Doogee Pixels DG350 Smartphone Long-Term Review @ ModSynergy.com
Today I'll be reviewing the Doogee DG350 Smartphone that sports a 1.3GHz Quad-Core processor in the form of the MediaTek 6582, 1GB of RAM, 4.7" IPS 720p display, Dual SIM, and runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.
Today's review was made possible by Pandawill. PandaWill.com is a global e-commerce company which provides worldwide free shipping and quality warranty on most types of Android-related devices.
At the time of writing, the Doogee Pixels DG350 Smartphone sold for around $115USD which made it compete in the budget Smartphone category. This long term review of the Doogee Pixels DG350 allowed us about 6 months of long-term testing, so now we can fully share how it performed.
"DOOGEE, founded in March 2013, is the third largest independent brand subordinated to KVD International Group. DOOGEE advocates “quality and experience”, imposing strict examination on each procedure from design to production. In terms of quality, all products of DOOGEE are subject to strict high standards and high-quality testing processes to ensure that every user has perfect experience.
Doogee Pixels DG350 Product Overview
Featuring a 4.7-inch 720p IPS OGS display, the Doogee Pixels DG350 has high pixel density and wide viewing angles. The main camera on the rear uses the OV5650 camera sensor from Omnivision, something that Doogee excitingly points out is the same one used in the iPhone, however not mentioning which iPhone. I found out that the iPhone 4 and 3GS uses the same Omnivision OV5650 camera sensor. On the DG350, Doogee pairs it with a f/2.2 aperture lens and is capable of 8MP resolution. Meanwhile the front camera uses a 2.0MP variant.
The Doogee Pixels DG350 has other features such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi B/G/N, FM radio, dual SIM, G-Sensor, microSD card expansion, back LED, and 2200mAh battery.
The Pixels DG350 DOES NOT have other high end features such as NFC, 4K video recording, 1080p/2K display, 2GB+ RAM, waterproofing, 64-bit CPU, 4G LTE, fingerprint sensor, heart rate monitor, Gorilla Glass, USB 3.0, GLONASS, pricey materials. It is strictly a budget Smartphone.
Doogee Pixels DG350 Product Features
Doogee Pixels DG350 Product Specifications
The Doogee Pixels DG350 comes packaged in a very simple white and blue compact box with the company logo at the center. The back of the box contains the main features of the Smartphone in different languages. Most of these Chinese Smartphones have very plain packaging.
The Doogee Pixels DG350 is a budget phone featuring an older MediaTek MTK 6582 Quad-Core ARM Cortex A7 processor that is clocked at 1.3GHz. So there are four low-power energy efficient cores available to be used, improving and providing longer battery life than if the power hungry and faster Cortex cores were used. Again where the Doogee Pixels DG350 is targeted a (strict budget) MediaTek 6582 allows the DG350 to be inexpensive.
But being inexpensive hasn't stopped Doogee in providing a better display. I would have expected a quarter-HD display on a cheap phone in this price range, but Doogee elected for a more premium 720p IPS OGS display promising better color and wider viewing angles. That's pretty good for a budget phone to have a 720p display.
The Doogee Pixels DG350 has a adequate 2200mAh battery that should work well in conjunction with the low-power MediaTek 6582 processor. It's not the largest battery out there, but should be good enough.
Doogee Pixels DG350 is offered in only two colors, white and black.
Found within the Doogee Pixels DG350's box are the following items...
The DG350 has one of the better bundles I've seen for a Smartphone and it comes with in-earphones, something that seems to be omitted more and more now. Interesting that the USB wall charger is a direct copy of the Samsung USB wall charger. Just a personal preference and from seeing horror stories online, I would not trust using a generic USB wall charger from China unless it had multiple certifications conforming to North American standards, otherwise fires and explosions can possibly happen. Stick to big name brands for chargers and stay away from fakes.
What kind of frequency bands does it support?
