I hadn't tried a smartphone for years Doogee, not that I felt the need, for heaven's sake, but that sense of nostalgia persisted inside me, just because I started over six years ago to do my first reviews on Gizchina with a Doogee smartphone.
Leaving aside this nostalgic aspect, Doogee S61 Pro it is the rugged smartphone that the company invited me to try and the first thing I could notice is undoubtedly the design of this product, totally outside the box we are used to with the rugged ones on the market.
Doogee S61 PRO review
Design and Materials
Doogee S61 Pro is a rugged extremely more light of the competition in the same sector, and above all it differs for a decidedly different design from what we usually see on other similar products: ok, will definitely not win an award for the stylistic choices, but it is certainly a smartphone that winks at a target already more attentive to design.
This is to tell you that the Doogee S61 Pro it has a side frame in hard rubber with a good texture that facilitates grip, while the back cover is made of transparent plastic: this is the style choice adopted by Doogee, which hides a "fake coil" for recharging behind this back cover wireless which actually corresponds to NFC, and in the upper part a part of the circuits of the smartphone's logic board is evident, so precise and orderly that it seems fake at first glances and first impressions, so much so that I realized that it was "fake ”Only when I removed the panel. Sad story.
The cool thing is, the producer did this transparent panel so that it can be replaced and replaced in case of breakage, or in case of a simple desire for change: in a small package there is another rear panel in carbon fiber texture and a double-sided adhesive to apply it, simple and fast .
The integration of the camera bump in the central part is also beautiful, which is finished with a rubber frame but is not protruding in an annoying way as to make the smartphone lose its stability on a surface; the dimensions are comfortable and make the smartphone practical to use in everyday life, which is not common on devices in this category. He is great 167.4 x 81.4 x 14.6 mm and weighs only 266 grams, certainly an important figure but far from the over 300 and passes grams of its competitors' devices.
The smartphone equipment, then, is the same: on the right there is the volume rocker and the power button with integrated biometric sensor, on the left the classic programmable button and the slot MicroSD e two nano SIM, at the top the headphone jack and at the bottom the speaker, the microphone, and the USB-C connector. Given the presence of the special rubber doors to protect all inputs, it seems useless to specify that this is a smartphone compatible with the IP68 standard.
Technical specifications in hand the display in question is a 6 ″ inch IPS LCD with resolution 1440 x 720 pixels, nothing different from what usually integrate most of the rugged in circulation; continues to be absent in this segment the refresh rate to at least 90Hz, and it is a great shame because visually it could have improved the performance of the smartphone.
As usual, nothing to exalt the quality; the colors have the usual calibration a bit cold for my taste, e poco the situation in the settings panel can be improved. The positive side, however, is the brightness of the panel which is very good and allows good usability of the contents even under direct exposure to sunlight.
Hardware and Performance
As for the hardware chosen by Doogee for his new S61 Pro, alas, we are faced with the Mediatek Helio G35 Octa-core (4 × 2.3 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4 × 1.8 GHz Cortex-A53), one PowerVR GR8320 GPU, 6GB RAM memory and 128GB of storage; unfortunately in the rugged sector there is the belief that focusing on hardware is useless, but personally I believe that if any manufacturer invested more on the technical front, they would be among the few to take flight over a large number of products all the same on the performance front. .
This is to tell you that the Doogee S61 Pro achieves only mediocre results in the benchmarks, and in everyday use it puts us in front of the usual sacrifices that I often talk to you about in the rugged field, i.e. longer loading times, micro lag in the interface and games that run maximum at lowest details. I understand that the claims are lower when buying a smartphone of this type, but in my opinion many give up also because of the hardware specifications which, often, are what they are. However, leaving out a bit of slowness, Doogee S61 Pro performs all the tasks without problems, which is the least you can ask of a smartphone in this generation.
The positive side is that the company has marketed this smartphone with an updated software version: we start on the Doogee S61 Pro with Android 12 and security patches updated in May 2022. The interface is only minimally customized by the manufacturer , there are no major translation problems to highlight and, among the pre-installed apps, the company has included the canonical toolbox with compass, torch, level, sound level meter and so on. The smartphone also supports Android Auto even without a cable, but unfortunately it does not have Widevine L1 certification
Among the aspects that most surprised me I have to insert the cameras: the primary sensor is a Samsung S5KGM1S da 48MP f / 1.8, while the secondary serves as a support for night photos and is a sensor from 20MP. Beyond the technicalities, what I could see is that when we shoot in good light conditions we get very interesting photos, especially in relation to the selling price of the smartphone.
Usually the rugged hardly ever emerge for the photographic quality, but this Doogee satisfied me in the shots in the daytime that have a good level of detail and an excellent color balance. A little slow, however, the reaction to light changes that are not perfect and require a manual tap to bring the light back to optimal conditions.
Even in the evening in the absence of a lot of light the photos are good, more than expected: the lights are managed well and the colors are not "mixed", especially those of the artificial lights. The shots at night are not very fast, but it is a lack that you get used to rather quickly.
On the other hand, what was said previously follows selfie lens which is 16MP f / 2.0; take good photos outdoors and in well-lit environments, a little less interesting are the shots indoors with artificial light where noise increases and definition decreases. Nothing special, however, at night.
The videos in FullHD at 30fps are also good, electronic stabilization is sufficient but certainly something better could be done.
In terms of autonomy these products, Doogee S61 Pro included, I am never a disappointment: I am 5180 i mAh available to this smartphone, and guarantee an autonomy higher than the classic day of use, albeit lower than many other products tested over time, but for its part it takes a reduced weight and a more refined design to be forgiven.
However, in the evening you can get there without problems and with a good 25-30% residual still available; alas the recharge is not fast, because it supports up to 10W, and therefore it will take at least 3 hours for a complete recharge with the equipment supplied in the sales box.
Price and considerations
The price of this Doogee S61 Pro is around a single figure less than € 150, all in all corresponding to the average of the other rugged in circulation with similar hardware; the reasons for choosing a product like this, as long as you are obviously looking for a rugged, are in the exclusive design, in the light weight and in the possibility of customizing the covers. On the other hand, this Doogee S61 Pro's poco it differs from the competition in terms of hardware and prices.