The Oukitel WP33 Pro is hard to pin down as it’s such a specialist device. However, if you’re anything from an avid hiker to an intrepid explorer, it’s a great bit of kit to have on hand thanks to its mammoth battery life and enhanced durability. Just don’t expect the performance and camera capabilities of your average mid-range smartphone.
The Oukitel WP33 Pro is something of a beast. Let’s be clear about that from the outset. This is a phone with a purpose. It’s a rugged or durable phone, whatever you want to call it, it’s that. It’s 577g heavy, which is more than three times the weight of an iPhone 15 base model. It requires no case as it’s practically its own case, and it can survive underwater for up to 30 minutes. Essentially, this is the Bear Grylls of the smartphone world in that it can survive anything the great outdoors can throw at it but feels slightly out of place in any other scenario.
Much like how it’s difficult to compare a Ford Transit van to a top-end supercar such as a Ferrari or a Lamborghini, it’s not fair to measure up the Oukitel WP33 Pro next to flagship Androids from Samsung or Google Pixel. Not only that, but the pricing of the durable Oukitel places it in the middle of the mid-range bracket, alongside other rugged phones like the Doogee S96 GT and Cat S75. So, where does this walkie-talkie-sized monster compare to some of the best durable handsets out there? Let’s find out.
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- Fantastic battery life
- Incredibly durable build
- Decent display for its price and niche
- Average camera
- Not good for gaming
- Very heavy
Price and availability
One of the big selling points of the WP33 Pro is its in-built 5W speaker, capable of reaching up to 136dB. While the quality of sound isn’t much better than your run-of-the-mill Bluetooth speaker, it’s good enough to use to blast the tunes during a day at the beach or, if we’re talking about actual practicalities while exploring, emit an alarm that others can hear from a distance. The speaker also saves you space if you’re packing for a trip, and better still, with the attached clip and hand strap, you can tie the phone to your backpack and keep the music playing as you trek through the wilderness.
There’s also a selection of practical features Oukitel has built into the WP33 Pro, including a torch brighter than anything I’ve ever seen on an Apple or Android phone, an accurate decibel meter, a compass, and even a plumb bob. If you don’t know what a plumb bob is, I didn’t either before starting this review, but it’s essentially a tool for finding a vertical line that plumbers and those in construction often use to make sure things are straight from the ground. The inclusion of this tool in the toolbox app is another reminder that this phone is pretty specialist, and many won’t find much use for the plumb bob or spirit level.
As you might expect from a rugged phone such as the WP33 Pro, this thing has all the ratings we’re looking for in terms of sturdiness. It’s got the coveted lP68 waterproofing, making it capable of submerging up to 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes, as well as drop-proof MIL-STD-810H certification, so it’s safe to fall from up to 1.5 meters in the air. It’s essentially a military-grade piece of kit, capable of functioning in environments as cold as -45°C to the intense heat of 75°C, and that’s an attractive feature in itself.
With a rugged phone such as this, much of what you’re paying for is in the design. Put simply, this thing looks and feels like it could survive the heat death of the universe. It’s heavy, like a brick, not incredibly comfortable to hold in your hand, like a brick, but it’s sturdy as sturdy can be. It makes some of the other well known rugged phones look frail, and that’s saying something.
However, with the incredible sturdiness of this phone comes an issue. As I alluded to in the introduction of the review, the WP33 Pro is really quite heavy, to the point where it can be uncomfortable to hold for long periods. While this might work in your favor if you’re as partial to doom-scrolling as I am, it’s often not practical, especially if you need to take a call that lasts longer than ten or so minutes.
It’s not just heavy, though. It’s pretty massive, too. While the form factor isn’t a problem for me and my massive hands, I can see how it might be an issue for those whose digits are slightly less gargantuan, so it’s worth thinking about before taking the plunge and picking this device up.
Still, I’m a fan of the buttons on the WP33 Pro. They’re tactile and clicky. Due to the size and the way you hold this phone, it can be quite easy to accidentally hit one of them, but due to the build, you at least know when you’ve done it. Like everything else about the device, these buttons also seem pretty durable and unlikely to break if you drop the thing. However, as I’m not one to go throwing review units around, I can’t say for certain.
Considering the price point, the WP33 Pro’s LCD display isn’t bad. Everything from YouTube content to the games it can handle – more on that later – looks fine enough. It’s not spectacular, and even with adjusted brightness settings, it feels like the lighter colors are a little too intense, while the dark colors lack depth in comparison, but it does the job.
While the display isn’t dazzling, it is as durable as the rest of the phone thanks to the use of 1.1mm thick Corning Gorilla Glass 5. The thickness of the screen probably plays into the mediocre visuals, but if it means it’s less likely to scratch or crack, then we’ll take it.
