Durable power at an affordable price

The Doogee S96 Pro received a recommendation from us Android authority as a well-rounded, rugged phone that was built to last. Well, Doogee has done it again with the S97 Pro as it seeks to surpass its previous success by adding a few extra features that could set the device apart from the competition. You can find out about this and more in Android Authority Doogee S97 Pro review.

What you need to know about the Doogee S97 Pro

Photo of Doogee S97 Pro sitting on blue table

Luke Pollack / Android Authority

  • Doogee S97 Pro (8GB / 128GB): $ 399 / £ 339 / € 369

At just under 400 US dollars, the Doogee S97 Pro is in the mid-range compared to other robust Android offerings. As with the S96 Pro, the 128 GB basic memory can be expanded to up to 256 GB using a microSD card. This is a 4G-only phone. So if 5G is a necessity, then you should look elsewhere. It is available in three colors: Orange Tiger, Red Lava and Silver Black.

The device I tested arrived with Android 11 with Doogee’s custom launcher. There is currently no documentation on whether or not Doogee will update this device to the upcoming Android 12. Considering the S96 Pro is still running Android 10 and no upgrade to Android 11 is in sight, it’s fair to go with low expectations of platform upgrades.

See also: The best rugged phones

The Doogee S97 Pro runs on the MediaTek Helio G95, comes with a massive 8,500 mAh battery and a 6.39-inch 720p display. This year there is no 3.5 mm headphone jack, but there is a USB-C port and two customizable smart keys on the left as well as a fingerprint reader on the side.

In the box you get a USB-C charger, a plastic pry tool for the waterproof SIM card slot, two screen protectors, a wrist strap.

What is good?

Photo of Doogee S97 Pro sitting on blue table

Luke Pollack / Android Authority

With a weight of 352 g, the Doogee S97 Pro is a stately device. As a result, prolonged use of the device can be tiring. On the flip side, the phone can withstand more than enough abuse due to the weight and rubber / metal construction. I tossed the device a couple of times, submerged it several times, and dropped it from about 5 feet and it came off with no scratch or dent. The device is also certified for IP68 and IP69K waterproof and dustproof ratings and comes with MIL-STG-810G certification for drop protection.

The Doogee S97 Pro is built like a tank.

The S97 Pro comes with some unique robust features. Instead of a night vision camera like its predecessor, the S97 Pro comes with a laser rangefinder. With this function you can calculate measurements such as volume and area with the infrared laser. In my tests it was very accurate. Such a feature would be very useful for those who work in carpentry or in professions with frequent measuring. Personally, I think this feature is a step ahead of the Doogee S96 Pro’s night vision camera in that it has more versatile uses.

Probably the best thing about the Doogee S97 Pro is its insanely large 8,500 mAh battery. To be honest, I had a hard time killing this phone. In my daily tests, which consisted of heavy use of social media, photography, and about an hour of gaming, the device averaged 10-11 hours of screen runtime, sometimes more. Additionally, the S97 Pro’s standby battery performance is excellent, averaging less than 1% per hour. The S97 Pro charges with a really fast 33 W, which leads to charging times of around 75 minutes from zero to full. The device also supports wireless charging up to 10W, a feature not typically found in cheaper rugged phones.

See also: Android phones with the best battery life

The S97 Pro’s processing power is a small step over other cheap rugged phones on the market, but not by much. The phone comes with the Mediatek G95 chipset, but the real benefit is the 8GB of RAM for improved multitasking. In everyday use, the device performed the usual tasks without any problems, and gaming was surprisingly sufficient with only a few delays and stutters in action-packed scenes in heavier 3D titles.

After all, compared to other rugged offerings, the camera system performs as well as you might expect. The main sensor takes good pictures with a decent amount of detail, contrast, and color saturation. The other lenses are softer and provide lower quality images than the main sensor, but are still comparable to other phones in this range.

What’s not so good?

Photo of Doogee S97 Pro sitting on a white table

Luke Pollack / Android Authority

At first glance, the S97 Pro doesn’t have many downsides when you consider the price, but there are still a few things holding it back.

