The Chinese smartphone manufacturers, Huawei and ZTE had some good presence in the Western markets. There are also few popular brands like Xiaomi, LeEco, OPPO, and Vivo which had a great presence in the Asian markets and couple of them are trying their luck in the U.S as well. Now a lesser known Chinese brand called Geotel came up with a new rugged smartphone called Geotel A1. More than the specifications, what made us felt amazed is that the device running on the latest Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box. Normally, we won’t see major manufacturers from China releasing the smartphones with the newly launched Android OS. The top smartphone manufacturer in China, OPPO had finally upgraded its Color OS based on Android 5.1 Lollipop to Android 6.0 Marshmallow in October 2016.
Talking about the Geotel A1, it is priced at just $150 and comes with basic specifications. But the device doesn’t let down with its rugged features. Just like any rugged smartphone, the Geotel A1 also sports polycarbonate body with soft TPU material around the device to protect from drops. From the image, we can see the thick rubber bumpers around the device which make the device shock-proof. With the IP67 certification, the device also becomes waterproof and dust-proof. Coming to the specifications part, the Geotel A1 sports a 4.5-inch LCD display with qHD (960 x 540 pixels) and there is no information about the use of any protective glass on top. It is powered by the last year’s 32-bit MediaTek MT6580 quad-core processor along with Mali 400 GPU.
The device offers just 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. There is a MicroSD card slot for storage expansion upto another 32GB. It packs an 8MP rear camera with LED flash and a 2MP fixed focus camera on the front. However, the 3400mAh battery along with the less powerful specifications can give more a day-long battery life. The Geotel A1 will be available in Black, Green, Yellow, Orange color options. It lacks the 4G LTE compatibility but comes with dual SIM dual standby support. Connectivity options include 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, GPS, and MicroUSB port. Last month, another Chinese company, Ulefone launched its first ever rugged smartphone called Ulefone Armor. It is priced at $160 and comes in Black and Orange color options.
While Geotel A1 came with IP67 certifications, the Armor sports IP68 certification making it better resistant to water. The Ulefone Armor features physical buttons instead of the capacitive buttons on A1. Compared to Geotel A1, the Armor additionally comes with Corning Gorilla Glass protection and SOS Key. It even supports 4G LTE along with other basic connectivity features. The Armor sports a 4.7-inch HD (1280 x 720 pixels) display and is powered by MediaTek MT6753 octa-core processor. It includes 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, and 3,500mAh battery. Compared to 8MP rear and 2MP front cameras on Geotel A1, the Armor features a 13MP rear camera and a 5MP selfie camera. Stay tuned on PhoneRadar for more details!