Doogee Leo (DG280) review: cute disappointment

Here it is – the next Doogee’s phone. The company tries to give a unique design to each of their devices and we can say that we really like this strategy. Every one of their phones is different and has interesting features. During the last months they released Doogee Hitman (with beautiful design and curved edges), Doogee Titans2 (incredible water, dust and shockproof device), Doogee F1 Turbo Mini (super light with metal frame) and the little cute Doogee Leo (DG280). Let’s check more details about Leo.

Doogee-Leo-DG280Main specifications

  • 4.5-inch screen with FWVGA resolution (854×480)
  • quad-core MT6582 processor clocked at 1.3GHz
  • 1 GB RAM and 8 GB ROM (microSD card slot)
  • dual sim card standby (1 normal + 1 micro sim)
  • 5 MP back camera with flashlight and 1.3 MP front camera
  • replaceable 1800mAh battery
  • Android KitKat 4.4.2

Design and build quality

As we said Doogee is trying to give a unique look to each of their new (and not only new) devices. Doogee Leo is not an exception. It has an interesting rubber back panel. Actually the buttons are also made by rubber and there’s something like a tiny rubber bumper around the front side of the phone. The exact dimensions are 133.5*68.3*8.8mm and it’s really light – just 110 gr. It feels good in the hand, because of the rubber back and it’s easy to hold since it’s lightweight. Doogee Leo offers plenty of colorful options and it can be purchased in green, black, blue, yellow and pink. Actually you can buy different colorful panels and change easy the color of your phone. We really liked the appearance of the phone and how it feels in the hand.

These are the positive things we found about the design. Unfortunately there is a bad part as well. The back lid also plays a role as a phone’s case. It fits around the phone just like a silicon case and covers the buttons (actually it’s not possible to press the buttons without the back lid placed on the phone). Talking about the buttons, well it’s difficult to press them. The thick rubber over them doesn’t allow any action without putting some efforts. Anyway, let’s move back to the panel. At first glance it fits perfectly, but actually it’s really easy to detach it from phone. It seems that the panel is attached at the top and the bottom, which leaves both left and right sides as weak points. We are not sure, if it will not wear quickly and open a gap between your phone and the back lid. Doogee claimed that Doogee Leo is designed to easily dispatch heat, but we are not sure, if that’s true. Well, the whole back of the phone gets hot with just a few minutes of intensive gameplay and by our opinion it actually looks worrisome, than something like ‘dispatching heat properly’.

On the left side of the phone you can see the power buttons, which as we said is difficult to press. Placing it at the left side makes the task especially unpleasant for right-handed people. The volume rocker is at the left and again it’s not easy to press it. At the bottom you’ll find the micro usb port and the microphone. At the top there’s only one hole for the 3.5 mm audio jack. Moving to the front side – there are capacitive buttons at the bottom (no back light unfortunately, just drawings), the screen, and the front camera plus the sensors. The back of Doogee Leo has the back camera placed on the top with the flashlight just under it. At the bottom right corner there are holes for the speaker.

Under the back lid you can see the removable battery, the sim cards slots and the micro SD card slot. The speaker is at the bottom right and promises 3D sound.

Display

Walking around with just FWVGA resolution won’t impress anybody. This leads to 217 ppi on the 4.5 inch screen. Luckily Doogee Leo has an IPS screen and at least there are decent viewing angles. It has only 2 touch points (it can’t detect more than 2 fingers on the screen).

The screen is bright and actually a little bit brighter than needed in a dark room. Not only in a dark room, because we experienced something like a screen burn on our device. If we kept the phone on the home screen for about 30 seconds and then switch to some other menu, we were able to see the icons from the home screen burned on the display. So we move to other menu and the icons from the previous one are still visible like a pale white watermark sealed on the display. They disappear after a few minutes, but it’s not something that we think is normal. It’s really odd and annoying.

The color representation is not good at all. The colors are really dark and they look unnatural. The sharpness is high and the icons and the menus look like drawings. We tried to play Asphalt 8 and the colors were so dark that in some cases we were not able to see where are we going. The screen was set to maximum brightness and it was still impossible to see most of the details. It was just terrible.

Our unit also suffered from a tiny defective dark line at the bottom of the screen, which was constantly blinking. It was as tiny as probably 1 pixel, but its presence was noticeable. So we had a defective screen (because of the tiny blinking line at the bottom), but we don’t know, if the screen was so defective that it rendered extremely dark colors and managed to get icons’ burns. We don’t know, if these things are connected and if all screens has the same bad quality or it was just ours, but we didn’t like it at all.

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