I finally managed to destroy my rugged Cat phone. It still works for calls, but an incident at work has melted half the plastics, torn some chunks of exposed electronics out, and left only half the display readable. I've done some ugly ad-hoc repairs and devised some arcane rituals which keep it working, but this isn't a real solution.
So I'm looking for a new phone.
The Doogie S95 Pro seems like a good choice. But my only experience with the Doogie brand was a friend's low-end Doogie phone many years ago - it was utterly frustrating cheap junk. I understand you get exactly what you pay for but this particular device still stands out in my mind as being especially cheap garbage.
Does anyone have any experience with this Doogee phone, with other Doogee phones? Or any suggestions for another phone which would satisfy my criteria? I'm a little apprehensive about the brand - especially since the product I'm looking at isn't cheap - so I welcome feedback.
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Going for the Nokia XR20. Looks like the best bang for buck option which meets my needs and is actually available right now at my local retailers.
It also fits nicely in my phone holster, unlike the bulkier Cat phone I had to carry in a cargo pocket. And it supports SDIO, a niche technical interface which pleases me greatly (allows me to connect with RS232 devices, very handy for the work I do, so no more need to haul around a laptop).
The Doogee advertises better specs ... and it might indeed be a superior device in every way ... but I just can't make myself trust Chinesium brands again.
Cant't speak for the phone in question but would be interested to read about what you end up with.
My work phones are exposed to water (these days more splash than the immersion of years past) to fiberglassing ingredients (including but not limited to fine dust, resin, catalyst, solvents etc), and seem to go flying more often than average electronics like...
While I usually have a power bank with me I expect it to run on medium use (calls, texting, e-mails with attachments, tethering in potentially marginal coverage) for 18 hours or more.
So not as heavy duty use as yours, but definitely not sitting on a desk all day.
In the past decade I have, among others, gone through:
- a direct import Doogee "IP68 rugged" of some kind in 2013 (I think?) After a couple of months of use it didn't survive a fall into knee deep fresh water (immersion <10 sec)
- CAT S40, as far as I could tell it was technically still functional but the battery was toast after 4 years or so, and with outdated specs it felt right to move on
- Ulefone Armor 6E, survived some serious immersion over the 2 years I used it, but the metal frame and screen protector eventually weren't able to protect the screen enough from a 8ft fall - it shattered badly, rendering the phone essentially useless - it would still ring for calls, but I couldn't answer. Trying to track down a replacement screen was frustrating enough that I gave up.
- For about a year now I've had the Umidigi Bison 2021. No actual immersion so far, so I can't say how those waterproofed open head phone jack and charging port would hold up for my (ab)use, but it's holding up after a few moderate falls onto concrete (3ft or so), and the battery still lasts for up to two days.
I'd say that the Armor and the Bison are solid enough quality for my normal use, I consider the screen destruction as abuse and it would have been amazing if it had survived intact. I am happy with the value I got out of the two phones.
While it's not an in-store option, both Umidigi and Ulefone offer phones on Amazon.ca
My two cents (nickel?) only, of course.
I've heard good things about blackview phones and they are rated well on the following list and available thru Amazon.ca. I can tell you the Sonim XP-8 did not pass the bf test failing after a mere 8 weeks and it's impossible to get warranty service except thru the provider and only if you are the original owner.
It also sounds like you are in need of a powercap one of the best inventions ever! Surprisingly they did not sell as well as expected at Mark's but I cornered the clearance sale on them. But it looks like they have recently restocked a smaller selection of them. Wait for a 25% off sitewide sale and buy two and/or combine with a few other never on sale items. Stack with the $15 off $50 email coupon and any other promo code you can find (check rfd) and stackable triangle app Canadian tire offers....
Everyone I have ever given one to loves it.....
Lol...there's a first the spam filter bleeping out part of a link "u n i s e x" so here's the page link instead...
I would buy one again. The hardware was built well. It served me well.
