Increasingly smartphone distributors are leaping on the rugged gadget bandwagon, which isn’t stunning as competitors on this area continues to be sparse, whereas revenue margins are wholesome given the upper retail costs these handsets often carry.

The place to purchase?

On-line Chinese language retailer, Gearbest, despatched us the evaluate pattern and sells the Doogee S60 ruggedized smartphone for simply over £220 (round $290) on the time of writing. Word that, whereas this worth contains supply, it’s unique of any taxes which may be levied by HMRC or the courier firms on behalf of the seller. Need to purchase tech from on-line Chinese language retailers? Read this first

Samsung with its Galaxy Lively vary might be probably the most well-known ruggedized vendor on the market however there are a number of different gamers – Cat, AGM, Homtom, Ulefone, Blackview, Nomu and Doogee to call some – which can be scrambling to get a much bigger piece of the ruggedized pie.

The latter has simply launched a brand new flagship mannequin referred to as the S60 – to not be confused with the Cat S60, the EL S60 or the Lenovo S60 – which couldn’t have been extra stereotypically designed. The advertising and marketing materials and footage that accompanied its launch clearly level to the return of the traditional ‘man’s cellphone’.

Design

The S60 is out there in black, gold or silver, and the producer even got here up with particular ‘Recreation of Thrones Version’ variations (primarily having quotes from the favored TV collection written on the again).

Like a lot of its rivals, the (Spanish) designers opted for the traditional octagonal chassis (4 slanted corners and 4 lengthy sides) often related to ruggedized smartphones.

The S60 is without doubt one of the heaviest smartphones we’ve examined at 285g, which is nearly twice the burden of the Apple iPhone 8. Its dimensions – 163 x 83 x 17mm – are additionally nicely above-average, though keep in mind that you’re unlikely to place this handset in a case or exhausting shell. Except you have got large pockets, it’s unlikely that you’ll carry this gadget round on you.

It’s clear sufficient that discovering the proper steadiness between portability and ruggedness is an ongoing course of, and Doogee appears to focus extra on the latter utilizing a mixture of steel (aerospace-grade aluminum) and excessive density polycarbonate plastic moderately than rubber to extend this gadget’s resistance to shocks and bumps, incomes it a well-deserved IP68 certification.

The display screen, a 5.2-inch Full HD IPS show, is roofed by a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 overlay which ought to defend it from scratches. There appears to be an oleophobic coating as nicely, because the display screen is noticeably much less vulnerable to fingerprint smudges in comparison with rivals.

The fingerprint reader is situated on the again alongside the digicam sensor, the speaker and twin LED. The SIM and microSD slots are positioned beneath a steel cowl that may solely be accessed once you take out two screws (a screwdriver is offered).

The microUSB port is situated on the backside of the gadget whereas the audio socket is on the prime. Each are coated by rubber flaps which is usually a little bit of a ache to open and shut.

There are three buttons on either side: quantity up and down, together with an SOS button on the left; PTT (push to speak), energy and a devoted digicam button on the proper.

Doogee S60 specs

Weight: 285g
Dimensions: 81 x 164 x 15.5mm
OS: Android Nougat
Display dimension: 5.2-inch
Decision:  1920 x 1080
CPU: Mediatek Helio P25
RAM: 6GB of RAM
Storage: 64GB
Battery: 5580mAh
Rear digicam: 21MP
Entrance digicam: 8MP 

Doogee didn’t skimp on the parts for the S60 – this flagship smartphone acquired best-of-breed innards (nicely, nearly). It packs some of the highly effective SoCs out there outdoors of Qualcomm’s secure – the Mediatek Helio P25 – backed with 6GB of premium LPDDR4 reminiscence and 64GB of Samsung-sourced flash reminiscence for storage.

The digicam sensors are Samsung and Sony-sourced as nicely; the rear 21-megapixel mannequin can solely file in full HD regardless of the Mediatek P25 CPU supporting 4K.

The S60 is exclusive amongst rugged smartphones because it bundles each NFC and wi-fi charging, doubtlessly permitting you to bypass the on-board bodily ports fully. Word that it doesn’t include a wi-fi charger, although.

In relation to connectivity, the chipset (and subsequently the cellphone) helps 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Cat-6 LTE, and Bluetooth four.1 in addition to all the foremost satellite tv for pc navigation methods. A 24W (12v2A) energy provide unit feeds the bigger-than-average 5580mAh battery.

Benchmarks

Right here’s how the Doogee S60 carried out in our benchmark assessments:

Geekbench: 877 (single-core); three,886 (multi-core); 2,714 (compute)

Quadrant customary: 44,302

Antutu 3D: 3D Marooned: four.94 fps; 3D Backyard: eight.four fps

Antutu: 63,371

PCMark (Work 2.zero): three,564

Passmark: 5,126

Passmark CPU: 123,077

Androbench (sequential): 257 (sequential learn); 200 (sequential write)

Androbench (random): 50.65 (random learn); 21.34 (random write)

3DMark Slingshot Excessive: 698

Quick: 44Mbps

In use

The S60 is a larger-than-life cellphone, so it’s a little bit of a handful to deal with in comparison with the everyday a lot lighter smartphones on the market. There’s nothing intrinsically unsuitable with the S60’s dimension, however that is simply one thing to keep in mind.

The IPS show boasts nice colour copy which ought to cater for many tastes and it’s sensible even outdoors the place the S60 is anticipated for use most frequently.

The smartphone delivered very good efficiency ranges in our benchmarking, and is suitably outfitted to deal with most up-to-date video games available on the market. There was no noticeable lagging when placing the S60 by its paces.

We couldn’t apply the most recent firmware replace for some odd motive. The S60 runs on Android 7.zero as anticipated and doesn’t have numerous further bundled apps. One of many included functions is Zello, which is a walkie-talkie/push-to-talk resolution that works significantly nicely for groups.

There’s additionally DGXender, which is a nifty resolution for transferring information between appropriate units. Essentially the most compelling app (or app bundle moderately) is the aptly named Toolbox, consisting of instruments that use the host of sensors on the S60 to ship the form of performance an outside skilled (working within the area or on a building website) may count on.

There’s a sound degree meter, a compass, bubble degree, heartrate monitor, pedometer, barometer, protractor and some extra: all free to make use of and with out restrictions.

Last verdict

The Doogee S60 is a worthy rival to the likes of the AGM X1, the Blackview BV8000 Pro and the Ulefone Armor 2. Distinctive options like wi-fi charging and a sound degree meter push it larger up the checklist of the best rugged smartphones, and its inexpensive price ticket make this handset an nearly must-buy.

Doogee has ticked all of the necessary packing containers, however that stated we’d prefer to see 4K recording, a much less ostentatious look (just like the AGM X1) and a greater implementation of the firmware replace mechanism.

Is the S60 the proper rugged cellphone for you? That may depend upon whether or not you’ll be able to dwell with the commercial, brash design, and the truth that the handset carries a reputation that may lend itself nicely to mockery.

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