Test: Durable Doogee S98 with dual screens and low price

It’s easy to see the benefits Doogee S98 can offer, especially for those who have a job that demands durability. The price is low, which certainly appeals to the employer who will be in charge of the party, the battery is generously increased, the durability is there and when it comes to other functions, Doogee delivers most of what is actually needed without sprinkling with luxury functions. For example, we have support for wireless charging, which can be especially useful on durable phones in order to avoid fiddling with the protective cover for the charging socket. Wireless charging is thus here, but it is far from a matter of course in durable phones in general. We also get fast charging via cable and chargers are included in the box.

Benefit at the expense of finesse

Real benefit, I also think that the back night camera symbolizes. There are three different cameras located on the back of the S98. In addition to the night camera also a wide angle and the main camera of 64 megapixels. It should be said straight away that the Doogee S98 is not a distinct camera camera. Here, the manufacturer seems to have been content with the camera being able to be used as a working tool and omitting the finesse. It happens that I get dubious white balance in the pictures and we may lack optical zoom. The camera app allows you to zoom, digitally then, to a maximum of 4x and then the image quality and especially then the sharpness and richness of detail will suffer noticeably.

However, the night camera does not suffer from white balance problems, simply because all the images there are black and white. It uses infrared light and thus differs from other mobile cameras’ night modes. This allows me to take pictures easily and quickly in complete darkness, without being dependent on longer shutter speeds. This makes it suitable for those who work in environments where it is dark and need more documentation than capturing a true-to-nature feeling.

The fingerprint sensor in the phone is located in a separate pressure-sensitive surface on the side of the phone. In any case, it is always active, so it is enough that you put your finger on it for the phone to wake up and unlock. The sensor works satisfactorily and as an alternative, there is also face recognition via the front camera as unlocking. This means that you can unlock the phone with gloves on you, but on the other hand, you can still not do much then with the phone without taking off the gloves anyway. However, there is a physical, customizable button on the side of the phone, the opposing fingerprint sensor and the power button that can act as a shortcut. Here you can select a function for single press, another for double press and a third if you hold down the button. This works really well, because even with gloves I can for example start the camera (and then take a picture with the volume button), start any other app, or why not add Google Assistant as a shortcut here and thus be able to do even more things using the voice.

It works well, as long as of course you are not in a noisy place and the assistant thus has a hard time hearing you. To be a durable phone, otherwise the sound resources from Doogee S98 are perhaps in the weakest team. When I set the ringtone volume to max, it rings like in any ordinary phone and when I listen to music, the sound does not move at all. It comes from a single speaker at the bottom of the phone and at full volume it just gets loud. I have to lower it to half to make the dynamics better and then the volume is low.

The mini screen on the contrary

The small screen on the back is of course one of the phone’s clearest features and it is an example that, contrary to much else in the phone, feels more like an odd gimmick than something you can actually benefit from. The extra screen is located on the back, surrounded by the camera lenses and the photo lamp. The screen is round and is suspected to be like a smartwatch.

The idea of ​​the extra display is that you should be able to see, for example, incoming calls and messages, but it can also be used to control the music being played. So it’s a real touch screen and I can both press to confirm functions and swipe to switch mode between clock and music buttons. Unfortunately, the functions of the small screen are limited so it can not be used as a camera viewfinder and when I receive a message, it only shows that I have received a message, not what it says.

The rear screen can be customized and you can, for example, choose when it should light up and what it should look like. However, the possibilities are limited. What I can choose from are two different looks on the watch, two different looks for how incoming calls should be displayed and two looks on how the music controls should be displayed. I also soon notice that it is only the clock, incoming calls and incoming text messages that are displayed here. No other app notices. By default, the rear screen lights up when it wants to display something and the phone is face up and you double-tap it. You can also choose to turn it on when you turn the phone on, but it warns the system because it draws extra battery power.

In summary, I find it difficult to get proper use for the back screen. Possibly it can be a little useful to see what time it is. This is because the phone’s large screen lacks the active lock screen function, which is also called Always on Display. It is a pity, however, that the small screen is poorly visible outdoors in sunlight, so the benefit in that area is also limited.

Not just extra screen

More important than the small extra screen, however, is what the phone is basically and it is then in plain text about a surprisingly cheap, durable phone. That is the overall impression. The generous battery capacity of 6000 mAh combined with the fast charging ensures use all day and the phone comes with the latest Android, version 12.

Despite limited performance, which certainly contributes to the battery life, which is good, the interface flows well and the performance is sufficient. This is not a real flagship phone, but it is powered by a Mediatek circuit that delivers performance in cheaper mid-price range. We should also add that it lacks 5G support.

The interface is stripped down and the only adjustments that Doogee actually makes is that they have added some of their own apps, partly for security and system maintenance, then for game functions and then a third with various tools for outdoor activities. When I choose Swedish as the language in the system, most of it is displayed in Swedish, but sometimes in the settings menus, English expressions creep in. Doogee S98 is a phone that gives a lot for the money, in addition to durability, especially battery life, a focus on utility and an overall high minimum level.

Questions and answers

How is the screen?
Fully functional, but it can still, in addition to performance, be said to be an area Doogee saved in. It is not an Oled but an LCD and we must be without an increased update rate, so it is 60 hertz that applies here. This means that the phone never feels like a giant rap in the reactions.

How does it feel in the hand?
The hands, you mean. This is undeniably about a solid chunk of phone, so using it with one hand is out of the question.

Where do you buy Doogee’s phones in Sweden?
A search on Price hunt shows that above all the distributor 2Tech which also sells durable phones from Ulefone has a wide range, but Doogee also appears at some other retailers.

An alternative:

Motorola Defy or Nokia XR20 can be options for you who want a smoother phone that is still durable and not so expensive.

Test image

The cameras do not impress but are more suitable for simple documentation.

Source: Mobil by www.mobil.se.

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