Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Gionee S6

Gionee is a Chinese brand. It's not very famous globally, but it's clearly trying hard to bring in phones challenging the Samsung’s and the Motorola’s in the Android domain. Their Elite S series has caused quite a bit of a stir in the market considering how hgood it looks and its low price. Their recent release, the S6 bares very close resemblance to the Samsung S6. Let’s see if it is as good.


Design, Display & Hardware:


The phone looks like LeEco, Huawei or a Samsung, but that’s the case with all Chinese phone manufacturers copying designs from existing phones. Nonetheless, the phone still looks very nice with its sleek unibody Aluminium design. It’s available in Gold, Rose Gold and Silver colour variants. 


It’s got a 5.5” HD AMOLED (only 267 ppi , embarrassing!) display protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass 3.The right edge has the volume rocker and lock button, while the left edge has the SIM slot. It supports Dual SIM 4G with next gen VoLTE technology. The hybrid SIM tray means you’ll have to choose between a 2nd SIM or a Micro SD card, which is still something I don’t like but has become a norm with most manufacturers. The 3150 mAh battery inside is non-removable. The bottom edge has USB Type-C charger and is flanked by 2 grills one of which is the speaker grill. The top edge only has the 3.5 mm audio jack. At the back is the 13MP shooter and the LED flash while the front has 5MP camera with the notification LED.

The phone weighs in only at 148 gms and is quite sleek at 6.9mm. In terms of Hardware, it’s powered by a Mediatek MT6753 chipset powering the A53 Octa Core CPU and Mali T720MP3 GPU which to be honest are last year’s specs and not flagship material. 32GB ROM expandable up to 128GB via the Micro SD card and has 3GB RAM.  The phone box contains a 10W charger, in ear headset (which could’ve been better quality), a screen guard and a protective silicone back case.

Software:


The S6 runs Gionee’s Amigo 3.1 skin on top of Android 5.1 Lollipop .
There are a plethora of demo games and s/w which can be safely uninstalled.
One interesting app is the Xender ( can also be downloaded from the play store, Share-it like) which lets you connect your smartphone to another via Wi-Fi and transfer files without any internet connection. There’s also the quirky Chameleon app that gives the option to choose any custom theme colour by pointing the phone’s camera and picking the colour from the result. Then there’s the Kids Home app which can give restricted access to the selected phone apps.


Camera:


The 13MP rear camera captures good details in daylight. Photos are well focused and bright, good detailing but does pixelate when zoomed in more than 2x.Low light shooting isn’t great even with the flash. There are different modes like Professional, Barcode scanner and GIF as well. Video recording at 1080p & 30fps is quite good. Front camera of 5MP is decent for Selfies.


Gaming & Multimedia:


Multitasking is pretty smooth and lag-free as you have enough RAM available of the 3GB that is on offer. AnTuTu benchmark score was at 38750 and games run smoothly, FIFA 15 and Asphalt 8 could switch amongst themselves without any issues. The phone does warm up a bit though but that’s expected in high end gaming. Audio quality from the speaker is above average and pretty decent with earphones which could’ve been better. DTS audio options is a welcome boost to the audio specs on this phone. FM radio is included as well for those who get bored with their own playslist. The 3150 mAh battery does help with watching endless hours of YouTube, movies and battery lasted me just over 12 hours which is great. Charging is fast and did close to 75% in an hour when the phone was ON. 



Conclusion :


VoLTE is a good trick up its sleeve which is basically calling via the 4G network that otherwise is only used for Data. But an outdated hardware, an average camera and disappointing screen means you can look elsewhere at that price point. There are others like Oppo, LeTV , Lenovo with better specs in the same price range. 

My rating on this one is 3/5.

Pritesh Khilnani



Gionee S6 at CeX


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