With the Doogee S60, the Chinese manufacturer recently landed a real home run among outdoor smartphones. The new Doogee S55 plays in a slightly different price league: the robust smartphone is already available for 140$. The hardware: rather functional, which nominates the Doogee S55 as a good second mobile phone for the next adventure. With the MediaTek MT6750T and an HD+ display you have enough power for the basic tasks of an Android phone. At the same time, the robust casing is intended to protect the S55 from enemies such as water, dust, falls or careless users. What does the S55 stand for? Either for the 5.5-inch 18:9 display or the 5500mAh battery – you choose.
So who needs an overpriced Caterpillar or an astronomically expensive Land Rover Explore (old hardware, no additional features and 750$ for it)? The outdoor smartphone market is only a niche, but so far the big manufacturers have only failed to deliver a good model. The Doogee S55 is cheap, but should still convince with its standard fare – in the test we’ll find out if it does!
Design and build quality
It’s massive, heavy, offers a whole range of materials and It is obvious that it’s supposed to be an outdoor smartphone. The Doogee S55 is made of cheap materials, but it matches the outdoor nature of the smartphone. If you simply see it as a second mobile phone for rough situations, then it becomes coherent. The Doogee S55 measures 161.3 x 77.8 x 14.15mm and weighs 265g. For a 5.5-inch smartphone with 5500mAh this is quite a chunk. In addition, every corner of the smartphone is armored with protruding plastic bumpers, which can also be felt during use. But first of all you can praise the rear, which is covered with a non-slip rubber layer to imitate the leather – very helpful to hold the outdoor phone in your hand. The look is rounded off with dark grey metal elements, e.g. on the sides, or the camera unit. The Doogee S55 is available in two colours: ours is Mineral Black and simply black – the Fire Orange variant only colours a few elements in the familiar outdoor orange.
The front side is not totally covered by the 5.5-inch display – the 18:9 format is somewhat helpful, but not as much as with normal smartphones. Below the display there are three sensor keys for operation. But in normal use you have to hit them blind, because they are not illuminated or perceptible. Above the display is the speaker for telephoning, sensors and the front camera. The glass on the front is protected by the frame: normal falls do not harm the Doogee S55 (e.g. approx. 40cm on asphalt when getting out of the car) and only the plastic gets some scratches.
The keys on the side have a very clear pressure point and this is also audible. But the bright click is somehow charismatic and I like it. Both connectors, micro-USB at the bottom and 3.5mm jack connector at the top, are protected by rubber flaps. You can easily open them with your fingernail or thumb. In addition, the material is nicely soft. It will not be the case that the flaps tear off prematurely.
It is a cheap outdoor smartphone: the Doogee S55 is rather practical and that is no problem in this segment. Plastic bumpers disturb the handling, but prevent the worst – I would always prefer metal to the leather fake, but it offers more grip.
Doogee S55 scope of delivery
- Doogee S55 outdoor smartphone
- charger (5V/2A), EU plug
- micro-USB cable
- SIM ejection tool
- quick start guide
- an additional screen protector
- & one is attached by default
The Doogee S55 has been used for a total of one and a half weeks, during which I also spent some time at the lake. The S55 did not have to undergo a test procedure like the Poptel P9000 Max, but we can confirm the IP67 certification after the test period. The mobile phone is definitely waterproof: if the connections are sealed with the flaps, then it can fall into the bathtub while bathing and even the fall into the pool – 2.5m of water depth – did not matter. If it falls into a river or lake, you probably won’t find it – a floating protective cover, as we know it from the AGM X2, doesn’t exist anywhere in the range of accessories. After it got wet you have to wait about an hour until the loudspeakers are working again, but telephoning also worked only 30 minutes afterwards. In terms of falling down, we only let it fall out of the trouser pocket and into the sand. Grains of dust or sand didn’t get into the casing. Otherwise, everything was okay – it’s suitable for outdoor use! If the display is really unbreakable can only be seen in an emergency. The glass is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and of course the screen protector. The foil is of course not that hard and can be maltreated with sharp objects. But the glass underneath survived a meeting with a bunch of keys. After the test week only micro scratches were found.
The Doogee S55 uses a comparatively small 18:9 display; it measures only 5.5 inches, which is about the same size as the Xiaomi Redmi 6 / 6a. It has an HD resolution of 1440×720 pixels, resulting in 293PPI. For an outdoor smartphone, this is perfectly okay: if you take a closer look, you can see a letter here and there that isn’t quite round. All in all, the resolution is sufficient. With Widevine Level 3 you can’t stream more than 720p with Netflix anyway. It also saves hardware and battery resources. The IPS panel shines with up to 500cm/m², which is sufficient for use in direct sunlight, but it is no fun. In addition, white tends to be yellowish and black tends to be greyish. In the price range, however, it does justice to the demands. However, the space in the casing is not well used by the display, as the screen-to-body ratio is only about 62%. However, there are sensor keys below the display, so that no on-screen buttons take up space. The touchscreen recognizes 5 points at the same time and implements them reliably. If you’re used to a larger display, then it is not so easy to hit the individual keys on the virtual keyboard, and I was also in a situation of performance-hungry apps where writing got slower and took place with a delay. Wet fingers or water on the display on the other hand aren’t a problem, only the fingerprint sensor then has some problems.
