After some deliberation and consternation I bought this phone after my One Plus 1 died, repeatedly, because there aren’t any good replacement screens available, they all shatter at the slightest provocation. I chose this phone with some care, specifically the 32gb/2gb variant, because while I’d had 3gb RAM available to me prior to that I’d never found it slightly taxed for memory.
Turns out 2gb is fine too, maybe not if you’re one of these mythical phone gamers I’ve yet to see in reality. 32GB on board memory with a free 32GB memory card is great though. The alternative phone is a 16GB onboard memory with 3GB of RAM, so it’s not like they don’t have options.
For a hundred quid I expected this to not quite live up to the photos. Apart from the hastily applied screen protector in both cases (more on that later) the phone looks unbelievable, it’s really very thin and the finish is perfect, I can’t find a thing beyond the stiff sim card slot mechanism to say doesn’t feel like a perfect fit. When you pick it up you get a notion of how some of this was achieved – this phone is very solid and hefty, glass back and front, in fact it looks suspiciously like it’s the same glass either side, either way the back hasn’t scratched easily. The body is strong, I tried flexing it and there just isn’t any give in it.
The phone’s running android 6.0 with little in the way of junk, even less that you can’t remove. Hilariously the stock browser icon has been skinned with an Internet Explorer logo, I didn’t actually notice for a little while, then I broke in to peals of laughter. I use Chrome anyway. On the whole, not a bad OS.
The mediatek chip runs the whole lot smoothly and so far I’ve experienced far less hiccups than on any android phone bar the One Plus 1. To be honest I’ve been desperately hoking about for the catch, the catch isn’t here, the phone isn’t gutless, it works really very well but, but those catches come and they’re avoidable too – these guts come in other shapes too.
The wifi is 2.4ghz only, making my secondary 5ghz network increasingly wasteful, however, in return for slower wifi top speeds, this phone behaves better on 2.4ghz than a number of phones I’ve had, it also has the best range I’ve seen in a phone, given that I often go for a smoke outside my apartment, where I’m on the very edge of the 2.4ghz network – which will generally go further than 5ghz. This phone can go further, even picking up a spotty signal through the other side of the building by the front door.
Downsides… Battery Life, Camera
These are few photos from the camera, which would be fine, were it not for the excessive processing and that this Sony camera unit has a native resolution of 8.0mp, which would likely product a much better image than interpolating up to 13mp. for video, check the review video – I filmed it on the phone partly. The camera is useable, but it requires more effort than should really be needed these days to get a decent image. The battery life though, that’s a trade I knew I’d make, 2200mah is not a big battery, it will get through a day but not without stretching for it, under heavy use expect less. I’m not worried because I can charge anywhere almost all the time. However if that’s too much, look at the litany of very similar models available, some of which include more serious batteries.
Where do you win?
Price I’ve had a number of cheaper mainstream phones and none of them have been as well made, powerful or as pleasant to use as this doogee
Looks If you want a super sleek, super thin phone 7.0mm at its thickest will not disappoint, neither will the construction
Freedom These phones lower the barrier to escaping the contracts and credit agreements for handsets, plus it can do dual sims so you can put that money towards a secondary data contract instead of admitting you have a problem
It’s fun Having a weird device that costs a fraction of your mates but, so far as I’ve experienced gives them instant envy is actually fun, especially when you explain it’s a dodgy doogee
Where do you lose?
Battery The battery at 2200mah, is an all day and no more battery
No NFC That’s a Mediatek thing, basically it’ll affect you in no way until your bank reliably supports Android Pay, then you’ll be very mildly inconvenienced
Camera Not a serious loss, might be fixed by an update, still on par, maybe better than a lot of similarly priced phones
Lack of support Being so deep in the fragmented depths of Android’s ecosystem means you won’t be seeing much in the way of purpose built accessories like cases and screen protectors. On the other hand it does come with both of those things
One Broke on me My first one of these died, the digitiser stopped responding at all, resets and all that jazz did nothing, returned and bought another because I liked it and the chances of two bricking it are rather slim
I’m really pleased with this phone, I took a punt for my admittedly meagre budget (could’ve set aside more) on the phone and I got way more than I expected. This device is so very worth your money when you set it beside a phone that still costs more from o2 currently because it’s a Sony, a Sony that was just about ok to begin with. This is a fresh experience, even after the glory of the One Plus 1.