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 Doogee DG-685 Chinese Android phablet review

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Architect of Pain

PostSubject: Doogee DG-685 Chinese Android phablet review   Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:23 am

I have a video review filmed, but it isn't to my liking and therefore won't be posted. In the meanwhile, I will do an old-school written review.

First, a bit of background. Doogee is the mobile division of KVD Associates, a company that to my understanding was established in ~2007. Doogee in itself is very much a young company, making phones since 2013.

They have released a decent lineup of phones, from entry-level, to mid-range to flat out flagship phones with impressive, if absolutely useless specs. No one needs a bloody octocore processor in their bloody phone and 3GB of RAM. Seriously.

At any rate, my perticular phone is the DG-685 Phablet. I got it for ~140$CA, shipping included.

On first glance, it looks like an even bigger Galaxy Note 3. The front is plain, featuring the three Android keys of home, back and applications (to close running apps of course), as well as a 1MP frontal camera and a proximity sensor.

The back of the phone, as you have seen from the pic I posted, is, to my surprise, made of sturdy aluminium. There is a 3MP camera on the back with no flash. The main camera can do 720P video capture and made decent pictures as well. The lack of a flash is kind of a minor gripe, but it does make shots in low-light difficult.

On the side are volume buttons, as well as two SIM slots and a microSD slot. Yes, like most Chinese phones you can use two SIM cards at the same time.

The phone has quad band GSM support -- 850/1900/1800/1900, meaning it will operate on all GSM bands in North America and Europe. It also has 3G HSPA, on 850/2100. Concretely, 2100 is used in Europe, Asia and Australia. 850 is used in North America, but not everywhere. Looking at coverage maps, I am surrounded with 1900MHz cells, which the DG-685 doesn't suppore, and therefore, doesn't work where I live. I am picking up one network which has 850MHz, but it isn't with my carrier. I am picking up a prepaid SIM of the provider which works, and I will update how the phone performs as a phone.

The DG-685 runs Android 4.2 (jellybean). However, it has 512MB of RAM, which sometimes causes slowdowns and lags, but nothing unbearable. Watching YouTube videos works very well, and so does browsing the web.

The touch screen is a ginormous 6.85". The phone is big, REAL BIG. Forget operating it with one hand.

It is a capacitive screen, but it does not have the S-Pen the Galaxy Note has. I haven't peeled off the protective film, even though I have a screen protector in the box. The screen works very well, though sometimes it can be iffy, but I attribute that to the protective film. The screen has a resolution of 960x540. With this kind of pixel density, expect some jagged edges, but this is a gripe so minor it's not worth mentioning. It does look more washed out than my Nexus 3, but different tech -- the Nexus has AMOLED, while the DG685 has a regular LCD. AMOLED is superior, but for the price of the phone I can absolutely live with a plain old LCD, it does the job perfectly fine/

The phone has 2GB of internal memory, and supports microSD up to 32GB. I only have a 8GB, which works just fine with the phone.

The speakerphone is surprisingly good, very loud and clear.

Doogee have taken expansion in China, and I recall them having signed a deal with the Villarreal football (no I am NOT calling it soccer), so what I am seeing, they are a rising player in budget phones. I got the DG685 for the same price I would get a Galaxy Note 3 on contract!

They have a ruggedized phone which I am very tempted to get, as it reminds me of an iDEN phone, and I love phones built like tanks. When I have tested the DG685 as a phone, I have to admit a part of my vacation pay is going for that phone.

Truth be told, this was my very last shot at getting a Shanzhai phone because of the shitty experience of the "Nokia" 8800 and the "Nokia" N9-00. The K66 was amazing, though, and I am quite pleased to see Doogee is a very good surprise, too.

Doogee have a variety of phones from 3.5" to 7", and prices are very reasonable too, so if you like Android, they might be worth checking out. You can order directly from their website or through various China wholesellers, I prefer FocalPrice even though they are WAY slower than they used to be.

Final verdict: 9/10

Solid hardware, great price. The non-removable battery is another minor gripe of mine, but the overall performance of the phone makes it worthwhile.

Here it is, after the Fallout treatement, in all it's glory.

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