Over the past two years, I’ve had the opportunity to test numerous rugged smartphones, each with its own set of strengths and weaknesses. But there was always a question lingering in my mind: could there be a rugged smartphone that combines sleek design with flagship-level features, offering users the best of both worlds?

Many rugged smartphones in the market tend to be feature-packed but bulky, while others come in petite packages but lack essential features. However, it seems that Ulefone has cracked the code with the Ulefone Armor 22, delivering a rugged smartphone that not only offers excellent value for money but also comes in an impressively thin and lightweight housing that defies the traditional rugged smartphone stereotype. So, In this quick review, we’ll unbox this rugged power, explore its unique design, delve into its impressive technical specifications, and put its capabilities to the test.

Ulefone Armor 22 - Quick Review: What do you expect from this rugged phone?

Ulefone Armor 22 Features

  • Rugged Body & Premium Design
  • Helio G96 Octa-Core SoC
  • 6.58” Full HD+ 120Hz Display
  • SONY 64MP camera & 64MP Night vision camera
  • Up to 16GB RAM + 256GB ROM
  • Android 13 OS
  • 6600mAh Large battery + 33W fast charging
  • NFC + Google Pay, IR Blaster Support

Inside the box

Let’s start from the beginning with the unboxing experience, which Olephone always manages to make special. The Armor 22 arrives in premium packaging that stands out from the crowd. Opening the box reveals an envelope-type container containing all the necessary paperwork. What’s noteworthy is the inclusion of a lanyard loop, a handy SIM ejector tool, and an extra screen protector. Yes, there’s already one applied on the smartphone.

Design and Durability

When it comes to rugged smartphones, design, and durability are paramount. These devices need to withstand harsh conditions while still being aesthetically appealing. The Ulefone Armor 22 masterfully combines both aspects, offering a unique design that’s as rugged as it is eye-catching. The design is peppered with details that catch the eye. Bold lines and accents run across the device, accentuating its rugged appeal. The use of vibrant colors, including some striking greens and oranges, adds a touch of personality to the device.

Ulefone Armor 22: New Rugged Smartphone for Extreme Adventures

One of the standout design elements is the use of lines in the framework, including the volume buttons, that not only add to the aesthetics but also enhance the device’s grip. It’s these small but thoughtful design choices that make the Armor 22 stand out in the world of rugged smartphones.

Ulefone Armor 22 - Quick Review: What do you expect from this rugged phone?

The most striking feature is its rear camera layout, which abandons the rectangular or square module seen on many smartphones in favor of a multi-angular design. Thoughtful design detail is the camera bump, which not only protects the rear camera panel from scratches but also provides additional drop protection. This daring design choice houses two powerful cameras: a 64MP wide-angle camera and a 64MP night vision camera. The camera setup is complemented by an innovative dual-color LED flash, which adds versatility to your photography, especially in low-light conditions.

The Armor 22 doesn’t stop with its irregular camera module. Size-wise, the Ulefone Armor 22 doesn’t shy away from being substantial. With dimensions of 176.8 mm in height, 84.9 mm in width, and a thickness of 15.0 mm, this is not your average slim smartphone. Weighing in at 324 grams, it feels sturdy in your hand, reassuring you of its robust build. While the size might not appeal to those seeking ultra-compact devices, it caters to users who value a substantial and solid feel in their hands. It’s a phone that feels like it can take on whatever challenges the outdoors throws at it.

Now, let’s talk about the Armor 22’s durability. It’s not just about looks; this smartphone is designed to excel in the toughest environments. It boasts an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance, meaning it can handle being submerged in water up to 1.5 meters deep for 30 minutes. It doesn’t stop there; it also holds an IP69K rating, indicating its resistance to high-pressure water jets.

Moreover, the Armor 22 proudly bears the MIL-STD-810H certification. This certification, typically reserved for military-grade equipment, means the device can endure extreme temperatures, drops, and impacts. It’s a device built to last, making it an ideal choice for those who work in construction, manufacturing, or any field where durability is non-negotiable.

Display Quality

The display is the primary interface through which we interact with our devices. It plays a crucial role in our overall user experience, from browsing the web to watching videos and playing games. The Ulefone Armor 22 doesn’t disappoint in this department. First, let’s talk about size. The Armor 22 boasts a substantial 6.58-inch display that offers a Full HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2408 pixels and a pixel density of 401 ppi. This high resolution ensures that every text character, image pixel, and video frame is presented with sharpness and precision.

