"Cheaper phones keep getting better and top-of-the-range phones keep getting more expensive" is the phrase that comes to mind when I received the Doogee S68 Pro in for review.
The Doogee brand isn’t a household name here, but they’ve been making phones since 2013. To be exact, they were founded in March 2013, and are a brand of KVD International Group Limited.
So, what do you get for a phone that costs $199 (€183 approx.) including free shipping worldwide? Well, for starters, it has a massive 6,300mAh battery that’s good for more than just a couple of days of heavy use.
It also sports an impressive triple camera setup and reverse wireless charging. Other hardware features include the MediaTek Helio P70 processor, which powers an enhanced Artificial Intelligence Procession Unit (APU) for gaming and computational photography tasks.
It has a generous 6GB RAM, and 128GB of UFS 2.0 storage with the option of increasing this via a microSD card slot and dual SIM card slots.
Thanks to its rugged exterior the S68 Pro is definitely designed with outdoor activities in mind. You could call this a builders' phone, but that wouldn’t be doing it justice because those phones are tough yet generally come up short and lacking in features.
The S68 Pro comes with fully-featured triple rear cameras in the form of a standard, wide-angle and telephoto lens. The 130° wide-angle lens is great for capturing the bigger picture and getting more into the frame, while the 3cm up-close macro mode allows you get up close and personal with a subject for the tiny details. I was impressed at how well this worked as long as you had good light.
Around the front is the 16MP selfie camera with Artificial Intelligence algorithm allowing 80° wide-angle field of view. 16MP sounds like there should be lots of detail but in reality, I found selfies over-processed with too much skin smoothing in photo mode. There’s a dedicated beauty mode too and that really goes to town on your face.
The main cameras provide decent results in good light while struggling to capture good detail in low light. This isn’t too surprising considering the cost of the S68 Pro and how many great features Doogee have managed to pack into it.
The S68 Pro is a rugged phone and it’s no surprise it is IP68 dust and waterproof. It looks like someone put an Ottobox on it, but it has been designed that way for maximum durability. Doogee claims that the reinforced structural design, along with the high-quality material, ensure the phone meets military standards of drop-proof, waterproof and dustproof, surviving the toughest environments from -40°C to +60°C.
The in-mould internal structural design protects the inner parts as the elastic industry-leading rubber covers the corners to absorb the force of an impact.
Titanium aluminium alloy on the sides also offers the S68 Pro extra durability. Additionally, there are two layers of Gorilla Glass 4 protecting the 5.9-inch display.
The IPS LCD screen has a resolution of 1080x 2280 and looks good. It doesn’t get super bright and the contrast isn’t fantastic either, but at this price point, it’s a lot better than most.
Overall operation is as you’d expect from a mid-range phone, but the 6GB of RAM does help keep more apps open without slowdowns. It comes with Android 9 and Doogee’s UI is close to stock Android.
It features face unlock and a fingerprint sensor on the back as well as NFC, which supports Google Pay.~
The S68 Pro feature 10w wireless charging as well as reverse wireless charging. The latter should be able to charge up to 5w, but after 30 minutes, I was only able to charge an iPhone 11 Pro Max from 74% to 77%.
However, where this feature does come in handy is being able to charge things like smartwatches, or smaller devices like wireless earphones that support the Qi standard.
The Doogee S68 Pro is an amazing value for money with a lot of high-end features. Fantastic battery life, excellent storage and RAM and you won’t break the phone or the back easily.