Update | Ulefone Armor 15 is set to launch as the world's next smartphone with in-built TWS earbuds
Update: Ulefone has now concluded its Kickstarter campaign, having accrued about US$22,100, or 174% of its original goal, in backing. The Armor 15 is now available to pre-order for US$259.99, or 13% off its final retail price, at present.
Original Article: TWS earbuds are becoming more and more of a mandatory addition to every new smartphone order in 2022 - in fact, some devices have had such a strong response to this trend that they combine both types of device in the one product. Ulefone has subscribed to this emerging solution in earnest in that its new Armor 15 lacks the typical charging case for the wireless earphones that come with it in its box - because it is the charging case.
The upcoming 15 is also one of Ulefone's rugged models, which means even its 12+13MP rear cameras are rated to work underwater thanks to IP68/IP69K and MIL-STD-810 ratings. Accordingly, tts build incorporates serious, rubberized dual stoppers along its top edge, which when pried up reveal the phone's very own pair of TWS earbuds.
They are not just run-of-the-mill AirPod clones either: they have been designed with pen-top-like protrusions on their popcorn-form shells, which help extract them from the Armor 15 and also act as touch controls. The in-built accessories pair automatically on removal with Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, and share 6,600mAh of battery power with the rest of their smartphone/charging case.
The Armor 15 also has non-wireless audio covered with prominent front-facing grilles for "symmetrical dual speakers", which also leave the device looking more like a handheld console than a smartphone. It also supports fingerprint- or Face Unlock-based security, NFC with Google Pay support and Android 12 out of the box.
Despite these potentially welcome features, however, those front-firing speakers leave room for a display no more than 5.45 inches in diagonal length (the specs of which Ulefone has glossed over in its current teasers, moreover), driven by the ~2-year-old and LTE/4G-only MediaTek Helio G35 SoC. Moreover, with just 1 6GB RAM/128GB internal storage SKU, the Armor 15 may find itself falling behind even further in 2022.
Finally, it is honestly not clear whether sound via 3.5mm jack is also available here or not, and its 2-in-1 unique selling point and support for wireless FM radio speak against its inclusion. Ulefone also has yet to reveal how much the Armor 15 will cost, saving this revelation for when its Kickstarter campaign goes live on August 8, 2022.