Our editors pick the products and services we write about. When you buy through our links, ZDNet may earn a commission.

Ulefone Armor 6 hands-on: The ideal rugged device for professional phone warriors

Hands on with the Ulefone Armor 6 The ideal rugged device for professional phone warriors
  • Editors' rating
    8.5 Excellent


  • Sure grip body with no sharp edges
  • 5,000mAh battery
  • UV sensor


  • SIM / SD card difficult to position

The Armor 6 from Ulefone is a large rugged phone with a long-lasting 5,000mAh battery and lots of nice-to-have features.

This rugged phone is rated at IP69K -- which is a test usually performed on road vehicles that need to be pressure washed regularly. It is also rated at IP68, so it is dust tight and can be immersed in water up to 7 feet deep for up to two hours.

This phone has fewer sharp edges than the Doogee S50, and, at 6.2 inches, has a slightly larger screen than the Doogee S80 -- although it is nowhere as heavy. (The S80 has a 10,000mAh battery compared to 5,000mAh on the Armor 6).

The Armor 6 also has 9V/2A fast charging, which is useful if you are in a hurry. It also can charge wirelessly -- although a wireless charging dock is not included. Other connections options are: NFC, cast to another device, and Android Beam.

In the box there is an AC power charger adapter ( 100~240V / EU plug), a 100 cm long data cable, a Type C to 3.5mm USB Transfer cable, an OTG Cable, a protective film for the screen, a plastic stick, and a SIM pin.

The phone feels big in my small hands -- but seems slimmer than other rugged phones I have reviewed recently.  I like the way it comfortably sits in my hands. Its dimensions are 6.5 x 3.3 x 0.5 inches and it weighs 9.4 ounces.

Top ZDNET Reviews

The screen has a pleasing 19:9 aspect ratio with 2246 x 1080px resolution, and a 91.8 percent screen to body ratio. I like the ultra large screens, which enable me to leave my laptop at home when I'm out and about.

The screen has Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and is rated at 7 hardness on the Mohs scale -- impressive.

Inside the Armor 6 there is an octa-core MediaTek Helio P60 and a Mali G72 graphics processor -- usual in this type of specification. It has 6GB RAM and 128GB ROM to give you lots of storage space, and if you want more space you can extend this to 256GB by adding a Micro SD card.

Ulefone provides a hook tool for you to extract the SIM/SD holder from its slot, which is really stiff and strong, probably for water resistance purposes. There is also a SIM pin to push the SIM holder out of the phone. It is really fiddly to insert the SIM and SD card.

The Android 8.1 Oreo build is clean. I like the fact that Ulefone does not fill the UI with unnecessary apps. However, there are some really useful tools as standard.

I particularly like one of the tools in the ToolBag. This phone has a UV sensor which tests the amount of UV light outdoors so you know when to apply sun protection.


Of course in Northern latitudes in the UK, even pointing the sensor at the sun on a bright winters day, only produced a reading of two out of 11. It is a shame the phone will not be coming on holiday with me and reminding me when to apply sunscreen.

Other tools in the ToolBag include a Compass, SoundMeter, Picture Hanging, Gradient meter, Height measure, Magnifier, protractor, Plumb Bob, Barometer, UV,  and Pedometer.

The camera is good, with a 21MP rear camera and 13MP secondary camera that takes good shots. The pre-zoom feature is excellent, and post image manipulation tools are adequate.

The Armor 6 is loud, really loud. Alerts, ring tones, and music volume is excellent. You would be able to hear this phone in noisy environments with no trouble – and some of the ring tones are really piercing.

Call quality is good, and the signal reception is much better than the last phone I tried -- even in the 'dead zone' in my house, the calls wavered but did not disconnect. I was impressed.

All in all, I really liked the feel of this rugged Ulefone Armor 6. Although a little large for my hands, the grip felt smooth. I loved the pared down UI and the large battery, and I loved the extra loud speaker meaning I never missed a call when using it. 

For under $500, you can get a fast performing sturdy device with a large screen and high quality build. This is certainly a lesser-known device, sure to turn heads in your location.

Previous and related coverage:

Samsung's foldable smartphone: I want one, but no clue what to do with it

Samsung's likely tease of a foldable device will highlight something well beyond vaporware, but the use cases remain a bit of a mystery. Maybe it won't matter.

Old flames: Products that keep the retro fires burning

It's no fun when lovers play mind games, but there's no shortage of ways to celebrate one's love of old video games, not to mention other tedh products carrying brands that once flamed out