Two-minute review

Doogee has a good reputation for making, but affordable if over-engineered ruggedised phones, and the S89 Pro doesn’t stray far away from those paths.

This already substantial design is made even larger by a hard plastic protective case that comes preinstalled. This serves to enhance a ‘Bat’ motif that the S89 Pro has that might, from certain angles, be associated with Batman. We just hope they have a licencing deal with DC or Warner Brothers to justify using that trademark in this context.

More certain is that this is the first Doogee design to ship with a 65W charger, something that the 12,000 mAh battery will need to recharge quickly. According to Doogee, using this charger the phone can get 15% of its power back in 20 minutes, which would infer that a full charge would take around 2 hours and 15 minutes.

The downside of having so much battery is that this is a heavy phone that exceeds 750g, making it not something you would ideally put in a jacket pocket.

Available in Volcano Orange and Classic Black colour schemes, and back of the phone has two glowing “DOOGEE Eye” used to indicated a message when the phone is placed face down. And, you can set the colour of these eyes and how they animate.

Internally, this is yet another Mediatek platform, the P90 octa-core processor with the IMG PowerVR GM 9446 GPU. While this isn’t the most powerful SoC that Mediatek has made or IMG GPU, the platform is power efficient and workable for most tasks other than serious gaming.

A highlight is the camera cluster that combines a 64MP main sensor with F/1.8 optics with two 8MP Samsung-powered sensors for Wide angle and macro photography. And, if those weren’t wonderful enough, it also has a 20MP Sony IMX350 sensor set for night vision mode.

For those that like to make video calls, the front sensor is a 16MP one made by Samsung that’s perfect for selfies along with face-time.

Captured images and video can be viewed on the 6.3″ FHD+ DotDisplay, protected with  Corning Gorilla Glass that has a natural resolution of 1080 x 2340.

As you might already suspect, this phone is fully IP68 and IP69K rated, enabling it to cope with being immersed in water to a depth of 1.5m for up to 30 minutes, and dropped onto concrete from 1.5m without breaking.

To help with the waterproofing, Doogee supports wireless charging on this device, so you don’t need to keep pulling the rubber plug out that covers the USB-C port.

Overall, an impressive phone from Doogee that ticks many boxes but suffers from the physical scale and weight of this bulky hardware.

Doogee S89 Pro

(Image credit: Mark Pickavance)

Doogee S89 Pro price and availability

  • How much does it cost? $399.99 / £322.99
  • When is it out? It is available now
  • Where can you get it? You can get it in most regions direct from Doogee via AliExpress or on Amazon

All Doogee products are widely available, and the quoted prices might be bettered by some retailers. Our UK cost was already discounted down from the official £379.99 price tag for a limited time.

Although, those reductions don’t appear to have made it to America, where most online retailers were maintaining an MSRP of around $400.

There are cheaper rugged phones available, some from Doogee, but the cost of the S89 Pro isn’t excessive for the technology inside it.

Doogee S89 Pro

(Image credit: Mark Pickavance)
  • Value score: 4/5

Doogee S89 Pro design

  • Batman motif
  • Massive and heavy phone

Even by rugged design standards, the S89 Pro is an exceptionally chunky phone. So much so that it would undoubtedly be considered an assault with a deadly weapon if you stuck someone with it.

Even without its extra armoured case, the body of the S89 Pro is a combination of metal and glass-reinforced plastic that gives a strong impression that it could survive plenty of abuse.

The ‘Batman’ aspect is either something you’ll love or hate, and this reviewer didn’t massively care for it, and the glowing eyes on the rear used to indicate new messages.

The button layout is as close to a de facto standard for rugged designs as it is possible to get, with a fingerprint reader/power button and volume rockers on the right and a user-customisable button on the left. The custom button is especially useful for clicking the camera shutter, using push-to-talk technology, or launching a specific application.

However, the fingerprint sensor placement is very convenient for right-handed people that use their thumb to wake up the phone and much less helpful for those that are left-handed.

Doogee S89 Pro

The speaker situated between the camera sensors can output 109dB of sound (Image credit: Mark Pickavance)

To achieve waterproofing standards, the USB-C port is covered in a rubber plug that needs to be pulled out each time the phone is charged, although wireless charging is also an option.

Another rubber plug also covers a 3.5mm audio headphone jack on the top edge, an inclusion that is increasingly rare these days.

Access to the SIM tray is on the left, where you might normally expect to find it, and the S89 Pro is one of those designs where the tray is very long, enabling it to carry two Nano phone SIMs and one MicroSD card simultaneously.

With metal sides and angled reinforced corners, the S89 Pro isn’t likely to be mistaken for a fashion statement unless it’s a brutalist one. It’s all about function over form unless you’re fighting crime on the streets of Gotham, obviously.

