Chinese handset manufacturers have got a lot going for themselves in the native smartphone market. While Gionee stands as one of the many names to have arrived to the market in recent times, it's also backed by the likes of Xiaomi and Lenovo also trying to make a name for themselves.
Keeping the discussion limited to Gionee for the moment, the handset manufacturer already has handsets such as Elife S5.5 and Elife E7 Mini. However, it's still on a mission to chart out more and more from the market in terms of popularity and numbers. And hence we see the arrival of the brand new Gionee P5L.
Gionee has played quite an intelligent card here. While others are offering overall specs at price points that were previously unimaginable, Gionee's new P5L puts its emphasis on offering 4G LTE connectivity to all at an affordable price range.
But why so much emphasis on LTE all of a sudden? Well, unless you have been living under a rock all this while, 4G LTE is not far away from becoming the newest standard in Internet in India. And although the tech is already up and running in the west, it might take some time for it to be that dominant in the native market.
However, keeping the support for LTE as its forte, Gionee's newest handset aims at users who would have otherwise been detached from the tech, owing to the fact that LTE phones cost a lot.
But while LTE is a major part of it, what else does the new P5L has to show for itself in a market that's one of the most cut-throat in the world? We take a closer look at the handset via our exclusive first look.
Gionee P5L First Look: Form Factor and Operating System
The new Gionee P5L isn't really that big a deal when it comes designing the handset. In fact, it doesn't really sway away from anything that he haven't seen so far. The handset is a decent looking one with matte finish at the back. Somehow, the texture of it will remind you of the massively popular Xiaomi Redmi 1S.
Unveiled at the PLUGGED IN tech show in Bangalore, the new Gionee P5L features a 4.7-inch display, making it the same size as the Redmi 1s. However, owing to a smaller frame, is easier to use with a single hand.
The handset's display features a resolution of 854 x 480 pixels. On our brief usage, the screen seemed fairly smooth. Apart from that, the colors seem vibrant, although somewhat over-saturated.
And although the handset's screen is clear enough for most tasks, the low pixel density of 208ppi gives way to jagged edges around text. But apart from that, above display, you will find the 2MP fixed -focus front camera, earpiece, sensors and notification LED. While the bottom features a row of Android capacitive keys. The primary microphone is below them.
In terms of size factor, we have to say that P5L isn't the slimmest smartphone around. However, measuring in at 8.9mm in thickness, and owing to its small display, it still feels compact to hold.
As far as port and button placement is concerned, the power button and volume rocker are located on the right side of the handset. On usage, the phone's buttons felt slightly cranky and gave us a slight feeling that it might create problems in the future. Apart from that. the 3.5mm audio jack for the phone is located on top, while the micro-USB port is at the bottom.
Also, the back panel houses the somewhat chrome-tipped 8MP primary camera, flash with secondary microphone on top and a loudspeaker at the bottom. The rear cover for the phone is removable and will reveal the 1,800mAh user replaceable battery, two micro-SIM card slots and a microSD card slot.
The handset runs on the latest Android KitKat while overlaid with Gionee's custom Amigo UI. However, we found that the Amigo UI in use here is slightly tweaked from the Amigo we have seen in the past.