Home » Ulefone Armor 22: Outdoor cell phone with a good camera for under 200 euros

Ulefone Armor 22: Outdoor cell phone with a good camera for under 200 euros

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Ulefone Armor 22: Outdoor cell phone with a good camera for under 200 euros

Outdoor smartphone here, outdoor smartphone there – hardly any type of smartphone is more hyped than smartphones for use outside in nature, at work or in leisure time. Many of the devices come from manufacturers in East Asia, i.e. countries like China or Japan. One of these manufacturers is Ulefone – the manufacturer has been trying to win over the market with robustly built, inexpensive devices for several models. The latest iteration of this attempt is the Ulefone Armor 22.

Highlights des Ulefone Armor 22

The price of the Ulefone Armor 22 starts at around 178 Euro at Banggood and impressed across the board in the test. This shows that it is good for a smartphone if the manufacturer is customer-oriented: the price-performance ratio of the device could hardly be better. The robust outdoor design, the fast processor with enough RAM, the additional outdoor equipment with night vision and especially the main camera make the smartphone an extremely high-quality overall package. The few weaknesses, such as the lack of 5G, are a shame, but they are negligible given the price and the many advantages. Ulefone is confidently continuing its range of affordable and solid outdoor devices – that’s good news.

How is the design?

For the design of the Ulefone Armor 22, the manufacturer opts for a healthy middle ground between the extremely thick and heavy outdoor smartphones, such as the Fossibot F102 (test report) and less thick models. The smartphone is large and thick enough to be recognizable as an outdoor device, but not so thick that it looks like a war device again. To be more precise, the smartphone measures 15 mm in thickness and weighs 324 g – for comparison, most modern smartphones weigh between 180 and 250 g and are 8 to 10 mm thick.

The back is stylish – it is made of rubberized and painted hard plastic, the camera area at the top is prominent but only protrudes a few millimeters. The keys have a cool rugged metal look and offer a comfortable pressure point, and there is also a fully configurable action button on the left side. All connections are additionally protected with rubber plugs in classic outdoor style, and there is a lanyard port at the bottom. Despite its size, the device is comfortable to hold, especially compared to other outdoor devices, and the workmanship is on point. The smartphone is certified according to IP68 and IP69K and is therefore well protected against dust and water. Ulefone has done everything right in these points.

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How good is the Ulefone Armor 22’s display?

The screen used is a 6.58-inch IPS panel with a resolution of 2408 × 1080 pixels (Full HD+). The screen is large and covers a large part of the front – but in our opinion the edges are a corner too thick to look sufficiently modern. The teardrop notch is no longer as contemporary either; overall, the device has a rather low screen-to-body ratio of around 69.5 percent. Other smartphones have values ​​between 80 and 90 percent – a shame.

What’s more pleasing is that the refresh rate is 120 Hertz – this value is at flagship level, but is becoming more and more common in this price range. This makes it possible to operate the screen and menus smoothly. What’s confusing is that there is no way to operate the screen at 60 Hertz. The corresponding option in the settings is missing. The color reproduction and viewing angles are perfectly fine and at the level you would expect for the price of the device. However, the brightness of the screen could be better – at around 500 cd/m² the value is close to the acceptance limit. A problem that many cheap outdoor models have in common.

How good is the camera on the Ulefone Armor 22?

Like the Ulefone Armor 21, the Armor 22 also comes with two cameras on the back and a selfie camera. The main sensor is a SONY IMX686, which has a resolution of 64 megapixels. The second camera is a night vision camera, which also has a resolution of 64 megapixels and is accompanied by two infrared LEDs.

The front camera has a resolution of eight megapixels. What’s most notable in this array is the performance of the main camera in daylight. The recordings usually turn out excellently. The color representation is not exaggerated and not too weak, which means that the recordings appear very natural and balanced. Sharpness and level of detail are at the level of the upper mid-range, which is surprising.

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The night vision camera, like its predecessor, is a real IR night vision camera. It takes impressive black and white photos even in absolute darkness. However, it should be noted that this feature will be more of a gimmick for many people in daily use.

There’s not much to say about the selfie camera – it’s fine and acceptable, but it doesn’t impress nearly as much as the main camera. Blurring is clearly visible when you zoom in on the image. Video recordings are only possible in 2K at 30 fps, 1080p at 60 fps is not possible – you are stuck with the lower quality 30 frames per second, regardless of the resolution. This is a pity. Overall, the camera quality of the Ulefone Armor 22 is at a high level – it is definitely much better than you would expect for the price.

Ulefone Armor 22 – Original shots

Ulefone Armor 22 – Original shots

How is the equipment?

The heart and brain of the Ulefone Armor 22 is the MediaTek Helio G96 processor, which runs quite comfortably at a maximum of 2.05 GHz. In the PCmark Work 3.0 benchmark, the smartphone achieved a score of 9600 points – that’s a solid result in this price range. There is no need to worry about any stuttering or pauses in everyday life; menus and apps open and run smoothly and confidently. Multitasking is also possible to a certain extent thanks to 8 GB of RAM, but not quite at the level of more expensive smartphones. With 1150 points in 3Dmark Wild Life, gaming is not the device’s strong point – simple to moderately demanding games should be possible, but anything above that means you have to expect a loss in frame rate. The built-in memory is 128 or 256 GB. It is unknown what type of UFS storage it is. In any case, it can be supplemented with a memory card of up to 512 GB.

Otherwise, as expected, the Ulefone Armor 22 supports most common communication standards. These include Wi-Fi 5 (IEEE 802.11ac), Bluetooth 5.2 with support for Low Energy, GPS with GLONASS as well as NFC and a USB-C 2.0 port. One communication technology that the Ulefone Armor 22 does not support is 5G cellular.

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There is at least a fingerprint scanner hidden in the power button on the right side of the device. Unfortunately, Widevine is only available in level L3, so you cannot enjoy HD content on Netflix and Co. The built-in mono speaker sounds acceptable, but quickly becomes tinny at higher volumes. As expected, the voice quality during phone calls is okay.

Ulefone Armor 22 in the test: photo series

Ulefone Armor 22 in the test: photo series

How long are software updates available?

Nice additions are the radio radio, which also works without headphones connected as an antenna, as well as the various tools such as an altimeter or protractor in the “Toolbox” app. The operating system on the Ulefone Armor 22 runs relatively pure Android 13, which comes with only a little bloatware. However, experience shows that it is very unlikely that the smartphone will receive more than one major software update to Android 14 due to Ulefone’s dubious update policy.

How good is the battery life?

Where other outdoor smartphones boast runtimes of tens of hours and battery capacities of more than 10,000 milliamp hours, the Ulefone Armor 22 keeps a relatively low profile. The device comes with a 6,600 milliamp hour battery, with which the device achieves a runtime of 11 hours in the PCmark battery test. That’s perfectly fine and in any case sufficient for one or two days of intensive use, but by no means at the level of other outdoor devices. The lithium-ion cell is recharged with 33 watts – that is also possible.

The Ulefone Armor 22 has a memory configuration of 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage for around 178 Euro available at Banggood. At 187 euros, the larger version with 8/256 GB costs only slightly more, which is why we would recommend it to anyone interested. At other retailers the Armor 22 costs just under 250 euros.

What alternatives are there?

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