Cubot Quest hands-on: An ultra-slim rugged phone

Hands on with the Cubot Quest Ultra slim, rugged and very fast indeed zdnet
  • Editors' rating
    8.8 Outstanding


  • Slim form factor
  • No OEM extras in Android 9 build
  • Good front and rear camera


  • No auto shutdown / wake up feature
  • No USB-C - 3.5mm audio connector

I really like the Cubot Quest Android phone. I have been looking at rugged waterproof phones for a while now, and the form factors seems to be getting bigger and bigger.


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The last few Doogee phones, such as the S60, S80, and the mammoth Doogee S90, although quality rugged devices, were almost too big and bulky for my smaller hands. Now, the Cubot Quest is significantly slimmer -- and much easier to handle.

Yes, this is a rugged phone. Rated IP68, it is dustproof and waterproof. It can be submerged in water up to 1.5m deep for up to 30 minutes, and Cubot has pitched the device at active sports users.

It has high-strength polyester edges that will survive a drop of up to 1.5m. Although the polyester edges do not cover the screen like many other ruggeds, it does look like the screen would be protected from corner drops.

The design of the exterior makes the phone look sleek and smooth. Its dimensions are 157 x 73.7 x 8.8mm and it weighs 213g.

Charging and audio is via USB-C. Sadly, Cubot does not provide a USB-C adapter for the 3.5mm audio jack that is supplied in the Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite.

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The Quest has a micro and a nano SIM slot, or you could use the Quest with two nano SIM. You can add a Micro SD card up to 128GB instead of the second SIM.

The 5.5-inch screen has an 18:9 aspect and 1440 x 720-pixel resolution that is easy on the eye. The screen has Corning Gorilla 5 Glass.

Inside the device there is a MediaTek 6762 octa-core 12nm processor. It has 4GB RAM and 64GB ROM. Graphics are supplied by a Power VR GE8329 chip.

The device has face and fingerprint security, which both are superb. Face unlock worked well in bright and dim environments, and whether I wore my reading glasses or not. Face and fingerprint unlock using the rear sensor were both fast.

This phone is fast, too. Running Android 9.0 Pie, there are no OEM additions to the Android build making this phone deliver a pared-down, sleek user experience.

Surprisingly, for such a slim phone, the battery is 4,000mAh, and the battery lasts for two days when I was using normal office and social media apps. Even resource hungry apps like Facebook did not noticeably grind through the battery.

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It has a 12MP and 2MP rear cameras with a Sony IMX sensor, 6P lens, PDAF fast focus, and f/1.8 aperture. The flash is good and responsive. The front-facing camera is 8MP with fixed focus and 4P lens.

Images are sharp and clear. Bokeh works well to blur the background and the shutter response time is quick.

There are some beauty features to make the eyes larger and more rounded, slim the face, and buffing, which appeared to get rid of most of my wrinkles -- a setting I used all the time.

It also has NFC technology, which means that you can take advantage of using it to pay and exchange data with a tap.

The custom button on the left hand side of the phone can be configured to your choice. You can launch installed apps with one push, take photos and videos, or invoke the payment app on the device. A long press will invoke the Google Assistant.

Audio in the Quest is good. Through headphones, or without, the speaker is loud and clear. Notifications and ring tones are incredibly loud -- you will definitely hear this phone ring in a noisy environment. And you will certainly feel the vibration, which is good, too.

For under $200 the Cubot Quest is a fabulous, shockproof, waterproof, rugged phone, which is not too large for your hands or your pocket. If you are less than gentle with your devices, then give the Quest a try. You will not be disappointed.