Many of you are probably raising your eyebrows at the “Doogee” name, but I assure you, this company is as serious as any other and they proved it quite well with their latest few phones. This time, the Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro is the subject for review and before getting into what this phone is all about, a little incentive to continue reading: it’s more powerful than you would think and benchmarks don’t mean a lot. When I first heard of Doogee, I dismissed them as a low-par company that tries to make it in a congested industry. But then I got my hands on the Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro and the Doogee Nova Y100X, both of which impressed me quite a lot.
The Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro has many pros and quite a few cons to go with it, and I found that overall, my experience with this Chinese flagship is a positive one. Not overwhelming as it was with the Mstar S700, as the Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro is not exactly a flagship if you look at specs, but it was pretty close. After almost a month with this phone, I have become accustomed to using it as my daily driver, even though I have other handsets on hand in case I’m not satisfied with something. I often find myself taking pride in this phone, which is a bit odd as my first impressions of it were not as positive as they are now. This Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro review will be structured into chapters, so that it’s easier for you to find the aspects that interest you most and easier for me to avoid rambling, as I usually do. With that, let’s delve in!
Chapter 1: Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro design
The design of this phone is not special and it doesn’t stand out of the crowd that much. Actually, upon a first viewing and first usage, most people will probably find it less comfortable than what they are used to. But in the long run, I’ve found the bulky design of the Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro a pro rather than a con, and I’ll explain why at the end of the chapter. First, let’s see what this bland design actually is and why it’s an important aspect of the smartphone itself.
The Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro comes with a metal frame and a plastic body, which might not sit well with those looking for premium smartphones like the iPhone 6 Plus, Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy S6, Sony Xperia Z3+ and others. Old-time Samsung fans might find the feel in the hand of the phone very similar to the Galaxy S4, as the Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro is rather bulky, heavy and thick. Going from the Mstar S700 to the Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro was surprising, as the former is light as a feather and thin as leaf, while the latter one is rather thick and at least double the weight.
Nonetheless, bezels are minimal on the phone, which makes the Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro footprint rather standard and comfortable. Since it’s not a phablet but a 5-inch smartphone, its size is comfortable enough to be held in one hand and handled in one hand as well. One-handed use with the Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro is rather ok, and this is coming from a person with unusually small hands. If I can work with this phone one-handed, everyone that has passed the 13-year mark will be able to do so just as well, and in my mind, that’s a plus. Nowadays, thanks to or because of phablets, one-handed use has become less common, but that makes cell phone use a bit more demanding as it would be nice to have a free hand when using the device.
The Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro came with a silicone case of its own and I’ve left in on for most of the time I’ve had this phone in use. That’s because the case is so thin and light that it doesn’t change the user experience whatsoever and hey, it was free, which is always good. Although heavy af, the handset grew on me quite fast because I came to enjoy never forgetting that it was in my pocket or in my purse and I never woke up to panicking about where I left my phone, trust me. This phone you won’t lose easily. At the same time, its heavy body contributed to the ease of use, in the sense that it’s not the easiest to drop and even if a drop occurs, it’ll brush it off as if nothing happened.
That translates to: durability. Yes, the Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro is quite durable. I’m quite aggressive with phones that I review for you guys so that every use case can be demonstrated, and I dropped this phone quite a lot, hit it against the table a few times, splashed water over it twice and it had no comments and no beef with me whatsoever. Compared to mainstream phones like the iPhone which can’t handle abuse at all, the Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro was a champ and sat like a rock sits through a Japanese Yakuza tattoo. Yes, that’s how durable it is, even though it wasn’t advertised. This is the biggest pro of the phone, and this aspect is why I decided to keep this one as my daily driver until it konks out.
Aside from durability, the design also includes a couple of things that many Android users are fond of: removable battery, dual SIM slots and microSD card slot. I’ll talk about the battery life and charging in an upcoming chapter, so scroll down if that’s what you’re interested in. One odd thing about the Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro is that it’s fricking hard to open up and take the back panel off to get access to the slots and the battery. On a first time, I had to recruit the help of a more powerful being to open it up and get the packaged separately battery inside so that I can start the phone. Although we pulled on it quite hard, the plastic back panel didn’t break, rupture or bend, which was pleasing, as I thought I wouldn’t even get the chance to try the phone as a whole because I was afraid I was going to break the back panel. But it held up nicely against my witchy nails and the other beings’ super-powered finger-action. Sounds dirty, but it’s not, trust me.
