Review of the Doogee S95 Pro, the robust mobile for hikers
Doogee S95 Pro: is it worth your purchase?
Little more can be asked of this robust mobile phone that is extremely shock, water and dust resistant, ideal for hikers or high-risk athletes. Put to order, we would have preferred it to have better cameras, but at this price, the value for money of the Doogee S95 Pro costs to improve.
Retail price (RRP)
From $ 359.99
Review of the Doogee S95 Pro, the robust mobile for hikers
Rugged mobiles – often referred to as anti-knock mobiles or off-road mobiles – are everything you could expect from their name, or at least they should be. Their resistance make them ideal for those who usually go hiking or play risk sports.
Doogee has been making these types of smartphones for years and they usually measure up. At PCWorld, we have been able to test its latest model, the Doogee S95 Pro, and overall it has not disappointed us. Of course, always taking into account who is your target audience.
The weight of a robust mobile like the S95 Pro would have put us back if we did not keep in mind that its main attraction is to please hikers who want a resistant device with a long-lasting battery.
And without further delay, here is our complete review .
Price and availability
One of the great advantages of the Doogee S95 Pro is its price. It is a mid -range smartphone , or at least in terms of price, with a recommended price of only € 399.99 (or € 499.99 in its Super Mod version). You can buy them on Amazon .
You will also find the S95 Pro on Aliexpress , where the price varies depending on the accessories you decide to buy, be it the battery and the speaker of the Super Mod version, or some earbuds , a wireless charging base or a screen protector.
Design and manufacturing quality
In case it has not been clear enough, the Doogee S95 Pro is a robust mobile, so it is supposed to have a special physical resistance. That is achieved thanks to the material used: a metal casing with a rubber cover around the edges.
Aware that the screen is usually the weak point of this type of smartphone , Doogee has included a panel with Corning Gorilla Glass 4. For added protection, the S95 Pro also comes with a screen protector on and a spare one.
Thus, this Doogee, although it is not the most attractive device on the market, it does offer enough confidence to take it to the mountain without fear of being hit by a rock or falling into the lake and being damaged forever.
In this sense, hikers will prefer it to a smartphone protected only with a cover, since however robust it is, the protection will never be the same. We will explain this resistance in more detail later.
But being a robust mobile not only means that it is strong, but also that it is big and heavy. The S95 Pro measures 168 x 79.3 x 13.8mm and weighs 285g without any accessories attached. Still, it is relatively easy to operate with one hand.
You can reach all the side buttons well. Above all, it highlights the fingerprint sensor on the right side and a customizable button on the left, especially useful for those who want to be able to call the ER in a single click.
When turning the mobile, we find the triple camera in a central module located at the top. On the bottom, however, there is a magnetic connector where you can easily attach an additional battery or a speaker.
Let’s start with what you may be most interested in if you are a hiker who came here to check if the Doogee S95 Pro is the ideal mobile for you.
At a cost of € 100 more, you can get the S95 Pro with two accessories: an additional 3,500 mAh battery that allows you to charge the phone without the need for a cable and an external Hi-Fi speaker that also works wirelessly.
Well, the fact that cables are not involved does not mean that they work independently. As we have previously explained, you must attach them to the mobile using the rear magnet, placing each module as if it were a case.
The coupling system has no more. You will see that both the battery and the speaker will be in place right away. They are easy to put on and take off, but that gives a feeling of insecurity and we fear that they can easily fall off.
Also, the accessories are not resistant to water or shock, something that we do not understand considering that this resistance is what most potential buyers of the S95 Pro are looking for. We hope that Doogee will change it in future models.
It costs to justify the additional € 100 that these accessories cost, especially if we also take into account that you will not be able to use them for any other device. We wonder if it is no longer worth investing that money in a power bank or a Bluetooth speaker .
Leaving this aside, the modules work perfectly and their quality does not disappoint. The battery does not cover the rear camera, so you can continue to use your mobile as normal when you charge it (although it adds extra weight).
The sound quality of the speaker has surprised us positively. In this case, the rear camera is covered, but the good thing is that it will not consume the battery of your mobile, since it has a separate battery that lasts about 10 hours.
This accessory consists of two 28mm speakers and has a power of 6W. The speaker of the mobile is already quite good, but with this module the sound experience is enriched and you will notice that even the basses are clear and remarkable.
It is important to highlight the resistance of this robust mobile. The S95 Pro is not only shock and scratch resistant (with a MIL-STD810G military rating), it is also resistant to water (IP68) and high pressures and temperatures (IP69K).
