Doogee S61 Pro Review - versatile design and good performance in a compact rugged package

1 August 2022, 12:34:59

Doogee S61 Pro Review - versatile design and good performance in a compact rugged package
You can buy a Doogee S98 at promotional prices from the Doogee Mall or from the Doogee Official Store on AliExpress.

OS, UI and software

Doogee S61 Pro runs on almost stock Android 12 with a background color scheme designed in dark and light rouge pink. The Lock Screen, however, has an appearance that's typical for Android 11 with a small clock widget and date above it. No shortcuts in the bottom corners. The default unlock type is a swipe from the bottom of the screen. The Home Screen is perfectly standard. There's a Google search bar on top with embedded voice search and Lens. It is followed by the Time and Date widget, while at the bottom of the screen there's a row of favorite apps and a row of docked apps. The latter appears on the second desktop, where the general apps appear. From Display=>Home screen settings you can opt to activate an App Drawer instead which lists all apps in alphabetical order in one place. If you swipe to the right from the Home Screen, you'll access Google Discover. Desktop shortcuts are supported.
The Task Manager has a classic Android 12 appearance tiling the apps horizontally with an icon above each offering two options - accessing the app info panel and entering the split-screen mode if it is supported. The Widgets menu contains shortcuts to the widgets, wallpapers, themes, screen transition effects, and home screen settings. The latter is also accessible from the Display settings and contains plenty of options for customization - changing app icons and names, icon sizes, switching on the notification dots, docked apps, easy launcher, and the layout lock. You can also choose a layout grid for the icons and application startup style. From here you can also enable/disable the App Drawer. The Notifications shade and Quick Settings also have a classic Android 12 appearance. The same applies to the Volume settings and Power off button options.
There's a very basic set of pre-installed apps available on the Doogee S61 Pro. The classic Android ones are the Phone, Contacts, Messenger, Calculator, Clock, Sound Recorder, and FM Radio. The Google set of apps includes Assistant, Calendar, Chrome, Drive, Duo, Files, Gmail, Maps, Notes, Google, Photos, PlayStore, YouTube, and YT Music. There's a Security app, which is regularly met on rugged smartphones. It contains options for clearing cache, enabling app lock, managing notifications, monitoring phone traffic, and power consumption. There's also a toolbox within the Security app for cleaning photos, videos, audio files, and app installation files. The Outdoor Tools app contains a compass, gradienter, flashlight, hanging point, height meter, magnifier, alarm bell, plumb bob, protractor, noise test, and pedometer. The Children space and Easy launcher are available as separate applications and so is the GameSpace.
The System Settings design is an Android 11 one meaning that the various options are allotted in groups that are visually separated. The first group is about connectivity. It begins with the Wi-Fi options that include Wi-Fi network detection, preferences, and Wi-Fi Direct. It is followed by Bluetooth settings, Android Auto, SIM card options, Mobile network management, Hotspot & Tethering, and More options. The latter is about Airplane Mode, Data saver, VPN, Mobile Plan, Private DNS, NFC< Cast display, Printing, Chromebook, and Nearby Share.
The second group is about managing several device properties. For starters, this is the Display and we have already covered its options. Then you get the Navigation Bar menu for choosing and customizing the type of preferred navigation - on-screen buttons or on-screen gestures. It is followed by the Sound settings, which offer nothing new. The settings for the applications and notifications are divided in two and comprise the last two menus in the group. The Apps menu is about default apps management, screen time monitoring, unused apps management, etc. The Notifications menu is about lock screen, device and app notifications management, checking history and conversations, enabling/disabling bubbles, wireless emergency alerts, toggling on/off the notification light, notification dots, snoozing, etc.
The third group of settings is dedicated to privacy and security. The Privacy menu contains what's now called Privacy Dashboard and offers an overview of which apps recently have used permissions. It continues with the permission manager to control app access to your data, several toggles for app-specific permissions, autofill service from Google, location history, activity controls, ads management, and usage&diagnostics. The second sub-group is about Security which starts with the four default services - Google Play Protect, Security Update, Find My Device, and Google Play System Update. It continues with Biometrics & Passwords, App Lock, Children Space, Smart Lock, etc. Finally, there's the Safety & Emergency menu with emergency information, SOS, location service, alerts, and wireless emergency alert settings.
The fourth group begins with the Easy Key menu. From here, you assign functions to the customizable key on the left frame. The Intelligent Assistance menu is second with toggles for additional functions that you can assign to the fingerprint sensor as well as toggles for specific functions - gloves mode, three0finger screenshot, sensor calibration, one-hand mode, app clone, etc. Here you will also find the accessibility options. Smart Touch is the third menu and it manages the floating dot that serves as an alternative way of navigating. The group finishes off with the Battery and Location menus. The fifth group is about managing passwords, accounts, system settings, and the About Phone data. The final group comprises the Digital Wellbeing and Parental Control menu, the Google menu, and the DuraSpeed one.

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