Doogee S96 Professional: a super rugged smartphone for out of doors lovers

Doogee S96Pro Rugged Smartphone with Night Vision Camera

Execs: nice spec, efficiency and battery life for the cash in a cellphone that’s constructed to outlive extra excessive situations than you’ll be able to. The Doogee S96 Professional will take all of the punishment you throw at it and emerge unscathed, providing stunning peace of thoughts.

Cons: display screen decision decrease than most modern telephones (works nice, however nonetheless…), could also be a bit cumbersome in case you have smaller palms

Score: Extremely Really useful

Worth: RRP. US$299 (c. €246) however reductions accessible on-line

Take a look at the Doogee S96 Professional on the official Doogee web site

Doogee is a Chinese language smartphone model that started life providing low value finances smartphones utilizing Google’s Android working system. Since then the corporate is making a reputation for itself as a frontrunner within the rising Rugged Telephone market. With the S96 Professional Doogee combines a nearly unbreakable physique with sufficient tech to ship a silky easy smartphone expertise at a value that’s exhausting to disregard.

Doogee S96 Professional Smartphone: Full Overview

As a wildlife fanatic, I spend a whole lot of my time outdoor, typically in situations which might be lower than excellent, and off the crushed monitor. I’m typically in conditions which might be hostile to doubtlessly fragile electronics, but I depend on the smartphone in my pocket greater than ever.

I don’t find out about you, however I exploit my cellphone lots within the discipline. Primarily it permits me to contact individuals if I have to, in fact, however other than that I additionally use it for mapping and navigation, climate, jotting down discipline notes, identification guides and apps, recording and submitting sightings, images, digiscoping, sharing content material and extra.

Inevitably accidents occur, telephones slip, and, very often in Eire, situations are moist, muddy, sandy and usually unforgiving. I’m acutely aware that each tumble my cellphone takes may very well be its final.

So with that in thoughts, I used to be intrigued to check out the most recent rugged flagship from Chinese language smartphone producer Doogee.

The S96Pro promised to be impervious to water; particle ingress (mud, sand, powder… you identify it); temperature extremes and drops onto mud, sand, concrete, and so forth. On paper, at the least, it gave the impression of the best cellphone for a wildlife information.

First impressions and construct high quality

The Doogee S96 Professional is constructed like a tank. A stable lump of polycarbonate, toughened glass and aluminium alloy composite, this cellphone appears like you would drive over it with out inflicting a lot injury (actually, should you search YouTube you’ll discover movies of lunatics doing simply that).

The general design is chunky and shares many traits with different rugged gadgets. It’s additionally fairly heavy at a shade over 300g. Whereas a possible adverse, that heft can also be reassuring. It makes the S96Pro really feel virtually indestructible.

There’s no getting across the reality it is a huge cellphone although. I used to be a bit involved at first that might make it unwieldy and awkward to hold, however in observe it slips right into a fleece or backpack pocket as simply as a typical measurement smartphone, and you actually don’t discover the additional weight when it’s about your individual. I additionally discovered utilizing the cellphone nice, though in case you have smaller palms it’s possible you’ll discover it a bit extra cumbersome to deal with than an everyday cellphone.

The entrance of the S96Pro is dominated by a big 6.22″ display screen with a small teardrop notch within the prime centre housing the 16MP selfie digital camera. Flip the cellphone over and also you’ll discover a pleasing two-tone gray and black polycarbonate and metallic combo dominate by a round metallic housing that holds the cellphone’s quad-camera array. These cameras are a 48MP essential digital camera, an 8MP extensive angle, a 2MP macro and, a characteristic at present distinctive to the S96 Professional, a 20MP Night time Imaginative and prescient Digital camera. Sure the S96 Professional can actually see at the hours of darkness.

Doogee S96 Smartphone waterproof, dustproof, shockproof

On either side of the round digital camera housing there’s a curved array of LEDs — one has 4 white LEDs used for the usual flash/torch perform. The opposite has 4 devoted infrared LEDs that act as a light-weight supply for the night-vision digital camera, permitting you to actually see and take black-and-white images in full darkness.

The gray and black physique is punctuated by little flashes of color on the periphery (the overview unit was flame orange, however the cellphone can also be accessible with extra refined military inexperienced and virtually imperceptible mineral black). I believe the general rugged look and two-tone impact works rather well, and the end and really feel of the cellphone is great.

