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If you haven’t heard of the Doogee X5, it held the record for the cheapest 5″ smartphone on the market. The X5 Max sticks to the same price point, but adds 67% more battery capacity, a metal outer rim, and a fingerprint sensor. All for just $65. No – that isn’t a typo.

Best of all, we’ve got one to giveaway to one lucky reader – enter below.

Doogee X5 Max Android 6.0 Smartphone

Specifications and Design

  • MTK6580 Quad Core CPU
  • 1GB Ram, MALI-4oo GPU
  • 8GB onboard storage
  • Fast fingerprint reader
  • 2MP, f/2.0 front camera
  • 5MP, f/1.8 rear camera
  • Dual SIM card slots; one micro, one nano
  • MicroSD expansion slot
  • Replaceable battery
  • Runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow

x5 max - holding

The X5 Max makes no attempt to fit in with the latest trend of absurdly thin devices: it’s a smidgen under 10mm thick, with a plastic rear panel and metal rim around the edge. A fingerprint sensor also sits on the underside, where your index finger would naturally rest.

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The rear panel pulls easily off to reveal the dual-SIM slots and MicroSD expansion, as well as a replaceable 4000mAh battery.

x5 max - sim and sd slots

Despite this, it doesn’t feel “cheap” at all. Slightly rugged, well built, and comfortable in the hand in how I would best describe it. I don’t feel like it’s going to drop out of my sweaty hands – unlike the smooth, super thin brushed metal and rounded corners of any recent iPhone.

This is functional, and that’s how smartphones should be. There’ll be no bendgate here.

Screen Quality

The screen is incredible for the price – 5 inches of IPS display at 1280 x 720px, or roughly 294 pixels-per-inch. At that density, it’s equivalent to a Retina iPhone model, and I certainly haven’t been able to discern any pixels. If you’re upgrading from another budget model, you’re really going to appreciate the added screen real estate.

User Experience

Running only a slightly modified Android Marshmallow out of the box, I was pleasantly surprised by the new features offered, like smart gestures to directly access the camera and Google Now “on tap”. Unfortunately, these were a little unreliable in practice. Double tap to wake and “draw a C shape to open the camera” sometimes didn’t work at all – as if the phone had decided now was a good time to run other background tasks that were clearly more important, and was ignoring anything but a physical button push.

The trouble with these kind of small, time-saving gestures is that they either have to be completely reliable, or they may as well not exist at all. The same was true of the fingerprint sensor – while it read my print very quickly, more often than not it simply rejected it as an invalid print.

x5 max - outside

Inside of the UI, everything runs pleasantly smooth. Menus are quick to open and there’s little stutter when scrolling through apps. Antutu scores it at just less than 24,000 – roughly equivalent to a Galaxy S4 or Nexus 5 – so while this is obviously a low end smartphone, it’s certainly not a terrible, laggy, experience.

Although the device struggles with intensive 3D rendering, the average lightweight casual game runs well, and I had no issues running something like Crossy Road.

crossy road

There’s a few curious apps which ship with the device, most notably a custom browser with a suspiciously Internet Explorer-like icon, which just wouldn’t launch unless I gave it permission to access my contacts, camera, and microphone (which I refused). A quick visit to the Google Play store to grab Chrome sorted that out, and none of my regular apps had issues launching.

Otherwise, you’ve basically got a native Android 6.0 implementation, albeit with some minor UI tweaks.

x5 max - rear

Battery Life

The whopping 4000mAh really shines here, and in testing against the iPhone 6, Doogee claims it can outlast the competitor while playing a movie full screen.

Without a SIM inserted, but running on home Wi-Fi to check emails and other notifications, the phone lasted well over a week on standby. With average daily use, 1.5-2 days was normal.

x5 max - using

Compromises

There are obviously compromises that need to be made in order to produce a smartphone that costs just $65 including shipping across the world from China – so what are they?

Apart from the lacklustre internal specs, the Wi-Fi is limited to B/G/N speeds (no AC). There’s no NFC (or Android Pay), no OTG USB port, nor is there LTE/4G network access. On paper, it sounds a little “last generation” on the connectivity front. In practice though, it was fast enough on my home Wi-Fi for everything I needed, and I’ve never had 4G reception out here in rural Cornwall anyway, so I wouldn’t have noticed a difference there. “Fast enough” is the best descriptor here.

The cameras are also quite … unremarkable. They’re fine for video chat, and you could get away with posting the results to Instagram, but if you’ve been looking to replace a digital camera, this isn’t going to cut it. They’re not terrible by any means – at the maximum width I can embed here, this sample looks fine.

IMG_20100101_000317-private

But after zooming in a couple of times (to the native resolution that photos are saved at), you can really start to see the software interpolation.

IMG_20100101_000317-zoomed

Should You Buy a Doogee X5 Max?

I want to preface my conclusion by saying that I’m normally an iPhone 6S Plus user. Don’t hold that against me, but still – I’m genuinely impressed by the quality of components and stock experience offered by the Doogee X5 Max. I’d get frustrated if I was forced to use this as my main smartphone all the time, but it’s a competent device that’ll serve you well as a budget smartphone. This isn’t a device for anyone that’s used to a $600 handset. It is however a low-end device with a lovely big screen and long battery life.

