ZDNet's Business Bargain Hunter scours the web for great deals on computers, phones, services and much more. Prices and availability are accurate at the time deals are shared. Some products and services may not be available outside the U.S. Follow BBH on Facebook and Twitter, where he's known as The Cheapskate.
Looking to deploy new phones to the sales team? Engineering team? Some kind of team? You don't have to spend $400-500 or more per unit just to get features like a big screen, fingerprint sensor and all-day battery. If you're willing to consider a lesser-known brand, you can get all that for a lot less.
That price no doubt suggests a pretty low-end phone, but the Mix delivers considerable bang for the buck. Starting with the screen: It's a 5.5-inch Super-AMOLED job with Gorilla Glass 5 and almost no bezel. (It's razor-thin around the top and edges, but there is half an inch of frame at the bottom to accommodate the fingerprint sensor.)
I should note that the screen resolution probably sounds low: 1,280 x 720. Honestly, I don't get why anyone needs more. Text looks razor-sharp, even when it's tiny. Videos look splendid. I'm not making excuses for the lower-than-typical resolution, merely saying that fewer pixels to light means better battery life, with no discernible loss in image quality. It's a 5.5-inch screen, people!
And speaking of the battery, it's a big one: 3,380mAh. To put that in perspective, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 employs a 3,300mAh battery. Needless to say, the Mix should last you all day and then some. Alas, it relies on old-school microUSB for charging (though at least it supports Quick Charge), and doesn't support wireless power.
The Mix is an unlocked 4G LTE phone designed for GSM networks. Its SIM-card slot can accommodate two nano SIMs or one and a microSD card -- assuming the impressive 64GB of onboard storage isn't quite enough.
The phone runs on a 2.5GHz MediaTek Helio P25 octa-core processor with 4GB of RAM. Doogee stocks it with a slightly modded version of Android 7.0.
There's more I could tell you, including mentioning the dual rear cameras (which can do a pretty sweet Bokeh), but let me instead refer you to ZDNet's review of the Doogee Mix. TL;DR: "I was impressed by the build quality and performance of this phone."
I'm in the same camp. There are a few annoying UI issues, most notably pertaining to battered English (and a weather app I can't seem to switch to Fahrenheit from Celcius), but the phone feels extremely solid and offers most of the features a modern user needs -- including that enterprise-friendly fingerprint security.
The icing on the cake, of course, is the $178 price tag. You could deploy three of these phones for less than the price of one current-gen Samsung Galaxy.