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I wish my iPhone had this amazing and useful feature

It's easy to think that given the massive price tag that the iPhone has every feature that you could possibly want on a smartphone. But this Android smartphone that costs a fraction of the price has it beat.

My daily driver smartphone is an iPhone, and while the iPhone has a great camera, and has an app and hardware ecosystem that is second to none, it's missing a truly useful feature. A feature that I have to turn to Android to satisfy.

A FLIR thermal camera.

Now sure, I could turn to a dedicated FLIR unit such as the FLIR TG165-X (spoilers, I own one) or a FLIR camera that hooks up to the Lightning port of my iPhone, such as the FLIR ONE PRO (spoilers, I owned one but it was a pain to use when the iPhone was in a case), but none are as portable and convenient as having a thermal camera built into a smartphone.

While FLIR Lepton thermal cameras are built into a number of smartphones, the new Ulefone Armor 9 is the cheapest by far.

It's also the world's first Android 10 powered smartphone to feature a thermal camera.

Here's a quick tour of this new handset.

Must read: Should you install iOS 13.7 on your iPhone?

Ulefone Armor 9 tech specs

  • MediaTek Helios P90 octa-core processor, up to 2.2GHz
  • 6.3-inch 2340 x 1080 FHD+ 410 PPI LCD multi-touch display with IPS technology
  • 8GB LPDDR4x dual-channel RAM
  • 128GB UFS2.1 ROM
  • SD card Up to 2TB
  • FLIR Lepton thermal camera with -10℃ - 400℃ range (assisted by a 5-megapixel rear camera)
  • Samsung 64-megapixel rear camera
  • 2-megapixel secondary rear camera
  • Quad-LED flash
  • 8- megapixel front camera
  • 6600mAh battery
  • 18W fast charging supported
  • Fingerprint unlock
  • Dual-SIM support
  • Headphone jack
  • Endoscope port
  • USB-C port
  • IP68/IP69K/MIL-STD-810G rated
$599 at Ulefone

The Helios P90 processor is fast, faster than the P70 found in the Blackview BV9800 Pro I've been using. The extra 2GB of RAM also speeds up the Armor 9 compared to the BV9800 Pro. The main rear camera also packs more megapixels, but I've not had enough of a play with it to see how much of a difference that makes.

Also, having Android 10 on the device is a nice touch.

It's a rough, tough, go-anywhere smartphone. If I had one complaint, it would be that it's huge. The 6.3-inch display makes it about the same size as the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

I'll be using the Ulefone Armor 9 more over the coming weeks and will post a more detailed review in the near future.