As an upgrade from an existing budget device, perhaps something smaller – it’s a huge step up. As a first smartphone, it’s a low cost entry point that won’t result in a horrible first time user experience. And frankly, at just $65, it’s cheap enough to just keep around as a backup, or take on camping trips when you want something a little more rugged that’s not going to stress you out if it gets a scratch on the back cover. It’s been genuinely refreshing to use a device that I haven’t felt the immediate need to cover with bubble-wrap.

Our verdict of the Doogee X5 Max:
The Doogee X5 Max competent device with nice, big screen and long battery life – perfect as a first smartphone or budget upgrade. At $65, it’s a steal.
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  1. Rogret
    September 25, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    Smartphone Uhans A101 is one of the leaders in its class. It has many advantages and will satisfy the demanding user

    • Darren
      October 31, 2016 at 1:42 am

      This is very, very obvious spam. Please stop it.

    • Boris
      November 16, 2016 at 5:31 pm

      Doogee x5 max for the class a good smartphone, but the main camera at 8MP reduces its rating compared to Uhans A101s

  2. Richard Bob
    September 13, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    I agree with Florinel. Uhans A101 - practical and elegant unit.

  3. Rem Anash
    September 12, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    I want to pick up the budget model smartphone for a gift. Councils are many, including a call: Doogee X5 Max, Ulefon U007 etc. Many advise Uhans A101 as a reliable device. Tell me, please, this model is really so good ?!

    • Richard Bob
      September 13, 2016 at 8:09 pm

      The smartphone Uhans A101 safety issues are very serious.

  4. ROCA
    September 10, 2016 at 5:08 am

    no se puede comparar como UHANS A101

  5. Flornel
    September 9, 2016 at 11:01 am

    Looking forward to a UHANS A101 giveaway. It's a far better phone than doogee X5 max. Nicer, cheaper and lighter. Above all, it supposts 4G network. I hope to win a free UHANS A101. If not lucky enough, I might buy one.

    • Savel Bosket
      September 22, 2016 at 8:49 pm

      And I can not say that the smartphone is shown by something you said is superior

    • Rogret
      September 25, 2016 at 5:49 pm

      Smartphone Uhans A101 is one of the leaders in its class. It has many advantages and will satisfy the demanding user

    • Korner
      November 17, 2016 at 6:57 pm

      In Doogee X5 Max little internal memory and low productivity. Uhans A101s such deficiencies has

  6. ashlf
    August 23, 2016 at 9:52 am

    3G phone, nay!

  7. Me
    August 9, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    Pro version has LTE.

  8. Me
    August 6, 2016 at 11:30 am

    I have one. It is way too heavy. Doogee lied about the weight.

  9. Scott
    July 31, 2016 at 7:50 am

    would it be ok for my 10 yr old boy

    • James Bruce
      August 1, 2016 at 8:32 am

      I guess... I'm not sure a 10 year old should have a phone at all though.

  10. Xiaomei Xie
    July 29, 2016 at 9:23 am

    Hello, How can I contact you? We would like to ask you to test our phones.

  11. Ws
    July 21, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    Hotspot does not work.

  12. Alfredo
    July 10, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Hi! In Doogee's website they claim that OTG and OTA are supported...

    I'm not sure about NFC.

  13. Kamisha
    June 22, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    X5 just rocks man, its awesome :)

  14. Milencho
    June 21, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    What is the resolution of front (selfie) camera? Here I read that it is only 2 MP but in all online shops the information is that front camera is 5 MP and 8 MP by interpolation. What is the truth?

    • James Bruce
      June 22, 2016 at 8:39 am

      Doogee themselves claim it is 2MP: http://www.doogeemobile.com/doogee-x5-max.html

      • Milencho
        June 22, 2016 at 10:01 am

        I'm not sure. Everywhere (incl. http://www.doogee.cc/) write that the front camera is 5 MP (8 MP by interpolation).

        • andy
          June 29, 2016 at 8:01 am

          I've written to them - twice - asking for clarification on this and never got a reply. Even doogeemobile.com and doogee.cc can't agree on this number. 2, 5, or 8mp??

  15. Dennis A Dugas
    June 21, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    X5 rocks

  16. puni
    June 21, 2016 at 7:42 am

    This phone having a good features

  17. George Alvarez
    June 20, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    I believe the phone to be a great advantage balancing between trendy as in a smartphone yet not being seen using a flip phone. Yes, I could use one to replace the one I'm using now. Dropped it too many times. X5rocks.

  18. Dave
    June 16, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    has anyone been able to buy one in the US?

  19. Ristov Dine
    June 16, 2016 at 11:43 am

    As i saw the characteristics of the phone i think it is a decent phone for 65$.. I have 150$ Lenovo a536 smartphone and this one is even better than the Lenovo... I did everything to get as much entries as possible and i will hope that i will be the lucky winner of the giveaway to experience the phone...

  20. unknown2070270179
    June 15, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    Watched the video. That was a decent review. Thank you.

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