Supposedly you can immerse it in water at a depth of 3 meters for 4 hours, which is very attractive for divers. Of course, make sure you have the protective covers of the SIM card slots and the charging port tightly closed.
It’s also moisture resistant (were you planning a trip to the Amazon?) And in theory it shouldn’t break if you drop it from a height above your head up to 1,000 times (that should be more than enough).
The Doogee S95 Pro includes some very useful tools for every hiker. In the folder ‘Tool bag’ you will find a compass, a sound meter, a height meter, a level, a magnifying glass, a protractor, a barometer and a plumb line.
There is also an app to find out if the painting you have hung on the wall is straight, although it may not be the most useful tool when you are in the middle of an excursion. Instead, perhaps the pedometer is more for you to calculate your steps.
In the line of the previous section, you have the possibility to customize the function of the side key of the S95 Pro. Specifically, you can decide what you want the mobile to do when you make a touch, two touches or a long press on that button.
From the factory, you will see that there is no programmed function, but we think that what you will be most interested in is configuring it in ‘Settings’ to call your contact for emergencies, to turn on the flashlight or to open an app such as the camera or barometer .
Dual SIM and microSD card
Although this feature is not exclusive to hikers, they will find it especially useful that the Doogee S95 Pro includes two Nano-SIM card slots if you are traveling to the Alps and want to put in a local SIM card so you don’t spend too much.
Best of all, the slot on the left side is also compatible with microSD cards with a maximum capacity of 256 GB. Thus, you should not worry about running out of space if you are one of those who cannot resist photographing everything they see.
We thought that the system of having two separate slots would speed up the process of placing the two cards, which is usually cumbersome if it is the same. However, it was difficult for us to open the lid (that ensures protection) and remove the tray.
The Doogee S95 Pro has a 6.3-inch IPS screen with a Full-HD + resolution of 2160 x 1080 and a pixel density of 384 ppi. The quality of the panel is everything you could expect from a device of these characteristics and price, or even more.
You should have no problem viewing any content even in 1080p, although we must admit that we have not been able to check how the screen looks on very sunny days (winter in London, you can imagine the weather).
As for the brightness of the panel, it has been enough, although we have not been able to test it in environments with a lot of sun. The Spyder software has calculated a luminance of 486.38 nits, somewhat above the average of the mobiles that we have tested in our laboratory.
The S95 Pro’s display has a fairly wide viewing angle, which means you can show your group of friends a video of your last excursion at the same time. Now, that also means that they can spy on what you do on your mobile easily.
If you are interested or interested in a mobile with a screen with practically no bezel, this is not the best one. The screen is surrounded by fairly wide edges, especially at the chin part and at the top, where there is the notch with the front camera.
In the review of other mobiles such as the Samsung Galaxy or iPhones, we would have put our analysis of the cameras much higher, but in this case we consider them a complement to a smartphone whose main attraction is its resistance.
That said, our experience with these cameras has not always been positive, especially when you stop using the main lens, and this has disappointed us. We understand the price and audience of the S95 Pro, but we hope that Doogee can rectify it in future models.
Surely, hikers who buy this mobile would like to be able to use the wide angle to better capture a landscape or have a powerful zoom to portray an animal resting on the highest branch of a tree.
The Doogee S95 Pro has a triple rear camera with a 48 MP Sony IMX586 main lens, an 8 MP telephoto lens (up to x10 zoom) and a 117-degree wide-angle. In front, we find a selfie camera with a 16 MP lens.
As we have said, and as you can see in the photo gallery below, the 48 MP lens performs well, especially when it is day or night as long as it is on a well-lit street.
The rear camera is equipped with artificial intelligence technology, which in principle should improve results. The truth is that we have not noticed it for the better, rather for the worse since 5 MP, 8 MP and 12 MP sensors are used and sharpness is lost.
Be careful when activating the AI, because if you do not remember to deactivate it you will not take advantage of all the capabilities of the 48 MP lens. With the AI activated, you will not be able to take photos with the wide angle, although seeing the results, almost better.
While auto macro mode lets you take quality close-up photos, both the wide-angle and telephoto lenses leave a lot to be desired. The same goes for night mode, we still don’t know why they include it.
On the one hand, the wide angle gets a very rare effect. The photo is blurred except for a slightly lighter stain in the center. Zoom is also of poor quality, and results worsen even further after 2x magnification.
