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Doogee V30: 5G, eSIM, and Android 12 comes to rugged phones

The Doogee V30 is a rugged phone that's worthy of the "flagship" title.
The DOOGEE V30

The DOOGEE V30

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Looking for a tough Android smartphone? Need it to be 5G ready?

And eSIM?

Also: Why I have an earwax removal camera in my toolkit (and no, it's not for my ears)

Oh, and Android 12?

And on top of all that, you want it to be stylish.

You need to take a look at the Doogee V30

Doogee V30 tech specs

  • OS: Android 12
  • Display: 6.6-inch FHD+ 2408 x 1080 pixels (19:9 aspect ratio) 120Hz Ultra-smooth IPS waterdrop screen with Corning Gorilla Glass 5
  • Cameras: 108MP AI main camera / 20MP night vision camera / 32MP front camera / 16MP wide angle & macro camera
  • CPU: Octa-core Dimensity 900 2.4GHz 6nm processor
  • RAM: 8GB (8GB+Up to 7GB Extended RAM)
  • Storage: 256GB
  • External storage: T-Flash Card up to 1TB
  • Battery: 10800mAh battery (960 hours standby, 60 hours music, 45 hours calling, or 28 hours video)
  • Charging: Support 66W fast charging and 15W wireless charging
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, NFC (supports Google Pay)
  • Network: Support for dual nano SIM1 or nano SIM + TF card along with 4 x eSIM
  • Durability rating: IP68 / IP69K / MIL-STD-810H
  • Biometrics: Fingerprint reader

It's hard to find something new to say about smartphones. They're black slabs made of glass and plastic. They all look the same, work the same, and pretty much perform the same.

So, it's refreshing when something that's a little different comes to market, even if that "different" is that it brings a few different things together.

Doogee is a smartphone manufacturer best known for making ruggedized smartphones. I've been impressed by its hardware for quite a few years. It makes smartphones that can take days, weeks, months, and even years of rough handling.

Rain, mud, rocks, bumps, drops, and scrapes -- none of that bothers a ruggedized Doogee smartphone.

So, what does the V30 bring to the table?

It brings flagship features to a rugged Android smartphone platform.

First, 5G.

Everyone wants 5G nowadays, and the V30 gives you this, with support for N1/3/7/28/38/41/77/78/and 79 carrier bands, which should offer worldwide coverage.

I've tested it on a couple of 5G networks here in the UK, and it just works.

On the SIM front, you have support for two physical nano SIM cards (or one nano SIM and a TF storage card), and up to four eSIMs (when using eSIM, you are limited to using a single physical SIM).

Also: eSIM vs. SIM: What's the difference?

eSIM support covers over 200 carriers worldwide, and again, onboarding the eSIM is super easy and absolutely painless.

It just works. Which is what you want.

Dua nano SIM tray

Dua nano SIM tray

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

I've tested the cameras, and they're good. No, not as good as what you get from flagship smartphones from Apple or Samsung or the likes, but still, they're very good. If you want good photos for social media, or to document a job you're doing outdoors, the V30 will deliver.

Also: Why you need an Android phone with a thermal and IR camera

The night vision camera comes across as a bit of a gimmick (I'd have preferred a thermal camera), but if you want to see what's around you in the dark, then now you can, although I find looking at an ultra-bright screen while in the darkness both kills my night vision and blinds everyone around me.

The V30 camera array

The V30 camera array

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

I wish manufacturers using this feature would come out with a "night mode" for the display that tones down the brightness and uses night-vision preserving red. This would make this feature much more useful.

Performance from the octa-core processor is good, and the whole smartphone feels fast and smooth. The 120Hz display is easy on the eyes, both indoors and outdoors, and the use of Corning Gorilla Glass 5 means it can withstand a lot of abuse and neglect.

Rugged good looks

Rugged good looks

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Running the show is the latest Android 12 operating system, so you should get updates and security patches for some time to come.

And, to top all this off, the V30 is also stylish.

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Yes, this big slab of a smartphone (6.67 x 3.2 x 0.63 inches and weighs in at a hefty 13 oz) that can happily operate in temperatures ranging from 158°F to -67°F, and is dustproof, waterproof, shockproof, water-resistant at a depth of 4 feet up to 30 minutes, and can shrug off drops from 6 feet, is stylish.

The colors. The fake "eco" leather accents. The trim. It looks good.

I like this look!

I like this look!

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Priced at $499, the V30 is not cheap, but it's bringing to the table a lot of features in the form of 5G and eSIM, and packages this in a stylish package that's got a decent battery and offers solid performance.

Also: This $10 plastic film gives me a superpower to detect counterfeit items

The Doogee V30 is a smartphone that's worthy of the "flagship" title. 

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