Doogee S96 GT hands-on: A well-made rugged Android 12 smartphone for selfie lovers


With attractive looks for a rugged phone, the Doogee S96 GT also features generous battery life, plenty of memory and storage space, as well as a clean software environment. The 32 MP selfie camera works well in most scenarios, although it obviously struggles in low-light conditions. The night vision IR camera is very good at shooting photos in complete darkness, but even more for real-time navigation in preview mode (maximum range is now roughly 15 meters/50 feet). The fingerprint reader works great and is not located on the power button, something that I often find quite inconvenient on my Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro. 

Overall, the photo and video shooting quality is far from what I expected. Future software updates might improve things a bit, but it is possible for some visual artifacts to be caused by the low-quality lens. The buttons jiggle and some non-metallic parts of the case could have been manufactured more carefully. The display is the same lackluster low-resolution IPS LCD as that of the S96 Pro, and maybe the next member of the S96 family will finally sport an AMOLED panel. 

As an upgrade to a rugged Android 10 handset, the Doogee S96 GT gets many things right: it comes with Android 12, a slightly faster processor, more storage, and an improved military standard protection rating. But as a daily driver for general use, the Doogee S96 GT is less relevant now than its predecessor was back in 2020. How relevant depends on the price and the user’s specific requirements.

Disclaimer: The author of this review received the Doogee S96 GT rugged smartphone from Doogee free of charge for the purpose of testing.



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