Ulefone Armor 3T long term review

Ulefone Armor 3T long term review

In April of 2019, I ordered a Ulefone Armor 3T from Bangood.com to be my new daily use phone. As an outdoor person with two dogs, rugged phones appealed to me and on paper, the phone looked great. After taking it into daily use, it first appeared to be a solid performer, keeping its promises but quite soon, the first issues became obvious.

No updates

There was not a single update to the firmware. That’s bad and in fact, it violated Google’s Android update policy for OEMs which came into force in 2018. The absence of security updates puts the user at risk and with pretty much everything nowadays needing apps to work, the risk of some kind of damage to the user is significant.

Quality of hardware and manufacturing

The phone was waterproof as promised at the beginning and also survived a few drops without taking any (visible) damage. In outdoor use, however, some problems with the hardware became quickly apparent. The compass sensor turned out to be total trash. It was constantly drifting and it was never even close to accurate. I tried calibrating it many times with different apps and methods but it never worked. Similarly, also the GNSS receiver wasn’t overly good. It turned out to be extremely sensitive to EMI e.g. from a GoPro and even mildly adverse conditions, such as thick cloud layers or foliage coverage, not to mention wet foliage, reduced the performance significantly. Another problem was that after a while, the rubber coating started to slowly detach from the phone body and after 2 years, the rubber was off pretty much everywhere. Also, the speaker covers came off. So, no more shockproof and no more waterproof.

The biggest disappointment - the radio

According to the description, the phone’s radio module would support analog as well as DMR and it would be compatible with - among others - Motorola and Hytera. For the analog part, that is without doubt true, but not for the DMR part. In digital mode, the radio only supports continuos transmission, i.e. on “both timeslots”, which is only supported by (and permitted for) ETSI Tier I products. However, Tier I is limited to license free radios in the European PMR446 band and even all known DMR radios for the PMR446 band actually use TDMA. This makes the radio part of the Armor 3T completely useless because it is not approved (and it is too powerful) for PMR446 and it is not compatible with any DMR radio that uses TDMA - which are pretty much all of them - including Motorola and Hytera. Just as the icing on the cake, the radio app is also very clunky and extremely user-unfriendly.

Manufacturer service - or lack thereof

As soon as I found out the problems with the DMR capabilities, I sent an email to the official email address for tech support, described the issues and asked if there is any update available to the radio app and/or the module firmware. I never received a reply to that. Some time later I lost some of the small screws used to fix the belt clip. I again emailed the support address and asked for a source of spare parts or the specifications for the screws. This time I received a reply, offering me to send the screws for free if I cover the shipping costs of about $20. I followed up, asking again for the specs of the screws but this time - surprise - did not receive any reply.


All in all, the Ulefone Armor 3T was a disappointment. Neither functionality nor quality met my expectations. Service and support were sketchy, firmware updates nonexistent.

Would I ever buy any Ulefone product again? No, definitely not!