After opening up the Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro and getting the battery inside, everything went according to plan. I only use one SIM card, so making use of the SD card slot and other SIM card slot was not the case. Nonetheless, I tried both slots out and they work just fine. There’s a certain convenience and comfort associated with dual SIM and microSD yielding smartphones, and that is something many people are looking for in tech nowadays.
Chapter 2: Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro display
The display of the Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro is one of the compromises the company made when engineering this smartphone in order to keep its price affordable and the features they considered more important of high quality. As such, on the handset, we only get about an average quality display that left me with a slightly bitter aftertaste. Although perfectly usable and with a good viewing experience, the display could have been much better with little investment or extra costs. But if we consider that using a superior display on a mid-range smartphone would definitely add to the price point of the device, I think it is a fair trade-off and you will most likely agree with me at the end.
First off, the display of the handset measures 5 inches and it is comprised of an IPS OGS display with a 2.5D Gorilla Glass coating on top. The screen is only a -point touchscreen and while that shouldn’t be a problem, the inferior quality of the display does surface in gaming or editing situations. The resolution is 1280*720, so you can imagine that it cannot compete with the iPhone 6 or other flagship devices, but it still manages to offer a good viewing experience. While viewing angles and brightness settings are quite awesome, the responsiveness of the touch screen could be improved.
Although in the developer tools the touch screen reacted well and could sense touches all over the screen, it couldn’t sense different pressure values. At the same time, in real world use, the touch screen of the Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro can be a bit disappointing. On the edges, when in games or various apps, the screen sometimes doesn’t pick up your touches at all or mistakenly allocates them to functions you didn’t tap. This fault is especially noticeable in the dialer, where I had to tap the search bar a couple of times each time I started the app up in order to try and write a number or name. In games, the touchscreen is rarely bothersome, but the small discrepancies and lags between registering the touch and actually tapping can become annoying over time.
Although this touch screen aspect might be a bit annoying, the overall experience I had with the display was pretty decent. I especially applaud the brightness levels and auto brightness, because they work quite well and I can see the phone’s screen even in bright sunlight. Aside from the odd touch issues, the screen itself is pretty neat and even though I used it for more than two weeks without a screen protector and I kid you not, I’ve no scratches. That’s surprising to me, because I even let cats play with the phone to see if there would be any scratches left and to my delight, there weren’t any.
As you can imagine, I had a positive experience with the Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro display, even if there were some problems that I encountered on occasion. The fact that the resolution is a bit low and the touch screen is not as responsive as on other phones is equaled by the strong and sturdy quality of the 2.5D display and that adds a bit of a plus to the chapter about display.
Chapter 3: Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro Performance
When it comes to performance and software, the Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro does a good job at offering a balanced and smooth experience. Although it will stutter and freeze, it happens very rarely, as with any other top-tier phones. I never had to do a factory reset on the phone, and as I’ve mentioned earlier, I did abuse it. I installed at least 50 different apps and games, uninstalled them and did it all over again and the phone handled it well without stuttering that much. Android 5.1 Lollipop is running the show with a skin from Doogee on top.
The skinning that has been done to the phone is not horrible, but it’s not very appealing either. The icons are old-fashioned and reminiscent of early iOS days a bit. The rounded edges of the icons are a bit cartoonish, but the skin itself is pretty cool, as it is a dark theme more than anything else. Although I would have preferred to have stock Android like on most Mstar smartphones, the Doogee skin is not as bothersome as I thought it would be when I first saw it. I installed the Google Now launcher, my go-to launcher, and I felt just as comfortable with the software and user interface as I would have with a stock Android smartphones, especially since I don’t really customize that much when it comes to my smartphone.
The Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro is outfitted with mid-range hardware as one would expect, but one notable pro that I’ve noticed with the hardware itself is that it doesn’t overheat. And I don’t mean that it overheats just a bit during long gaming sessions or video watching or when using the camera, I actually mean that it doesn’t overheat at all, even when used with a TPU case on the back. That’s one feature I certainly appreciate because it tells me that the CPU and construction of the phone is good enough to last for a long time without becoming too slow for normal use.
