WHAT distinguishes a budget smartphone these days? In an era when €200 or so can get you a large-screen Android handset with a reasonable rear camera, decent storage and a nice, crisp design, what's interesting?
oogee's N100, that's what.
It has - get ready - a 10,000mAh battery. That's about three times as large as the battery on the iPhone 11. It's more than twice as big as the big battery on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.
Imagine a phone you genuinely don't need to recharge for two to three days, even if you watch plenty of videos. This is basically it.
Even if you're in love with your recently-bought €1,000 flagship handset, this would make a heck of an emergency backup. And you wouldn't need to charge it for weeks. Maybe even months.
Unsurprisingly, the ginormous battery adds significantly to its weight. At 267g, this is around 50pc heavier than similarly-sized phones such as the iPhone 11 Pro (188g) or the Samsung Galaxy S20 (163g), for example. You'll definitely feel the weight difference in your pocket, as I did.
On the other hand, anyone who puts a case on those other phones might find another 50g or so tacked on, bringing them a little closer to the N100. By contrast, you may not feel like putting a case on the Doogee phone. Its matt-patterned rear and side casing feels genuinely great. It's rare to get this kind of a premium finish on a phone that's so cheap.
In most other ways, the N100 acts like a budget Android handset. Its rear 21-megapixel camera is reasonable but relatively basic. Now that I'm used to zooms and ultrawides on mid-tier and flagship devices, I couldn't return to something like this as my permanent camera.
Its 64GB of storage is decent while its 4GB of Ram and MediaTek processor are enough to get you around but won't have Fortnite humming. Its 5.9in display is nice and bright with 1080x2160 (403 pixels per inch) resolution and has a 60Hz refresh rate - all more than acceptable on a phone at this price level.
Given its heft, I was a little surprised that it didn't have a 3.5mm headphone port, but I guess that those days are just gone now.
There's a fingerprint reader on the back and it has the now-standard USB-C connection as a power connection (although it can also charge wirelessly).
One slight oddity is that it isn't classified as a 'tough' or 'rugged' phone, even though it very much feels like one the second you pick it up.
On one level, this is a shame; if it falls, that extra weight may make it a lot more likely that the screen cracks, especially as there is no protective rim around it.
On the other hand, we'd concede that adding 'tough' functionality to it would have increased the weight and heft even more. I understand why Doogee might have felt that this would be an unacceptable trade off. But it must have been considered.
I recently reviewed the same manufacturer's S68 Pro 'rugged' model, which was only a little lighter than this at 238 grams, despite having a substantially smaller battery. That is built like a tank, capable of being flung all over the place.
It's rare and refreshing to get something in the door that genuinely stands out in the features department. I don't know if I'd used the N100 as a 'daily driver' phone if I have access to flagships with better cameras and slimmer form factors. But I'll definitely keep it around as a utility.