I guess there’s no doubt, that one of the most popular trends in smartphones for 2017 is the tri-bezel less design that Xiaomi Mi Mix first introduced in the market and most manufacturers quickly followed with their own creations – even though most of them were simply clones of the prototype. One of these clones managed to fall into our lap during the past couple of days and we got the chance to play with it and share our experiences. Meet Doogee Mix guys, a budget Mi MIX clone that comes with impressive specs (6GB RAM, 64GB ROM, Helio P25 SoC) but a decent price as you may notice: 179,99$ at the time this review was posted.
Doogee promotes this model as one of the most impressive dual camera/bezel less smartphones and has serious expectations from its performance in the mid-range market. So how does this affordable dual camera model fare at the end of the day? What are its best attributes and where could we see it… do a bit better?
Let’s have a look at this Doogee Mix review.
More than enough ram, great display
Doogee Mix – Technical specifications
- CPU – Octa-Core 4x 2.5 GHz ARM Cortex-A53+ 4x 1.4 GHz ARM Cortex-A53
- Chipset – MediaTek Helio P25 MT6757T
- GPU – ARM Mali-T880 MP2, 850 MHz, 4-Cores
- Camera – 16 Megapixels + 8 Megapixels Dual-LED and AF Dual Rear Camera | 5 Megapixel Front camera
- Memory – RAM- 6GB | ROM 64GB External Memory Support up to 128GB (Uses SIM 2 Slot)
- Display – Screen size 5.5 inches Super AMOLED HD (1280×720 Pixels)
- Battery – Non-Removable 3,380 mAh Lithium-Polymer
- SIM – Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano+ Nano/microSD)
- Sensors -Proximity Sensor, Accelerometer, Ambient Light, Compass, Fingerprint
- Operating System – Android 7 Nougat
- I/O Interface – 1 x Nano SIM Card Slot, 1 x Nano SIM Card Slot or microSD/TF Card Slot, Micro USB Port, 3.5mm Audio Out Port, Power Button, Volume Button, Microphone, Speaker
- Dimensions – 144 x 76.2 x 8 mm
- Weight – 193 Grams (With Battery)
- More Feature – Aluminium Alloy Metal Body Design, LTE Cat 6 300 Mbps Download, 50 Mbps Upload, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps Upload, HSDPA 21 Mbps Download, EV-DO Rev.A (3.1 Mbps Download, 1.8 Mbps Upload), Computer Sync, Infrared, OTA Sync, Tethering, VoLTE Support, 2.5D Curved Glass Screen, Infrared, 3 Bezel-Less Design, Power Saving Mode, Fast Charging Technology.
Doogee Mix review: Design and general appearance
I have to be honest, I really liked the basic design of the Doogee Mix. The phone is available in 2 color variants which are mainly: Black and Blue. It surely looks impressive however thanks to its metallic/glass build and its general design that allows for excellent grip and usability. Note that the back side of the device is made out of glass with some parts plastic which improves its durability and enhances the whole “appearance” factor.
One of its unique selling points is “bezel-less,” but in actual fact, there is a tiny bezel of 2.5mm around it. The one that makes the difference is the tiny top bezel which extends the display all the way to the top, leaving just a small gap for the speaker. There’s also a front facing camera placed at the bottom bezel, along with a home button (no it cannot be pressed) and a fingerprint scanner embedded there. The fingerprint scanner is quite decent for what it’s worth. It can unlock the phone in less than 0.1 second with almost 97% success rate. It can basically store up to 5 different fingerprints and can recognize them all from 360 degrees, something that’s a standard nowadays.
Unfortunately the one button you will find placed below the display doesn’t function as a “Home button” by default, though it can be configured to perform actions like Go Back, go to Home, or launch Recent list with a single tap or press and hold. It doesn’t have any capacitive buttons beside the fingerprint sensor, so there is some wasted space at the bottom area. So, if you’re looking for the 3 Android soft-keys you will find them at the bottom of the display, inside the menus.
One thing about the selfie camera though: in order to use it you can rotate the phone 180 degrees and use it upside down. (The camera orientation will adjust accordingly.)
Don’t know about you, but I am a fan of tri-bezel less smartphones because I enjoy the available screen size whenever I can. So the device comes with a really impressive 5,5 inch Super AMOLED display with 2.5D glass and HD resolution with decent luminosity during those sunny days here in Southern Europe, along with Gorilla Glass 5 protection (same as the back side) for those of you who prefer to use it with no screen protectors.
The colors of the display may be rather saturated, but the images are crisp, with good viewing angles and a fully responsive panel if I may add. All in all a decent display – especially for a smartphone on this price range.
if you have a good look at the back side of the Doogee Mix then you will see that it comes with a dual camera – a setup pretty common in phones nowadays with the goal of helping you take better photos. There’s also a micro USB port placed at the bottom, along with speaker grilles and a 3.5mm audio jack on top.