The Doogee Pixels DG350 comes SIM Unlocked for worldwide use and supports 2G GSM bands of 850/900/1800/1900 MHz and it supports 3G WCDMA/UMTS bands of 850/2100MHz.
In Canada this phone will work on 2G operation. However, the DG350 only supports WCDMA 850/2100MHz and the exclusion of 1900MHz will affect whether or not you get 3G depending on your carrier and their if their cell towers. Would have liked to see WCDMA have support for 1900MHz, but that's not the case. 3G operation will likely work better for people outside North America.
The Doogee Pixels DG350 is constructed out of purely plastic to keep the cost down. No pricey materials are used on this device such as aluminum, sapphire, metal, glass to keep cost down obviously. But plastic isn't bad if done right, just look at Samsung using all plastic in their Smartphones and they are priced significantly higher. Plastic is good to keep weight down on the flip side.
According to my digital scale, a naked Pixels DG350 weighs 159 grams with the battery inside. For a 4.7" phone I was surprised it was this heavy, it's on the heavy side for sure.
The Doogee Pixels DG350 feels tough enough to withstand normal usage, not sure how it will do in a drop though. In my hands it feels generally strong but it's really slippery in my hands and there's some small creaking noise if you look for it.
The screen is all glossy and shiny, and the body is the same deal.
The most prominent design cue on the DG350 for sure are the simulated pixels on the white bezel and rear battery cover. This design is easily one of the best I've seen on any Smartphone, cheap or expensive. The pixels shimmer and change the way they appear depending on how the light shines on the surface. I absolutely love this pattern design.
What I did not like was on the backside, the writing beside the speaker port, it hurts the look and design of the DG350. Also the bezels are a little too thick for my liking on the DG350.
People with small hands will be able to reach across the screen real estate, 4.7" allows you to do that. I think 4.7" is a good balance between going too small and going too big.
Just a thing to note, popping off the back cover, you can see paint overspray on parts of the Smartphone.
The Doogee Pixels DG350 - Any good?
The Doogee DG350 is a budget Smartphone and after using it for 6 months, it definitely feels like it. Sure it is better than the MTK6589 processor in my old Newman NM890, however, it's just slightly better.
Performance out of the box is decent and leaves a good experience, however there's not a lot of room for internal storage and once you start filling it with apps you can tell the performance gets slower, starts to lag and isn't as smooth. To alleviate the problem you can use the microSD expansion slot to expand your storage and have apps installed on the microSD card instead of the internal storage on the phone.
Benchmarks of the Doogee DG350 revealed that it was slower than Samsung's Galaxy S3.
The Pixels DG350 took about 25 seconds to load to the lock screen from a power off state. When you power the phone on you are greeted with the Doogee logo and there's a startup theme sound that only plays at full volume so it's quite annoying to have it playing at full blast every time you turn on the phone.
Waking up from standby needs only 1 second, sleeping takes only 1 second as well. Shutdown takes about 7 seconds before the screen is off.
The LED flash wasn't so bright.
I've had issues with the Doogee Pixels DG350's IPS display and touch screen functions. One of the things I noticed with my unit was the IPS screen didn't look 100% clear. It looked like it was grainy for some reason. From afar it looked okay, but when watching videos or looking closer, it looked strange like it had some fine graining issues related to the actual screen. It looked very strange but there's clearly something up with the display.
I had also numerous issues with the touch screen on the Doogee Pixels DG350. It's not responsive at times and there are certain portions on the screen, namely the bottom of the screen that do not register touches, like dead spots. So for example, I'm in the camera app and cannot for the life of me press the shutter button on the lower center of the screen. I have to press hard on the top part of the shutter button symbol to take the photo.
Turns out I wasn't the only one experiencing issues. Apparently a whole lot of people were experiencing a wide variety of issues and were complaining to Doogee on their Facebook page.
Apparently Doogee said they never had DG350 units in the factory that had any of these issues being brought up by hundreds of people, so they asked people to take videos to prove it had issues and that people had to share this info on their Facebook and "like" the post which I thought was funny. So Doogee gets free likes to their Facebook page for these DG350 issues, which I thought was clearly unprofessional. The professional thing would have been stopping sales of the DG350 until a clear fix was implemented and or issuing a recall.
