Design – With its dimensions of 159 × 78.3 × 14.5 mm and a weight of 270 grams, the Armor 2 Ulefone is a good corner larger and heavier than our recently tested outdoor smartphone Cat S41 with its own display diagonal and IP certification. This is mainly due to the fact that in addition to stable plastic, metal is also used in the Armor 2. As far as the design is concerned, it could be the mobile phone of a Klingon from the new Star Trek Discovery series – the Ulefone Armor 2 seems very futuristic. A Klingon would probably also be satisfied with the feeling of value and stability that the Ulefone Armor 2 radiates and conveys.
There are three mechanical buttons on each side. Left buttons for volume control and an SOS button to call a desired emergency number, right the power button, a walkie-talkie button and a button to start the camera. The USB Type C connector at the bottom is hidden behind a protective cover. The phone does not have a headphone input, an adapter for connection to the USB slot is included in the scope of delivery.
The loudspeaker has its place on the back at the bottom, the main camera has a central position at the top. To access the two SIM card slots and the microSD card slot, the cover underneath the camera must be removed with a screwdriver included in the scope of delivery.
Configuration – Inside the Armor 2 there is an Octa Core chip from Mediatek. The P25, with four cores clocked at 1.6 GHz and four cores clocked at 2.6 GHz, is supported by a full 6 GB of memory. The internal memory, with its capacity of 64 GByte, is also properly sized, but can be further expanded thanks to a microSD card slot. This is not a combi port, as is usually the case with dual SIM devices: The Armour 2 can accommodate two Nano-SIM cards and one microSD card.
The outdoor smartphone’s rechargeable battery has a capacity of 4700 mAh and charges with Mediatek’s Pump Express Plus 2.0 quick charge technology, while the mobile phone supports LTE with all frequency bands used in Germany on the mobile Internet. In the WLAN, it works according to 802.11 a, b, g and n in the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. Other specifications include Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, NFC and a USB type C connector with USB 2.0 standard. Not typical for outdoor mobile phones, the Armor 2 also has a fingerprint sensor located on the front underneath the display. Above is a notification LED.
Display – The 5-inch display shines brightly – just like an outdoor mobile phone – and can easily be read off and used in bright sunlight. The resolution of the panel is 1920 × 1080 pixels, i. e. Full HD. The colours are richly and nicely displayed, the viewing angle stability is outstanding: there are virtually no optical losses when looking sideways at the screen.
Camera – The main camera resolves 16 megapixels, has a f/2.0 aperture and an LED flash. In the front there is also an f/2.0 aperture, where the resolution is 8 megapixels. In principle, the Armor 2 doesn’t take bad pictures, but they are often a bit overexposed and usually look very pale. The colour rendering didn’t hit us at all. Interestingly, this is not the case with the front camera: There, colours are reproduced more realistically and the exposure is also better.
Power – With the Mediatek chip, the Armor 2 delivers good performance, the system runs smoothly and without noticeable lags or pauses for thought. However, the 6 GB of memory seems to be almost over-sized and doesn’t contribute much to it. During the test period, there were hardly any cases where more than 2 GB of RAM was used. Even though this is not an essential criterion for an outdoor smartphone, the mobile phone is also suitable for gambling graphically demanding games. For example, Modern Combat 5 or Real Racing 3 run well on the phone without automatically down scaling the graphics to a not particularly respectable level. Regarding measurable values, the AnTuTu benchmark scores slightly more than 62,000 points for the rugged phone.
As far as the robustness of the Armor 2 is concerned, the phone performed well in the test. The 15 drop tests from a height of about 1.50 m on various sub-soils – including asphalt, gravel and dirt roads – and several hours of submersion in about 50 cm deep water and buried in sand and soil (at about 30 cm) did not affect the device. We also liked the battery life: During the test period, we came to more than four days with partly moderate, partly frequent use.
Software – On the Ulefone Armor 2, Android 7.0 is running in a new version with the Google security patch from June 5,2017. the manufacturer refuses to install its own launcher and make changes to the look of the user interface – this is an almost Stock-Android system. Only in the system settings there are some additional features, for example the possibility to create screenshots by wiping gestures or to start apps by writing a letter on the display when the screen is switched off. Eyebrow mode allows the blue portion, green portion and red portion to be adjusted to protect the eyes. For better one-handed operation, there is also a One-Hand-Mode which reduces the size of the display.