Ulefone Armor 22: New Rugged Smartphone for Extreme Adventures

The screen on the Armor 22 follows a 20:9 aspect ratio, a common choice in modern smartphones. But, one of the standout features of the Armor 22’s display is its 120Hz refresh rate. This high refresh rate is an important thing when it comes to the fluidity of your smartphone experience. It’s particularly noticeable when scrolling through web pages, playing games, or watching videos. The high refresh rate ensures that everything moves smoothly and without any jitters. Of course, you don’t have to worry about the power consumption of this high refresh rate monitor, If you want it to be smooth and power efficient, you can also choose 90Hz.

In short, It has by far the one of best displays in a budget phone, and I find it perfectly adequate for web browsing and content consumption, You will get the best value for what you pay, a large and high-quality screen suitable for media consumption, whether you are watching the video, playing games or browsing the social media.

Camera Setup of Ulefone Armor 22

The camera has become one of the most crucial features for users and a powerful camera system can make all the difference. The Ulefone Armor 22, a rugged smartphone designed to withstand the harshest conditions, doesn’t compromise on photography capabilities. it boasts a dual-camera setup that includes not one but two 64MP sensors. This impressive camera system is designed to cater to a wide range of photography needs, from daytime landscapes to low-light and even nighttime shots. Let’s take a closer look at what these cameras bring to the table.

Ulefone Armor 22 - Quick Review: What do you expect from this rugged phone?

The primary camera on the Ulefone Armor 22 utilizes the Sony IMX686 sensor, which is known for its high resolution and exceptional image quality and features a wide f/1.89 aperture, allowing it to capture more light. This results in brighter and clearer photos, especially in low-light conditions. With a sensor size of 1/1.7 inches, this camera can gather more information in each shot, leading to highly detailed images. Each pixel on the sensor measures 0.8µm, which, combined with the large sensor size, ensures that every detail is captured with precision. So, The 64MP wide-angle camera on the Ulefone Armor 22 is perfect for excellent image quality.

In addition to the powerful wide-angle camera, the Armor 22 features a dedicated 64MP night vision camera. This camera is equipped with an OV64B sensor and is designed for capturing clear and detailed images in low-light and nighttime scenarios. The night vision camera is paired with two powerful infrared (IR) LEDs. These IR LEDs emit invisible light that illuminates the scene, allowing the camera to capture images even in complete darkness. Also, Ulefone has implemented its NightElf Ultra 2.0 algorithm, which reduces interference and optimizes image quality in low-light conditions. This means that you can capture stunning photos in challenging lighting environments. It’s a feature that sets the Ulefone Armor 22 apart from other rugged smartphones.

The combination of these two 64MP cameras on the Ulefone Armor 22 offers users a wide range of shooting modes and creative possibilities. From standard photo modes to night vision, portrait, pro mode, panorama, slow-motion, time-lapse, and more, this smartphone caters to both novice and experienced photographers. Moreover, it includes essential features like location info, brand watermarking, touch shooting, self-timer, grid lines, volume key shortcuts, anti-flicker settings, and even long-press functionality for camera controls.

One of the unique features of the Ulefone Armor 22 is its support for underwater photography. You can take stunning photos and record videos underwater, making it perfect for capturing underwater adventures or exploring aquatic life. The device is designed to work seamlessly in underwater conditions and allows you to switch shooting modes quickly, ensuring you never miss a moment.

The front camera is an 8MP selfie camera with an OV8856 Sensor and an ƒ/2.0 aperture. It also offers various shooting modes, allowing you to snap high-quality selfies and make video calls with ease.

Video Capabilities

Beyond photography, the Ulefone Armor 22’s camera system excels in video recording as well. It supports video recording at up to 2K resolution, delivering high-quality footage for your videos. The quality of the videos is good at this resolution, and there is no stabilization but still, the results are not looking underwhelming according to the price range. If you want to reduce some of the shakes, you will have to shoot in Full HD with lower quality.

Performance of Ulefone Armor 22

The Ulefone Armor 22 is not just built to withstand rugged environments; it’s also engineered to deliver impressive performance. At the heart of this rugged device lies the MediaTek Helio G96 Octa-Core processor, offering a blend of power and efficiency. This octa-core processor combines two Arm Cortex-A55 cores with six Arm Cortex-A76 cores, designed to handle a wide range of tasks with ease. With a 12nm process and a maximum CPU frequency of up to 2.05GHz, the Armor 22 strikes a balance between performance and power efficiency.