On the other hand, the night mode does not have a midpoint: either some hyper burned and exposed photos come out or the difference with the photos without the activated mode is not noticed. Only in very, very dark environments will it help you see the sharpest objects.
As for the front camera, it will allow you to take good quality selfies , although they must accompany the weather conditions. Thus, selfies with and without portrait mode enabled look good in good light.
Don’t miss our selection of photos taken with the Doogee S95 Pro:
We have been able to compare it with other robust mobiles such as the AGM X3, which comes out ahead in the comparison in all the markers. Instead, the S95 Pro beats the Doogee S90 in screen tests (Geekbench failed when we tested the S90).
We also wanted to compare it with the Samsung Galaxy A80 , which went on sale in the middle of last year for € 100 more than the S95 Pro. The performance results are similar, but it is not surprising that the Galaxy comes out on top in terms of the screen .
The Doogee S95 Pro comes with a huge 5,150 mAh internal battery. In the box you will find a 24W fast charger, which in our tests has been enough to charge 36% of the battery in just half an hour.
The battery of this mobile is very durable and you can easily spend a weekend of hiking without a nearby power outlet. If you need to charge the battery, you can always use the external 3,500 mAh battery.
Connectivity and audio
In addition to the mobile, in the box of the Doogee S95 Pro you will find the fast charger that we mentioned before, with a power adapter and a USB-C cable. This smartphone is also compatible with 10W wireless charging.
In the package, however, headphones are not included. The mobile does not have a jack port , which means that you must make sure that the helmets you buy are USB-C or you can simply bet on wireless headphones .
If you are someone who prefers to play music out loud, you will like to know that the quality of the rear speakers is more than decent. However, if you are outdoors, we suggest using the dockable module, which has a support so you can support your mobile.
The S95 Pro also supports typical wireless connectivity standards such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Also, you can use the NFC to make payments with Google Pay or to exchange data with other devices.
As for biometric systems, this smartphone includes both a fingerprint sensor (setup and detection of the thumb costs a little) and facial recognition (much easier to register and use to unlock the screen).
The Doogee S95 Pro comes with Android 9.0 Pie, a version of the Android operating system that has generally always given us good results. At the time of configuring the mobile, an available update came out, which was very quick to install.
Thus, the software of this Doogee is everything you could expect from any Android 9.0 Pie device. The most notable functions are those already mentioned above, especially for those who will use it as a companion for their excursions.
Maybe you want to take advantage of all the quick functions it offers: from the possibility of configuring the side key to associate certain gestures with certain functions, also by being able to configure the fingerprint sensor for more than just unlocking.
Also especially useful is the DuraSpeed function, which allows applications that work in the background not to have too strong an impact on the performance of your mobile and applications that you open do so quickly.
One complaint we have about the S95 Pro is its ‘Night Light’ mode. To put it plainly: it is a disappointment. Turn it on and your screen will start flashing, quickly going from the amber tone in the activated mode to the white light in the non-activated mode.
How could it be otherwise, the Doogee S95 Pro is a robust mobile designed for hikers or lovers of risk sports. If this is you, you will like its resistance to shocks, water, dust and even high temperatures and pressures.
You will also find the barometer, the height meter and other tools included in the software very useful , as well as the possibility of configuring one of the side buttons as a shortcut to call the Emergency Department in case you find yourself in trouble.
You won’t be disappointed with its performance, especially its battery, which will allow you to take it on a hike without fear of running out. You can pay a little more to have the external battery and a speaker, although it is not entirely worth it and you will prefer to buy some accessories that you can use with other devices.
Our great disappointment has been the camera, especially since the industry is full of more or less affordable smartphones with spectacular cameras. The 48 MP lens works perfectly in good lighting conditions, but the zoom, wide angle, and night mode are a failure.
- Operating system: Android 9.0 Pie
- Processor: Helio P90
- Graphics card: IMG 9XM-HP8
- RAM memory: 8 GB
- Storage: 128 GB (expandable with microSD card up to 256 GB)
- Screen: 6.3-inch IPS (2160 x 1080, 384 ppi)
- Rear camera: 48 MP triple camera (Sony IMX586) + 8 MP (f / 1.8) + 8 MP (f / 2.4)
- Front camera: 16 Mp (f / 2.0) camera
- Connectivity: Wifi, Bluetooth, NFC, USB-C port (without jack port )
- Battery: 5,150 mAh (+ external 3,500 mAh battery)
- Dimensions: 168 x 79.3 x 13.8mm
- Weight: 285g