Doogee S89 Pro

Pogo pins designed to work with the charging dock (Image credit: Mark Pickavance)

Design score: 4/5

Doogee S89 Pro hardware

  • 109dB speaker
  • Odd screen resolution
  • 1080p capture but only 720p playback
Specs

The Doogee S89 Pro that was sent to us for review came with the following hardware:

CPU: MediaTek Helio P90
GPU: PowerVR GM 9446
RAM: 8GB LPDDR4X
Storage: 256GB
Screen: 6.3-inch LCD FHD+ DotDisplay
Resolution: 1080 x 2340
SIM: Dual Nano SIM (+MicroSD up to 512GB)
Weight: 757 g
Dimensions: 172.0 x 86.0 x 19.4 mm
Rugged Spec: IP68, IP69K and MIL-STD-810H
Rear cameras: 64MP Sony IMX362 F/1.8, 8MP Samsung S5K4H7 Wide Angle, 8MP Samsung S5K4H7 Macro, 20 MP Sony IMX350 night vision camera
Front camera: 16MP Samsung S5K3P9SP sensor F/2.0
Networking: WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.1
OS: Android 12
Battery: 12000mAh

With the cost of DDR4 and NAND flash dropping, the amount of memory and storage in modern phones is dramatically increasing. A few years ago, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage would have seemed high, but in the S89 Pro, it’s par for the course.

This design has three standout features, the first of those being an exceptionally nice screen with a natural resolution of 1080 x 2340, allowing for 1080p presentations but not 1440p or higher.

If you play higher-resolution videos, the picture is inherently scaled, or you can zoom in and see it pixel for pixel with cropping.

The screen resolution is important because the maximum resolution of video capture on the main camera sensor is greater, enabling the phone to capture this quality but not fully present it.

We will take more about the cameras in the next section, but they’re the second of our best features of this phone.

What’s less wonderful is that, like so many Chinese phones, the S89 Pro only supports Widevine L3 security, not L1, and therefore if you stream to this phone from Netflix or one of the other major services, the best video resolution will only be 480p, unfortunately.

The third and final jewel in the S89 Pro crown is the battery, or rather just how big it is.

Doogee S89 Pro

This is a large phone, even with this reviewers shovel-like hands (Image credit: Mark Pickavance)

With a rating of 12,000 mAh, this is at the very top end of battery capacity in phones today, and a bigger energy store than often comes in Android tablets.

The advantages of having that much battery are obvious, but there is a flip-side that includes the weight that this contributes to the overall mass of the S89 Pro.

The other caveat to this battery is that recharging it isn’t a minor exercise, and without the fast-charge capability offered by the included charger, it will take some considerable time to hit 100% of the charge.

We’re all so used to taking a trip and thinking that we need to take a charger with us. But here, you need to remember to take this specific charger, or you could end up spending many hours to achieve a full battery.

Once it is charged, the S89 Pro can last a very long time, even if you use demanding tasks like video playback, but it needs to be correctly curated to get the most out of it.

  • Hardware score: 4/5

Doogee S89 Pro cameras

  • 64MP sensor on the rear, 16MP on front
  • Wide-angle, macro and night vision
  • Five cameras in total

Doogee S89 Pro

(Image credit: Mark Pickavance)

 The Doogee S89 Pro has five cameras:

  • 64MP Sony IMX362 F/1.8, 8MP
  • 8MP Samsung S5K4H7 Wide Angle
  • 8MP Samsung S5K4H7 Macro
  • 20MP Sony IMX350 night vision camera
  • 16MP Samsung S5K3P9SP sensor F/2.0 on front

For the amateur photographer, this phone is probably overkilled in terms of the sensors available and the quality of the images it can capture.

There are no less than five sensors, and these provide dedicated or supporting functionality for still image and video capture across a wide range of resolutions and qualities.

On the Doogee website, it claims the top video resolution is 1440p, but the S89 Pro will capture 3840 x 2160, aka 4K UHD.

The cameras are an excellent aspect of this design, with the quality of the capture in both video and static images being high. When you combine the extra sensors for wide-angle and macro photos, there isn’t much that the camera can’t do or couldn’t achieve with the right software.

With such great sensors, it is mildly disappointing how limited the controls are within the camera application for the Pro options. And, there isn’t any timelapse or clever shooting modes other than panoramic.

The highest resolution of still images is 64MB, or 9216 x 6912 resolution on the main sensor.

Images in night vision mode, are at a maximum of 5184 x 3872. Images are captured by default as 85% compressed JPGs, and there are no RAW options.

Even without RAW, the quality of the images is good, though maybe marginally over-processed with a tendency to create edge highlights. Colour representation is also decent, and images rarely end up with a colour balance that isn’t representative.

Video is equally impressive and includes HDR as an option, but you can’t trade resolution for frame rate, and there are no slow-motion or hyperlapse modes.

The weaknesses of this camera solution aren’t in the hardware but in the camera application that, if uprated with RAW and enhanced shooting modes, could make this a phone that would compare with premium products from Apple and Samsung.

