Ulefone Armor 17 Pro is touted as the world's latest 'luxury' rugged smartphone
Ulefone's most interesting addition to its line of rugged mobile devices was one that shot for the ''world's loudest smartphone' title with its massive rear-mounted speaker, whereas the one before that came with its own inbuilt TWS earbuds that it could house and charge in its chassis. Therefore, one might wonder what the OEM could possibly do with its next release; as it turns out, it is to try and make it as premium as possible.
The company's usual smartphone niche operates on the point of being as durable as possible with supposedly professional- or military-grade ingress-protection ratings for their reinforced builds, which often comes at a cost to the rest of their actual specs. The Armor 17 Pro is pitched to rise above that with a display that is not only particularly spacious at 6.58 inches diagonally, but has a higher-end 120Hz refresh rate.
Then again, the same panel is still LCD and has a teardrop notch for its 16MP selfie camera, both of which draw attention to themselves with noticeable bezels. Conversely, despite having the traditional rugged IP68/69K/MIL-STD-810G badges, the 17 Pro also stands out through its need to add Gorilla Glass 5 protection for this screen.
Then again, the same display will be kept on with a decidedly non-class-leading 5,380mAh battery, and, despite the 17 Pro's "rugged phone as powerful as today’s mainstream flagships" appeal, is driven by the Helio G99 processor also found in the ~US$256 Motorola Moto G72.
Ulefone has also even lavished 15W fast wireless charging on the new Armor-series device, which is magnetic on top of that, and is intended to be used with an ecosystem of snap-on rear panel accessories. They include the Sound Duo portable speaker and a 2-in-1 wallet/kickstand clip.
The Armor 17 Pro also upgrades to the ISOCELL HM2 as a main camera, which joins Ulefone's night vision sensors on its carbon-fiber-effect rear panel. However, all of these spec bumps come at an atypically high starting price: US$499.98 for 8GB of RAM and 256GB of expandable storage on the new OEM flagship's AliExpress page.