Right now, rimless smartphones are the latest trend. The hype was set by Xiaomi Mix and with the Galaxy S8 it reached the crowd. Therefore, it is not surprising that also the small Chinese manufacturers introduced their first rimless smartphones. The old-established manufacturer Doogee now launches Doogee Mix, whose name is an allusion to the very successful Xiaomi Mix. The phone’s concept is quite simple: a compact casing with a nearly bezel-free display combined with upper middle class hardware at a reasonable price.
Doogee Mix houses a Mediatek Helio P20 processor, which is supported by either 4 or 6GB of RAM, depending on the version. In addition, you get a dual-camera setup with a 16MP main camera on the rear as well as 64GB storage and full LTE support. Design as well as hardware sound promising. Can the smartphone also convince in real life or is it lacking details? We’ll find out in the following review of Doogee Mix.
When Doogee announced its intention to produce a rimless smartphone, we were rather skeptical if it were possible to put such a demanding concept with a low price into practice. A few weeks later we are ready to test Doogee Mix, and we’re positively surprised for the moment. In terms of appearance, the smartphone is quite extraordinary. The display almost covers the complete front except for a 1.5cm margin, in which the home button/fingerprint scanner was installed. The bezels are hardly perceptible with 3mm. The entire build quality seems to be good. Our testing device stands out from other phones due to its bright blue color. The alternative is a version in inconspicuous black.
The phone has dimensions of 14.4*7.6*0.8cm and a weight of 191g, which makes it not very light, but hardly bigger than a normal 5-inch smartphone. Doogee Mix is also one of the most compact phones in this price range. Front and rear side are completely glazed and the frame consists of metal. This gives the phone a very fine appearance, but without using a protective cover, the risk of breaking increases. The earpiece is fixed in the upper frame.
Below the display, you can find a multifunctional home button. Tapping it shortly, the “back” command is set off. Pressing the button for about half a second, you get to the home screen. The button can also be used as a fingerprint scanner. The scanner has high accuracy (≈9/10 attempts) and unlocks the phone within half a second, even if the display is turned off. The common soft touch buttons have been replaced by the multifunctional home button. However, there are on-screen buttons as an alternative. Unfortunately, there is no notification LED available. It takes some time to get used to the front camera, which has been placed at the bottom. In order to take a selfie, you have to turn the phone upside down. You can insert SIM cards via the tray on the left side. You can use either 2 Nano-SIM cards or 1 Nano-SIM and 1 micro-SD card. At the bottom, you also find a common micro-USB port, headphones can be connected via the audio jack at the top.
In terms of appearance, Doogee Mix stands out from ordinary phones because of its small bezels. Build quality is convincing. The smartphone feels good while holding it in the hand and despite its big display it is not much bigger than other 5-inch phones. You should however keep it mind that the phone is not light with a weight of 191g, despite its compact construction.
Doogee Mix scope of delivery
The scope of delivery contains:
- Micro-USB cable
- Power plug
- Screen protector for front and rear side
- Operating instructions
- Protective cover
It is very nice that Doogee included a good protective cover, with which you can minimize the risk of breaking or scratches. The cover is made of plastic and encloses the phone well and firmly.
Besides the rimless design, the display is another surprise. Instead of a traditional IPS panel Doogee chooses a SuperAMOLED display by Samsung. The advantages are outstanding contrast and very lively colors. With a resolution of 1280*720pixels Doogee Mix has a pixel density of 267PPI. Single pixels are still visible if you look closely. The image is sufficiently sharp and suitable for multimedia and games. A full-HD display would have been a desirable feature, but the HD display offers a good image as well. Brightness is on average and using the phone outside is possible if the sun is not shining directly on the display.
Doogee Mix offers gesture control and a practical SmartWake function as additional features. Further, the MiraVision tool by Mediatek was also integrated, which allows you to customize the display. The touch screen registers up to 10 points of contact at the same time and it works fast and precisely. Happily, Doogee used Gorilla Glass 5 on front and rear side in order to prevent the phone from damages. The phone passed our scratch test with a screwdriver without any harm.
Doogee Mix convinces in terms of display as well. The phone is not one of the most high-resolution devices with its HD-resolution; nevertheless, the image is still pleasantly sharp. In addition, the SuperAMOLED panel offers outstanding contrast, lively colors and good brightness. The precise 10-point touch screen and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on front and rear side complete the overall package.
Doogee Mix houses a Helio P25 processor by Mediatek. The CPU has 8 cores with a clock rate of up to 2.4GHz in the performance cluster and 1.66GHz in the energy saving cluster. A Mali T880 GPU supports the processor. In terms of performance, Doogee Mix is among the middle class. It cannot keep up with current high-end processors, but the power should be enough for most users. You can use multimedia and games and the phone navigates fast through system and apps. Websites load fast. There are some minor lags and delays when using demanding websites or the Facebook app, and they sometimes occur in the system as well. You wouldn’t have those lags with a Xiaomi or LeEco device at a similar price. We’re hoping that Doogee will improve this with an update. Considering the hardware performance, this should actually not be necessary.
In terms of gaming performance of the Mali T880 GPU, Doogee Mix cannot keep up with Xiaomi and other competitors. However, most games can be played well. If you like to use demanding games like Asphalt 8, you have to reduce to graphics settings to medium or low in order to play the game smoothly. The performance is sufficient for occasional gamers, but demanding users should rather choose a smartphone with a Snapdragon 820/821 processor.
