Doogee S98 Review: Rugged Phone That’s Built For The Masses

by mcdix

Doogee S98 design and durability standards

Built like a tank, the S98 looks no less than a limited edition smartphone. Some even mistake it for a gaming handset, as it has striking carvings on the back panel and a unique camera module with a second 1:1 touchscreen. The fit and finish are top-class, and the choice of materials ensures that the device can easily take a beating. The phone has an aluminum alloy frame, which gives it much-needed rigidity. The device’s outer shell is made of high-quality aluminum and covered with hard synthetic rubber that extends to the edges and corners to make the device drop resistant. The S98 can easily survive a five-foot drop onto a hard surface.

Doogee S98 is IP68 & IP69K certified

The handset is certified under MIL-STD-810G and can withstand extreme climatic conditions, making it an ideal choice for industrial workers in hot and cold climates. The S98 is also waterproof (depth – 1.5m) and dustproof, thanks to IP68 and IP69K certifications. A layer of Corning Gorilla Glass protects the display of the phone.

Doogee S98

Doogee S98 Ergonomics

It is unfair to expect good ergonomics from a robust device. You cannot have extreme durability features without sacrificing ergonomics. The S98 feels like a brick, and you can feel its weight in your hands and pockets. The device weighs 320 grams and is 15.5 mm thick. The large battery cell of 6000 mAh is another reason for the excess weight. It’s like stacking two midrange devices on top of each other.

Doogee S98 Buttons & Ports

As for buttons and ports, the S98 has a side-mounted biometric sensor, which is not embedded in the power button. The on/off switch is located separately on the right side. The phone also has a custom button, which is programmable and serves as a shortcut to your favorite app. You can set it to activate a flashlight, compass, GPS, or contact an emergency contact. A metal SIM card tray is on the left and takes effort to remove. The Type-C charging port is on the bottom and is protected by a rubber flap.

Doogee S98 Screen Specifications and Performance

The Doogee S98 has a 6.3-inch Full HD display with a waterdrop notch in a 19:9 aspect ratio. It is an LCD panel with a standard refresh rate of 60 Hz and a peak brightness of 480 nits. These are certainly not high-end numbers for a phone in 2022, but they serve quite well for a device that focuses on durability and usability. The Doogee S98 probably has the best display on a rugged handset.

The screen has a good touch response and produces vivid colors. Viewing angles are good for an LCD, and videos look good, if not super immersive. Unfortunately, the phone was unable to stream HD videos on Netflix. Up ahead, outdoor visibility is also average at best. If your job requires you to be outside, the LCD screen may experience slight visibility issues as it feels slightly dull in bright sunlight. Other than that, I don’t think there are other issues with the S98’s primary display. It’s an excellent overall display for a robust mid-range device.

Doogee S98 Secondary Display

The S98 has a secondary display, which is useful in everyday use. The round screen is positioned on the back panel in a unique place with the camera module. It has a 1:1 aspect ratio and displays useful information such as a clock, music player controls, notifications, and battery information. A special section in the settings menu allows you to customize the theme and basic settings.

Doogee S98 Hardware and Specifications

The Doogee S98 uses the MediaTek Helio G96 chipset, which we tested on the Redmi 11 Note 11 Pro. Manufactured on TSMC’s 12nm FinFET manufacturing process, the Helio G96 features an octa-core CPU with two powerful Cortex-A76 cores clocked at 2.05GHz and six energy-efficient Corext-A55 centers operating at 2.0GHz. For graphics, the handset has a dual-core Mali-G57 GPU. We tested the 8GB LPDDR4x RAM + 256GB UFS 2.2 storage variant on Android 12.

Doogee S98 Performance

While the processor underneath isn’t very powerful, thanks to a nearly stock Android skin and plenty of RAM, the device is generally smooth and lag-free. The S98 won’t disappoint you with everyday tasks like web browsing, social media, camera use, basic calling/texting, and using productivity apps and essentials like notes, compass, flashlight, etc. The handset can even handle some popular game titles without losing performance. But don’t think of it as a gaming device. The phone has a mid-range CPU and performs like one.

Specifications Doogee S98 Cameras:

From a rugged phone perspective, the S98 has a good triple-lens camera. The camera system comprises a 64 MP primary sensor with an F/1.8 aperture that takes clear pictures in daylight. The colors are a bit too vibrant and don’t accurately depict the scenes, but overall the results are satisfactory for a phone at this price.

Doogee S98 Camera Performance

The primary sensor is accompanied by an 8MP 130-degree FOV wide-angle camera that takes above-average wide-angle photos. The wide-angle images look sharp and clean but lack the necessary dynamic range.

Doogee S98 has a night-vision camera.

The third camera in the lineup is unique because it is a Sony night vision sensor. The 20MP Sony IMX350 sensor (F/1.8) supports two infrared night vision lamps and takes black and white photos. For a mid-range device, the image output is impressive. Images are not noisy and show good clarity even without light. It is a good addition to a robust machine.

Doogee S98 Battery Life and Connectivity

The S98 is backed by a sturdier 6000 mAh battery cell that can easily last two days on a single charge with moderate use. In addition to the larger battery cell, the stock Android UI and standard LCD with a 60Hz refresh rate are two factors behind such solid battery life. The phone supports 33W fast charging and even gets 15W wireless charging support, a bonus at this price point. It takes about two hours for a full refuel. The Doogee S98 is not a 5G phone, which comes as a disappointment in 2022. You can use two 4G nano SIM cards simultaneously or one SIM card and a microSD card to expand the storage. In addition, you also get NFC for wireless mobile payments. The handset supports 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.1.


The Doogee S98 is easily the most versatile rugged phone out there. It meets durability standards and also performs amazingly well as a regular phone. The secondary display is useful but could have been more functional. The lack of 5G is a bummer, as the market is primed for future connectivity. Nevertheless, the dual-SIM 4G still makes sense for the target audience.

Moving on, the camera performance is good, and you also get a night vision mode, which can be very useful sometimes, especially for industrial use. The Stock Android software and sufficient working memory ensure the device runs smoothly all day. Overall, it’s hard to find a rugged phone as good as the Doogee S98 in the under 30K price range. In India, you should spend Rs. 45,000 (Nokia XR20) for a phone of this caliber.

You can order the Doogee S98 from the company’s official website or The 8GB + 256GB variant costs $360 on, translating to Rs. 28,000 in Indian currency. This is an excellent deal for anyone looking for a robust device with a good mix of regular features.

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