There’s a new kid on the block. Doogee (pronounced as “Duji”, not “Doggy”), is an emerging brand that was able to find its way instantly in the Philippine shores. This newcomer is so eager to make a name for themselves that they already released a bizarre smartphone, the Doogee Mix.
Doogee’s capitalizing on the Mix’s “bezel-less” feature to ensure their name is heard. The device also packs all the strong numbers in its spec sheet to make it stand out from the budget smartphone crowd.
But do these figures really translate into a good smartphone? Can the Doogee Mix really perform well when we put it to the test? Let’s figure that out.
Doogee Mix Specs
- Android 7.0 Nougat
- Dual SIM, Hybrid (Nano + Nano/microSD)
- 5.5-inch AMOLED HD display, 1280 x 720 resolution, ~267ppi
- Corning Gorilla Glass 5
- 2.5GHz MediaTek Helio P25 MT6757T processor
- 5-megapixel front camera, 86-degrees wide-angle lens
- 16-megapixel + 8-megapixel rear cameras, Dual LED flash
- Fingerprint scanner
- EDGE, GPRS, HSPA+, 4G LTE Cat 6
- GPS, A-GPS. GLONASS
- Bluetooth 4.0
- microUSB, OTG compatible
- Dimensions: 159.6 x 82.1x 9.5mm
- Weight: 160g
- 3380mAh battery
Design and Build Quality
By this point in time, all-metal built smartphones have already dominated the industry. This fine body construction used to be exclusive to high-end and premium devices. But now, almost all midrange and even low-end handsets have it. And with Doogee creating a statement, it’s no surprise that the Doogee Mix boasts an all-metal, unibody construction. All the more reason to love it, other than its supposed “bezel-less” display.
And speaking of that bezel-less structure, let’s now take a look at the Doogee Mix’s flagship feature. Like what we have said a hundred times now, the company’s latest flagship follows Xiaomi’s footsteps with their Mi Mix. However, Doogee’s take on this has one little caveat. If you take a look at the image below, you’ll notice that the Doogee Mix is a case of “false advertising” of some sort.
The official renders shows a smartphone with completely non-existent bezels. The edges of the Doogee Mix shown in the renders sort of mimic’s the Galaxy S8’s Infinity Display. However, that’s completely not the case when we got our hands on it. Sure, the bezels look incredibly thin, but they are not what they claim it to be.
But nonetheless, despite the marketing exaggeration, it still made the device still look really good. The Doogee Mix is 144mm tall and 76.2mm wide — it’s like a 5.5-inch phone trapped in a 5-inch body. I have compared it with the OPPO A57, a 5.2-inch device, and this one is indeed smaller. However, the Mix is a tiny bit wider.
Doogee was able to shorten its height by making its forehead super thin. It only houses the earpiece and a couple of sensors, while the front-facing camera has been relocated at the chin, sitting together with the home button/fingerprint scanner. The bottom also has a space for capacitive buttons, but the company opted to put on-screen buttons instead.
The fingerprint scanner on the Doogee Mix do works well, but it’s not the best. It has a success rate of around 80% to 90%, and it takes a second or two before it unlocks. The bottom-firing loudspeaker is mediocre. The volume is barely audible in a room full of friends, although the sound quality is well-balanced, without any noticeable distortion at high volumes.
The speakers are sitting right next to the microUSB port and another speaker grill for aesthetic purposes. At the top, we only have the 3.5mm headphone jack. In my opinion, it is the worst location to place any type of ports. Having the headphone wires dangling on top of the device while using it brings nothing but pure annoyance.
Thankfully, all of the buttons were placed ergonomically at the right side. The lock/power switch is easily reachable just below the volume controls. Each button has a super slim profile that provides decent tactility when pressed. The left side only houses the hybrid SIM tray which can carry either two nano SIMs or one SIM and a microSD card.
At the back, we have the dual-camera setup, an LED flash, and the shiny Doogee logo. The entire back panel is said to be made of Corning Gorilla Glass 5, just like the one that’s guarding the star display on the front. Corning’s glass technology might be tough, but Doogee still insisted on pre-applying a screen protector on both sides for an extra layer of peace of mind.
Behind the glass back panel is a 3,380mAh non-removable battery. A component that definitely contributed to its slightly noticeable weight. You wouldn’t do heavy weight lifting with the Doogee Mix, but it sure does have some weight to it.
Overall, I’m pretty impressed with how this thing looks and feels. The display, despite being not that bezel-less, still looks unique and refreshing. The all-metal build also feels sturdy, but I might still use the included protective case to protect it from accidental scratches and dents.
