Rugged phones have a very specific target market. They’re designed for people who need a more durable device than usual which can survive falling several metres or being submerged in water without a cover.
Hikers would appear to be the ideal customer for Doogee phones, and the S58 Pro is no exception. This handset has been designed in a way that means you won’t have to worry if it falls to the ground while climbing a mountain.
No rock, puddle or muddy road can damage the S58 Pro, although if you’re in the market for great cameras it’s worth looking elsewhere. The price is appealing, but only if this is the sort of phone you’re looking for.
Design and build
The design of the S58 Pro is very similar to what we’ve seen from Doogee phones in the past.
I tested the all-black model during my time with the phone, but it’s the only I’d have gone for anyway as I prefer classic, minimalist designs. There are models available with orange or green details, but for most people buying this phone, the aesthetics won’t be very important.
You might not be attracted to the rubber casing and angular design language, but these are necessary elements in order for the phone to be resistant to falls from any height. In fact, the S58 Pro is certified to MIL-STD-810, the US Department of Defense standard for ruggedised devices. That doesn’t make it indestructible, but it’s not far off.
It’s not just drops that threaten your phone while hiking – water and dust represent a big threat too. With that in mind, the S58 Pro has IP68 certification, so you shouldn’t need to worry unless you drop it in water more than 1m deep.
Doogee also claims that the phone can operate at temperatures between –55°C and 70°C. I wasn’t able to test this for myself, but this suggests it’ll be fine to use in the snow or desert.
All the resistance and protection features, combined with a large battery (more on that later), mean the S58 Pro is relatively heavy when compared to modern smartphones. It comes in at around 284g, but neither that or its sizeable dimensions (162.8x81x15.9mm) should be a dealbreaker.
The layout of physical buttons is fairly standard, while the phone sticks with a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. Directly above it are triple rear cameras, with a single selfie lens located centrally above the screen. There’s also a customisable button on the left side that can be used to quickly launch an app of your choosing.
Having a resistant chassis is useless if the screen breaks with only slight impact. With that in mind, the S58 Pro’s Corning Gorilla Glass should mean it’s equally well protected. If that’s not enough for you, Doogee includes a further two screen protectors in the box. The screen itself is also waterproof, so you won’t need to put your hands on your head as soon as it starts raining!
Aside from resistance, the display is a 5.71in LCD panel. It’s clear that Doogee hasn’t prioritised an all-screen design, with the phone sporting fairly thick bezels. The position of the selfie camera also means there’s a semi-circle indentation at the top of the display.
As a result, the phone does look a little dated, but you’re unlikely to be buying this phone for its appearance. You probably won’t need a high resolution screen, either, so the 1560×720 here is just fine.
Settling for a lower quality screen also allows it to get impressively bright – colours are sharp and bright, even in direct sunlight. There’s also a positive knock-on effect on battery life, which we’ll talk about in more detail later.
As expected, the S58 Pro comes with a number of features specifically designed for people who need a rugged phone, be it a hiker or construction worker.
On the exterior, you’ll see that Doogee has kept the customisable side button from other models. This allows you to quickly access a particular function or feature, like the flashlight or camera. You can also set it to open a specific app by pressing the button a specific number of times or holding it down. This is something that could be useful in extreme situations.
Above this you’ll find the SIM card slot. Of course, you’ll find this in most other smartphones, but its easy access here is great if you regularly switch SIM cards. There’s also support for microSD card storage expansion, which allows you to add to the 64GB on board.
These are all welcome tweaks, but the software is undoubtedly where you’ll see standout features. The S58 Pro’s ‘Tool Bag’ folder includes a compass, sound gauge, level, height gauge, magnifying glass, protractor and plumb bob.
However, this model doesn’t have the range of accessories available with the Doogee S95 Pro. The big one you’re missing out on is a plug-in 3500mAh extra battery, but there’s also a high-definition speaker on offer. You pay around £100 extra for the privilege though, and a separate power bank or portable speaker will probably prove more valuable in the long run.
I’ll make this clear from the beginning: the Doogee S58 Pro isn’t designed to be a great camera phone. The overall quality of the images is decent, but nothing to write home about. The colours are quite true to life in good lighting conditions, but it struggles to capture much of the detail of a scene.
The S58 Pro has a triple rear camera setup, including a 16MP main, 2Mp depth sensor and 2Mp macro lens. There’s no telephoto, so the 8x zoom that’s available is all digital.
Photos quickly lose detail as you zoom in as expected, but my main complaint with this is on the software side. I found it almost impossible to zoom without inadvertantly switching to the selfie camera. This was a lot more sensitive than on other phones I’ve tried, and quickly became very annoying.
Unfortunately, my experience with the macro camera was even worse. In my testing I was only able to successfully take a macro shot once or twice, as most of the time the S58 Pro is unable to detect the object you’re trying to photograph. The app recommends you stand around 4cm away from the subject, but I had to get much closer and the the photos became blurry.
As I said, the phone comes with a depth sensor that enables Portrait Mode shots. The blurred background effect occurs automatically, although you can manually customise it in settings. Unfortunately, the results left much to be desired whatever I tried.
You can switch from the main lens to macro manually from within the camera app, but as I said before, the poor results mean it’s simply not worth using.
The big feature I miss here is Night mode, something which is available on other Doogee models like the S95 Pro. Its absence here means low light photos are often unusable, with poorly defined objects.
As you can see from the gallery above, photos with the main lens are decent, and you can always adjust exposure, ISO and white balance in Pro mode to get more desirable results. In any case, don’t expect professional results.
If you’re someone who likes to take photos while hiking, consider whether durability or cameras are more important to you. Something like the Samsung Galaxy S20 has excellent cameras and is quite resistant to shocks and drops, although can’t quite match the durability for the extra £700 you spend.
