Doogee BL12000 offers just what its name suggests: a 12000mAh battery that consists of two 6000mAh batteries and therefore is a serious competitor to the recently presented Oukitel K8000. Battery-junkies will be perfectly satisfied – as the manufacturer promises. Doogee did play a good card presenting the first big-battery phone with a 6-inch 18:9 display, since smartphones with big batteries are very desired recently.
Also Doogee advertises the dual cameras. They promise 2 x 2 cameras and we will find out if the battery and the cameras actually do their job. In this review you will find out about everything you need to know about charging time, battery life, camera performance and what else the phone has to offer.
Design / build quality / scope of delivery
To put it nicely the phone resembles a brick.
With a depth of 14.7mm the phone is twice as thick as common smartphones, length and width of 162 and 74mm, respectively are quite big, too. The device is very heavy and bulky with 320g. Compared to Oukitel K8000, this is 100g more and you will notice this weight pretty much. Even though this is due to the immense battery power you just won’t get used to the weight.
BL12000 has an attractive design with slightly curved edges on the top and bottom of the display. The display glass is rounded off on each side, which gives the phone a noble design despite the huge size. However, you can still feel where the display meets the frame and it is not manufactured very well and uneven. This does not interfere with the normal use, since you usually don’t swipe onto the frame. When using the included cover this is covered anyway. Those who don’t use any phone covers might notice the flaws when pulling the BL12000 out of their pocket.
Power and volume buttons are on the right side of the frame and consist of metal. They are attached firmly and fit well. This holds true for the SIM tray on the left side, too. They used a hybrid tray that makes the use of a micro-SD card possible.
Unfortunately, the frame is not fully made of metal. On the top and bottom they used plastic that also covers the whole rear. This way you cannot replace the battery.
Where the metal meets the plastic, they added some step-like transitions, probably for reasons of design. Sadly, this led to deep fissures on the edges.
On the top you find a headphone jack as well as a micro USB port and mono speakers. The microphone is on the bottom. Sadly, there is no USB type-C port, but this is very common in this price range.
The notification LED shines very bright in white light. Next to it there is the proximity sensor, the front dual camera and the speaker.
The rear is very plain. In the lower half, you find the Doogee logo. On the top there is a dual camera with the fingerprint scanner below. The LED flash is placed next to it and flashes twice but only in one colour. The fingerprint scanner feels rather small, but can be reached with your finger very well and unlocks the phone in 9/10 attempts from stand-by. Unlocking the phone takes almost a second.
All in all using the BL12000 wasn’t as ponderous as I feared. The phone feels good in your hand and gives you a safe feeling. Holding the phone over your face when using it in bed is not recommended.
All in all the phone has a good build quality with some niggles.
Doogee BL12000 scope of delivery
BL12000 is delivered in an attractive black box that includes a lot of accessoires.
Apart from the charging adapter you receive a quick charge and a matching Micro USB cable. Furher you find two display protectors (one for the front, one for the rear) as well as a transparent rubber cover that also covers the display’s frames. This way your phone will be well protected after unboxing.
The 6-inch IPS display with 18:9 dimensions has a full HD resolution (2160 x 1080 pixels). This results in a high pixel densitiy of 402ppi. You cannot detect any single pixels with the bare eye and the images are sharp. This is something BL 12000 can be proud of. The display has a 3mm bezel.
Color representation is rather cool but you can adjust this with Miravision. Viewing angles are okay.
The display brightness is not perfect. The highest setting is sufficient to read contents even in sunlight, but the lowest setting is too bright. Black level is okay and there is no halation. Still you can’t expect AMOLED contrasts.
BL12000 houses a 5-point touch display that reacts very well. However, in this price range there is a lot of competition with 10-point touch displays. Doogee does not promote Gorilla Glass 4, but the display glass was very scratch resistant even when trying to scratch it with a knife. The finger runs smoothly across the glass, but leaves finger marks all the time. Every input is processed precisely, still the processor seems to be overtaxed sometimes.
System and performance
Doogee BL12000 houses a Mediatek MT6750 processor with eight Cortex-A53 cores. Those are devided in two clusters: performance with 4 x 1.5GHz and Powersave with 4 x 1GHz. This sounds better than it actually is.
Even though the CPU is still rather young it was processed in the old 28nm style, which weakens the powerful battery. BL12000 houses a Mali-T860 graphics unit that struggles to make everything run fluently clocking at 520MHz. Also there is a 32GB storage. The processor is not very powerful which is confirmed by a Antutu benchmark of about 41000. With some efforts at least the system should have been made fluent.Antutu Result Geekbench Multi Result Geekbench Single Result 3D Mark Result
Sometimes there are FPS drops and almost every app has pretty long load times to open. Games like Asphalt 8 run quite okay on medium settings, with graphics set on a low level gaming is good. Even the system optimization is rather disappointing: while you don’t really notice the mediocre performance on already opened apps, thanks to the 4GB of RAM (2800MB/s, ca. 1.3GB free), you will very often notice the bugging status bar when pulling it down.