The Doogee Mix has a 5.5-inch AMOLED display, which is has a 1280 x 720 pixel resolution, and a total of ~267 pixels-per-inch. We usually see IPS panels being utilized in this level of smartphones. To be honest, it’s refreshing to experience an AMOLED screen on a midrange device.
The AMOLED’s lead on IPS panel is its better colors, deep blacks, and a slightly more effective battery efficiency. But on the downside, IPS panels beat AMOLED on screen brightness, making it more usable even at broad daylight. IPS also offers better sharpness, in spite of resolution, due to how the panel is stitched together.
That’s exactly what we can expect from the Doogee Mix’s display. The colors, while it does offer vibrant details and deep blacks, is a bit on the yellowish side. Sharpness could have been better, but I doubt a typical consumer would notice much of it anyway. Reading texts still feels easy in the eyes. Plus, looking at this almost bezel-less display just looks pleasing to the eyes.
On the other hand, the viewing angles are at the middle of the road. Details are still visible, but I’ve noticed some color shifting. Also, viewing the screen at a different angle attracts a lot of reflections.
Hardware and Performance
The Doogee Mix only has a MediaTek chip inside it, but they chose one of the best SoC’s that the company has to offer. We’re talking about the 2.5GHz MediaTek Helio P25 processor coupled with a Mali-T880 GPU. On top of that, there’s a generous 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage.
Performance wise, the Doogee Mix was able to cope up with my daily use. The 6GB of RAM was able to handle tasks well, but I was expecting a little bit more. Switching between basic apps and games were fast. However, some previously opened software tends to restart too often. Also, browsing through my Facebook and Instagram feed showed some stutters, but this might be the interface’s fault.
And speaking of games, the gameplay experience was pretty seamless on the Doogee Mix. The Helio P25 chipset would work decently on a 1080p display, but way better than a lower resolution 720p panel. I was able to play titles like NBA Live and SimCity at good frame rates without any noticeable hiccups. The device does heat up a little bit during extensive gameplay, but nothing too alarming.
Benchmark test scores
The Doogee Mix runs on the recent Android 7.0 Nougat with the company’s own Doogee UI 1.0 on top. As a stock-Android fan, I used to get annoyed when companies try to alter the device’s interface. But as time goes by, I started to accept the fact that smartphone brands won’t ever go stock because it looks ‘generic’.
Since this is just the first version, it looks like Doogee still has a lot of polishing to do. For one, the lockscreen wallpaper would sometimes revert to the stock image. The app drawer is also organized alphabetically, without any visible option of reverting it to the traditional layout. And lastly, there’s an annoying animated icon on the home screen that really begs for your attention.
The Doogee UI is a blend of the ASUS Zen UI’s various customization options and the OPPO ColorOS’s minimalistic font and layout. If you’re like most Android users who enjoy customizability, then you might admire this interface.
Out of the box, the “Float Gesture” is already enabled. The on-screen bubble houses different shortcuts such as float music, float video, enable lock screen, and more. Also, swiping to the farthest left of the home screen reveals a news app, with categories from the Business sector, entertainment, sports, and worldwide. It also has a “Local” news category, but it doesn’t show any articles from our local reporters and newspapers here in the Philippines.
The Doogee Mix’s camera is one its highlighted feature. However, it seems like it is ironically one of its weaknesses. This thing packs a 16-megapixel and 8-megapixel dual-camera at the back with optical zoom and an 8-megapixel 85-degree wide-angle selfie shooter. While it may look good on paper, it didn’t translate to great real-world performance.
In layman’s term, the pictures it can take is nothing like the other 16MP-equipped smartphone that I have tested — in a bad way. The colors look washed out and lame. The contrast also struggles, and the dynamic range is just awful. Also, despite the high-resolution sensor, sharpness is middling. You can also expect nothing more from its low-light performance.
On the other hand, switching to the secondary 8-megapixel sensor does provide optical zoom. The picture quality is pretty much the same with the former, but I was able to enjoy the flexibility given by it. This helped me frame some subjects properly as zooming-in lets me eliminate the mess surrounding it.
And since it’s a dual-camera setup, it also has a Bokeh effect feature a.k.a Portrait Mode — a feature that you might want to skip. No other manufacturer have actually done it perfectly, but Doogee’s take is way awful. It can’t separate the foreground and background well, making the synthetic effect really look fake.
The Doogee Mix can shoot videos of up to 4K. The material you can record with this is enough for casual use, but not for professional production. The videos taken shows a lot of noticeable stuttering, and the quality is also as awful as the stills.
