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Doogee V20 rugged Android phone review: Superb performance and innovative rear screen

The Doogee V20 rugged phone is 5G ready with a configurable rear display.
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor

I like the Doogee range of phones and its latest release, launched today, the Doogee V20 rugged Android phone is no exception. For a rugged phone, it is slimmer than other Doogee phones I have reviewed and lighter too at 296g.

Also: The 6 best Android phones

It is rated at IP68 / IP69K and confirms to MIL-STD-810G tests. This phone is water-resistant at a depth of 1.5m for up to 30 minutes, and drop-proof from a height of 1.5m onto concrete.

Inside the box, there are the phone, the SIM extractor tool, and a USB Type-C cable with type C connections at each end. There is also a Type A to Type C adapter and a power adapter. There is also a screen protector with wipes, a warranty card, and a user manual.

The 5G capable V20 has a nice large 6.44-inch hole punch display screen and a display resolution of 2400 x 1080px and a 20:9 aspect ratio.


Doogee V20 rugged phone

4 / 5
Very good

pros and cons

  • 6.44 inch screen
  • 5G ready
  • Innovative rear display
  • Facial recognition can be problematic in low light

The hole punch means that the screen wraps around the front-facing camera to maximize screen real estate. The V20 feels nice in my hand with a few rough edges or awkward corners. It has rounded edges and a slightly raised edge to protect the screen from scratching.

The left-hand side of the device has a dual SIM slot (one nano and one for a TF card) and a custom function button. On the left, there are volume buttons and the power button which doubles up as a fingerprint reader.

Inside the Doogee V20, there is a MediaTek Dimensity 700 octa-core chip running at up to 2.2GHz. This chip is not the fastest Dimensity CPU on offer by MediaTek but moves the brand into 5G coverage for its phones.

Doogee has previously used MediaTek chips in its phones like the rugged Doogee S97. The Dimensity chip will mean good 5G coverage for users.

The V20 has 8GB RAM and 256GB ROM as standard and it runs Android 11. The phone has a couple of new features that I have not seen for a while.

The back of the camera has three rear cameras and an extra window. This 1.05-inch window has a display that will show

I first saw this rear window in a Meizu Pro 7 phone I reviewed in 2017, but few manufacturers have included this feature since then.

You can customize the rear display to show call notifications and alerts, show the time, or music controls. You can double-tap to wake up the rear display or configure it to display when the phone is face down.

To preserve the battery you can turn off the display after a few seconds. It is a really useful feature and I do not know why more mobile devices do not have this additional feature, even just to show the time when the phone is face down.

The three rear cameras and LED flash are a decent specification with a 64MP image size for the main camera. There is also a 20MP Sony IMX350 night vision camera and an 8MP wide-angle camera with a 130-degree field of view.

The camera can be configured to operate in night mode, panorama, slow motion, time-lapse, and a pro mode where you can manually change settings such as ISO and white balance.

The camera has a beauty mode so you can add filters to make your face smoother, slimmer, or enlarge the eyes. You can zoom in to images with 4x digital zoom.

The front-facing camera is 16MP with a Samsung sensor and images are crisp and clear. Post image manipulation is provided through standard Android features including sharing features editing options and Google Lens.

The V20 has facial recognition which is quick and accurate in good light conditions -- although it does struggle to recognise me in dimly lit conditions.

The custom button on the left-hand side of the screen can be used for push-to-talk (PTT). When pressed you are invited to install Zello to use the key.

If you do not want to use this for PTT apps, use the 'Easy key' option in settings to customise the function to record, turn on the flashlight, take a screenshot, open the underwater camera, configure an SOS message, or open Zello.

Like its other models, the range of useful tools in the outdoor toolbox folder will give you a plumb bob compass, a protractor, and a spirit level as well as an alarm function, flashlight, and screen flash.

The Doogee V20 has a good-sized 6,000mAh battery which will give you several days of normal usage. Using the Type-C–Type-C PD charging cable will give you up to 33W charging power which will recharge the phone in about 2 hours.

This phone also has wireless charging, but be aware that wireless charging is significantly slower than a TypeC PD cable: It took over 4 hours when I used wireless charging. It also has NFC so you can use Google Pay.

There is no audio slot for this phone. Connect your headphones via Bluetooth or use a type-C adapter if you want to use wired audio. The phone ring tone is reasonably loud and the sound is good across the ranges. You won't need an external speaker.

Doogee recommends that you use T-Mobile for the optimal frequency band for this phone.

Currently on offer for under $300 the Doogee V20 rugged phone is a really nice phone for the price. It is durable with a long-lasting battery and just what you need in an affordable phone.

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