Ulefone Armor 11 review: Costly mistakes

The complete level of a rugged cellphone is to supply the patron a sturdy but well-designed machine constructed to final. However, the steep value of the Ulefone Armor 11 won’t communicate to its high quality and sturdiness. Can this rugged cellphone dangle with the competitors? Find out in Android Authority’s Ulefone Armor 11 evaluation.

See additionally: The best rugged phones 

What it is advisable to know in regards to the Ulefone Armor 11

Luke Pollack / Android Authority

  • Ulefone Armor 11 5G (8GB/256GB): $579/£499/

At $579, the Ulefone Armor 11 sits on the larger finish in terms of rugged Android gadgets. The machine ships in just one possibility: 8GB of RAM with 256GB of storage, and there’s no choice to broaden storage through a microSD card. It additionally solely is available in black.

The explicit unit I examined arrived operating Android 10 with no choice to replace to Android 11, though Ulefone states it’s planning an improve for later this yr. The Armor 11 presently ships with a December 5, 2020 safety patch, which is a bit outdated on the time of writing (July 2021).

Operating system apart, the Armor 11 incorporates a single uncovered USB-C port, a SIM card tray on the underside of the machine, and a single firing speaker on the again. Keep in thoughts there isn’t a 3.5mm headphone jack current on this cellphone; nevertheless, Ulefone does embrace a 3.5mm to USB-C dongle within the field. Lastly, the Armor 11 incorporates a side-mounted fingerprint sensor and a wise key on reverse sides.

In the field, you get a USB-C charger, a plastic pry device for the watertight SIM card slot, a glass display screen protector, and two USB-C port watertight seals.

What’s good?

Ulefone Armor 11 5G rear view showing camera module, resting on a leather chair.

Luke Pollack / Android Authority

The Ulefone Armor 11’s 2GHz processor holds up surprisingly nicely towards costlier options, and the real-life efficiency of the Armor 11 was wonderful. Moving in and across the menus, completely different apps, and a few gentle gaming was all very easy. I did expertise a number of stutters right here and there, however that was primarily within the inventory launcher; switching to a third-party one solved that drawback. I used to be notably impressed with the gaming efficiency in heavier titles resembling PUBG Mobile and Genshin Impact. In each video games, the Armor held its personal, offering an simply playable expertise, with minimal lag solely in very excessive motion and demanding scenes.

The Ulefone Armor 11 packs some spectacular velocity for a rugged cellphone

Battery efficiency is one other energy for the Armor 11. In my testing, I averaged about eight to 9 hours of screen-on time. The 5,200mAh battery simply lasts two full days. In truth, I used to be pleasantly shocked by the excellent standby time of this machine. I don’t have an actual metric for this, however the cellphone misplaced about 1% each few hours in my testing. As a end result, the cellphone would final by the evening with solely a few 3% drain on the battery. Keep in thoughts that this nice efficiency is basically because of the decrease decision show, which comes with its personal points. The Armor 11 is bundled with an 18W fast charger, and I used to be in a position to energy up the cellphone from 0% to 100% in 90 minutes. Also, the Armor 11 helps 10W wi-fi charging.

What’s not so good?

Ulefone Armor 11 5G in the hand, showing the screen.

Luke Pollack / Android Authority

While I used to be impressed with the efficiency and stellar battery lifetime of the Armor 11, there are a good quantity of points in terms of this rugged cellphone. The Armor 11 touts a rugged design, with an IP68/IP69Ok water and dirt resistance score (the latter a step above the extra conventional IP68 score and the best given to a tool). It particularly protects towards close-range stress and excessive temperatures.  Still, even with this score, I didn’t have quite a lot of religion on this cellphone’s sturdiness. The physique is made from plastic and rubber with aluminum ridges, however they’re very gentle and virtually plastic-like. Ulefone confirmed that the show doesn’t function Gorilla Glass, however uncared for to reply our questions concerning who manufactured the glass.

The ports on this cellphone really feel open and never protected like on different rugged gadgets, such because the Doogee S96 Pro. Don’t get me incorrect, the cellphone appears to be like rugged, however I’m not completely assured the machine would maintain up in harsh environments long run. For instance, I dropped the cellphone onto the ground a number of instances, and whereas all the pieces gave the impression to be okay, the shock virtually all the time induced the display screen to drag up an app or menu. The cellphone comes with a MIL-STD 810G certification, however even that didn’t give me confidence the cellphone would maintain up (and is a step beneath the newest MIL-STD 810H customary).

