The ministry of quirky hardware has released the Doogee T3

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Repost from 11.07.16

The ministry of quirky hardware has released a new phone earlier this year: The Doogee T3.

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This phone is different from most other current smart phones in that it does not take any inspiration from Apple’s iPhones. At all. For instance, it is not round, and it does not have a flat uniform back. It draws more inspiration from Vertu, the self-proclaimed ‘Purveyors of the finest luxury mobile phones handmade by our craftsmen in England.’ But obviously that is not what the Doogee T3 actually is; it is Chinese and it retails for about £150 on Amazon, and not for the £13.7K that a Vertu retails.

Well, if not that then what is it?

How long it takes for you to start using your new phone when you first hold it in your hands very much depends on how old you are: there are four buttons on the phone, and they all look the same but none of them initially switches the phone on. And you would be wrong when your first instinct is that the battery might be flat. Then you realise there is also no obvious sim tray either. Hm? You resort to the ultimate question: Where is the manual? The Doogee T3 comes with a user manual -actually: small piece of paper- that says User Manual: To get detailed local language android phone user manual, search it in or That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less; in five languages printed on a piece of paper.

Btw, Seriously?

If you have used Nokia phones in the 1990ies or early 2000’s or BlackBerrys, then you’ll find the trick sooner or later: you can push the (calfskin leather/plastic) back of the phone down and lift it off! Then you’ll have the battery laid bare, and two sim card slots, one of which can take a micro SD card. And there is a piece plastic wrapped around the contacts of the battery: rip that off, put the battery back in and you’re in business. The on/off switch if the bottom one on the right.

So let’s talk about the phone.

The Doogee T3 is about the same size as, say, an iPhone 6, but a lot thicker (11mm). And it is heavy and full of sharp corners. And it has two screens: the second one is on the top edge of the phone and shows, for instance, the time. But this second screen is not without issues - it is too dark and, for me, at wrong angle, and basically unreadable in any scenario other than a marketing photoshoot.

Being Chinese and a bit niche other details first appear a bit sketchy: the size of the screen and battery varies, depending on what website you read. I can now confirm the screen is 4.7” and on the battery it says 3200mAh (more on that later.) And, yes, you can slot an micro SD card in to extend the built-in 32 MB.

The phone also has a “breathing” notification light in different colour that shows you if the battery is (almost) empty, or if it is (almost) full, or if you have missed notifications.


Yes, it has a camera. In fact, it has two. One at the front with 5 Megapixel, and one at the back with f/2.8 and 16 Megapixel

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The battery lasts a day. Not much more, and takes a good 2 to 3 hours to fully charge from zero. So it is not quick.

The phone charges via a USB-C connector. Which is, frankly, also a bit of an issue at the moment when you run out of power and you neither have your own cable, nor the supplied adapter at hand. Because at the moment (late in 2016) most shops only stack micro-USB and/or lightning cables. And then you are toast.


The other quite noticeable visual feature are the speakers left and right of the camera. Sadly they don’t sound as good as they look, but you also get an (analogue) FM radio when you plug in headphones to double up as an antenna. And, yes, there is a headphone jack.

The rest.

The Doogee T3 runs Android 6 on 1.3 GHz, 3 GB of memory and is powered by an ARM MT6753 processor, and according to Geekbench 4 benchmarks, puts the phone somewhere in the same region as the OnePlus One - the self-proclaimed 2014 Flagship killer.

It does come with 4G (FDD-TLE 800/900/1800/2100/2600MHz) connectivity (the predecessors were limited to 3G)

The phone’s OS has a Doogee flavour to it (no pun intended), but you can of course opt to use Blackberry’s Hub as a universal inbox, Firefox or Chrome as default browsers and Microsoft’s Arrow launcher to hold everything together. The default search engine is, which is an interesting choice, but I have not seen any evidence that any data is funnelled through to diverged to China. There appears to be no Malware on the phone, although are reports on Amazon that this isn’t always the case with Doogee phones.

I doubt it is waterproof (it does not claim to be other than ‘life water-resistant’), and you don’t get a finger print sensor.

To summarise pro’s and con’s * The camera is Ok: it takes good pictures in good conditions, but don’t expect too much. And there is no access to the raw images * On the plus side you get an SD card slot, or a dual SIM option, a phone that does not cost a lot (sub US$200) and is certainly a bit different.​ ( And Battery life isn’t great, albeit good enough for a day. * Distinctive looks.

(micro) SD Card slot, or dual sim.

It does stand out in the crowd and I think it looks excellent. You get a lot of people asking you “Uh, what phone is that?” And you decide if that is good or bad.


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