In the last two months Ulefone has flooded me with its rugged, sending them all to test to be able to recommend the best product for your needs: the field of rugged is always very delicate, paradoxically, because they are often well-bodied ok devices on the constructive front, but very often inconclusive on the technical front given the poor performance they are able to offer.
The Ulefone Armor series has always been half an exception and a good compromise for those looking for a reliable rugged at a fair price: after seeing, therefore, theArmor 13 el 'Armor 14 Pro, today is the turn of the new Armor 15. I am not very clear on the management of the numbering of Ulefone products, as I do not think that with the "increasing" model number we are faced with better specifications, indeed very often it is in reverse. Oh well, in any case today I'm talking about the Armor 15, which brings with it an exclusive novelty.
Ulefone Armor 15 review
Design and Materials
Obviously we open the dance with the dimensions, as they are among the smallest of recent times: theUlefone Armor 15in fact it is 79.6mm wide, 170mm high and 18mm thick, while its weight is about 350 grams. I told you that it is one of the most comfortable and manageable because it has this narrow and long form factor that is not customary in this type of product, but I found it comfortable especially in relation to the weight that remains important.
As usual, around the four corners, the company has inserted anti-shock rubber protections to reduce damage in the event of a collision, while the back cover is an alternation of carbon fiber-like finishes and an electric blue that distinguishes much of the back cover. The design certainly does not go unnoticed but in fact it is functional to its being rugged as all the most delicate parts are safeguarded: the cameras are recessed by a couple of millimeters to avoid breaking the protective glass while the display is on the safe thanks to the two small steps in the integrated front speakers.
And yes, I spoke in the plural because the speakers are stereo and are integrated frontally, one at the top and one at the bottom under the display among other things with a sound quality even higher than my expectations.
For the rest, the exclusive gem I mentioned at the beginning is found in the upper part of the smartphone: Ulefone Armor 15, in fact, unless my memory deceives me, is the first smartphone that comes with a pair of integrated headphones on board. . And no, when I say integrated on board I don't mean included in the sales package, the more you stay inside the smartphone itself. It is about two small in-ear type TWS buds which are integrated at the top of the smartphone and well protected by two flaps that safeguard the waterproofness of the smartphone.
It is undoubtedly something interesting but I continue to be of the idea that it is necessary to apply more on the hardware front of these smartphones, rather than in the integration of novelties almost useless in practice. For the record, however, I tell you that these are earphones that enjoy good quality, they connect automatically to the smartphone with a small Airpods-style popup and are recharged inside the smartphone when we put them back in their place. On the other hand I can tell you, however, that I did not find them very comfortable given their shape poco ergonomic but on the other hand they are rather light to wear.
I was almost forgetting all the certifications it is equipped with, but as rugged they are perhaps now taken for granted: Ulefone Armor 15, however, has certification IP68, IP69K e Mil-STD 810G.
The display is one of those things that always leaves me perplexed in these smartphones, and if you remember it I also told you in the review of the younger brother, the Armor 14. However this Armor 15 comes with a slightly smaller screen than usual, and that's not bad: 5,45 ″ inches with HD + resolution and matrix panel, alas, IPS TFT.
Unfortunately, there is not much to expect from a screen like this: it performs well in everyday contexts, the color calibration is a bit cold with whites tending slightly to blue (without the possibility of intervening in the calibration in a radical way) and the viewing angles are what they are. A display sufficient for a rugged, but nothing more.
Hardware and Performance
Technically speaking, however, the company used the same hardware as the Armor 14 model without any difference: it is no coincidence that the SoC is always the Helio G35 Mediatek, the GPU is one PowerVR GE8320 and the RAM memory reaches i 6GB of LPDDR4X type. The storage available, however, is equal to 128GB and there is the possibility of expansion via microSD up to 1TB.