While the display and design of the WP33 Pro are pretty impressive, we unfortunately can’t say the same thing for the cameras. The 64 MP primary camera isn’t awful, but it’s a little too grainy and lacks definition. My dog, Floyd, always acts as my model for testing the camera on new phones, and while he’s still pretty majestic in the image below, the WP33 Pro doesn’t quite capture the highlights in his fur or the depth of color in his facial features.
The 32 MP selfie camera is not great either, with that sort of fuzzy texture that makes it look like you’re using Snapchat in 2018. While I’m pale enough as it is, taking selfies with the front-facing shooter is pretty demoralizing in the way it washes out all the color in your face. The better the lighting, the better the results you get with this selfie camera, but it’s never going to be quite as impressive as other mid-range devices that put more stock in their cameras rather than their durability.
However, the camera set-up of the WP33 Pro does have a saving grace in its 20 MP night vision camera, yet another feature Oukitel has purposefully included to attract a specific audience of adventurers. While the quality of images you can take with the night vision lens still isn’t exactly anything to write home about, it’s solid enough that you can make out the object of the photo, whether it be a rare bird or a brightly shining star.
Admittedly, for a phone at this price range that so clearly prides itself on other things, you can’t expect next-level performance from the WP33 Pro and its Mediatek Dimensity 6100+ chipset. In terms of day-to-day use like messaging, calls, and using the pre-installed suite of Google apps like Gmail and Maps, it’s pretty smooth, but there are moments where the phone lags behind a little, especially if you’ve got a few apps open at the same time.
To really put the performance to the test, I booted up Honkai Star Rail, and from the stuttering of the trail of light left behind by the space-bound locomotive on the menu screen, I knew I wouldn’t be in for a great time. What followed was some serious stuttering in player movement and low-quality character models compared to what I’m used to. To my surprise, it’s not exactly unplayable, but it’s by no means the best way to experience something as demanding as Hoyo’s sci-fi RPG.
Now, it’s important to be fair here and say that this is by no stretch of the imagination a gaming phone, the rugged phone niche is very different and puts an emphasis on factors like the build and signal strength over performance, so understandably, gaming is not the WP33 Pro’s forte. You’ll be ok with Candy Crush and similar low-demand mobile games, but don’t expect to run anything too demanding on this smartphone.
One of the most impressive elements of the Oukitel WP33 Pro is its 22,000mAh battery. Yes, you read that right – 22,000mAh. That equates to seven days of near-constant use or a flabbergasting three months of standby. Now, while I’ve not had three months to test it, I have had over a month, and with pretty vigorous use and never having turned the phone off, I’m still above 50%.
If flabbergasting battery life wasn’t good enough, the WP33 Pro is also a rapid charger, with 33W fast charging boosting you back into the green quicker than you might expect for such a large battery. More impressive still is the 18W reverse charging, acting as a beefy power bank to offer up to nine full charges for an iPhone or Android equivalent. We haven’t been able to test whether it’s quite nine or not, but I managed three reverse charges of my iPhone 13 while barely denting the juice of the Oukitel. Finally, the WP33 Pro doesn’t feature wireless charging, but honestly, I don’t even think it would fit on a wireless charging dock, so that’s to be expected.
Should you buy the Oukitel WP33 Pro?
This is a phone with a defined pros and cons list. What it does well, it does really well, with the most impressive battery life I’ve ever experienced, a speaker so loud you’ll never need any sort of Bluetooth or wired amplification, and a solid build that can withstand drops and submersion. However, the camera is middling, the gaming performance is subpar, and the display doesn’t quite reach the heady heights of some other mid-range phones out there.
So, if you’re headed on an expedition or need something you can rely on not breaking after repeated drops and plunges, this is a great option, but in terms of a regular old smartphone, it’s not built for the day-to-day experience of city slickers and mobile gamers. It really is as simple as that.
If our Oukitel WP33 Pro review hasn’t sold you on this durable smartphone, here are some feasible alternatives.
If you want to go with a slightly more recognizable brand, or you’re after something a little more lightweight and discrete, the Nokia XR20 is a fantastic alternative to the Oukitel brute. It’s still not the most impressive Android performance-wise, but it’s sleeker and slimmer while providing the all-important water and drop resistance. If you don’t want fellow explorers asking, “Hey, what’s that massive phone hanging off your backpack?” then the Nokia might be a more sensible choice.
So the Samsung A34 isn’t a durable phone, but with a robust enough hard case, it’s a solid alternative to those looking for something practical but with slightly better cameras and overall performance. At a similar price point to the WP33 Pro, the decision here comes down to whether you value durability over performance or vice versa, but either way, you’re getting a smartphone that is still more capable than many budget options.