Doogee BL7000: the Big Fat Phone!

Oct 1, 2017

The Doogee BL7000 is not just a BL5000 with a bigger battery.

With its distinctive metal frame and back leather-style design, its 13MP selfie camera, and huge battery, it clearly wants to play in the heavyweight category...






Highlights


Android 7.0
CPU MT6750T 8x cortex-A53@1.5GHz
4GB RAM and 64GB ROM
Triple camera: 13MP Dual rear cameras and front camera (Samsung ISOCELL sensor), with AF and flash on both sides. Rear camera has 2X optical zoom.
Screen: IPS Full HD 1080*1920px 480ppi with Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Battery: 7060mAh
Weight: (220gr announced), actual: 243gr naked (261gr with silicon cover)

Unpacking and first look:


The BL7000 comes with a plastic screen protection already applied and a spare one. In addition, we have a silicon cover, an OTG cable, a USB cable and a fast charger (well done Doogee!).
A SIM tray extractor and a leaflet are also provided.


In a world of bezel-less devices, this phone keeps a classic design, almost old-fashioned. The leather-style on the back adds a touch a elegance.
Despite plenty of space above and under the screen, Doogee did not squeeze any notification LED. :(

The SIM tray accepts either 2 nano-SIM's or 1 microSD+1 nano SIM.
With 64GB of internal storage, you might not need additional storage anytime soon, but a card of up to 128GB can be added.

7060mAh battery: Does a battery twice as big lasts twice as long?

I was expecting around 48 hours of autonomy with my usual mixed use of camera, GPS, games, videos and phone calls. I got just under 40 hours (of real life use, not screen-on time). Not exactly 2 days but quite comfortable.

With a real weight of 261 grams (with silicon cover), the BL7000 is and feels heavy and you'll have to decide if that's worth the extra autonomy.
The 12V-2A fast charging will fill up the battery in just over 1 hour. It's great to have it included in the box but not a luxury either, with any weaker charger, you are in for a loooonnng wait.

The OTG cable provided allows the phone to be used as a Power Bank for other devices.

The data/charging port is still a good old micro-USB connector and the audio port is the 3.5 mm jack connector, which is too often removed from USB type C equipped phone, so... micro-USB only? good for me!

Camera: the good surprise

All three cameras use a 13MP Samsung ISOCELL sensor.
Both sides also have LED flash and Phase Detection Auto Focus.

A dual lens is not a guarantee to have a single good one, especially in that price range, but the Doogee BL7000 is a bit different.

The rear (one of them at least*) and front cameras do actually take very decent photos, even in a dark environment.
The 2X optical zoom works well, the focus is fast and keeps at it with no struggle, even in video recording it doesn't go hunting away.

The native camera software does the job with a good choice of options, and I didn't feel the urge to install another one.



(click the pictures for full size)
    

  





Dual rear camera: the "We too have it!" syndrome...


Although the second rear camera is really there (if you block the lens, it will display a warning on screen), it is just a marketing gimmick. Sadly Doogee did not bother taking advantage of it, and it's the software that does all the job!

The picture below was taken in SLR mode (equivalent to the Blur mode on other models) and has been edited to make the focus circles more visible. Basically, everything outside the center is artificially blurred...

A Bokeh effect? that? Seriously guys!

Screen:

A Corning Gorilla Glass 5 screen should not require an additional screen protection, and the touch feels smoother without it. I would have preferred that Doogee includes a tempered glass protection with oleo-phobic coating instead. (They're available on ebay for this model).

The IPS display is Full HD with vibrant colors and good contrast. I found the brightness adequate in full daylight.

Performance:

That little fatty is not exactly a sprinter and, during the Antutu screen tests, I could see that the Full HD screen was a heavy burden for the poor MT6750T.

In real life use, I found it to work very well and fast enough, no stutter while playing FHD videos, no slow down or crash with games. It just does not give that lighting-fast feeling when launching apps. This is normal for a phone which storage is encrypted by default and it does not affect the performance of execution.

  

A clean Android 7.0!

With 64GB of internal storage, one could expect a lot of bloat- and ad-ware pre-installed.
Instead, this ROM (build DOOGEE-BL7000-Android7.0-20170904) is an example of sobriety with nothing to spoil your craving for Nougat!

There's no Doogee customization. WPS Office and Xender are the only pre-installed apps (they can be uninstalled), leaving most of the formatted storage available (around 55GB).


Fingerprint scanner: reliable but not fast

Registering the fingerprints is straightforward but the scanner is slow enough to make me regret the absence of a Face Unlock option.
It needs a good firm press of one good second to recognize my finger and unlock the phone.
Both the Doogee Mix and Bluboo S1 are faster. Let's hope Doogee will look into this.

GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Mobile Data:

The BL7000 is needs 5 seconds on average for the first 10 satellites. Not the fastest, but not an issue either. Wi-Fi: all good, in 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz with a good range. Bluetooth 4.0 is flawless, as expected.
Most worldwide bands are covered for 4G (B20 800MHz, B8 900MHz, B7 2600MHz, B3 1800MHz, B1 2100MHz), something I don't take for granted anymore since a certain Xiaomi.

Just a little skinflint on the sensors...

This is a place of obvious sacrifices. The BL7000 embarks the strict necessary, no gyroscope, no compass.
At least, what's there (the LS/PS basically) works perfectly fine during phone calls and for adaptive brightness.


Speakers

The speakers are able to produce a good sound even at maximum volume (which could have been a bit louder). Maybe the weight of the phone helps in preventing the excessive vibrations.
It's (maybe) worth mentioning that, as a phone, it provides also an excellent in-call quality.

Conclusion: Elegant and generous!

It may not have the sexiness of the Mix, but the BL7000 does look elegant and solid.

The clean Android 7.0 also feels solid and I could not fault this smartphone in any aspect.
It is definitely a very well balanced and reliable assistant of generous specifications:
4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and a large 7060mAh battery.

Leaving the twin lens marketing trick aside (they all do that), the camera does a pretty good job overall with fast focusing and results that I'd like to see in more smartphones of this price range.

The star feature of this phone could however be also its Achilles's heel:
With its 243gr (261gr with the silicon cover), this phone is one of the heaviest on the market, and  that's a factor to put in the balance with your need of autonomy.

The DOOGEE BL7000 is available for €149.95/~177$ @ Lightinthebox.com 




Good:
Elegant design, feels solid
Good rear and front cameras
Good sound quality
Clean AOSP Android 7.0
Comfortable battery autonomy

Not so good:
No gyroscope, no compass
No notification LED
Sluggish fingerprint scanner
Heavy (261gr!)



Thanks to Oscar from  Lightinthebox.com 
for providing this sample

Also posted on xda-developers.com

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