Doogee Mix is currently available in two versions with a different storage capacity. The standard version offers 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. In addition, there is a version with 6/64GB available and a limited edition with 6/128GB is supposed to be launched at some point. You can use a micro-SD card if you go without the second SIM. The reading/writing speed of the internal storage is quite good with 120/200MB/s. The RAM on the other hand is rather slow with 4.5GB/s and therefore cannot keep up with the competition, but the speed is okay for the price range.
In terms pf performance, Doogee Mix cannot keep up with strong competitors like Xiaomi or LeEco. Nevertheless, you get decent power for using most applications without any problems. There are however some minor problems in performance, which cause lags when using demanding applications. Hopefully, this will be improved by an update.
Doogee Mix houses a current Android 7 system with a preinstalled Google Playstore. Updates are installed with the integrated OTA function via Wi-Fi. The current software of Doogee Mix is not full-fledged yet, so bugs and crashes occur from time to time. Since the device has been launched only recently, we hope a software update is coming soon. The user interface has been adjusted by the manufacturer and now runs with the Freeme Launcher. The launcher has a slightly changed appearance with its own app icons and it provides an information center, similar to the Google Now Launcher. In addition, a round quick start ball as well as other gimmicks are activated, but fortunately, they can be easily deactivated. The Freeme Launcher does not convince me overall. I recommend using the Google Now or Nova Launcher. Changing the launcher happens very fast, as you only have to install the corresponding app from the Playstore. After that you have a much clearer system with the well-known Stock-Android surface.
Doogee expanded the settings menu by some additional functions. It is possible to clone apps, so that you can use for example two WhatsApp accounts on one device. Furthermore, you can adjust the home button and you can activate SmartWake or gesture control.
Doogee Mix’ Android 7 system runs quite well for now. Nevertheless, there are still some minor bugs and performance problems, which the manufacturer will hopefully resolve with an update.
Another surprise is the camera of Doogee Mix. The phone offers a dual-camera setup on the rear. A 16MP camera is completed with another 8MP sensor. Doogee uses ISOCELL sensors by Samsung. According to the manufacturer, the camera is able to create a Bokeh effect, double digital zoom and black-and-white images. The Bokeh mode should make it possible to focus one central object that is sharp while the background is blurry. The manufacturer needn’t have bothered to install that function, as the result is awful. Instead of scanning the central object’s contours and blurring only the background, the camera simply blurs a circular area, whose size you can adjust with a regulator. It is impossible to get any good pictures in this mode. The double zoom is not convincing either, as zooming in causes a loss of sharpness, which happens with any other phone camera as well. At least you can take nice black-and-white pictures with the camera.
The image quality of pictures not taken in the dual-camera mode is on average. In good lighting conditions you can take sharp pictures with good color representation. The images are a bit blurry towards the edges and colors appear pale from time to time. All in all, the result is mostly reasonable. The devices’ night shots are not convincing, as it is the case with almost all cheap smartphones. Image noise occurs quickly and you can take hardly any nice pictures.
The 5MP front camera does not produce nice photos. They lack sharpness and are always a bit faded. As soon as there is less light available, you cannot take any good picture at all. Therefore, the camera is more suitable for video telephony than for taking photos.
Unfortunately, the dual-camera of Doogee Mix does not convince us in our test. The functions are not well-developed in terms of software and they are not useful. Using the normal camera mode, you can take nice pictures if there are good lighting conditions.
Doogee Mix is a dual-SIM phone and supports all 2G, 3G and 4G LTE frequencies. Reception is strong and there were no problems when using the mobile internet. During telephoning, you get average voice quality and the voice is transmitted clearly. It is also possible to use the speakerphone, but in noisy surroundings slight interference might occur.
You can receive Wi-Fi with an 802.11 b/g/n module in 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks. Reception strength is on average. Bluetooth is supported with 4.0 standard. A current Bluetooth 4.1 or 4.2 module would have been the better choice here. Doogee Mix provides the most important sensors. Besides the three standard sensors (proximity, acceleration, brightness sensor), the phone offers a gyroscope for using VR glasses and an e-compass for better pedestrian navigation. GPS reception is sufficiently strong for using car and pedestrian navigation and the position is determined up to 2m precise without disruptions.
The integrated speaker has average quality. The sound is loud and there are no audible distortions. However, the phone clearly lacks depths, which is why you cannot expect a premium sound. Connecting middle class headphones, you get a good sound.
Concerning the battery, Doogee Mix provides an average capacity (3380mAh) for a 5.5-inch smartphone. The battery life is about 30% below of what high-end phones like Xiaomi Mi5s or LeEco Le Pro 3 can offer. 4-5 hours of active use are possible with the phone. In the video test, Doogee Mix managed to play a full-HD YouTube video for 7 hours at medium brightness. Using demanding 3D games the battery needs about 20% per hour. Normal users will not get any problems, but those who like to play games for a longer period several times a day or want to use navigation will have to charge their phone before the end of the day. Losing 6% of the capacity in 10 hours in the stand-by mode is a good value. The battery is fully charged in 2 ½ hours with 5V/2A.
Conclusion and alternative
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