Image credit: Mark Pickavance
Robust Yet Portable: Exploring the Ulefone Armor Pad 2
The Ulefone Armor Pad 2 strides confidently into the market, joining the ranks of newly released tablets powered by the MediaTek Helio G99 SoC. Drawing on the successful integration of this technology in many of Ulefone’s rugged phones, one could easily perceive the Pad 2 as a smartphone with an expansive screen – essentially, that’s precisely what it is. While most of its competitors sport 10.1-inch displays,
Ulefone boldly opts for an 11-inch model, boasting a slightly superior native resolution of 1200 x 2000 and a maximum brightness of 500 nits. Furthermore, the Pad 2 packs a punch with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage by default, expandable up to 2 TB via a MicroSD card. Connectivity options abound, with support for WiFi 6, 4G, and 3G networks, alongside the convenience of dual SIM functionality. Notable features such as the uSmart connector, hand strap, and the rear 383 LED array distinguish this device, the latter capable of emitting an impressive 750 lumens of light.
Weighing in at over a kilogram, the Pad 2’s substantial build necessitates the inclusion of a hand strap for improved grip, although it’s not mandatory. For those seeking added versatility, Ulefone offers the THS02 accessory, seamlessly integrating a hand strap with a kickstand. While the LED array’s illumination may prove beneficial, particularly in rural settings, its power consumption of 5.5W warrants caution as it could potentially impact battery life.
Notably, the uSmart connector’s compatibility with attachments such as endoscopes and microscopes expands the Pad 2’s utility, a feature reminiscent of earlier Ulefone offerings like the Armor 24. In terms of design, the Armor Pad 2 shines with its robust construction and absence of glaring flaws, staying true to Ulefone’s commitment to quality.
Pricing and Availability
The Ulefone Armor Pad 2 may be available for direct purchase from the manufacturer’s website, though availability varies by location. Alternatively, it can often be found at significantly lower prices on online marketplaces such as AliExpress.
While the manufacturer’s listed price for the Pad 2 in the US stands at $360, savvy shoppers can secure it for as low as $280 or even less with the aid of coupons. This pricing places it in direct competition with the Blackview Active 8 Pro, a tablet boasting identical specifications.
Notably, the online purchase option often offers faster shipping and considerable savings compared to Ulefone’s asking price on platforms like Amazon.com. At around $300, the Armor Pad 2 presents an enticing proposition for those in search of a high-quality tablet at a reasonable price point.
Weighing a modest 1018g, just slightly heavier than the Blackview Active 8 Pro, the Ulefone Armor Pad 2 strikes a balance between portability and durability. Its slightly smaller battery, compared to competitors like the Oukitel RT7, contributes to its manageable weight. The Pad 2’s design features a textured bottom, curved corners, and fully cushioned edges, all geared towards enhancing durability and ergonomics.
Consequently, additional accessories such as the wrist strap become optional rather than essential for comfortable handling. For users seeking hands-free convenience, a harness accessory offers a practical solution.
However, the unconventional button layout poses a minor inconvenience, lacking clear delineation between “up” and “down” buttons commonly found on smartphones. The placement of the power and customization buttons, coupled with the rear LED array’s activation mechanism, adds to the device’s quirks. Nonetheless, the presence of essential ports, including USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack, MicroSD, and SIM tray, ensures comprehensive connectivity.
In the realm of tablet photography, manufacturers often opt for fewer sensors compared to smartphones, assuming a reduced emphasis on imaging capabilities. However, given the Pad 2’s versatile usage scenarios, a more robust camera setup would have been welcomed. Sporting two camera sensors, including a 48MP OV48B2Q primary sensor and a 16MP Sony IMX351 front-facing sensor, the Pad 2 delivers competent performance for casual photography and video calls.
Despite the capable hardware, the absence of advanced camera features such as higher resolution and frame rates remains a missed opportunity. The implementation of Widevine L1 video encryption would have further enhanced the multimedia experience, ensuring compatibility with high-definition streaming services.
The Ulefone Armor Pad 2 emerges as a rugged yet versatile companion, designed to withstand the rigors of outdoor adventures and demanding environments. Its robust construction, coupled with impressive battery life and swift recharging capabilities, makes it an ideal choice for both leisure and professional use. While its price point may initially raise eyebrows, savvy shoppers will appreciate the value proposition offered by the Pad 2, particularly when considering its competitive specifications and performance. Ultimately, for users seeking a reliable and feature-rich tablet at a reasonable price, the Ulefone Armor Pad 2 stands out as a compelling option in the crowded tablet market.