Doogee S50 Review - Endurance Brick
The Doogee S50 is a ruggedised and shockproof Android smartphone with IP68 rating coming to us from, you guessed it, China.
Shenzhen based Doogee are known for delivering value devices and sometimes doing something quite different with their industrial design as we see here: the Doogee S50 looks like a spaceship from the future and feels like it has the heft to be a mass driver projectile. That’s probably due to the ruggedised casing and its 5180 mAh battery. While chunky and not at all slippery, the Doogee S50 is pleasant to hold and use, and pretty much ideal for long Pokemon Go sessions.
When I say the Doogee S50 is ruggedised, it’s probably a bit of an understatement: this metal and TPU brick with a screen not only feels as if it can take a beating, it really can. While Lukasz and I were stranded at Stansted Airport (also known as St Ansted) we had the chance to put the device through a few drop tests and the Doogee S50 came through completely unscathed.
As the floor near St Ansted Gate 30 is filthy, we then went and gave the Doogee S50 a rinse under the tap and a blow dry. When we eventually boarded the plane I had no problems listening to my favourite podcasts on the flight home (in flight mode obviously).
The 5.7” IPS display is clear, has good colour reproduction and is perfectly adequate for an HD+ panel (HD+ 1440x720). As a Chief Pixel Density Enthusiast, this device gets my approval with its 282 pixels per inch (ppi) pixel density.
The Doogee S50 is powered by a Mediatek Helio P23 chipset (built on a 16nm process), 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. Android 7.1 runs the show and while not the latest version of Android performs very smoothly as there seem to be very few customisations from AOSP. The default launcher is simple and functional, and there is nothing to stop you installing Action Launcher or your launcher of choice.
Dual SIM or single SIM with MicroSD storage are enabled options thanks to the internal gubbins and the well protected card tray.
When it comes to cameras, Doogee didn’t hold back on the S50: there are 4 sensors on the device. On the back you will find 16MP and 13MP sensors with f/2.0 aperture. These work in tandem for portrait/blur mode and perform pretty decently. There is also a single LED flash in case you need it.
On the front there is a 16MP sensor and an 8MP one. In this case one is for standard selfies (beutified by default obviously) while the other is for group selfies as it sits behind a wide angle lense. Nothing says “I’m a rugged outdoorsy type” as much as taking a selfie
The fingerprint scanner on the back is fast and works well. I like the ergonomic positioning and have had no problems using it. In case you are wearing gloves while using the Doogee S50 you can also use face unlock. The face unlock isn’t as fast as the Honor 10 or the Huawei P20 Pro, but is still perfectly usable and very convenient.
Not having NFC may be an issue for those wanting to use the device for payments or public transit.
The 5180 mAh battery can also be used to charge other devices. You’ll need a micro USB to USB A female adaptor to do that, and remember to make sure it is a slimline one as the casing may impede you from plugging in.
The courage port, also known as the 3.5mm audio jack has a similar issue: because of the depth of the casing and the width of the aperture you will only be able to use audio devices or accessories with slim 3.5mm audio connectors. wider ones will simply not slot in.
A combination of the Mediatek Helio P23 chipset, the HD+ (1440x720) rather than FHD+ (2160x1080) screen, and 5180 mAh make the Doogee S50 an endurance champion. I’ve noticed that recently it has become my device of choice for Pokémon Go walks, because of the amazing battery performance.
To sum things up the Doogee S50 is a great device for travellers who may be exposed to the elements a little more than others. Not only that, it can take a bit of a beating as we have seen. The good overall performance, the excellent battery life and clear screen are a clear plus for the Doogee S50. The only downsides I can see are the lack of NFC, which for some people may be a deal breaker, and very slow battery charging that I have noticed. For less than £200 or $250 you get a lot of smartphone. The ruggedness may avoid you some headaches if you tend to smash phones.
From tech travel geeks this is a recommended buy, in particular if you are going to be using your smartphone outdoors or play Pokemon Go a lot.
You can purchase the Doogee s50 at the following AliExpress Store: http://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/bBQSEFiC