Review: Doogee S68 Pro offers bombproof ruggedness and a huge battery
Chinese manufacturer Doogee's midrange S68 Pro smartphone has a monster battery, a super-rugged waterproof aluminum body and a feature list that keeps most of the good stuff from the S95 Pro flagship, while ditching some unnecessary extras.
As well as being IP68, 30-minute waterproof, 1.5-meter (3-ft) drop shock-proof and generally up for serious physical abuse, the S68 Pro uses a reasonably quick Helio P70 processor, 128 GB of internal storage and 6 GB of RAM. It also runs a reasonably unmolested version of Android 9.0, leading to snappy, lag-free performance switching between many apps.
Its battery is a 6,300 mAh whopper, more than twice the size of the one you'll find in an iPhone 11, and it behaves accordingly, often not needing charging for two or three days in a row of moderate to heavy use. It comes with a 24-W fast-charger, and the phone itself has built-in two-way wireless charging as well, so you can use it as a powerbank to wirelessly charge your friend's phone at 5-W when they're low on juice and you're laughing it up at 78 percent at the end of the day.
There is a price to be paid for such a big battery, and that price is size and weight. At 163.5 x 80 x 16.5 mm (6.4 x 3.15 x 0.65 in), it feels noticeably bigger than my Pixel 3XL with a decent sized protective case on it. Our scales measure it at 303 g (10.7 oz), which also makes it a bit of a chonker. To put it another way, I once broke into a jog with this thing in my tracksuit pants, and accidentally gave the old lady behind me a bit of a show.
It rocks decent facial recognition and an OK fingerprint sensor for security, although neither are anything to write home about and can be inconsistent at times. It's got NFC for payments, as you'd expect.
Camera-wise, it rocks the same module as the S95 Pro; a three-lens setup on the back with a quality 21-megapixel Sony sensor, in which the main camera is pretty decent, the 2x zoom is acceptable, and the wide angle is absolutely abhorrent, blurry and distorted. Autofocus seems to hunt a bit, particularly in lower light situations, and the software-simulated bokeh mode is pretty much rubbish. The selfie camera is better than the wide angle, but still pretty cheap and unimpressive. Jump into the gallery for sample images.
As a phone, the S68 Pro works well – significantly better than the S95 Pro, which suffers from poor microphone placement. On the other hand, the S68's speakers are embedded deeply in the rear cover in such a way that makes them sound particularly thin and tinny when you play music on them. The screen, for its part, looks and works great.
Overall, we'd rate the Doogee S68 Pro as a pretty good midrange phone at its price point between US$230-250 (it sells through Doogee's AliExpress store). Like the S95 Pro, it's about as bombproof and rugged as smartphones get, and offers massive battery life if you can deal with the weight.
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