Why you can trust ZDNET
:ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission.Our process
'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?
ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.
When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.
ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.
I do like the Doogee range of phones -- both rugged, modular, and slim models. Now Doogee has added a couple of new models to its rugged range that I was keen to try.
The Doogee S86 Pro is a nice rugged phone running Android 10, which is comfortable in my hand. Some Doogee models are only comfortable if you have large hands and tend to feel 'edgy' and sharp in my smaller hands.
The S86Pro seems slimmer to hold at 81.2mm wide, taller at 164.6mm, and not too thick at 16.8mm. This depth squeezes an 8,500mAh battery into its casing, so the phone weighs a comfortably heavy 323g. You definitely know when it is in your pocket.
Inside the box, the S86 Pro comes with a charger, a type-C USB cable, a fabric lanyard handle that attaches to the bottom of the phone to prevent the phone from dropping out of your hands and falling on the floor.
There is also a small tool to pull open the SIM card slot and prevent you from snapping your fingernails. There are also two blue screens -- which Doogee says are 'anti-explosion' films. I suspect this film is actually a shatter protector if you break the display glass.
The phone has a 6.1 inch Corning Gorilla Glass LCD screen with a resolution of 1560 x 720px and an aspect ratio of 19.5:9. Its IP68/IP69K standard means that it is waterproof, even coping with immersion in water up to 1.5m for up to 30 minutes.
Doogee offers the S86 Pro in three colours: black, black with orange trim, or black with red trim accents. The trim is unobtrusive as the body of the phone is mainly black.
Inside, the S86 Pro is powered by an Helio P60 octa-core, four cortex-A53, and four Cortex A73 running at up to 2.0GHz. Its graphics chip is an AMR Mali G72, running at up to 800MHz.
It comes with 8GB RAM and 128GB ROM, so there is a lot of storage space on the phone. You can extend the storage with a TF card up to 256GB capacity.
There is a dual SIM slot on the left-hand side of the S86 Pro with a silicone ring around the SIM to prevent water ingress. There is also a custom function key for you to configure or use for the SOS feature. The function key can be used to take a screenshot or play any installed app with a single, double click or a long press of the button.
The right-hand side of the phone has the volume buttons, the power button and the fingerprint sensor. The fingerprint sensor location means that it is easiest to use your thumbprint if you are right-handed -- but you have a range of unlocking fingerprint options if you hold the device in your left hand.
The top of the phone has a headphone jack slot, covered by a tightly fitting silicone seal, and at the bottom of the phone, there is a USB-C charging slot, again covered with a silicone seal.
On the back of the phone, there is what looks like four camera lenses. One of the lenses is an 8MP wide-angle lens with a field of view of 130 degrees, and the main camera is a 16MP camera.
There is also a 2MP portrait or macro camera and an array of LED flashes under the lenses. However, the circle at the top right of the camera array is not another lens but a thermal sensor. The front camera is 8MP.
A big selling point for this phone is its innovative temperature sensor. Point the camera at someone's forehead, tap the measure button and wait for the vibration to get an accurate temperature reading in either Fahrenheit or Celsius.
The app will record the measurement of human recordings in its log. You can also measure the temperature of objects -- like pets or hot liquids. It is quite a neat feature -- especially in these times.
The phone also has NFC, which supports Google Pay and supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi frequencies.
The phone is loud -- both when playing music and during alerts or calls. There is a 2W speaker, which is rather good. The bass is a little tinny -- but the onboard loudspeaker is really good across the ranges.
The S86 Pro has a couple of extra features worth mentioning. The intelligent assistance feature lets you flip the phone to silence an incoming call, answer an incoming call by putting the phone close to your ear, and configure the phone to limit operation due to it sliding around in your pocket -- the 'anti-fake touch mode'.
You can also activate split-screen mode using a three-finger swipe, calibrate the proximity sensor and horizontal calibration modes and lift the camera to wake it. Other settings let you configure apps to run in the background.
Like most Doogee models, the outdoor toolbox icon has features such as a flashlight, height meter, protractor, plumb bob a sound meter, and an incredibly loud alarm.
There is one challenge with the Doogee S96 Pro if you are in the US. The unlocked version of the phone does not support some CDMA carriers such as Sprint, Xfinity, Verizon, and Trac Fone. You need to check with your carrier before you order the S86 Pro.
All in all, the Doogee S96 Pro is a fully-featured rugged, waterproof phone with a long-lasting battery and some nice extra features like a temperature sensor.
Pleasant to hold in hand, its large battery will last you for several days before you need to charge it, and its 2W loudspeaker means that you will not have to carry around an extra Bluetooth speaker with you.