I am quite impressed with the Doogee S97 Pro rugged phone. Not only does it have a bigger battery than the Cubot King Kong 5 Pro and Doogee S86 that I reviewed recently – but the S97 Pro has a useful and neat new gadget; a laser rangefinder.
In the S97 Pro case, the phone is covered with a blue screen anti-shatter film, which is already applied to the phone. There is a charger and a USB Type-C cable, a SIM opener, a wrist lanyard and a user guide.
The S97 Pro phone itself is big and heavy in my hand. Its dimensions are 170.2 x 83.6 x 16.2mm which is a bit wide for my hands.
The S97 Pro’s massive 8,500mAh battery means the phone weighs in at 352g, much more than the Doogee S86, which is 323g. The battery supports 33W fast charging and 10W wireless charging.
Like many other rugged phones, the S97 Pro is rated IP68 / IP69K which means it is dust resistant and can survive a drop in water up to 1.5m for 30 minutes. Doogee says this model is certified to have passed MIL-STD-810G testing.
The larger dimensions mean that Doogee inserted a 6.39-inch Gorilla Glass display with a 1560 x 720px resolution, a screen refresh rate of 69 GHz and an aspect ratio of 19: 9 in the S97 Pro. .
Inside the phone there is an octa-core MediaTek Helio G95 processor running up to 2.1 GHz. Two cortices are A76 running at 2.1 GHz and 6 are A55 running up to 2.0 GHz. Its graphics chip is an ARM Mali G76 operating up to 900 MHz.
The phone has 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of RAM, expandable up to 256 GB with a TF card in the second SIM slot.
The body of the S97 Pro unit appears uncluttered. On the left side of the phone are the volume buttons, the power button, and the fingerprint sensor.
The left side of the phone has two custom function keys and the SIM slot. On the top of the phone there is the laser for the range finder function.
Why is the laser rangefinder so cool? Well, if you’ve ever wanted to calculate the length, volume, or area of a room in square meters or feet, you can do that with this handy laser tool.
You can set whether you want the distance to be measured in meters or feet or take the measurement from the top or bottom of the phone.
Choose whether you want to measure the length, area, volume or area of a triangle, turn on the infrared laser and measure the distance up to 40m. Previous distances are saved in a list – a really useful feature.
The S97 Pro cameras are different from the S86 Pro. The rear of the camera features three lenses in a liner and a singular camera. The rear cameras are a Samsung 48MP main camera, with an 8MP ultra wide-angle camera with a 130-degree field of view and two 2MP cameras for macro and portrait work.
The front camera is 16MP and takes good quality images – the S97 also records 4K video. There are a range of options in the camera app to let you specify features like time lapse, panorama, slow motion, and an option to scan QRs and barcodes.
The S97 Pro runs Android 11, has NFC, and supports Google Pay. Other cool features include a built-in formaldehyde detector – in case you run into this chemical while you’re on the go.
There are other tools common to many Doogee phones, such as a compass, gradient meter, plumb bob, flashlight, protractor, and height measuring tool, although this can be redundant when the laser rangefinder is used.
Smart Assistance has a range of features, such as answering a call by putting the phone to your ear, preventing the phone from malfunctioning when it’s in your pocket, or quickly opening the camera app.
The feature also allows the camera to be used while wearing gloves and will take a screenshot by swiping down with three fingers, among other things.
You can also set up an SOS message to your named contact with a preconfigured message and continue to send the messages at a predefined interval.
There is no OEM bloatware or additional features on the phone except for a simplified version of the launcher, which you can turn on and off at will.
You don’t mind the Doogee S97 Pro phone, and its performance and rugged construction are a godsend if you’re rough with your devices. The S97 Pro is a pretty cool phone, although it’s a bit big and heavy for me.
At under $ 279.35, the Doogee S97 Pro is an affordable and rugged all-round phone with a built-in rangefinder. If measuring distances, areas and volumes is part of your job, you will find this functionality invaluable.