The S58 Pro camera also includes a water mode (although I haven’t been able to test it), 1080p 30fps video and a 16Mp selfie camera, which gets similar results to the main rear lens.
Performance and internals
As you can see from the infographic below, the S58 Pro doesn’t stack up well when you compare it to many phones, whether it’s more expensive Doogee models or great budget phones like the Poco X3 or Realme 7.
The only area where it comes out on top is in battery life, which I will talk about in more detail in the next section. Conversely, the result of the Geekbench 5 multi-core test is well below the rest, underlining the fact that the S58 Pro’s processor is not its best asset.
The device comes with MediaTek’s Helio P22, which is accompanied by 6GB of RAM and a PowerVR GE8320 graphics card. Based on those specs alone, you’d think performance would be strong.
In practice, I noticed a bit of slowdown when performing demanding tasks or quickly switching between apps, but in general I have no complaints.
At this price point, of course it isn’t up there with Samsung or Apple flagships, although the aforementioned Poco X3 offers significantly better performance for the money.
That’s not a dealbreaker for this type of phone, and it’s much more important that the device responds during an emergency situation, like if there’s an accident in the mountains. Of course, I couldn’t test this for myself, but it seemed extremely reliable. The biggest problem you might have is with finding coverage, but that’s more to do with your network than the phone itself.
Despite the camera’s limitations, you should have no problem filling the internal storage with photos, videos and apps from your adventures. Therefore, it’s good to know that the 64GB on board can be boosted by up to an extra 256GB via the microSD card slot.
Battery life and connectivity
I mentioned earlier in the review that the S58 Pro’s battery capacity (5180mAh) is one of the standout features. The value in this entry level chip is mainly seen in its ability to reduce power consumption and so extend battery life.
At Tech Advisor, we subject the phones we test to two battery benchmarks. In the PCMark test, I recorded 17 hours and 1 minute – more than 2 hours longer than the Poco X3 and 8 hours longer than the Realme 7.
The S58 Pro achieved similarly favourable results in the Geekbench 4 test. Its score of 14 hours and 10 minutes compared to 8 hours for the more expensive Doogee S95 Pro and 7 hours 51 minutes for the Realme 7.
However, these benchmarks tell us little about day-to-day battery life. They test it under extreme situations (like with the screen always on or performing a function), so you can get many more hours out of the phone with average usage. That proved to be the case, with the S58 Pro lasting me 2-3 days, or even longer with light usage.
When you do finally run out of battery, the included charger will get you around 34% in 30 minutes from off. That’s lower than you’ll find on some phones these days, and means you’ll need around 2.5 hours for a full charge.
While charging isn’t the fastest, you do benefit from 10W wireless and 5W reverse wireless if you’d like. The power brick and USB-C cable for wired charging is included in the box.
Aside from the battery, the S58 Pro offers all the connectivity you’d expect from a modern smartphone, including Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0 and even NFC. The latter allows you to use Google Pay to make payments directly from your phone.
There’s also a number of different ways to unlock the phone, with the regular PIN or pattern joined by a fingerprint sensor and face unlock. From my experience, all work quickly and accurately.
The Doogee S58 Pro comes with Android 10 installed, although I don’t think an update to Android 11 is going to be available anytime soon. This doesn’t worry me too much, although I know some people will be disappointed not to get new features like chat bubbles and the ability to mark calls as spam.
Out of the box, the device comes with a gesture navigation system activated, but this can quickly be changed to the traditional three buttons in Settings.
In general, the user experience is positive, although I must admit that as an iPhone user I still have a hard time getting used to the aesthetics of Android. It could be said that the software experience is consistent with the robust and rugged design of the device itself.
However, I have to commend Doogee for having very little bloatware installed on the S58 Pro. You won’t be able to pre-installed apps like Tool Bag, but they should be genuinely useful for most people buying this phone.
Price and availability
Doogee phones are usually on the more affordable end of the market, and that’s no different here. The S58 Pro is currently available for £139.99 from Amazon or £160.65 from Gearbest but it’s down to just £91.77 at the time of writing at Banggood.
It’s a device with a very specific feature set and target market, but those looking for a rugged phone will appreciate what you get for your money. However, it’s also worth checking our best rugged phone chart to see if there’s another model that better suits your needs.
After testing the Doogee S58 Pro, one thing is clear: it’s not suited to me, nor to people satisfied by the protection offered by a case, prefer iOS to Android or demand a powerful camera.
However, it’s unlikely that people buying this phone will fall into any of those categories, so they may be much happier to compromise on photographic capabilities in order to get extra resistance to the elements.
For well under £200, the S58 Pro is a great option for hikers, divers or people who work in extreme conditions. The one thing no-one can complain about is the battery, which lasts multiple days on a single charge.
This review was originally published in Spanish on our sister site, PCWorld Spain. Translation by Anyron Copeman.
Check out How we test: Smartphones for more information on what goes into one of our reviews.
Doogee S58 Pro: Specs
Operating system: Android 10
Processor: Helio P22
Graphics card: PowerVR GE8320
RAM memory: 6 GB
Storage: 64GB (expandable with microSD card up to 256GB)
Display: 6.71-inch IPS HD + LCD (1560 x 720, 19: 9, 294 ppi)
Rear camera: 16 MP + 2 MP + 2 MP triple camera
Front camera: 16 MP camera
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, USB-C port (without jack port), Dual SIM / Dual Stand-by
Battery: 5,180 mAh (10W wireless charging, 5W reversible wireless charging)
Dimensions: 162.8 x 81 x 15.9 mm
Colours: Mineral Black | Army Green | Fire orange