Sometimes it opens smoothly, sometimes it doesn’t open at all, or only very slowly. Heat development is still okay, only the battery seems to heat up a little.
Doogee BL12000 is delivered with an almost unchanged Android 7.0 (Nougat). Only a couple of icons had been adjusted.
Operating the system worked well, sometimes some lags occurred. Sometimes the on-screen-buttons cannot be seen well when being displayed on a white background. When turning the phone, the buttons change, which makes you press the wrong buttons all the time.
Switching between apps worked well, however, sometimes with a delay of a couple of seconds. The display never broke down nor froze and I believe that it is not unlikely that future OTA updates will bring some improvements in term of performance, but I would not bet on that. Also most likely there won’t be any custom ROMs.
Like many smartphones do, BL12000’s main camera has an additional fake sensor to feign a dual camera. The software offers a bokeh-effect, but it is only faked by a software filter, just like all the other phony phones do. The real camera has a 16MP f/2.0 aperture. Image stabilization is only electronic.
In daylight the images are okay, in low light, overexposure or image noise occur. Color representation is okay, towards the frame the photos lose sharpness. The videos’ quality is not very good and in low light they are useless. Image stabilization does not help here and the autofocus was very disappointing.
The front camera has two working sensors that cannot be used at the same time. The first one is promoted with 16MP and a wide angle mode of 88°, the second one has 8MP and a wide angle mode of 133° that has a strong fish-eye effect.
Just as the rear camera, the front camera makes good photos in good light. As soon as it gets darker the sensor does not perform very well anymore.
The smaller sensor of the wide angle camera causes image noise very easily, but for an occasional snapshot the quality is sufficient. Still the images never are sharp. Competitors performed better in this area.
GSM 850 MHz, GSM 900 MHz, GSM 1800 MHz, GSM 1900 MHz, W-CDMA 850 MHz, W-CDMA 900 MHz, W-CDMA 2100 MHz, LTE 800 MHz, LTE 900 MHz, LTE 1800 MHz, LTE 2100 MHz, LTE 2600 MHz
BL12000 can hold two SIM cards or one SIM card and a mircoSD card of up to 256GB.
Reception is good even indoors and there were no big differences to my OnePlus 3. Calling quality is good, talking hands-free it deteriorates as usually, but it was still okay for both callers.
WiFi reception is pretty good and it supports the 2.4 and 5 GHz band in b/g/n standard and throughput was always sufficient. There is Bluetooth 4.0 and connecting to other devices was easy. Reception when being connected to the radio was especially well, even through a couple of walls and one floor.
The speaker’s quality is mediocre. The sound is not really loud and imbalanced. Even on 80% volume it is still rather quiet, turning the volume to the max, it sounds tinny so that you don’t really want to hear this loud. Only voices were reproduced well, for example in voicemails.
The headphone jack does a better job, still it is not perfect. Comparing it to OnePlus 3, some details get muted even with high-quality 1More Quadro headphones. For this price range this is still okay and the sound was sufficient. The sole drop of bitterness are short and irregular interruptions while listening to songs.
After a couple of tests we had to determine the reason for this as a software or hardware bug. I suspect the software to bear the flaw, since it lacks a lot of finetuning. There was no overall breakdown, still this is very annoying and exceptional.
The GPS module did a good job, after a short period of adjustment. During a car ride I could navigate us to the right destination. Doogee BL12000 houses a proximity, brightness, magnetic field, acceleration and gyroscope sensor.
Oh Doogee, it could have been so wonderful. Could have been!
The reason is the advertised 12000mAh battery life that aren’t reality. Techtablets.com tested BL12000 and determined that Doogee cheated by 2000mAh. So you have to be aware that BL12000 only houses 10Ah instead of 12Ah.Battery lifetime Result Unit: hours
This is also confirmed by the average performance in PCMark battery tests. With about 18 hours, BL12000 reaches a top value, but this is rather sobering keeping in mind that Redmi Note 4X reaches 15 hours with only half of the capacity.
Thanks to Quickcharge 3.0 it fully recharges within 3 hours. After two hours it already reached about 80%.
An integrated app offers different energy saving settings, even an extreme-powersave-mode that replaces the background image with a dark one and deactivates all apps apart from calling, SMS, contacts and clock.
Another drop of bitterness: after switching to the normal mode again, all apps on the home screen that haven’t been preinstalled by the system have disappeared and have to be manually moved from the app drawer to their places.