BL9000 is the latest Big Battery creation by Doogee. The smartphone closes the gap between BL5000, BL7000 and BL12000, which should complete the portfolio for the time being. The new battery monster not only makes a big impression in terms of run time, but also offers nice features such as NFC, OTG, wireless charging and Face ID. The test should show whether it keeps its promises.
If you like a colourful mix of materials, the Doogee BL9000 is the perfect choice: The display front is (of course) made of glass, the frame is made of two kinds of plastic and the rear is covered with artificial leather. Apart from that, the smartphone is rather out of line. It clearly rejects both the trend towards edge-less and rounding. Instead, there is a 5.99-inch display with clear bezels, surrounded by many corners and edges.
The angular look is a good match for the BL9000, which does not even try to hide its problem zones. A 9000 mAh battery takes its toll. But despite its high weight of 295 grams and the dimensions of 163 x 77.3 x 14.6 mm, it feels comfortable in the hand and thanks to the artificial leather it does not slip off your fingers. Only the pointed corners feel unpleasant in the palm of the hand.
The build quality can generally be described as neat and robust. The material mix, visible screws, noticeable transitions and a lot of plastic, however, radiate a charm of being cheap. This Doogee is not a treat for the hand.
Power button and volume control are on the right side, have a bit too much space and a limp feedback. On the left is the SIM tray, below the loudspeaker and the USB-C connection. There is no headphone jack, so you must always use the included adapter for the headphones. A notification LED is also missing, a well camouflaged LED flash is located at the front under the display glass. As is often the case in this price range, they use on-screen keys and the area below the display is not used at all.
On the rear, there is a piece of plastic in the middle of the artificial leather. It features a dual camera, dual flash and fingerprint sensor. Concerning the fingerprint scanner: It unlocks the phablet very quickly (in less than one second) and rarely fails (9/10 attempts unlocked successfully). Face recognition works almost just as fast. Once registered, the portrait absolutely reliably unlocks the screen (10/10 attempts successful).
Doogee BL9000 scope of delivery
Doogee included quite a lot equipment in the simple black packaging:
- Smartphone Doogee BL9000
- quick charger
- Wireless charger with USB cable (micro-USB)
- USB cable
- Adapter for headphones
- OTG adapter
- protective cover (not very stable)
- screen protector
The external appearance of the IPS display does not knock anyone’s socks off: wide bezels to each side are quite old-fashioned. Nevertheless, the data sheet reads quite well: 5.99 inches in 18:9 format, a FHD+ resolution (2160 x 1080), resulting in 403 ppi. This resolution makes it impossible to see individual pixels with the naked eye, so the image is correspondingly sharp.
The reason why the angular BL9000 provides “rounded corners” in the display corners is not clear. They look quite nice in principle, but they do not fit at all in the overall picture. Individual adjustments (e.g. via MiraVision) cannot be made, but they are not necessary either: the colour representation is very strong, yet natural, and contrasts (black level: 4 lux) are strong as well. With 530 lux, the brightness/readability outdoors is absolutely sufficient.
The BL9000 display passes a scratch test with a key without any problems, so it may be Gorilla glass or similar (the manufacturer did not give any information). The five-point touch screen reacts precisely.
Mediatek’s midrange processor Helio P23 is used in the Doogee BL9000. It has 8 cores, divided into 2 clusters of 4 x 1.5 and 4 x 2.0 GHz each. The Mali-G71 works as GPU. Scrolling in the browser works just as well as playing most 3D games. Only very graphic-demanding games should be reduced a bit in order to be able to play without restrictions.
With 6GB RAM the Doogee is well equipped for multitasking. At 5024 MB/s, the RAM is a little faster than most mid-range smartphones. The internal 64 GB memory has an average reading/writing speed of 161/204 MB/s. Otherwise, the benchmarks confirm a fast system, the Antutu score of over 80,000 points even climbs to the level of the upper mid-range. The BL9000 delivers exactly what you would expect from a device in this price range: A fast, stable and up-to-date system, without annoying bloatware and free of bugs.Antutu Result Geekbench Multi Result Geekbench Single Result 3D Mark Result
The Doogee BL9000 runs with the current Android 8.1.0 and is also very stable. Hard- and software are well coordinated and therefore deliver a good performance. The tested firmware is from April 5, 2018, the system is free of bloatware and did not crash during the test period. Malware bytes confirm a clean system. Except for the usual Google apps, nothing is pre-installed. The icons are visually modified compared to the serial state of Android 8.1.0, but this doesn’t disturb any further.