Under the hood, the Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro has a Mediatek MTK6735 quad core 1.0 GHz CPU, backed by a Mali-720 GPU, 2 GB RAM and 16 GB internal storage. The CPU comes with a 4G LTE antennae, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and the normal sensor set. One problem that I’ve found is with the proximity sensor and gesture recognition. It’s not that it doesn’t work, it’s that it’s too sensitive. The phone would often turn on and take on a life of its own in my purse or pocket if I had smart gestures enabled. It would randomly call people thanks or because of the MMS call feature, which means that if you’re in a text message and bring the phone up to your face, it will automatically dial the contact that you were texting with. This is a feature and a curse at the same time, as it’s a bit too sensitive and will start dialing even if the phone is not next to your face.
The display rotation is not the greatest, as it does take a while to sense the direction in which the Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro is pointed at, and as such, has a delay in rotating the screen. It’s not too bothersome, but it does feel like it slows down the user experience a wee bit. Otherwise, performance is admirable and Android 5.1 Lollipop is pretty easy to get used to. It’s designed in such a way that it helps users learn all its tricks and features quickly, within the first week of use. Stability is great and I have very rarely noticed stutter when multitasking or switching between apps. Of course it’s not as buttery smooth as top-tier smartphones, but for a mid-ranger, it’s very good and I can only say that I’m completely satisfied with the performance that the Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro offers.
Chapter 4: Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro camera
This is one of the aspects that I’m profoundly dissatisfied with when it comes to this handset. The camera setup is rubbish, even though on paper, it should be rather powerful and produce high-quality images. According to the company, the rear camera of the Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro is a 13 MP Sony sensor with autofocus and an LED flash while the front camera measures 8 MP. Regardless of these, the experience I’ve had with the phone’s camera is sub-par. Compared to the same type of 13 MP camera on the back of the Mstar S700, it doesn’t even compared.
The photos that the Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro takes with the rear camera are most often blurry, out of focus, grainy and noisy, no matter the lighting conditions. The same goes for the front camera, but in its own range, the front camera isn’t as much of a fail as the rear camera is, luckily. The selfie game of the phone isn’t as strong as on other devices, but it’s decent for Instagram photos and such. The rear camera is rubbish, though, and I actually chose not to use rather than use it and get mad at the low quality of the photos.
Although the software and manual mode of the camera app of the Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro is pretty neat, offering you a lot of settings, there’s not much improving that you can do with them to the end result. Unfortunately, this makes the Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro an inferior phone in my opinion, especially for those who tend to use their smartphone cameras a lot. I don’t use it that much and it’s good for quick shots of timetables and events, but not for any photos that you would want to frame or put on social media, unfortunately.
Chapter 5: Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro battery life
When it comes to battery life, the Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro is a champ. It took my abuse like a pro and lasted me through two days with heavy usage, which is something I can’t say about any phones that I’ve tested so far, and they’ve been many from many categories. Although the battery measures only 2200 mAh, it holds up against heavy use on low or medium brightness without flinching. With heavy 4G and 3G use, that battery life is halved, but a day of entertainment using the data connection on the phone is a win in my opinion. I was very impressed with the battery life of the Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro and I would definitely recommend this phone for those who want to be able to forget about their phones for a day or two, without finding it shut off after.
Although impressive, the battery life is not out of the ordinary, so don’t expect every type of user to get the same autonomy that I did. Nonetheless, I think most smartphone users, after going through three charging cycles, will get the same autonomy as I did. Charging time is normal, I would say, as the phone gets to 100 % in about 3 hours, which is much better than the 10+ hours the Mstar S700 needs with its own accumulator. Overall, I’m very happy with the battery life and autonomy of the phone, and I would definitely put in the top of best battery life mid-rangers.
Chapter 6: Conclusions and pricing
The Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro is an excellent mid-ranger, but it’s not a flagship. Its display and camera make this phone inferior to what there is on the market, but in its price range, it’s definitely a strong player. This phone I think is designed for the general user who doesn’t focus that much on camera performance, but rather appreciates good performance overall and a good battery life. Since the display is a bit sub-par, I wouldn’t recommend it to those who like FHD and QHD resolutions more than they do anything else. Nonetheless, those looking for a new daily driver in the mid-range category will definitely be satisfied with the Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro.
Its price is $120 unlocked with free shipping, and you can get it from Banggood. Considering the price that the company put on this phone, I would say it’s more than a smart investment. If its durability stays as high as it did in the past month, I would safely say that this phone is future-proof. As long as you don’t mind the horrible camera on the rear and the sub-par display, I think anyone would be happy with what this phone has to offer. It’s got nothing fancy, but the things that it does have work well enough to be a selling point of the phone.