A 720p display is not uncommon in this category, and Doogee has fixed the color and quality control issues we encountered with the S96 Pro, but it’s still not the sharpest.

There’s also a notable lag and lack of smoothness in moving in and around the user interface. At first I thought the display might be locked at 30Hz, but it wasn’t. I was able to solve most of this problem by downloading a third party launcher, so this may be an issue with Doogee’s software.

The official protection values ​​of the S97 Pro are not entirely up to date.

Although the Doogee S97 Pro is one of the most durable smartphones we’ve tested, we would have liked at least Gorilla Glass 6 for the screen protector. Doogee opted for a Gorilla Glass 5 screen instead, which is two generations behind the top rating at the time. This is an area that has not been updated from the previous model. However, you can expect the display to withstand more than a couple of direct drops. Unfortunately, Doogee hasn’t updated to the latest MIL-STD-810H rating that you can find on some rugged phones either. Nevertheless, the device is still protected against extreme shocks, vibrations, heat, cold, moisture and more.

The Doogee S97 Pro comes with a large front earbud, it doesn’t play audio, which means users are limited to the single firing mono speaker on the bottom of the phone. This speaker doesn’t get very loud and sometimes sounds tinny.

After all, because of the large footprint and weight of this phone, it is not a device that is convenient to use for a long period of time, nor is it easily pocketed. That’s to be expected for a phone like this, but it’s still a consideration to keep in mind if you prefer a rugged phone with a sleeker design.

Doogee S97 Pro camera examples

High-resolution versions of the camera examples can be found here.

Doogee S97 Pro specifications

Doogee S97 Pro
advertisement6.39 in
1,520 x 720 pixels
19: 9 aspect ratio
processorMediaTek Helio G95
storage128 GB / expandable up to 256 GB
CamerasQuad rear camera:
– 48MP main
– 8MP ultra wide
– 2MP macro
– 2MP depth

– 16MP

33W fast charge
10W wireless charging
IP ratingIP68 / IP69K, MIL-STD-810G
softwareAndroid 11
Dimensions170.2 x 83.6 x 16.2 mm
ConnectivityGSM: B2 / B3 / B5 / B8
WCDMA: B1 / B2 / B4 / B5 B / 8
TDD-LTE: B38 / B40
FDD-LTE: B1 / 2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/18/19/20/25/26 / 28A / 28B / 66

Dual SIM: Nano SIM + Nano SIM / Nano SIM + TF card

Bluetooth 5.0

safetySide-mounted fingerprint scanner
Face unlock
miscellaneousLaser rangefinder

Doogee S97 Pro review: should I buy it?

Photo of Doogee S97 Pro held in a man's hand

Luke Pollack / Android Authority

The Doogee S97 Pro’s biggest competition is the indomitable but slightly more expensive Cat S62 Pro ($ 649) and, for those who prefer a slimmer device, the Nokia XR20 ($ 549). There’s also a curveball option – its predecessor, the Doogee S96 Pro ($ 389). It’s still a great, rugged phone with a cheaper price point and, for those who want it, a night vision camera. On the other hand, the S96 Pro has a not-so-large battery and some quality control issues that may put some buyers off.

With the S97 Pro, Doogee offers an excellent price-performance ratio, especially for price-conscious buyers who work in harsh environmental conditions.

Not every rugged phone can withstand harsh environmental conditions or last several days on a single charge, but the S97 Pro has no problems with that. With its rubber and metal design and laser rangefinder, the Doogee S97 Pro is a solid companion for anyone working in harsher climates.

Really the only major downside is the sheer size and weight of this device, but I have a feeling this won’t be a major issue for most buyers. As a result, the S97 Pro packs a lot of power and performance into an affordable package and is sure to be a hit with rugged phone users.

doogee s97 per 1

Doogee S97 Pro

The Doogee S97 Pro features a MediaTek Helio G95 chip, a massive 8,500 mAh battery, and an extremely durable design at an affordable price.

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