Specs and Efficiency

The S96 Professional comes with a close to inventory model of Android 10 that’s blissfully devoid of extra bloatware. It’s refreshingly clear, and the highly effective octo-core MediaTek G90T processor, coupled with a whopping 8GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage (expandable by an additional 256GB through SD Card do you have to want it) delivers a easy, fluid person expertise.

There’s no stutter or lag navigating the working system, apps load shortly, and the complete expertise is as close to flawless as I’ve skilled on an Android system. The one time I discovered myself ready was when the cellphone wanted to downlod content material over our ever-flaky West Cork broadband connection. When it got here to on-board processing, the S96 powered by means of probably the most demanding duties I might throw its manner with out skipping a beat.

Maybe the one weak level of the cellphone (though it additionally contributes to certainly one of its best strengths) is the show. Doogee opted for an IPS LCD panel with a decrease than common HD+ display screen decision of simply 720 x 1520 pixels.

All the pieces else concerning the spec appears to recommend a cellphone pitched at a better efficiency degree. I requested Doogee about their choice to go along with the decrease decision panel, they usually stated it was based mostly on delivering enhanced battery life, which they felt was a commerce off their target market would respect. It additionally has the added bonus of bringing the general value of the cellphone down considerably.

My preliminary disappointment was short-lived. Throughout day-to-day use I didn’t have any subject with the 720p show on the S96 Professional. A pixel density of 270ppi, while a bit “center of the street” on paper for a recent smartphone, renders crisp and clear textual content and pictures which might be vibrant and look nice. I didn’t discover the show any higher or worse than the 1080p IPS panel on my common cellphone. The show isn’t the brightest on the earth, however I didn’t have any downside utilizing it outdoor on vibrant days both… so all good on that entrance too.

Battery Life

Thanks partly to that much less demanding show, however principally to the massive 6,350mAh cell tucked inside, battery life on the S96 Professional is fairly steller for a contemporary smartphone. Throughout the overview interval I used to be utilizing it as my essential cellphone, for all my apps, calls, shopping, leisure… the whole lot. Once I got here to plug it in at bedtime I’d discover the battery nonetheless hovering at round 65%.

For those who had been away from an influence level, you’d simply get two days of common use out of the S96 Professional on a single cost, should you had been extra frugal you would stretch that to a few days, perhaps much more.

Couple that with 24W fast-charging and 10W wi-fi charging help and you’ve got a cellphone that’s effectively outfitted to energy by means of most conditions.

Digital camera High quality

The cameras on the S96Pro are good, however not wonderful. Let’s face it, they had been by no means going to compete with flagship-level shooters from the massive manufacturers, and on the value you shouldn’t anticipate them to.

That stated, the primary 48MP AI enabled digital camera delivers crisp, clear pictures with loads of element in good mild situations. Like most smartphone cameras it struggles with excessive noise ranges in decrease mild, and doesn’t have the in-built software program smarts you see with the massive manufacturers to compensate for it. It additionally doesn’t have any in-built picture stabilisation.

In addition to 48MP pictures the primary digital camera permits you to shoot 4K video at 30 frames per second, which is superb, though once more, the dearth of any in-built stabilisation implies that should you’re taking pictures handheld your movies, whereas prime quality, are prone to be fairly jerky.

The 8MP extensive digital camera is helpful once you wish to absorb extra of the scene, and the 2MP Macro is useful to seize the occassional close-up… simply don’t anticipate an excessive amount of from these decrease decision choices.

Which brings us to the fourth, and maybe probably the most fascinating digital camera.

See at the hours of darkness with night-vision

The inclusion of a 20MP night-vision digital camera on the S96 Professional is exclusive. I haven’t been capable of finding some other cellphone in the marketplace that features it, and whereas it might sound a bit gimmicky it’s truly very cool.

See in the dark with night vision on the Doogee S96 Pro

Change to Night time Imaginative and prescient on the S96 Professional’s digital camera and the 4 infrared LED’s on the again actually mild up the night time. You possibly can take black and white images in full darkness — which is simply nuts. In observe the pictures aren’t nice high quality — focusing at the hours of darkness is hit or miss, and shutter speeds are sluggish, with predictable outcomes. They’re enjoyable, nonetheless.

