Games Plugged

The Doogee S90 modular phone is weird as hell

The Doogee S90 modular phone is weird as hell

Doogee — and I feel they’ll forgive me for saying this — has a propensity for releasing unusual telephones. Keep in mind the Doogee Combine 2 phone? Y’know, the one which needed to be flipped 180 levels to be able to take a selfie?

Nicely, the Doogee S90 is weirder. Unequivocally.

At its core, this is a ruggedized handset, just like those touted by Caterpillar , as nicely as different Chinese language phone producers, like BlackView. However Doogee manages to go far past that, and the S90 is extensible in a means that’s hardly been seen since… nicely… the Motorola Atrix, perhaps? Or maybe the Lenovo Moto Z Collection, from 2016.

A couple of seconds is all you should bestow the S90 with the power to make use of night-vision, because of a separate clip-on module. Why you’d need to is anybody’s guess, nevertheless it’s definitely good to have.

One other add-on doubles the phone’s already spectacular battery life by including an additional 5,000mAh of juice, whereas one other turns the S90 right into a walkie-talkie, full with large breadstick antenna and all the things.

There’s additionally a gamepad extension pack, which connects to the S90 over Bluetooth, and brings a bodily analogue stick, together with precise hardware directional buttons.

We at TNW obtained our grubby paws on a S90 final week. And whereas we haven’t fairly had the time to do a correct in-depth evaluate, we’re undoubtedly up for sharing our first impressions of what’s simply the weirdest smartphone to hit the market in a while.

Specs

Beneath its rubberized chassis, the Doogee S90 has some pretty respectable middle-of-the-road specs.

  • Octa-core MediaTek Helio P60
  • Mali-G72 MP3 GPU
  • 6GB RAM
  • 128GB ROM (extensible)
  • 6.18-inch FHD+ show (2160×1080)
  • 5050mAh battery
  • 10W wi-fi charging
  • 16MP/8MP rear digital camera
  • 8MP front-facing digital camera (f/2.zero)
  • NFC, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth

The inclusion of a MediaTek SoC chipset isn’t a shock, as they’ve obtained a propensity to point out up on low-to-mid-range telephones — notably from much less well-known Chinese language producers.

The Helio P60 is broadly equal to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660 platform. It differs in having a 12nm manufacturing course of, slightly than the Snapdragon’s 14nm course of. Whereas the Snapdragon is just a little quicker and has a greater modem, the MediaTek providing has extra refined AI options.

The inclusion of wi-fi charging is a pleasant shock, and isn’t sometimes discovered on units in its worth level. Equally, it’s good to see Doogee wasn’t stingy with storage, notably because it’s angling this phone at players. In the event you’re going to make use of the S90 for emulators and Fortnite, you’re going to wish all of the area you will get.

Apart from the modules, the unit shipped to TNW included a Doogee branded wi-fi charging pad, a USB-C cable, and a European wall-socket plug.

Design

Like most ruggedized telephones, the Doogee S90 isn’t a lot to take a look at, prioritizing perform over type. The handset comes encased in a thick, heavy plastic, with outstanding rubberized corners that protrude.

Did I point out it’s additionally actually heavy? Whenever you maintain it in your hand, it feels decidedly weighty, and has a presence seldom see in in the present day’s ultra-svelte smartphone market.

On the prime of the display, you’ll discover a small notch. This incorporates the phone’s solitary front-facing digital camera, as properly as its earpiece. As you’d anticipate with an ultra-rugged phone, the display comes with some fairly meaty bezels, which makes you query why Doogee bothered together with a notch within the first place.

The S90 has a considerably outstanding chin, which shows the Doogee emblem. Under it is a rubber flap, which protects the phone’s USB-C port from any potential water injury.

As you’d anticipate from a rugged handset, the Doogee S90 is IP68 rated, which signifies that you might — should you so desired — submerge it in 1.5 meters of water for 2 weeks, and it ought to emerge unscathed.

The again of the phone incorporates the handset’s twin cameras. These are straddled by a pair of LED flashes. Telephones sometimes include only one flash, in order that’s fairly uncommon, though definitely not extraordinary.

In the identical space, you’ll discover the phone’s bodily fingerprint reader. This is extraordinarily quick and correct.

Additional down the phone’s again, you’ll discover the metallic connectors that permit the gadget to speak with its equipment.

Adorning the sting of the phone are a plethora of bodily buttons. These embrace the standard suspects, like an influence button and a quantity rocker, however are additionally accompanied by a digital camera button, as nicely as one which’s programmable by the consumer.

Modules

The standout function of the Doogee S90 is its modules, which permit the consumer to increase and exchange performance of the system just by including a element.

Phone producers like Important have lengthy ruminated about this, however unbelievably, the scarcely-known Doogee has by some means managed to tug it off. So, how does it work in follow?

Right here’s the great half. The modules themselves are ridiculously straightforward to put in, and join gracefully to the phone because of a easy magnetic mechanism. There’s surprisingly little faffing about. It really works rather well.

