Doogee S90: Affordable, waterproof, rugged smartphone with a modular twist
Chinese company Doogee has hit Kickstarter with an affordable and feature-rich rugged Android smartphone. The S90 is waterproof, shockproof, dustproof and highly modular, with clip-on accessories for night vision, walkie-talkie, extended battery and gaming use.
There are a few excellent rugged Android handsets about – we're thinking Samsung's Galaxy S8 Active, and the CAT phones – but Doogee's S90 offers a pretty unique slant on the idea for a price that makes it very interesting.
The case is IP68/IP69K waterproof, meaning it'll happily sit under 5 ft (1.5 m) of water for two weeks and withstand temperatures from -22 to 176° F (-30 to 80° C). It also meets military standard 810G for humidity, mold, salt spray corrosion, explosive gas, vibration and ballistic shock. All this protection adds up to a meaty little unit that weighs 300 g (0.66 lb).
It packs a big ol' 6.18-inch Gorilla Glass 4 multi-touch screen with a 1080 x 2246 pixel resolution, while the beefy 5,050-mAh polymer battery is good for two days of regular use. It's powered by a MediaTek Helio 60 octa-core (a midrange chip best compared to the Snapdragon 660) with some interesting AI/deep learning capabilities, and has 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage, with the ability to beef that up with an additional 256 GB via a MicroSD card. It runs Android 8.1 – and given MediaTek's track record with upgrades, it'll probably stay that way.
For capturing pics and vids it's got 16/8-megapixel Samsung dual AI cameras on the back and an 8-MP Sony selfie machine on the front with a 90-degree wide angle capability, all of which are f/2.0. It opens with a fingerprint sensor, gives you two SIM slots and rocks an NFC chip for wireless payments (among other things), as well as the capability for wireless charging.
That's just the basic phone. The Doogee offers a bunch of snap-on modules that open up some interesting use cases. A power module doubles the battery life by adding an extra 5,000 mAh, while a digital walkie-talkie module gives you a 6-10-km (3.7-6.2-mi) communication range with other radio devices across a wide range of 400-480 Mhz frequencie even where there's no phone signal.
A night vision module clips on a Sony 2-megapixel ultra-wide night vision camera that greatly improves its ability to shoot in low light, and there's also a gamepad module that gives you a thumb joystick, D-pad and some buttons for noodling about with.
The best surprise – for now, anyway – is the price. US$299 gets you an S90 phone in Doogee's Kickstarter earlybird pricing, and you can get a phone plus power, walkie talkie and night vision modules for US$399. It's an aggressive 40 percent off pricing strategy that's already seen Doogee hit 900 percent of its funding goals. Deliveries will begin next month if all goes to plan.
We're very impressed with the S90's spec sheet and the modular, rugged concept, and we've requested a review unit with the goal of finding out whether the Doogie is a doozy or a dookie.