See Also: The best waterproof phones you can buy

Also, the “watertight” SIM card slot is a bit too simple to drag out with one’s finger. On different rugged gadgets, the SIM card slot is sort of inconceivable to drag open with out a plastic pry device. Again, the USB-C port doesn’t have an on-device rubber overlaying, which suggests the water seal is within the precise port. Ulefone does embrace some watertight seals within the field, however these are small and extremely simple to lose. They additionally jut out from the port and don’t sit flush. I’m afraid I can’t see precise shoppers utilizing these. Also, the again is made from a seemingly skinny plastic that appears prone to crack if dropped on a tough floor. The solely sturdy a part of this cellphone is perhaps the rubber sides, that are thick and take up a good quantity of shock. The takeaway right here is that this cellphone appears to be like rugged however feels low-cost and doesn’t breed quite a lot of confidence in terms of sturdiness.

The show’s colours and distinction are moderately correct by my eye, but it surely reveals some unusual artifacting when shifting across the OS. This may be notably apparent whereas gaming, however I discovered it distracting when shifting in between menus and scrolling by social media. It’s not horrible, but it surely does detract from the general expertise. Keep in thoughts this isn’t the one 720p show we’ve seen in a rugged cellphone, however for a cellphone this costly it ought to have a greater display screen.

General digital camera efficiency is on par with different rugged gadgets, however the digital camera does are inclined to over-soften the sides of the picture — and the included 20MP evening imaginative and prescient digital camera is downright disappointing. The Armor 11 helps evening imaginative and prescient video recording which is a pleasant additional, however each movies and images had been very comfortable and washed out. Also, the digital camera app doesn’t offer you an choice to focus the digital camera in these modes, so you’re caught with a fixed-length focus.

Ulefone Armor 11 digital camera samples

You can discover high-resolution variations of every picture here.

Ulefone Armor 11 specs

Ulefone Armor 11 5G
Display 6.088 inches
1,560 x 720 pixels
19:9 side ratio
Processor MediaTek Dimensity 800
Storage 256GB non-expandable
Cameras Rear penta digital camera system:
– 48MP fundamental
– 13MP ultra-wide
– 2MP macro
– 20MP IR evening imaginative and prescient digital camera
– 2MP depth
– 16MP
Battery 5,200mAh
18W quick charging
10W wi-fi charging
IP Rating IP68 / IP69Ok
Software Android 10
Dimensions 163.Eight x 81.6 x 14.2 mm
Connectivity 5G Network
– Sub6G: N1/3/5/8/20/28/38/41/77/78/79
4G Network
– 4G LTE-FDD: B1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/18/19/20/25/26/28A/28B/66
– LTE-TDD: B34/38/39/40/413G
WCDMA: B1/2/4/5/6/8/19
GSM: B2/3/5/8CDMA 1X: BC0/BC1/BC10
Dual SIM: Nano-SIM + Nano-SIM
Security Side-mounted fingerprint scanner
Face unlock

Ulefone Armor 11: Should I purchase it?

Ulefone Armor 11 5G rear view with water on the casing.

Luke Pollack / Android Authority

The Ulefone Armor 11 appears to be like prefer it gives a substantial quantity of options for a rugged cellphone. It packs a big battery, an IP68/IP69Ok score, and an evening imaginative and prescient digital camera, however these options don’t make up for the plain shortcomings. If you’re in search of a rugged cellphone that’s constructed to final and has reasonably respectable options, then the Ulefone Armor 11 isn’t it. While battery and processor efficiency are each stellar, the extraordinarily low-cost construct high quality and poor evening imaginative and prescient digital camera make the cellphone laborious to advocate. The steep $579 value doesn’t assist both, and you’d be higher off taking a look at options such because the Cat S62 Pro ($649) or the Doogee S96 Pro ($389). Both provide a greater total expertise and value much less. Unfortunately for Ulefone, the Armor 11 is an enormous miss.

Ulefone Armor 11 5G product image

Ulefone Armor 11 5G

Ulefone Armor 11 5G

The Ulefone Armor 11 5G packs a quick processor, a big 5,200mAh battery, and IP68 water and dirt resistance score right into a rugged design.

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