telephones that use this SoC which we’ve examined, as a result of a bit further clock velocity and the higher high quality flash reminiscence on this design.The Android Oreo 8.1 set up on this cellphone purrs alongside properly with 4GB of RAM, and the 64GB of normal storage can deal with a lot of apps and knowledge earlier than you should contemplate including a microSD card.

The display is an IPS panel with a pure decision of 2,160 x 1,080, making it very appropriate for reviewing footage or movies, and offering wonderful readability.But there are two options in right here that overshadow the remaining of their usefulness, the primary of these being the surprisingly good digital camera.The Sony-made IMX230 Exmor sensor can snap single pictures in 6,144 x 3,456 decision with excellent coloration saturation and focus. It’s a three-year-old chip, however nonetheless very aggressive and on the coronary heart of many cameras and telephones.Our solely reservation is that on this context it solely affords 1080p video seize and never the 4K decision that the sensor is able to.

A customized digital camera app has three primary modes: image, video and panorama. Picture mode has HDR, self-timer and the flexibility to seize sound when taking snaps. Sound seize can be out there in panorama, and that mode has a easy however efficient information system for aligning the photographs that generated some wonderful outcomes.If you possibly can’t take a couple of respectable vacation footage with this , you then’re not making an attempt very onerous in any respect.

The different function that may be a greater specification than we have been anticipating is the cell communications platform that’s actually international within the channels and ranges it helps. In principle, you must have the ability to use this cellphone in any nation, as a result of it handles 2G, 3G and 4G-LTE throughout a really massive vary of frequencies.

It may function each SIMs on LTE on the identical time, though we’re uncertain if it could channel bond the bandwidth on this mode.Overall, there may be little or no mistaken with the spec of the Armor 3, until you might be particularly in search of a gaming system or 4K video recording.

Benchmarks

Here’s how the Ulefone Armor 3 carried out in our suite of benchmark assessments:

  • Geekbench: 917 (single-core); 4,253 (multi-core); 3,276 (compute); 13,810 (battery)
  • Antutu: 95,430
  • PCMark (Work 2.0): 5,114
  • Passmark: 5,025
  • Passmark CPU: 115,062
  • Androbench (sequential): 278.13MB/s (sequential learn); 204.69MB/s (sequential write)
  • Androbench (random): 51.97MB/s (random learn); 18.61MB/s (random write)
  • 3DMark Slingshot: 743
  • 3DMark Slingshot Extreme: 486
  • 3DMark IceStorm: 12,314HW
  • Bot Prime: 4,630

Utilization and performance

About the one actual unfavorable factor we will say relating to the Armor 3 is that it’s on the heavy aspect. When you add the charger and numerous cables, the entire weight of this system will probably be near half a kilogram. That won’t appear a lot, however for anybody trekking on foot, that’s a weight you’ll want to hold round with you in every single place.As an Android cellphone, the Armor 3 is an honest performer and usually responsive. The Oreo working system is generally vanilla, though it has some bundled instruments comparable to a flashlight, FM radio and a Toolbox utility that has quite a few capabilities which we’ve seen on different Android 8.1 installations.

We benchmarked the Armor 3 utilizing our normal number of efficiency testing instruments and located that it delivers numbers which might be consistent with different telephones that use the identical Helio P23 processor. It’s a tiny bit faster than most, however solely by a small quantity.One sturdy level that got here out of the assessments have been the very sturdy battery life scores, revealing that this cellphone ought to final a really very long time on standby, and still have an prolonged working life. That suits properly with the adventurer-friendly nature of the design.

One side we couldn’t take a look at in sensible phrases was the IP68/IP69Ok ranking. To obtain IP68 a cellphone should deal with being submerged in a meter of water for 30 minutes. The Armor 3 goes a lot additional than that, dealing with twice that depth for as much as two hours!Also, and we’re curious why Ulefone mentions this, the cellphone can deal with being immersed in a meter of concrete for 24 hours. Should you find yourself in concrete for a day, as occurs to some unlucky individuals, whether or not or not your cellphone will survive might be the least of your considerations…

Ulefone additionally mentions the MIL-STD 810G normal in promotional supplies, as if it’s an actual certification – which it isn’t. If it was a certification, it might assist the declare that the Armor 3 can survive a 1.2m drop on to a tough floor, and given how robustly the cellphone is made, we now have no motive to disbelieve that.

Final verdict

For a bit over £200 (or $260), it is a nice piece of expertise that provides you most of what a way more costly system can provide, and some issues they typically can’t.The battery life, digital camera, display and storage capability are all excellent, ticking most of the bins that persons are most involved about.If you need a robust cellphone for a seashore vacation, snowboarding or trekking journey, then this one could be a really prudent alternative.

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