In the options menu you can find some nice knick-knacks like gesture control (but who needs it?) or “background auto clean memory”. If this function is activated, the BL9000 clears the working memory as soon as you lock the display.
The app drawer is nice. If you drag the quick launch toolbar from bottom to top, the drawer opens with a handy “find app” function. So every app can be found quickly and stored neatly. The enormous display length due to the 18:9 format creates a gigantic working area, as can already be seen from the screenshots.
The Doogee BL9000 is not a high-flyer, but does neither perform weakly in the “battery” discipline. The manufacturer promises 9000 mAh capacity, the meter spits out a smooth 8500 mAh when charged via a conventional power supply. That’s neat. Even better is what the Big Battery smartphone draws from this capacity: a good 18 hours of run time in the PC Mark battery test. This means that the device is on average in relation to its battery size. For comparison: The leader in the category “best battery smartphones”, Oukitel K10 (11,000 mAh), achieves 23 hours in an endurance test. An Oukitel K8000 (8000 mAh) breaks down after 19 hours. It is also interesting that the BL9000 has the same run time as its big brother (BL12000, 12,000 mAh), who also gave up after 18 hours. In practice, this smartphone can last a good 4 days with average use.
A 5V/5A charger is included in delivery, which charges the device in less than 2 hours (Pump Express 4.0). The same applies to the supplied wireless charging station (note: allegedly only part of the promotional version at the start of sales). It looks slim and chic, but only moderately fulfils its purpose. It takes patience and you have to find the correct angle to place your smartphone in order to start drawing power. Allcall recently showed that there is another way, for example, with Mix 2.Battery lifetime Result Unit: hours
Since hardly any manufacturer can do without, the Doogee BL9000 also has a dual camera. The main camera is equipped with a 12 megapixel sensor with f/2.2 aperture. The second sensor is supposedly a 5 megapixel sensor. Supposedly because, as was almost to be expected, it is useless. When the SLR mode is activated (bokeh mode), a circular area on the image is left sharp, the rest is blurred by the software. Covering the second lens does not change the result. It’s all fake.
The main camera takes quite nice pictures in good lighting conditions, but all of them get too dark. Except for this point of criticism, you usually get sharp and good pictures. The shutter release is very fast, but you should manually refocus because the focus is not always accurate. The close-up limit is very good, the Sony sensor is doing its duty here faithfully.
The camera app offers all kinds of settings such as facebeauty, fake-bokeh, panorama and HDR mode. Unfortunately, the manual adjustment of ISO, saturation and contrast is not possible. With regard to the dark pictures especially this would be a big advantage. Speaking of dark: As soon as the sun goes down, the image quality also decreases.
A lot of money has been saved on the front camera, and nothing is known about the built-in sensor, probably for a good reason. The test selfie shows: Even in good light conditions (no backlight) a completely overexposed photo is taken.
In summary, the BL9000 is by no means a camera miracle, but neither a disaster. For a price of over 200$ you could expect more, especially a pro mode for manually setting the parameters for ISO, contrast and saturation.
The Doogee BL9000 supports all necessary frequencies: 2G, 3G and 4G (LTE) are fully supported and reception was consistently at a high level. If you want to insert two SIM cards, you are welcome to do so. However, the SIM slot is a hybrid slot: either two nano SIM cards or one SIM card plus one microSD to expand the internal memory fit into the slot.
The call quality is good, but not great. It takes some time getting used to the fact that the earpiece (rather an auditory slot) is placed very high on the casing, so that you have to place your ear accordingly in order to understand the person at the other end of the line well.
The WiFi module (802.11 a, b, g, n) performs well with strong reception and fast transmission rates. The Bluetooth 4.0 module performs its work without criticism and satellite reception (A-GPS, GLONASS) is also reliable for car navigation.
In addition to the three standard sensors (proximity, brightness and acceleration sensors), a gyroscope and magnetic sensor are also available. The contact-less feature “NFC” and the possibility to use the smartphone as a power bank with the supplied OTG adapter are very practical when travelling.
The built-in speaker is too quiet for a device this size. The sound also leaves much to be desired: it is dull, tinny and oversteers.