My favorite Android phone can do things my iPhone can't, and it just got a massive update

My favorite Android phone can do things my iPhone can’t, and it just got a massive update

Ulefone 18T Power Armor

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

I love everything about Apple, especially my iPhone 14 Pro Max. It’s in my hand most of my waking hours.

But I still use Android phone.


Because it can do things my iPhone can’t.

My previous favorite Android phone was the Armor Ulefone 9. I’ve used it a lot over the past two years. Not only was it my go-to handset when I needed something that can handle the harshest environments, it had some nice features like a thermal camera and the ability to connect a endoscope.

I used the thermal camera a lot. The endoscope not that much, but there were times when it was also very useful.

Well the Armor 9 has been upgraded to the new 18T power armor.

It’s a beast of a smartphone.

Technical specifications Ulefone Power Armor 18T

  • MediaTek Dimensity 900 5G Chipset
  • 6.58-inch FHD+ display, 1080 x 2408 resolution running at 120Hz
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 5
  • 12GB RAM + 5GB virtual memory expansion
  • 258GB ROM + 2TB microSD card expansion
  • 108MP rear camera + 5MP macro microscope
  • 32MP front camera
  • FLIR Lepton 3.5 thermal imaging
  • 9600mAh battery + 66W super-fast charging + 15W wireless charging + 5W wireless reverse charging
  • Extension ports for endoscope and supermicroscope
  • 5G support
  • WiFi 6
  • GPS (dual band L1+L5) + Glonass + BeiDou + Galileo
  • IP68 & IP69K & MIL-STD-810G certified
  • Built-in software tools include compass, gradient, flashlight, hanging painting, height meter, magnifying glass, alarm bell, plumb line, protractor, sound meter, pedometer, mirror , a barometer.
  • Facial ID and fingerprint biometrics
  • Android 12

As robust as possible

Externally, the Power Armor 18T is a very rugged smartphone designed to withstand severe knocks. It meets a whole host of standards including IP68, IP69K and MIL-STD-810G, meaning it’s happy to be submerged in water at depths of up to 1.5 meters for 30 minutes. , exposed to high pressure water jets and steam cleaning. , dropped from a height of 1.2 meters, and it resists dust ingress, avoids acid spills, and is happy to spend time in low pressure environments that can destroy other smartphones.

Also: The 5 Best Rugged Laptops

It is a rugged smartphone. I know, because mine got out in the rain and ice, fell in the mud, fell off the tailgate of my truck, and was left outside in a thunderstorm when I forgot about it while looking at it.

Touch, robust, but still elegant

Touch, robust, but still elegant

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET


At the heart of the Power Armor 18T is a 2.4GHz Arm Cortex-A78 processor paired with the Mali-G68 GPU. That’s enough power to keep the handset working perfectly at all times. This is paired with 12GB of physical RAM and the option to expand it with 5GB of virtual RAM for those tough times.

I found 12GB of RAM to be more than enough and didn’t see the need to increase it to 17GB.

Also: I put the Apple Watch Ultra through a Tough Mudder

But the faster CPU, big RAM boost, and doubling the storage capacity are all things I really like about this upgrade.

Power is provided by a huge 9600 mAh lithium-ion polymer battery, which is charged via the USB-C port or wireless charging. Wireless charging is a big improvement for me because it means not having to open that waterproof flap on the USB-C port if I’m outside in bad weather.

The camera

The 108-megapixel rear camera with a huge 1/1.52-inch ISOCELL HM2 sensor delivers great photos even at standard resolution. I’ve played with this camera in a variety of conditions and it’s good. Not a good iPhone Pro Max, but still very good for a smartphone that’s a fraction of the price of the iPhone Pro Max.

Power Armor 18T Camera Array

Power Armor 18T Camera Array

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Do you need 108 megapixel photos?

I can see a minor difference between the standard and high resolution photos if I look really closely, but I have to admit I’m happy to stick to regular photos unless I need an image I could later need to heavily edit or crop. a lot.

The 32 megapixel front camera is also pretty good, but I’m not sure if we really need that many megapixels in a front camera because it’s hard to see any real improvements over cameras with much more megapixel counts weak.

Also: The best rugged tablets

But megapixel count helps sell, and as sensors get cheaper, megapixel count will increase more and more.

My favorite features

On the side of the Power Armor 18T is a port for an endoscope. The Endoscope Ulefone (sold separately) has a 2 meter cable and is IP67 rated. It’s perfect for getting into areas where you can’t put your eyeballs, and it’s a great tool for engineers. There is a many USB-C endoscopes availablebut the fact that it does not occupy the USB-C port is practical

Endoscope port

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

For me, the real star of the show is the FLIR Lepton 3.5 thermal camera. With a resolution of 160 x 120 and a temperature range of -10℃ to 400℃, it’s an amazing diagnostic tool for technicians.

The thermal camera has four times the resolution of previous generation thermal cameras, resulting in better, sharper and more detailed thermal images.

The thermal camera is the killer feature on this handset

The thermal camera is the killer feature on this handset

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

You can check for overheating components, HVAC issues, doors and windows that are leaking your precious HVAC heat or cold outside, diagnose car issues and much more.

Yes you can separate thermal imaging cameras for smartphonessame iphone – but nothing beats having one built into your smartphone out of the box.

For me, it’s the functionality that kills.

At the end of the line

At $699, the Ulefone 18T Power Armor It’s by no means cheap, but after using its predecessor for two years and then using this one for a few weeks, I’m confident it will be something that will pay for itself. It’s the perfect smartphone for outdoor workers, engineers, and first responders looking for a rugged smartphone that doesn’t compromise on power, performance, and display quality.

#favorite #Android #phone #iPhone #massive #update

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