Gionee has launched another phone, this time it’s their new A-series smartphone. Succeeding the popular selfie phones like S6s, the whole A-series, including the Gionee A1 packs the best from Gionee. The company has packed the mass favorite high res selfie camera with a big battery. Apart from that let’s see how the phone works in our detailed Gionee A1 review where we geek out on the best and worst aspects of this phone.
Build and Design
Gionee A1 has a solid metal body with a glass finish added at the front of the phone. The body has curved edges at the sides with a matte finish. The matte black Gionee A1 is an elegant looking phone with bulky looks. So, it’s safe to say that the phone has a premium build. The position of LED flash does put a nice touch on the design, although the Gionee logo can easily be confused with a fingerprint scanner at first look. The 5.5-inch screen is a bit protruded and has a home button that acts as a fingerprint scanner with two capacitive buttons at the either side.
The phone features a 5.5-inch Full HD(1920 x 1080 pixel) display with near to great viewing angles. The phone offers high color saturation, and the videos and games look vivid on this screen. The colors easily pop out and provide adequate brightness for use in direct sunlight. What does this mean? Well, the phone can be used to watch high definition movies and even high-end 3D games with accurate renders.
Gionee A1 has a MediaTek Helio P10 SoC along with a 4GB of RAM. For the price point, Gionee A1 packs an underwhelming processor in such an attractive phone. However, the phone does perform smoothly and bears no hiccups. Games played on this phone have no frame lags or stutters and doesn’t heat that much. With that being said, we do believe that Gionee could have had opted for better chipset like other competing brands. 4GB RAM is plenty to handle regular multitasking with several app instances running at the same time.
Gionee loves to advertise about the A1’s camera. The specs look good on paper with a 16MP selfie camera and a 13MP main camera supporting PDAF and other camera features(mostly on the software side). For the brief use of this camera, we found the main 13MP shooter to be a mixed package. It sometimes overexposes images, generating an extra bright photo while still handling low light images with least grains. The details are there and there’s not much image processing, providing an accurately colored image.
The front 16MP high res ‘super’ selfie camera, however, leads the race here. The high numbers surely show the results. The focus isn’t perfect, but the selfies from this phone are great. It works well at night with the front flash but produces a grainy selfie without any flash. The manual mode and slow-mo features aren’t that handy and support little options during shooting. Videos from this camera are good but suffer in quality with the lack of a dedicated image stabilization option. With 4K resolution screen and cameras still scarce in the eastern market, the 1080p res limitation of the camera isn’t that big of a deal here as well.
Here, Gionee A1 boots Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box with its own Amigo UI skin on top. The phone, like many others, resembles iOS-like feel with a quick access menu with WiFi, Bluetooth, and other options used by swiping from the bottom. For a big phone like Gionee A1, the feature is handy as I didn’t have to struggle to go to the top to access the options. There’s a live screensaver function by default that displays images with quotes which get pretty much repetitive after a while. The phone has almost 2GB of RAM available out of 4GB with no background apps. In daily use, the software works smoothly and is nicely integrated into the whole Android ecosystem.
The phone is said to pack a large battery. But remember that numbers aren’t everything. The phone comes with a 4010mAh battery that should last you a day and a half on average. On heavy gaming and web browsing, you can easily deplete the battery within a day. The phone does have a unique fast charging method that has the similar charging speed as the Qualcomm USB charge 2.0 feature. A more efficient processor would have seriously upped the battery life, but for the price, it will do, at least for some users.
Reality Check for Gionee A1
Yes, Gionee A1 is one of the best phones in the market for the price. If you are stuck with a budget of 30,000 and are looking for a worthy phone, Gionee A1 is one of the few viable options in the market. With an under-appreciated build, design and fairly hyped cameras, this phone ticks many boxes for a mid-range smartphone. The battery on this phone is quite appreciable, and a better processor could have done wonders. But, that’s for another time and at a higher price. So, definitely check out this phone and follow us for more reviews.