Mobile Technology

Doogee S90: Affordable, waterproof, rugged smartphone with a modular twist

Doogee S90: Affordable, waterp...
Snap-on modules take the rugged Doogee S90 in a bunch of different directions
Snap-on modules take the rugged Doogee S90 in a bunch of different directions
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Doogee S90: waterproof, dustproof, shockproof
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Doogee S90: waterproof, dustproof, shockproof
Night vision camera takes vastly improved low light shots at 2-MP
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Night vision camera takes vastly improved low light shots at 2-MP
Night vision module
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Night vision module
Walkie talkie module gives you radio comms even where there's no signal
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Walkie talkie module gives you radio comms even where there's no signal
Gamepad module gives you a joystick, d-pad and buttons
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Gamepad module gives you a joystick, d-pad and buttons
Power module doubles the S90's already impressive battery life
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Power module doubles the S90's already impressive battery life
Snap-on modules and rugged durability are the name of the game with the S90
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Snap-on modules and rugged durability are the name of the game with the S90
Snap-on modules take the rugged Doogee S90 in a bunch of different directions
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Snap-on modules take the rugged Doogee S90 in a bunch of different directions
An impressive feature list makes this an interesting phone even before the modules are added
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An impressive feature list makes this an interesting phone even before the modules are added
The Doogee's modular add-ons make it a versatile machine
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The Doogee's modular add-ons make it a versatile machine

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).

Doogee S90: waterproof, dustproof, shockproof
Doogee S90: waterproof, dustproof, shockproof

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.

The Doogee's modular add-ons make it a versatile machine
The Doogee's modular add-ons make it a versatile machine

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.

Sources: Doogee Kickstarter, Doogee

2 comments
JeffK
This is a serious phone at an amazing price point. You have to check out the kickstarter page and scroll down to the "Unkillable Monster" video with a Russian couple torture testing the phone. I don't grok Russian but it's pretty self explanatory. The man walks out on an ice covered lake, puts the phone in a net attached to a line and drops it through a hole in the ice. The video is running on an inset screen as he dunks it down three feet or so, pulls it out and then runs it down several meters. After pulling it out he shoots some video of the landscape including the young lady filming with a video camera. Then he tosses it in the air on to the ice a couple of times. After this they run it over with a car.
YuraG
When overpaid designers/marketers of the top smartphone producers try to sell the new wares on holes, notches or flexible chassis, it's nice to see an underdog doing real experementing and inventing. Well done!