When it will finally be replaced? The MT6750T by MediaTek can be found in countless devices in the lower mid-range. The OctaCore clocks with 4 x 1.5 GHz and four cores with 1.0 GHz as an energy-saving cluster. The Mali-T860 does the graphic calculations. The phone offers 4GB main memory and 64GB system memory.
The MT6750T is still good to use in everyday life, but newer chips simply perform better. The chip is (hopefully) at the end of its career; the new Helio A22 (Xiaomi Redmi 6a) or Helio P22 (Redmi 6) would be suitable candidates for the successor by Mediatek. The MT6750T still delivers enough power for normal use, web browsing, messaging and simple apps. With complex 3D games, however, you already have to back down: Asphalt 8 only runs with medium graphics details, the new Asphalt 9 can’t even be installed at all.Antutu Result Geekbench Multi Result Geekbench Single Result
The main memory clocks with 3.6 GB/s and the internal eMMC system memory has a reading/writing speed of 267/95mB/s. You notice the rather slow speed when installing new apps, as the installation happens considerably more slowly, or when switching between the last opened apps, as it needs a few seconds.
System – DoogeeOS?
The Doogee S55 houses Android 8.0 and the DoogeeOS version V2.0. The security update is dated May 2018. During the test period an update with bug fixes was released. Doogee OS itself doesn’t change much in the Android interface of Oreo – probably the changes take place under the surface and optimize the user experience. For example, the OS warns if large apps are still running in the background (AnTuTu). However, the other icons in the quick settings bar, which you can drag down from the top, as well as those on the home screen and the settings are rather annoying. With icon packs you can counteract a little bit, but unfortunately not much. You also have the possibility to edit screenshots directly after they have been taken. Luckily, the rest remains just as you know it. The Doogee S55 comes with an app drawer, all Google Apps are pre-installed and even Malwarebytes didn’t find any problems. The surface can be operated smoothly, except for a few dropouts, and you can use the outdoor smartphone like a normal Android device.
The Doogee S55 is equipped with two sensors: one with 13 MP and one with 8 MP. The dual camera setup is of course fake and every effect, be it bokeh or zoom, is generated digitally. The sensor by Samsung is not further specified and works with a PDAF auto focus. On the front there is a 5 MP sensor.
All in all, the pictures are not so bad – after all, it’s an affordable outdoor smartphone. Colours, detail and contrasts look convincing, even if they are a little exaggerated. A big problem appears with both sensors: towards the edges, the pictures are always blurred. It doesn’t matter if you set a focus or what kind of subject you shoot; this is also the case with selfies. In addition, the low light performance is virtually non-existent and the exposure and colours change arbitrarily.
At the same time I tested the Xiaomi Redmi 6a, which simply shows the class of a big manufacturer. The camera of the Doogee S55 can be used for snapshots, souvenir photos or just to send them via a messenger. But that’s all.
The rear made of polycarbonate also has its advantages: it offers significantly better reception. There were no problems at all and the reception was always guaranteed.
- 2G: B2 (1800), B3 (1900), B5 (850), B8 (900)
- 3G: B1 (2100) B8 (900)
- LTE: B1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, 38, 39, 40, 41
You always get a signal, but sometimes the S55’s data throughput deteriorates and the rate partially collapses. The phenomenon is particularly noticeable in WiFi when an app takes forever to download. The local WLAN can be reached up to the n-standard and also with dual band. Bluetooth is unfortunately not quite up to date with version 4.1, but still performs its service and can convince with a stable connection.
The call quality is okay – you can communicate with the caller. But the microphones don’t suppress ambient noise very well. The loudspeaker on the rear performs better. Of course, you don’t expect much quality and the speaker also radiates from the rear. But with the hand recess you get a good sound body and when you can hear the bass the phone is on the table.
GPS, A-GPS and GLONASS are available for navigation as well as an electronic compass to help you find your way around. The Doogee S55 is equipped with three sensors (light, proximity, acceleration) and also a gyroscope is available.
You can use either your finger or your face for biometric unlocking. The fingerprint sensor is located on the rear. In the test it annoyed me again and again! It partly needed 3 attempts in order to unlock the smartphone. Remedy is saving the print of the same finger twice – probably the index finger with most. Thus, you arrive at an average of 80% successful attempts. Face Unlock actually performs better! If you click your way through the settings, you won’t see the Android assistant, but that of the Doogee OS. So the unlock is always mastered in less than a second.
The Doogee S55 is named after a 5500mAh large battery. Since the phone has a small 5.5-inch display, you can assume a respectable battery life. In the PC Mark battery benchmark it almost cracks the 11 hour mark: in the ende, it lasted for 10:55. Actually, it could have reached more. Nevertheless, you get by with the 5500 mAh battery and you can use the phone for a good two days or three economical days. In total, I had about 7 hours of display-on-time, but overnight you should be careful to switch off the data (mobile or WiFi), as this drains the battery more than usual. A one-hour YouTube video needed 9% in the streaming test.
The phone is charged via micro-USB with a 5V / 2A power supply. To recharge 30%, the Doogee S55 has to be plugged in for 45 minutes. For a complete charging process from 0 to 100% it takes 3 hours.Battery lifetime Result Unit: hours