The draw back is that the magnetic mechanism doesn’t actually really feel notably safe. If thrown in a bag, there’s an actual probability that the 2 elements may turn into separated. I suppose that was a deliberate design consideration, maybe with the goal of creating it simpler for customers to shortly substitute modules on-the-fly, however it’s definitely one thing to think about.

Doogee offered TNW with the complete whack of modules, which we’ve briefly examined in anticipation of publishing a full assessment. And whereas I’m intrigued by the idea, I’ve to confess that my first impression is that they add a ridiculous quantity of girth to the unit themselves.

The evaluation unit Doogee offered to TNW got here with 4 separate add-ons. The night-vision digital camera is arguably probably the most fascinating — even when I wrestle to think about a state of affairs the place I’d truly use it. Nevertheless, it’s value stating that this provides some vital bulk to the phone, making it quite a bit more durable to shove in your pocket.

That’s additionally true of the walkie-talkie module. Not solely does this successfully double the phone’s width, nevertheless it additionally elongates it considerably, because of the the inclusion of a very gargantuan antenna.

Talking personally, I feel I’m extra doubtless to make use of the battery module and the gamepad. The former is a bit chunky, sure, however not onerously so. Even with it hooked up, the phone nonetheless slipped comfortably into the pocket of my Levi’s.

The battery provides an additional 5,000mAh of juice. That signifies that, when related, the phone has entry to a complete of 10,050mAh of energy. That’s unimaginable, and with average use, you’ll be able to fairly anticipate the phone to final for one of the best a part of every week.

As for the gamepad, this clips neatly onto the again of the S90. Along with the analogue stick, it additionally comes with a directional pad, as nicely as a pair of set off buttons. This connects over Bluetooth and expenses by way of a built-in MicroUSB port.

In line with Doogee, the gamepad’s built-in battery is anticipated to final for 15 days, assuming you restrict playtime to only two hours a day. Given the truth that top-tier titles like PUBG Cellular and Fortnite are ridiculously taxing on a phone’s battery life, this sounds about proper.

Software program

The Doogee S90 runs Android eight.1 Oreo. This comes skinned with Doogee’s customized UI, which is… fascinating. It comes with a reasonably uncommon shade scheme, which meshes gray, silver, and gold. It definitely bucks the current development for system producers to train restraint when customizing the inventory Android expertise.

The phone comes pre-installed with a good quantity of bundled software program, however in its protection, a lot of this is crucial to make use of the phone’s numerous modules. There’s an app for the aforementioned walkie talkie and night-vision options. That’s hardly shocking, contemplating that Android doesn’t include these options included by default.

Mercifully, there’s not a lot bloatware to talk of. The solely included app that feels slightly bit pointless is referred to as ToolBag, and consists of issues like an augmented actuality spirit degree, a compass, and a digital actuality magnifying glass.

Who is the Doogee S90 for?

The Doogee S90 is a bloody weird phone. Ruggedized telephones are already a vanishingly small area of interest. Is there a lot of a marketplace for a modular ruggedized cellular?

Apparently so. The quirky handset debuted on Kickstarter yesterday, and already has attracted over $100,000 in backer funds. That’s no small feat for an obscure producer touting an uncommon design.

Rugged telephones are sometimes the protect of these doing bodily duties whereas basking within the parts. Assume troopers, engineers, and development staff. This phone, paired with the walkie-talkie and battery modules, would serve this demographic pretty properly.

However I also can see the S90 attracting the eye of people that crave a phone that’s basically customizable, but aren’t actually all that involved about aesthetics. The undeniable fact that Doogee is presently engaged on a 5G module makes this phone an much more engaging proposition, no less than within the long-term.

You possibly can again the S90 from in the present day. On the time of writing, the super-early fowl pricing is out there. Simply shy of $400 will get you the phone, plus three modules: the night-vision digital camera, the battery pack, and the walkie-talkie gear.

In case you simply need the phone with not one of the additional accoutrements, you’ll be able to seize a handset for beneath $300. Doogee is additionally promoting the modules individually by way of its Kickstarter web page. These begin at simply $29 for the gamepad. The costliest module is, as anticipated, the night time imaginative and prescient digital camera, which matches for $59.

In fact, it’s value mentioning that whenever you again a Kickstarter marketing campaign, you’re not “buying” one thing per-se. As an alternative, you’re placing your cash and religion in an concept, with the goal of ultimately getting a reward. It’s value remembering that there’s all the time a component of danger, and you would find yourself empty-handed. This is true of each crowdfunding marketing campaign.

That stated, Doogee is a well-established model, and the product already exists. Actually, it’s sitting on my desk proper this second. As Kickstarter campaigns go, there’s not a lot to worry from this one. However nonetheless, for those who’re not prepared to tolerate a little bit of danger, you’re in all probability greatest ready for when the gadget hits retail later this yr.

Within the meantime, maintain an eye fixed out for our full evaluate within the coming weeks!


We like some merchandise. We don’t like others. Both approach, when you purchase one thing by way of our affiliate hyperlinks, we get a small reduce of the income. This isn’t a sponsored publish, however for the sake of transparency, you need to know what’s up.

Revealed January 16, 2019 — 15:08 UTC