Let's say that if it were not for the CPU, everything else could have what it takes to do well: unfortunately the Helio G35 is a processor that, since its inception, has been entry-level band and now he feels the weight of his two years of service. In everyday use it is not a very fast smartphone, you will need a little patience to perform all the operations, especially if you come from a faster and more performing smartphone.
This is a smartphone that works in everyday life, does not jam, but you must be aware that you have in your hands a device that aims to be resistant to shocks, falls and mistreatment, more than a product capable of guaranteeing you speed and immediacy in your operations. . There is some lag here and there in the fairly tolerable interface, it is a bit slow in managing multitasking and tends to freeze apps in the background often.
The hardware circle closes the presence of NFC for payments, and the biometric sensor placed in the power button which is quite responsive and well functioning; the company has also included the 2D type face release whose reliability, as always, is relative.
The operating system on which Ulefone Armor 15 is based is Android version 12 with security patches updated to May 5, 2022: I have repeatedly told you my idea about the software of these secondary brands, so do not have expectations in terms of updates or changes on the software. In addition, Widevine L1 certifications are absent, so you will not be able to enjoy the highest quality of your content on Netflix, Disney etc.
The graphic interface is modified in a rather soft way without major customizations by the manufacturer; at the level of applications we find the usual toolbag with torch, level and other pseudo work tools installed.
La photographic equipment is, perhaps, the most interesting point of this product, and I admit it was a great surprise: the primary lens is one 12MP produced by Sony, specifically the IMX363 with f / 1.8 aperture. With great amazement, I also found a 13MP ultra-wide angle lens with Samsung S5K3M3 sensor and f / 2.4 aperture.
I told you about amazement in general because rugged models have not always stood out for good photographic performance, and although there has been some growth in some products in recent times, the average quality remains very low. The photographic results obtained with this Ulefone Armor 15 they are good overall.
The color calibration is perhaps a bit cold, but removed this aspect with the primary camera you get results that exceed the sufficiency in most contexts, even with the flash that provides uniform lighting and never too "fired".
The wide angle produces photos that have a definition equal to the primary lens (absurdly, but this is the first time I see an ultra wide angle lens with more megapixels than the primary) but with some more problems in the management of the lights: given the reduced focal aperture , less light enters and consequently we get better shots during the day with lots of light, and only enough in closed environments and with little light.
The front sensor is a Sony IMX481 from 16MP and take selfies that are only acceptable: you need a very steady hand and be well lit, otherwise the final result will not even be enough. THE videoinstead, they are logged up to 1080p 30fps, here too with an acceptable quality but not the best around.
Also on the battery front it seems that the manufacturer had to make some sacrifices: probably to find the space to store the earphones Ulefone had to deal with something that was "too much" and certainly the battery was one of them. While we are usually faced with units above 8000 mAh, as also happened with the previous model which possessed a battery of 10000 mAh, this Ulefone Armor 15 has a battery by itself 6600 mAh.
All this obviously does not mean that in the middle of the day you will have to resort to a power outlet because the smartphone has already discharged, but to dampen the expectations that you usually have on this kind of products. With this battery, however, you exceed 10 hours of active screen without problems of any kind, but do not think of doing more than a day and a half of use. This model also loses the wireless charging that the Armor 14 had, but on the other hand it recharges quite quickly with the 18W power supply included in the package
Price and Considerations
If I'm honest, this Ulefone Armor 15 is the rugged of Ulefone that I liked least in recent months: in terms of strength and construction it is certainly not the most resistant that the company has built in the last period, especially because the finishes of this electric blue will have a bad end later some important falls.
In addition, the hardware is not that great and probably the only really convincing aspect, of all, is the photographic one. If I had to give you some advice, the Ulefone Armor 14 Pro is currently among the best around in the rugged field so if you are looking for a sturdy and resistant smartphone, don't think about it too much. The price of this Armor 15, however, is around around the euro 260 and, all the more reason, at this figure it is the younger brother that I recommend, with your eyes closed.
NB If you do not see the box with code or the link to the purchase, we advise you to disable the AdBlock.