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This rugged Android phone is fit for the outdoors and the office, too

Stylish and rugged aren't normally two words that go together well, but the Doogee S100 offers a great fusion of both.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
Reviewed by Kerry Wan
Doogee S100's back cover.
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

It's easy to feel that the smartphone market is dominated by brands such as Apple, Samsung, Google, and Xiaomi, but look beyond these big names and you'll find some fantastic smartphones out there packed with features that you won't see on the big names, and for fraction of the price.

Also: Why you need a smartphone with a thermal and IR camera

One maker that I've featured quite a lot here is Doogee. I've featured this brand a lot because it's a company that's proven itself capable of delivering a quality product time and time again. And its handsets always feature a twist or two that makes them particularly interesting to me.

Its latest creation -- the Doogee S100 -- is no different. 

Doogee S100 tech specs

  • Screen: 6.58-inch 2408 x 1080 FHD+ 120Hz IPS waterdrop screen with Corning Grilla Glass 5
  • CPU: Octa-core Helio G99, 2.2GHz, 6nm architecture
  • Storage: 256GB ROM, up to 2TB microSD card
  • RAM: 20GB RAM (12GB+8GB Extended)
  • Cameras: 108MP AI triple camera, 20MP night vision camera, 16MP wide angle and macro camera, Sony 32MP front camera
  • Battery: 10,800mAh battery, 66W fast charging
  • Wireless charging: 15W
  • Operating system: Android 12
  • Biometrics: Side fingerprint reader
  • SIM card: Support nano SIM1, nano SIM2 OR nano SIM
  • Protection: IP6/IP69K/MIL-STD-810H

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

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

The SIM cards lot on the Doogee S100.

The card slot can house a combination of Dual SIM, standard SIM, and one microSD card.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

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

As far as basic smartphone features go, the S100 performs well. The display is bright, crisp, and detailed (with the Corning Gorilla Glass 5 glass and the application of a screen protector meaning that the display is going to look good for a long time), the CPU and RAM keep the smartphone running snappily, and the cameras deliver photos that are of a quality that is more than enough for most users.

The camera array is impressive and captures decent photos

The camera array is impressive and captures decent photos

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

The 10,800mAh battery is also a monster, good for a whopping 1,268 hours of standby or 72 hours of music playback or 47 hours of calling, or 35 hours of video. The bundled 66W fast charger can take this battery from flat to 50% charged in just 30 minutes, and for those of us who have gone wire-free, the S100 supports 15W wireless charging.

These cameras are good. No, not as good as what you get from flagship smartphones from Apple or Samsung or the like, but they're still very good.

Also: The 7 best phones you can buy

This is another one of Doogee's handsets that features night vision (I'd have preferred a thermal camera). If you want to see what's around you in the dark, then now you can. The downside is that you have to stare at an ultra-bright screen while in the darkness, which, for me, both kills my night vision and blinds everyone around me.

"Night vision" mode on the Doogee S100

"Night vision" mode

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 that preserves the red colors. This would make the feature much more useful.

Something that strikes me about the S100 is the little stylistic flairs. The "eco" leather on the back and the smooth curved lines of the metal, yet this is not a super-thin, super-light phone, but one that can take bangs and drops. It can also sustain through the harshest elements. Make no mistake, this is a rugged smartphone.

Stylish yet rugged

Stylish yet rugged

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Priced at $440 (at the time of writing, there's an on Amazon), the Doogee S100 is not cheap, but you're getting a decent smartphone package for your money. It's rugged enough to survive a tough outdoor life, and yet stylish enough to not look out of place when you're back in civilization. 

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