The built-in FLIR camera was an awesome feature. But in the real world it turns out that if you actually need a FLIR camera then you already have a FLIR camera - a dedicated device which costs less and does the job better (and which doesn't suck your phone battery dry after hours of use). I did find it handy a few times, but not often enough to justify the costs and tradeoffs. I'll bring along a tool if I actually expect to need the tool, I won't bring it along if I have to contrive a use for it, I don't think it's worth buying a tool which is almost never used.
The built-in 100 lumen flashlight was the same story on all counts. If it's a thing you actually need to use then it's a thing you'll already have in your toolbox. I never used it once the novelty wore off, it turns out that a flat square box is an uncomfortable form factor when you need to hold or aim the flashlight-edge into tight spaces while doing things with your other hand (and you can't easily prop or rest the thing on it's edge, lol), and it's useless with the camera (because they're mounted on differently-oriented faces), and you don't really need to be blinded by 100 lumens at point blank when doing mundane things like fumbling for your keys in the dark anyhow.
But I'm not buying one again. Not at this time, anyhow.
The software was buggy, especially after update, so I had to port a modded android image onto it. Compatability was almost 100% but never truly 100%, there was always at least one app or extension or whatever which just wouldn't work without time-wasting searching and coding and testing. On paper, Cat's support is famous world-class stuff - in reality, Cat's support is about the same thing as Public Mobile's support - a small community of dedicated users who help each other with what they can when they can while the actual company accomplishes little of use aside from issuing announcements and support tickets and surveys and FAQ sheets.
And the price was high. Too high for the sort of hardware packed inside, you could buy a phone with similar computing power for half the price or you could buy a phone with twice the computing power at the same price. This is especially painful when years pass between releases of new versions, it can feel like you paid a premium-tier price for an obsolete-tier product.
All told I have no regrets with buying a Cat device. It was worth it. I'd recommend others buy one if they need a rugged converged multi-function Swiss-Army-Knife sort of phone in their pocket. The last time I looked into rugged (and so-called "rugged") phones I discovered a lot of false advertising, Cat was one of the few which were genuinely rugged. But I'm ready to try again, to see what else is out there, to see if there's something better.
All phones are Chinesium, in truth. Disposable consumer devices, built as quickly and efficiently and cheaply as they can mass produce in China.
I've learned to be very skeptical of ruggedized claims. That's why I will only buy rugged phones from a real store, even if it's a few hours drive away. I can lift, grip, bend, and (gently) drop the device right away - right in front of the salesperson - if it's cheap it'll fail this cursory assessment immediately. If it breaks after a waist-height fall onto store carpet (when the box says it's rated for a 10m fall onto concrete or steel) then there's really no way they can deny an immediate return and refund. But if I buy from Alibaba then I get stuck with whatever flimsy junk they want to slap a label onto - and, ironically, the "ruggedized hardened armored mil-spec" item is sometimes destroyed by shipping and handling before it even gets unwrapped, lol.
I like using the Nokia XR20.
Battery non replaceable though, but worth a look.
I was unaware of this one. It seems a little overpriced - I mean, all of the ruggedized phones seem overpriced for what they give you, but this one seems even more overpriced than most, lol.
But it also seems like the best choice I've seen so far.
I'll give this thread a day or two to see if anything else turns up, but I think this phone might be it.
Curious, why S95? Latest one is S97, isn't it? Or not something easy to find here? (sorry, I am not into this market myself 🙂 )
I just didn't know about the S97, lol.
It has some better specs and hardware than the S95. I admit I have little use for a Laser Rangefinder but I'd happily take the 8500mAh battery. Importantly, I can buy the S95 at my local Staples or London Drugs, I'd have to order the S97 through Alibaba - which automatically makes me agree with @dust2dust about Chinesium.
Samsung XCover 6 Pro coming.. with replaceable battery and headset jack. interested?
Impressive hardware specs. But not ruggedized. Such a delicate and tech-dense device wouldn't last long, lol.
I suppose I should add one more important parameter: the device needs to be available in stores now.