Gionee is one of the Chinese smartphone manufacturers that has focused more on its offline presence than online retail in India. At a recent launch event, the company boasted about how it has grown through offline channels over the years while other brands are fighting it out on e-commerce platforms. One factor that has worked well for Gionee so far is the fact that its product portfolio is spread across several price segments. Interestingly, Gionee has been tapping selfie-obsessed users across these segments, and the latest addition in the company's lineup is another attempt to do just that.
Gionee announced its new A-series smartphones, the A1 and A1 Plus, at the MWC 2017 trade show last month. Without much delay, the Gionee A1 has now been launched in India. The smartphone offers features like a 16-megapixel front camera and a huge battery, and it runs Amigo OS based on Android 7.0 Nougat. However, it is priced to fit into in a category where there are several other smartphones with similar capabilities.
Does the Gionee A1 offer the kind of experience that will beat its competition? We find out.
Metal bodies are slowly becoming a standard feature for the majority of smartphones being sold right now in India, even in the budget segment, and that's a good thing. Metal offers durability while also feeling premium. The Gionee A1 uses A6000 aircraft-grade material that the company claims is used in making premium cars and planes. The device's rounded sides and back also add to its visual appeal. The phone definitely feels sturdy, and the polished back is quite good-looking. The front is dominated by glass which comes right up to the corners of the phone and meets the curve of the metal rim. It fit very well in our hands.
There is a fingerprint scanner embedded in the home button, with capacitive Back and Recents buttons on either side of it. The volume and power buttons are on the right. Gionee has given the power button a reddish tone which is a unique touch. The front camera is placed right above the screen, and there's also an LED flash which Gionee calls "Selfie flash". The Micro-USB charging port and speaker are on the bottom, while the 3.5mm audio jack is on top.
The rear of the Gionee A1 looks familiar, with many current smartphones following the same design. We have antenna lines running across the top and bottom, like we've seen on many other phones such as the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (Review), which is priced lower than the Gionee A1. The camera protrudes slightly, but it isn't as noticeable as it is on the Moto G5 Plus (Review). There is a dual-LED flash right below the primary camera, with Gionee's logo below it for a symmetrical look. The logo is embossed in a circle, and it feels like the natural placement for a fingerprint reader. We kept trying to place our finger on the logo at the back at first, because we're so used to this positioning now. The Gionee name is printed at the bottom of the back panel as well.
At 183 grams, the Gionee A1 feels slightly heavy for a phone with this screen size. The Redmi Note 4, which also has an all-metal body and a 4100mAh battery, weighs just 165 grams in comparison. The Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime (167 grams) and Moto M (163 grams) also both belong in this category and weigh less than the Gionee A1.
The Gionee A1 ships with a charger, a Micro-USB cable, earphones, a transparent back cover, an instruction manual, and a SIM eject tool. Overall, we like its design and feel that it lives up to the price bracket in which it has been launched. We just wish that it was slightly lighter for more comfortable usage.
The Gionee A1 is powered by an octa-core MediaTek Helio P10 (MT6755) processor clocked at 2GHz, coupled with 4GB of RAM. It has 64GB of storage and supports microSD cards of up to 256GB. This is a hybrid dual-SIM phone, and 4G is supported on both SIMs, but only one at a time. You also get VoLTE (voice over LTE), Wi-Fi n, Bluetooth 4.0, and USB-OTG.
The handset is backed by a 4010mAh battery which the company claims can last for up to two days with mixed usage. The Gionee A1 supports fast charging which is a nice feature to have.Read More...
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