Camera samples

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Images taken by Doogee S89 Pro

(Image credit: Mark Pickavance)
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Images taken by Doogee S89 Pro

(Image credit: Mark Pickavance)
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Images taken by Doogee S89 Pro

(Image credit: Mark Pickavance)
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Images taken by Doogee S89 Pro

(Image credit: Mark Pickavance)
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Images taken by Doogee S89 Pro

(Image credit: Mark Pickavance)
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Images taken by Doogee S89 Pro

(Image credit: Mark Pickavance)
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Images taken by Doogee S89 Pro

(Image credit: Mark Pickavance)
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Images taken by Doogee S89 Pro

(Image credit: Mark Pickavance)
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Images taken by Doogee S89 Pro

(Image credit: Mark Pickavance)
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Images taken by Doogee S89 Pro

(Image credit: Mark Pickavance)
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Night vision mode on the Doogee S89 Pro

(Image credit: Mark Pickavance)
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Night vision mode on the Doogee S89 Pro

(Image credit: Mark Pickavance)
  • Camera score: 4/5

Doogee S89 Pro performance

  • Mediocre performance
  • Plenty of storage
  • Good battery life
Benchmarks

This is how the Doogee S89 Pro performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

Geekbench: 236 (single-core); 986 (multi-core); N/A (OpenCL)
PCMark (Work 3.0): 6296
Passmark: 4235
Passmark CPU: 2012
3DMark Slingshot: 2101 (OGL)
3DMark Slingshot Extreme: 1114 (OGL); 1458 (Vulkan)
3DMark Wild Life: N/A
HWBot Prime: 3925

When potential customers for this device see Helio P90 listed as the SoC for this phone it will give some the impression that this is at the very top end of the MediaTek CPU range.

But the benchmarks reveal that to be far from the truth, as compared with the Helio G85 as an example, this CPU and the PowerVR GPU isn’t a winning combination.

Looking at where it performs best and worst, the S89 Pro isn’t good a GeekBench, PCMark 3.0, PassMark or 3DMark. And, it doesn’t have the GPU functionality to run the 3DMark Wild Life test or complete the OpenCL parts of GeekBench.

As an overall position, it achieves about 60% of the scores of an Helio G95, and 50% of that we’d expect from a Snapdragon 480 5G. The only phones we’ve tested recently that were slower used the MediaTek Helio G35 SoC.

That said, most users won’t notice these performance limits unless they play games, where the S89 Pro isn’t a platform of choice, in our opinion.

What this phone does have is plenty of storage, having both 256GB of inbuilt NAND flash and the ability to use a MicroSD card to add another 512GB on the SIM tray. We’ve seen other brands bumping that MicroSD card expansion up to 1TB, since cards of this capacity are available, but we’re not sure if they would work in the S89 Pro.

And, due to the size of the SIM tray, you can add a MicroSD card without it being a choice over a second SIM, thankfully.

What you also get is a truly massive battery.

  • Performance score: 3/5

Doogee S89 Pro battery

  • Plenty of capacity
  • Wireless charging
  • Comes with 65W charger

We’ve seen a few bigger than this, like the 13,000 mAh battery in the Blackview BV7100, but 12,000 mAH is nothing to be sniffed at.

The quoted standby is a whopping 2340 hours, and it can play music for 42 hours, play video for 18 hours and make calls for 60 hours.

In the box, Doogee includes a 65W charger that it tells us will deliver 15% of capacity in just 20 minutes. However, that’s still more than 2 hours for a full charge, and we wonder if Doogee needs to consider providing bigger than 65W chargers.

One slight disappointment about the included charger was that it came by default with Euro standard socket pins and no adapter to a UK socket. While adapters are relatively cheap, a charger with pin options would have been nice.

An advantage of using this charger is that the phone will accept fast charging from it, were other USB-C chargers (even 100W models) didn’t cause the S89 Pro to enter fast charging mode. Unsure why that was the case, but the provided charger does work best.

It is possible to charge this phone using wireless charging, but the amount of power transferred and the capacity of the battery that needs to recharge strongly suggests that this could take a long time, possibly overnight. Those changing this way need to make sure it is charging, as waking up to discover the S89 Pro shifted on the wireless charger would be frustrating.

  • Battery score: 5/5

The Doogee S89 Pro is ideal for a camping trip or outdoor adventure, as it can keep going for days without a recharge and cope with getting wet and dusty without breaking.

However, the SoC choice here isn’t the best, and we wonder if Doogee needs to consider using Snapdragon processors instead of relying so heavily on Meditek.

In other respects, the main issue here, beyond the theatrical styling, is the significant weight and scale of this device, something you might start to regret on a long hike.

If you are away from a mobile signal for days, having a heavy phone that you can only use for photos and videos might be better replaced with something smaller that you can turn off when it is not required.

Overall, the S89 Pro falls slightly short of the winning line, and it is not as impressive a design as the S96GT.

Doogee S89 Pro score card

Attributes Notes Rating
Value Not cheap, but for the amount of RAM, storage, battery life and the cameras, the price is reasonable. 4/5
Design It’s big and heavy, and loves Batman. 4/5
Hardware An impressive feature set that includes night vision camera and 65W fast-charge. But no 5G technology. 4/5
Performance The Meditek Helio P90 isn’t the best SoC around 3/5
Camera Great sensors not fully exploited by the camera app 4/5
Battery 7A massive battery that can extend the useful life of the phone away from recharging. 5/5
Overall While not ideal for gaming or streaming, for other uses this is a useful device. 4/5

Should I buy the Doogee S89 Pro?

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