• Google-certified Chinese rugged smart device provides bang for buck – 4/5

    Huawei, Honor, Xiaomi, Oppo – names that are now, if not exactly household, pretty recognisable to most people out there, backed by competitive pricing, great tech, and hefty ad campaigns. The Chinese challenger brands are well and truly here.

    But there is also a plethora of much smaller device manufacturers from China, some of which occasionally make their way to our shores in not so noticeable numbers. Mobile News has covered the likes of them before.

    Ulefone is one such manufacturer, who released its rugged Armor 6 a few months ago and is following up with its cheaper cousin, the Armor 6E, available to buy in the UK through Global Mobile Communications’ Phone Trader marketplace for £229.99 plus VAT.

    The phone is a chunky beast, but it doesn’t feel particularly bulky to hold or carry. It also runs very well, no doubt in part due to the fact that its CPU is in fact more powerful than that of the Armor 6 – a Helio P70 in comparison to the latter’s P60. The camera is solid if unremarkable, with a variety of modes that you probably won’t find yourself using because of the not-quite stellar quality, but the 6E also comes with a nifty UV sensor and barometer – making it good for taking on extended outdoor trips.

    Even if you’re not the outdoor type, this phone can handle home comforts. The large screen size makes watching shows and films enjoyable (even if the grooved back doesn’t allow for any pop sockets to be stuck to the back) and the device runs popular multiplayer apps – think PUBG and FIFA – at a decent frame rate. The rubber/polycarbonate casing contains a lot of the heat incurred from such rigorous activity, so the phone doesn’t feel too hot in the hands.

    A word on that casing – the Armor 6E is IP68 and IP69K certified, meaning it’s decently protected against water and dust – but at Mobile News, we don’t believe in deliberately trying to damage tech that has been graciously provided to us, so you’ll just have to take our word for it.

    The fingerprint scanner is largely fine, but can be finicky; luckily the facial unlock is on hand if you’d prefer it.

    Key selling points

    • Fantastic speed
    • Fingerprint scanner
    • Rugged but appealing appearance
    • UV counter
    • Barometer
    • Long-lasting battery
    • Water and dust resistance

    If there are any active negatives to the phone beyond it not being the greatest thing since sliced bread, they would be the lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack (although you can use a USB-C adapter like later iPhones), and the fact that it got stuck on Game Mode – an alternative home screen layout – with no obvious way to disable it.

    Nevertheless, this is a solid number that will work like a charm for those who need to spend lots of time working or playing outside.

    At a glance
    • Speed
    • Camera
    • Battery
    • Design
    • Value
    3.8

    Specs and benchmarks

    • OS: Android 9 Pie
    • Processor: Helio P70
    • Resolution: 1080 x 2246 pixels
    • Memory: 4GB
    • Internal storage: 64GB
    • External memory: micro SD to 256GB
    • Water resistance: IP68
    • Rear camera: 16MP+2MP
    • Front camera: 8MP
    • Video: 1080p at 30fps
    • Battery: 5,000mAh
    • Connectivity: Bluetooth, 4G, WiFi, NFC
    • Cellular speed: N/A
    • Dimensions: 166 x 83 x 13.3mm
    • Weight: 267.5g
    • Geekbench: single-core – 1509, multi-core – 5683
    • GFXBench – 306.9
    • AnTuTu – 142,879
    • 3DMark – 1263

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