Hardware & Performance
In terms of performance, the massive 6GB of RAM really makes a difference. I opened many apps, switched between them, watched videos, played a game (GT Racing 2) and the performance is buttery smooth. Nothing felt sluggish, and there was no lag at all.
It offers a rather impressive user experience with minimal lags and excellent multi-tasking (thanks to 6GB of RAM of course), enabling users to keep several applications open in the background with no significant impact on its everyday performance. Oh and if you’re into checking benchmark results, this Doogee model scored 59901 points in AntuTu but had really average GPS reception. I didn’t have any issues with GPS related apps but it uses only a handful of the available satellites every time. It could be connected to more I guess, in order to offer even better results when scanning for our location.
Thankfully the battery life is great. On normal usage (reading emails, watching videos, surfing the Web, listening to music), I can easily get a day and a half (a whopping thirty-six hours) of usage for each charge. For streaming videos at full brightness and volume, it can last for eight hours. Depending on your usage, it will have no problem lasting for a full day. It comes with a quick-charge feature as well. It charged my battery from 20% to 60% in twenty minutes. A full charge will take about one hour.
One thing that is glaringly missing from the phone is the notification LED light. There is none, and it almost made me crazy. For all the phones that I have been using, I depend heavily on the notification LED to inform me of any reminders and incoming alerts and messages. This should be a must-have feature in any smartphone in 2017.
Doogee Mix review: Android software and UI performance
The Doogee Mix runs on Android 7.0 Nougat equipped with a custom launcher that offers huge possibilities with theme support, hundreds of lockscreens/wallpapers etc. However it’s a bit laggy and buggy so it will need a bit of patience to use it in its full extend. Obviously you can always change it with something more powerful like Nova launcher, Pixel launcher or any other you prefer. In any case, the Android 7.0 gives you more control on the smartphone and also lets you customize the phone just like any other Nougat based device.
Thankfully there is no bloatware or other unnecessary apps inside, it supports all the classic Nougat features and it also has a News Section if you swipe left that brings up news in your own language with decent performance. It’s not editable however so you cannot really choose what type of news to see etc.
Other customization options include Float gesture, which is a floating ball that opens a radial view for you to quickly access various modes. I don’t find this useful, as it doesn’t allow me to customize the control items in the list. There is also the One Hand FloatView where you can swipe in from the bottom right corner to reveal a floating list. Once again, I don’t find this useful as it often takes a number of tries to bring up to the screen.
Dual camera/Selfie camera performance
I guess we all know by now that the Doogee Mix comes with a 16.0-megapixel main camera along and an 8.0-megapixel camera and a LED flash with generally acceptable photos as you can see for yourselves. On paper, the 16MP + 8MP dual camera on the back of the camera seems like a great setup.
The fact is it doesn’t translate to great photos. It can take decent photos, but they are generally whitewashed. Even with HDR mode, the quality of the photos is not any better.
Note that one camera is used for creating the bokeh effect and other will capture the image with quite impressive portrait photos and decent performance in low light conditions.
GOOD PHOTOS, AVERAGE VIDEOS but there’s potential!
Both cameras have independent vision processing unit, which enables background blurring in real time. It also allows you to choose where to focus (touch focus) and where to blur, with the ability to adjust the intensity of blurring, too.
As we foretold you, the Doogee Mix comes with a 5MP selfie camera and a soft light that illuminates the background in order to capture the image and create bokeh effects there as well.
The Doogee Mix is equipped with a 3380mAh battery but numbers don’t mean anything in this situation. The device comes with an energy efficient processor and in general performs well providing more than a full day’s usage with no problems and works great in cooperation with the Android Nougat interface in order to block access to battery “hungry” apps, reduce energy consumption when possible and all those little things that make our lives easier when using a smartphone.
You will be satisfied with the battery performance of the Doogee Mix, that’s for sure. If you’re a heavy duty user then you can safely expect a little over 26 hours of battery life, but depending the way you use it you can easily get up to 2 days of usage 🙂
Conclusion – So what about it?
ALL IN ALL, A DECENT mi mix clone…
I really enjoyed this small beauty from Doogee. It’s not featured as the super wow dual camera phone that everyone should buy, but as a budget Mi MIX clone with really impressive specs – given its current price tag of course which is 179.99$. It’s a decent dual camera phone, with acceptable photos in daylight conditions, average photos in low light conditions and… average (shaky) videos. It offers however excellent battery consumption, good performance for an avid Android user and decent build quality.
The 6GB RAM + 64GB ROM variant I got for my tests, costs 179,99$ and – as I have already told you, I always judge a phone compared to how much it costs. So for this Doogee Mix I think you get what you paid for: decent specs, awesome tri-bezel less display, photos with bokeh effects and impressive battery consumption.