Doogee also stated at a later date that they were fixing the problems and updates were going to be offered OTA, however, that never took place and to this day the problems have never really been solved. In the end there are tons of Doogee DG350 owners who have a phone with a whole lot of problems.
Other problems I experienced were YouTube videos being out of sync with the audio, poor call reception, GPS issues, and problems with the cameras as you'll see below.
Needless to say Doogee has a lot of quality control issues, these phones should have not made it past any respectable QA labs, something I'm sure they didn't have when making the phone.
Long term testing has shown that on the positive side, nothing has gotten progressively worse. Paint quality is the same and hasn't faded.
Audio Quality - Any Good?
I'm not going to spend a lot of time here because the sound quality on the Doogee DG350 when using headphones or earphones is just really poor.
The DAC inside the Doogee DG350 is flat like a pancake, it sounded like listening through a tin can. Music had no life, it felt tiny, little, artificial, it was likely one of the worse sounding Smartphones I've ever come across.
8-Megapixel Camera - Any Good?
The main camera on the rear uses the OV5650 camera sensor from Omnivision. Doogee excitingly states that this camera sensor is the same one used on the iPhone, to later which I found out was on the much older iPhone 4 and 3GS. So the camera sensor is a few generations past. Doogee pairs it with a f/2.2 aperture lens and images are outputted at 8MP resolution.
After researching about the Omnivision OV5650 camera sensor, I found out that it is a 5-megapixel sensor, so Doogee is obviously interpolating their images up to 8MP. The Omnivision OV5650 camera sensor features BSI (backside illumination) technology that allows it more sensitivity, efficiency, reduced cross-tall and photo response non-uniformity, which all lead to better image quality. Sensor size is 1/3.2".
Doogee marketing materials state that the f/2.2 aperture lens contains a 5-element lens to restore true colors and allow more light into the sensor. They say you can shoot clear and bright photos while having reduced blur caused by jitter.
So Doogee probably thought if they used the same camera sensor in the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 they would get the same camera image quality right? Can it really be that easy? Well they were dead wrong.
The Doogee Pixels DG350 has one of the worse cameras I've ever come across in quite some time.
To put in perspective how bad the camera on the Doogee DG350 is, just look at one full resolution camera sample and judge for yourself. Believe it or not, look at my Polaroid PDC3350 digital camera review I completed back in 2003, and be stunned that the Polaroid 3.3MP camera back in year 2003, is miles better than the Doogee DG350's camera. It's laughably bad, I cannot understand what they were thinking releasing the phone and even having the audacity marketing it as the same camera on the iPhone.
Camera images from the Doogee DG350 are unbelievably bad, cringe worthy, it's like looking through a foggy window. Everything is super soft, foggy, washed out, just horrible.
I don't know what is happening here, because I know lack of (meaning none) software optimizations is surely to blame, but the lens must be really bad, something out of a reject parts bin. Or maybe the camera sensor is not even truly an Omnivision OV5650 sensor.
Turns out I have access to an iPhone 4, so I've posted a few photos showcasing the iPhone 4 image quality for comparison as they apparently have the same imaging sensor. Apple has been known for quality cameras and this is no exception, their engineers know how to optimize their camera firmware and software, choose the correct lens and the end results speak volumes.
Test Images: Original Samples
This is a very important area for most customers because they don't want to be charging their phones all day long. The Doogee Pixels DG350 has a 2200mAh battery. Would have been great if it had a bigger battery but that would have driven the cost up.
Some Amazon Deals That May Interest You!
Not a lot to say here other than the Doogee Pixels DG350 Smartphone is one you should avoid and stay away at all costs. What a shame.
Shout out to Pandawill.com for providing the Smartphone for review. Was impressed with their fast shipping services, good communication, and good prices. Be sure to check them out.