Whereas it’s novel to take images in full darkness, the true killer use-case for this characteristic, at the least from a wildlife lovers viewpoint, is with the ability to see in full darkness with out utilizing a torch or different mild supply. For those who’re transferring to a disguise earlier than first mild, for instance, you could find your manner with out utilizing mild which may scare wildlife away. Or say you’re in situ for a little bit of nocturnal wildlife watching and wish to seek out one thing in your bag — simply activate night time imaginative and prescient and rummage away — no torch required.

I haven’t actually used it a lot but — however can see it being a really useful added-value characteristic of the cellphone.

The one draw back is that the infra-red LEDs on the cellphone aren’t that highly effective, limiting the vary at which you’ll see. Nevertheless, because the digital camera can see infra-red, should you needed to cowl a wider space/higher vary, I suppose there’s no cause you couldn’t use an exterior infra-red mild supply for illumination.


The Doogee S96 Professional isn’t a 5G cellphone, nevertheless it does help a variety of 4G bands, which ought to offer you glorious voice and information connectivity not simply right here in Eire, however when you’ll be able to journey abroad once more too. The cellphone is backward appropriate with 3G and 2G networks too.

In fact it helps the most recent suite of WiFi requirements and consists of options like WiFi Hotspot, WiFi Direct and WiFi Show. It has Bluetooth 5.0 on board and helps NFC, so contactless funds work.

The S96 Professional helps twin sim playing cards (each nano-sim) in addition to an SD Card concurrently.


In fact, the primary cause to get a rugged cellphone is that it’s going to survive in environments that might kill off unusual telephones. Whereas I wasn’t courageous sufficient to go to a number of the extremes you’ll discover on-line, I did drop the cellphone from pocket-height onto concrete, into puddles, into the washin up bowl with no ailing results, and it proved utterly impervious to sand and salt-water on a visit to a close-by seashore.

The Doogee S96Pro is IP68/IP69K rated, which implies it’s not simply water and mud proof, but additionally able to withstanding blasts of high-pressure water (from a hose or faucet for instance). It additionally complies with US Army MIL-STD-810G specification, which checks for issues like strain tolerance, temperature extremes, shock and explosion resistance, vibration and extra.

The S96 Professional is designed to outlive in environments the place you in all probability wouldn’t.


I’ve been very pleasantly shocked by the Doogee S96 Professional. The construct high quality was significantly better than I used to be anticipating for a cellphone at this value level, and the efficiency, all issues thought of, blew me away. It simply matches upper-mid-tier smartphones from different producers costing greater than double the worth.

Whereas a better decision display screen would have been good to have, my preliminary doubts concerning the display screen proved unfounded in use and I’ve actually loved the general expertise of utilizing the cellphone. It’s additionally survived the whole lot I’ve been courageous sufficient to throw its manner utterly unscathed. There actually isn’t a mark on it.

What I wasn’t anticipating was simply how a lot I’d respect having a cellphone in my pocket that’s impervious to accidents. I’m often fairly cautious with my tech, however hadn’t realised fairly how subconsciously preoccupied I used to be with preserving my cellphone secure. The S96 Professional takes that fear away. Realizing your cellphone is impervious to water, will bounce fortunately off concrete and may cope completely effectively within the sand is a liberating expertise.

When it comes to worth for cash, the Doogee S96 Professional additionally impresses. You’ll wrestle to discover a cellphone, rugged or in any other case, providing a high-powered octo-core CPU, 8GB RAM, 128 GB storage, 48MP quad-camera, 24W fast-charging, 10W wi-fi charging and NFC for lower than €300.

For those who’ve been contemplating a rugged cellphone on your out of doors adventures, the Doogee S96 Professional is effectively value a glance.

Key Specs

CPU: Helio G90T

GPU: Arm Mali-G76


Storage: 128GB

Display measurement: 6.2-inch 

Decision: 1520×720

Weight: 307g

Dimensions: 167x81x155mm

Rear digital camera: 48MP, 20MP, 8MP, 2MP

Entrance digital camera: 16MP

OS: Android 10

Battery: 6.35Ah


I’d wish to thank Doogee for offering the S96Pro for overview on Eire’s Wildlife.

NB. Eire’s Wildlife has no particular affiliation to any optics or gear producer, and all evaluations on the positioning are utterly impartial and goal. For those who’re an optics or gear producer and wish to submit your product for overview on the positioning, please drop us a line utilizing the contact type and we are able to take issues from there.

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