The premium feel, responsiveness, affordable price and great display make this device stand out. However, the battery life and sheer weight do let this device down, which is surprising considering the selling point is really the 7000mAh battery.
With phone manufacturers appearing from every direction it’s becoming increasingly difficult for them to differentiate themselves from the rest. Do you choose the path of innovation and risk your new device with a built-in bottle opener turning into a flop? Or do you improve on existing technology and make sure it’s better than other vendors? The BL7000 aims to set itself apart by trying to deliver on a fundamental part of a mobile device: battery life. Is this device with a behemoth 7,060 mAh battery worth the $200?
- Color: Blue, Gold or Black
- Price: $180 on AliExpress.com, also available on Amazon
- Dimensions: 156mm x 76.0mm x 11mm
- Weight: 220g (7.8oz)
- Processor: Octa-core 1.5GHz MT6750T cortex-A53
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 64GB (expandable)
- Screen: 5.5″ 1080p display
- Cameras: Dual 13MP rear-facing cameras, 13MP wide-angle front-facing camera
- Battery: 7,060mAh battery, charged via microUSB
- Operating System: Android 7.0 Nougat
- Extras: Fingerprint scanner, headphone jack, fast charge
What you get for parting with your hard-earned cash is actually quite surprising. The BL7000 has an all metal frame with a faux leather back. Combine this with the pure heft of the device and you are left with quite a premium feel. Not quite the all-glass design of other manufacturers but a solid feeling device nonetheless. Out of the all black box you’ll get the power brick, micro USB cable, pre-applied screen protector (a nice touch!) and a transparent phone cover.
Both the volume rocker and knurled power button are located along the right side, which mitigates accidental presses. Above them is the dual sim tray which allows one sim to be swapped for an SD card to expand the storage. The capacitive home button houses the fingerprint scanner, and has the capacitive back and recent apps buttons on either side. The front of the device also has a 13MP camera with wide angle lens accompanied with a small flash. The BL7000 retains the headphone jack on the top of the device with the dual speakers and micro USB port along the bottom. On the back of the phone you will find the dual 13MP cameras and LED flash, which are neatly recessed in a bump which probably protects the lenses from scratches.
The Mediatek MT6750T isn’t renowned for it’s speed especially with a lower clock speed than other devices in a similar price bracket. It scores around a 39000 on Antutu and Geekbench topping out at 626 single core, 1531 multicore and 1510 in GPU compute. If those scores sound a little low, that’s because they are. The raw numbers are dwarfed by its more handsome, slightly less expensive younger brother, namely the Doogee Mix. However, The BL7000 didn’t feel sluggish in the slightest.
Rocking stock Android 7.0, the interface was snappy, responsive and felt very familiar. Scrolling on web pages was smooth and surprisingly, casual games ran really smoothly. Over and above the stock google apps that come pre-installed, the device ships with WPS Office and Xender. WPS Office is an open source office suite that is quite useful if you don’t own a Microsoft office license. Xender is an app that allows sending and receiving of apps, photos, videos, and even transferring all data from one phone to another. Other than that there was no bloatware, which is a most welcome omission.
The FullHD display was sharp with vibrant colours and had good viewing angles. The larger screen does make for a more immersive media consumption experience. The internal Digital to analogue converter (DAC) which produces the sound, offers a nice flat sound signature. Plenty of details in the highs and mids and not too shabby in the low end for you bass heads. The dual speakers on the bottom were pleasantly loud and only started distorting when cranked up to full volume.
The BL7000 is the first ever phone to pack three 13 MP cameras into a single device. Doogee claims to have the Samsung ISOCELL sensors in the front camera and in one of the rear facing ones. This is meant to improve focus speed and image quality relative to other brands.
The dual camera setup on other phones have two primary uses. One of which is having the lenses at different focal lengths, so each camera can be used independently to gather more detail. The other use being the ability to take wide aperture style photos, which have the subject in focus and the background blurred out. Unfortunately the BL7000 struggles to perform in the latter of these areas. The wide aperture feature, or bokeh effect, which supposedly uses both cameras, simply creates a ring around the subject and blurs everything outside that ring. The resulting picture unfortunately, isn’t anything special and should be avoided.
Just using the single camera mode, the pictures taken were quite decent. In the presence of enough light the colours were accurate, dynamic range was acceptable and pictures were indistinguishable from other devices in a much higher price bracket. The camera didn’t perform too well in low light conditions and consequently, much of the detail was lost. Another disappointment is that video resolution is maxed out at 720p. The minimum standard for standard frame rates in this day and age should be at least 1080p.
The front facing camera performed really well when there was plenty of light. Unfortunately, even with the included flash, pictures taken in low light could’ve been better. Another touted feature, for the cameras is the “beauty mode”. If virtually airbrushing your face is your thing, beauty mode is for you.
BL Stands for Battery Life
Mobile phones used to last us nearly a week on a single charge. That has quickly been reduced to some phones struggling to get a single days worth of use. The unique selling point of this device is the gargantuan 7060 mAh battery. To put that into perspective the Apple iPhone 8 plus has a 2691 mAh battery which makes the BL7000’s battery 162% bigger. But does it last 162% longer than other phones?
The short answer is no. Now battery life is something that will differ between everyone because of the number of variables in the equation. Are you using Wi-Fi or mobile data? How many background apps do you have running? Do you use your mobile phone for YouTube and other types of video streaming? In our testing however, we used the phone for everyday style usage. After a full charge, there was the odd checking of emails, about three hours of audio, about 20 minutes of video streaming and checking social media occasionally.
At the end of the first day the phone had a solid 58% remaining. Once the battery got near the 50% mark the battery life started decreasing rapidly. After waking up and using the device from 5:00 AM, the battery was down to 15% by 10:30 AM. We ran this test multiple times and each time yielded similar results. That being said, my normal usage on other smart phones leaves me needing to charge my device on the first day by about 07:00 PM, and the BL7000 ran well past that with ease. Fortunately, due to the fast charge capability, you can fully charge the BL7000 in around 3 hours.
Should You Buy the Doogee BL7000?
If you need to get two to three days of use from a phone, like I expected, unfortunately this isn’t the one for you. The premium feel, great display and price tag do make this a tempting offer if you’re a heavy mobile user that needs a solid day of use. Do bear in mind that the weight and size of the device tend to make this a two handed phone at times.
Explore more about: Battery Life.