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While there's no doubt that the iPhone is the biggest selling smartphone in the world, it's interesting to watch other companies trying to come up with features that differentiate their offering from whatever Apple has come up with.
Sometimes the new features are a bit silly. Other times they are quite interesting.
On paper, the Armor 15 is quite a capable smartphone:
Ulefone 15 Armor tech specs
5.45-inch HD display
Helios G35 octa-core processor
12-megapixel + 13-megapixel rear camera
16-megapixel front camera
6600 mAh battery
Face + fingerprint unlock
Water- and dust-resistant to IP69K (totally dustproof, and able to withstand water pressures of 80 to 100 bar/1,160 to 1,450 PSI at temperatures up to 176°F/80°C)
Android 12 operating system
The fit and finish of the Armon 15 is also excellent. Despite the rugged build, it has a very stylish finish.
All in all, the Armor 15 is a capable budget Android smartphone. The performance is great, the cameras output decent photos perfect for social media, and the screen is bright and comfortable to look at, even for extended periods.
It's a handset that's built to a price, but it certainly doesn't feel cheap.
OK, but there's more. Let's get to that hidden feature.
In a secret compartment at the top of the smartphone are... Bluetooth earbuds!
When in the holding compartment, the earbuds get charged up so they are ready for use (they'll run for about 4 - 5 hours on a single charge, but have a runtime of over 500 hours thanks to the phone being the charging case).
The Bluetooth 5.0 earbuds have a multifunctional touch key that handles play/pause, summoning voice assistant, and make and hang up calls. I've tested them with a variety of audio -- from music/podcasts/audiobooks to making and receiving calls -- and they seem to be quite capable.
Considering that the super early bird price of the Armor 15 is $170, getting a smartphone and earbuds that are decent is a superb deal.
It's an interesting idea, and the concept of built-in earbuds is cool. Maybe less cool for someone like me who loses things, but if you always remember to put them back, they'll always be with your smartphone.
That's a really nice feature.
The Armor 15 also comes with a belt clip-case. It holds the smartphone securely, and it's something I've used when out and about when I wanted to keep the Armor 15 within reach rather than tucking it into a pocket.
If you're looking for a rugged smartphone that is just as home in the office as it is in the woods, and you want it to act as a charging case for your earbuds, the Armor 15 is definitely a one-of-a-kind solution to your needs.