In the front of the Doogee Mix we have the 5-megapixel camera backed by a 85-degree wide-angle lens. Since it is located at the bottom corner, the camera app commands you to rotate the phone upside down to frame it correctly.
My impression on this 5-megapixel shooter is pretty much the same with its brothers on the back, only this time — it’s worse. The sharpness and details might be forgivable due to the hardware limitation, but the colors and contrast could have been way better. And for some reason, the images it has taken has this aggressive warm tone, as if a filter has been added.
Moving over to the good side, the wide-angle lens was able to do its job correctly. It is enough to fit your friends perfectly in the frame while not distorting the corners when you’re just taking a selfie.
All this fiasco surrounding the camera can be possibly fixed with a software update. But for now, it will have a failing mark.
Just like most of its competing devices, the Doogee Mix is capable of receiving 4G LTE signal at category 6. The signal strength and speed will depend on your location, but for as long as your area has good coverage, you can experience ultra-fast download and upload speeds with this one.
Thanks to its strong wireless antenna, call quality is also decent. The voice clarity was good, although the earpiece could have been better. It also don’t seem to have a noise-cancelling microphone, but I didn’t receive any complaints with the person on the line so I think it’s a pass.
It also has Bluetooth 4.0 that was able to connect to my wireless peripherals without a hitch. The WiFi 802.11 b/g/n was also able to retain a seamless connection with our home network wherever I am inside the house.
Inside the Doogee Mix we have a 3380mAh battery, a pretty average capacity for the hardware that it needs to power. And as per my tests, it was able to perform well.
My daily smartphone usage involves casual web and social media browsing, streaming videos during breaks, and sending/receiving text. And with that, the handset was able to easily last me for about 12 hours before it reached 11%.
I have also tried PCMark’s battery test, which simulates day-to-day and complex tasks to have the processor and display continuously at work. The battery was able to handle the benchmark app’s tests for up to 6-hours and 35-minutes before it reached 20%.
Doogee has created quite a hype around the Mix. Other than the numerous marketing shenanigans, the loud numbers found on the spec sheet was enough to call everybody’s attention. However, it looks like the Doogee Mix didn’t quite live up to the hype.
But don’t get me wrong, the Mix is a good smartphone especially for the price. However, some of its spotlight features are overrated. For one, the dual-camera setup at the back, despite having high resolutions, delivered really disappointing output.
Also, Doogee’s own user-interface really needs a lot of work before it can stand toe to toe with other skins. We can give Doogee a pass on this one since it is just the first version, and we can’t expect them to get it all right the first time. All these hurdles are can be easily addressed with a software update. And here’s to hoping that Doogee will still deliver updates in the future.
Despite all the flaws I have mentioned, the Doogee Mix still has a lot of pros than cons. The bezel-less screen, despite being not as advertised, still looks charming and refreshing. There are not a lot of smartphones like this in the market today, that’s why the Mix has a lot of headroom.
This handset also offers a generous 6GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage — a rare find in this price category. Together with the Helio P25 processor, the Doogee Mix is not just an entertainment device, but also a good all-around smartphone.
Pricing and Availability of Doogee Mix in the Philippines
Personally, the difference in performance between the two would be barely noticeable. I highly doubt that anyone can really maximize the 6GB RAM. Hence, choosing the 4GB variant would be more practical, and instantly saves you Php1,000.
But if you’re more serious about your photography game, then you might want to shell out a few bucks more for the OPPO A57. For Php11,999, this one offers way-better camera quality, ultra-fast and reliable fingerprint scanner, and an iPhone-ish design and interface. Although in terms of specs, it’s definitely not as impressive.
You can check out the Cherry Mobile Desire R8, which is closely priced at Php9,999. It features a sharper screen at 1080p, larger 8-megapixel sensor in front, and a USB Type-C port. The device also has a dual-camera setup at the back, which has a lower resolution of 13-megapixels and 5-megapixels. But if the Doogee Mix has taught us anything it is this: you can’t just simply trust the numbers. Hence, we’ll let you how the Desire R8’s camera performance is, plus
But if the Doogee Mix has taught us anything it’s this: you can’t just simply trust the numbers. Hence, we’ll let show you the Desire R8’s camera performance and it’s overall prowess, in our full review coming very soon.
Doogee Mix Video Review
- Stunning bezel-less design
- Capable performance
- Good battery life
- Overrated, crappy camera
- Interface needs a lot of work
- Hit-or-miss fingerprint scanner