Whether you’re browsing the web, running multiple applications simultaneously, or engaging in resource-intensive activities like gaming and multimedia consumption, the Helio G96 ensures a responsive and lag-free user experience. It’s a chipset that can tackle demanding tasks while optimizing power consumption to preserve battery life.

To complement the robust processing power of the Helio G96, the Ulefone Armor 22 is equipped with 8GB of RAM. This ample RAM capacity ensures that you can effortlessly switch between apps, browse the web smoothly, and multitask without encountering slowdowns or performance hiccups. Also, this phone offers an interesting feature known as “Virtual RAM Expansion” or “Virtual RAM.” This feature allows the smartphone to allocate a portion of its storage space up to 8GB to act as additional virtual RAM, essentially increasing the available RAM for running apps and processes. This can lead to improved multitasking and smoother performance, especially when dealing with resource-intensive applications.

When it comes to storage, the Armor 22 offers flexibility to suit your needs. You can choose between two storage configurations: 128GB or 256 GB. This ample internal storage capacity allows you to store a vast amount of apps, photos, videos, documents, and more without worrying about running out of space. Moreover, if you find yourself needing even more storage, the Ulefone Armor 22 has you covered with its microSD card support. You can expand the storage by up to 512GB.

Ulefone Armor 22 - Quick Review: What do you expect from this rugged phone?

Android 13 – Customizable User Interface

The Ulefone Armor 22 runs on Android 13, providing you with a clean and bloatware-free Android experience. However, equipped with 11 different digital tools, this device can aid you both outdoors and indoors. The built-in flashlight is useful for outdoor activities in the dark, while tools like the Hanging Painting tool can assist with home improvement projects. You can personalize the device’s color scheme, theme, language, and even themed app icons, allowing you to express your individual identity through your smartphone. Additionally, it offers enhanced privacy and control over notification permissions and other settings.

Ulefone Armor 22 - Quick Review: What do you expect from this rugged phone?

Connectivity and Navigation

One of the key considerations for any smartphone, especially a rugged one like the Ulefone Armor 22, is its connectivity options. The Armor 22 provides the convenience of using dual SIM cards from different carriers simultaneously and covers an extensive range of 4G global LTE bands, Broad network support means you can stay connected to high-speed data networks and make HD-quality voice calls in various regions across the globe.

This rugged smartphone incorporates multiple global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) to provide accurate positioning, navigation, and timing services worldwide. It supports the following satellite systems: GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and Beidou. Also, Armor 22 supports a variety of WLAN protocols, including 802.11 a/ac/b/g/n 2.5 & 5GHz Wi-Fi support, Bluetooth 5.2, and NFC, making it compatible with services like Google Pay.

Ulefone Armor 22: New Rugged Smartphone for Extreme Adventures

Charging and Battery Life

The Ulefone Armor 22 doesn’t just excel in the endurance department; it also boasts a massive battery capacity of 6600mAh with a standby time of up to 360 hours, You can leave your device for days without worrying about its battery draining. Additionally, the talk time of up to 27 hours ensures that you can engage in lengthy conversations without the fear of your phone dying mid-call.

While a large battery is great for extended use, waiting for hours to recharge can be frustrating. That’s where the Ulefone Armor 22’s 33W fast charging via a USB Type-C port. Also, the reverse charging feature, allows your smartphone to act as a power bank, so you can share your battery’s charge with other devices, whether it’s a phone, a smartwatch, or a pair of wireless earbuds.

Ulefone Armor 22: New Rugged Smartphone for Extreme Adventures

Final verdict and value

In conclusion, the Ulefone Armor 22 is a rugged smartphone that doesn’t cut corners. Its robust build, impressive performance, advanced camera system, and extensive feature set make it a compelling choice for anyone in need of a reliable and durable device. When it comes to value for money in the rugged smartphone market, the Ulefone Armor 22 sets a new standard. If you’re in the market for a rugged smartphone that delivers on all fronts, this phone is a strong contender that deserves your consideration.

During the world premiere event from September 18th to September 22nd PT, you can get your hands on the impressive Ulefone Armor 22 at an incredible price of just $149.99 on AliExpress. That’s a whopping 50% off its regular price of $299.98, making it an unbeatable deal. But here’s the catch: this fantastic offer is limited to just 500 units. With such a steep discount and a limited number of devices available, you’ll want to act fast to secure your Ulefone Armor 22 at this unbeatable price.

Ulefone Armor 22: New Rugged Smartphone for Extreme Adventures

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