Chinese companies have already trained themselves to be one of the forces to be reckoned with in the native smartphone market. Companies such as Gionee, Xiaomi and Lenovo are already in the mix, with other names such as Vivo also planning to head into the market soon.
Keeping all others out of contention for the time being, we are currently focusing on Gionee and its latest Elife S5.1 handset. The new handset is Gionee's yet another take on the entire slim business after releasing the 5.5mm thin Gionee Elife S5.5 back in March this year.
However, the new phone, which comes in at an exactly 0.4mm slimmer profile than it predecessor, will now compete against Chinese brand Oppo which has already announced a new smartphone R5 that's even slimmer at 4.85mm thickness.
However, while the slim factor isn't surely the only thing to look forward to for the handset, we recently spent time playing around with the handset, while preforming extensive tests. Here's our full review for the Gionee Elife S5.1.
Gionee Elife S5.1 Review: Form Factor and Operating System
This new Gionee phone looks more like it could come as a great fashion accessory for the trendy lot, rather than being an actual phone. And that could be marked with the handset's daring 5.1mm thickness that somehow pushes the boundaries of moder smartphone development.
While few may ponder as to how a smartphone can come around wth this much thinness, the Elife S5.1 indeed made sure that the feel of the handset equally compliments the weight of it. And hence, you won't believe when we tell you that the Gionee Elife 5.1 stands in at a mere 97gms, meaning you have to handle it with all the care in the world.
The Elife S5.1 offers a 4.8-inch screen that's surrounded by some of the narrowest bezels we have seen in a long time. Below the screen, however, you will find a row of capacitive buttons, although none of them are backlit. Above that, you will find the earpiece, a front camera and a host of sensors.
While the power button and volume rocker have been placed on the left edge of the handset, these have been offered in the form of raised buttons meant to offer impressive tactile feedback. The phone's Micro-SIM card tray has been placed on the right edge of the phone.
At the bottom of the phone, you will find a Micro-USB port and a 3.5mm socket. The primary camera along with LED flash are in the top left corner in the back whereas the loudspeaker can be found in the bottom right corner.
Although we mentioned, and it is a fact, that you need to be most careful while handling the smartphone, Gionee has added a layer of extra security to the entire deal. And accordingly, the front and the rear of the phone have been reinforced with Corning Gorilla Glass 3.
The Gionee-made Elife S5.1 runs on Android 4.4.2 with Gionee's native Amigo UI 2.0 layered on top of it. However, that being said, the UI might not be everybody's piece of cake, espcially for the ones more prone to the clean Android UI or the Vanilla UI. Also, the lack of app drawer might become a thing to get used to for those using other Android handsets.
Apart from the native UI, Gionee has also filled the smartphone with a host of apps alongside the NQ Mobile Security app (which keeps asking permission to check almost anything on top of it). But rejoice when we tell you that now you can uninstall all the additional bloatware. In fact, we recommend it.