Ulefone Armor 5 Review: The World’s First Notch Screen Rugged Phone

We haven’t reviewed Ulefone’s Armor series products since the Ulefone Armor 2. After the launch of its first IP68 model, this line of smartphones has generated a good popularity. But the times goes by, and recently the company announced the world’s first notch screen rugged smartphone, namely the Ulefone Armor 5. Of course, we understand this is a low-end or even mid-range smartphone with a few trendy features and many protecting options. Thus, it would be naïve to expect for something astonishing in terms of performance. But we should set the highest requirements for this handset when it comes to the ruggedness.

Also Check: Ulefone Armor 5 Deal

Though it can’t compete with the world’s most powerful rugged smartphone in face of the AGM X3, the Ulefone Armor 5 is a good option for those who want something more affordable.

Ulefone Armor 5 Design

First, the box includes some useful accessories but the main unit. There is a USB-C conversion cable, a USB-C cable, an OTG cable, an AC adapter, a SIM pin, a protective film, and a user manual.

When it comes to the appearance of the Ulefone Armor 5, we understand it should look tough. At least, all the previous models form this line have been looking so. But what we find is a little odd. The Ulefone Armor 5 has an irregular frame, which has been strengthened with a rubbed. But the front and back sides look like an ordinary model.

Say on the front, the Ulefone Armor 5 carries a 5.85-inch screen, which has an aspect ratio of 18.9:9 and a resolution of HD+ (1,520 x 720). So in some sense, it has the same display parameters as the OPPO R17 Neo. We would like to see a Full HD+ resolution. But do not forget what a price range it belongs to.

Ulefone Armor 5

What’s more surprising is its back. As we said, the Ulefone Armor 5 has a glossy rear panel like a regular smartphone. And you can choose from two color options of black and blue. But it’s not difficult to guess the phone uses some protective processes for the back as well. According to the official introduction, the Ulefone Armor 5 is adopting highly durable composite materials. This simply means the phone is quite durable. But we do not have the same confidence for the scratches.

A SIM card slot is placed on the left side. You can sacrifice one of the slots to expand the memory through the micro SD card slot.

The power button and the volume key are arranged on the right side.

The 3.5mm headphone jack is located at the top.

But if you want to listen to music via speakers , there is an AW 8736 audio chip, which will provide a quite high sound quality. You can even select a high-quality audio codec such as LDAC or aptX HD if you want to use headphones it may be best to utilize Bluetooth headphones.

The USB Type-C interface is on the bottom as well.

Ulefone Armor 5 Performance

The Ulefone Armor 5 comes with Android 8.1 out of the box. Android 9.0 Pie has been already released, but it can be found only on a few models such as the Google Pixel series, the Essential Phone PH – 1, Sony Xperia XZ3, etc. So it will take some time to be pushed to other models. In this sense, the software version is quite acceptable.

There is a special software developed by MediaTek and aiming at background applications management. It’s called DuraSpeed. But as we know, Android 8.0’s main improvement refers to the same background apps management. So thanks to these two, the Ulefone Armor 5 will be great in terms of memory management, power consumption control, etc.

The Ulefone Armor 5 also supports two kinds of unlocking functions, such as the face unlock and fingerprint unlock.

Under the hood, the Ulefone Armor 5 carries a MediaTek Helio P23 chip. Actually, there are two variants of this SoC. The MT6763 V comes with a 2.0GHz clock speed, while the MT6763 T runs at 2.5GHz. Our protagonist is the former version. However, due to the low-res screen, it is capable of providing a performance close to the higher version.

In addition, the Helio P23 adopts the same Mali-G71 GPU which was used in the Huawei Kirin 970 and Samsung Exynos 8895. But as you guess, the latter come with different versions – the Kirin 970 is paired with a Mali-G71 MP12, while the Exynos 8895 uses a Mali-G71 MP18. So there is every reason to state the graphics performance of the Helio P23 will differ from what we can find on the mentioned two high-end models.

Well, the Helio P23 is not as bad as you can think. It is capable of scoring like the Helio X20 and Kirin 659. Say, in the AnTuTu Benchmark v 7.1.0, our protagonist scores over 83,000. In this sense, we can compare it with the Huawei P20 Lite.

In terms of playing games, the Ulefone Armor 5 and the P23 chip onboard is capable of providing a better performance than the Kirin 659 Mali-T 830 MP2. If the game has not the highest requirements, you will be able to play smoothly. Say, you can play the PLAYERUNKNOWN smoothly, if setting the resolution to medium.

The Ulefone Armor 5 comes with its own unique apps, namely Outdoor Toolbox. As the name suggests, it collects useful tools such as a compass and flashlight when using outdoor.

Ulefone Armor 5 Camera

On the back, the Ulefone Armor 5 sports a 13MP + 5MP dual-camera. The main camera will be interpolated to 16MP by software. On the front, it carries an 8MP shooter, which will be interpolated to 13MP. So it’s reasonable to see normal photo shooting. Unfortunately, the camera performance in low light conditions is crucial if compared with high-end models.

As for software, it’s not a regular MediaTek camera app. Instead, an original camera software is installed. So when activating the watermark function, you will Shot on Ulefone Armor 5 phrase.

Ulefone Armor 5 Battery

As the Ulefone Armor 5 has been designed for outdoor, it’s quite logical to put there a relatively large battery. Moreover, the bulky housing allows the manufacturer to do that. As a result, we can find a 5000mAh battery inside.

When we were reviewing this handset, after 13 hours of various operations, there was still the remaining 35% power. But if you need to charge it, the AC adapter included in the box will do it quickly, as it supports 5V / 9A output. This monster-size battery will get fully charged in 2 hours and 30 minutes.

What we liked more is the wireless charging support through the Qi standard.

There is also an NFC support. But we think this option won’t work for all types of NFC operations. It should correspond to NFC Type-F (Felica).


What we can say about the Ulefone Armor 5? The Armor series handsets have been known for their rugged features. But they have never boasted of powerful hardware. The Armor 5 is no exception. Look, it has adopted the most-popular notch screen design, but inside it still carries a MediaTek mid-range chip. On the other hand, the balanced combination of the hardware provides a smooth and stable performance.

Ulefone Armor 5

In terms of protection, the Ulefone Armor 5 supports IP68 rating. All openings are covered with a rubber. As a result, it is not only a waterproof smartphone but also provides triple rugged features, including drop resistance, high-temperature resistance, and a corrosion resistance.

Argam Artashyan

Back in 2010, he was dismissed from his position as a lecturer at the university. This made him get another job at his friend’s digital marketing company as a blog writer. After a few years, when he was thinking the article writing is his mission, Google pushed the Panda update and affected the company and websites he was working at. (Un)fortunately and surprisingly, he got an offer to head a large knitting factory. In 2016, he got his Ph.D. and resumed teaching at the University … and writing tech-related articles following his passion.

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