Gionee forayed into the Indian market a couple of years ago. After heavily concentrating on the big battery smartphones, the Chinese company's focused is now shifted towards the selfie-centric smartphones.
The first attempt in this segment by the company was the Gionee S6, which was launched in India at the start of this year. Later on, we got the Gionee S6s- a selfie-centric smartphone to compete with the likes of Oppo F1s.
And now, we have the Gionee S6 Pro, which essentially is an upgrade to Gionee S6s, but comes with more powerful hardware. We have been using the Gionee S6 Pro for more than 10 days and here's out a full review of the smartphone.
Same, Old Design!
If you have seen the Gionee S6 before, then you need not have to worry about the Gionee S6 Pro as the smartphone is exactly designed same as its predecessor. However, there are some minor tweaks as well, such as the chamfered edges which add some rigidness to the smartphone.
The smartphone has an all-metal body with a shiny metal rim around the sides, which makes it looks more premium. Frontal, we have the 5.5-inch display and the capacitive home button with rough edges.
Above the display, we have the earpiece, front-facing camera. Rounding around the sides, the power button and volume rockers are located on the right side of the smartphone and the SIM card on the left side.
On the rear side, we have the rear camera with a shiny metal ring around it and a single tone LED flash. Below the camera, there is Gionee's new logo and at first glance, we thought that it as a fingerprint scanner, but we were wrong.
The home button on this phone also dubs as the fingerprint scanner. Overall, the Gionee S6 Pro isn't much different from the Gionee S6, but minor tweaks made it look much better.
Decent Display with High Brightness Levels
The Gionee S6 Pro comes with a 5.5-inch display with a resolution of 1080*1920 pixels. In our entire review period, the S6 Pro's display was extremely good with great viewing and extraordinary brightness levels. Having said that, the screen on this panel is reflective, which at times, affects the viewing angles.
Auto brightness works fine and Gionee has additionally added a new feature called 'Economical backlight', which helps in saving your battery life by automatically adopting the backlight.
The Gionee S6 Pro is powered by the octa-core MediaTek Helio P10 chipset along with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. Also, there is an option to expand the storage up to 128GB via a microSD card slot, but to do that, you need to sacrifice the secondary SIM.
In terms of real world usage, the Gionee S6 Pro blew through all the tasks threw at it with ease. Even with nearly 20 apps opened in the background, there was almost 2GB of RAM left in the device, which is insane. Games like Asphalt 8, Nova 3 ran well, but the device overheated at times and as a result battery life was affected.
In terms of voice calls, the Gionee S6 Pro supports Reliance Jio and has VoLTE support as well. Call quality was fine and we never faced a single call drop as well. Having said that, the phone doesn't have support for dual-band Wi-Fi, which is a letdown.
USP did Right!
The Gionee S6 Pro comes with a 13MP rear camera with no support for Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and the end result is below average. The Gionee S6 Pro captures images which are not worth looking at. The phone even lacks PDAF and it takes a lot of time to focus an object.
In bright light conditions, the images shot were blurry all the time with exposed edges and oversaturated colors. The phone captures a good image only when the phone is in steady mode, which means that you have to capture photos using a tripod with this phone. Indoor, the images were blurry all the time.
When it comes to the 8MP front-facing camera, the results were completely different. The phone captures great selfie images in bright light conditions and indoor shots were decent as well.
The camera application's user interface is good as well and Gionee is bundling several models such as the Smart Scene, Professional, HDR, Text Recognition, Slow Motion, Macro, etc. For selfie lovers, there is an inbuilt beautification mode.
Amigo UI has Improved a Lot
The Gionee S6 Pro runs the Android Marshmallow out-of-the-box but with the company's in-house Amigo 3.2 skin on top of it. As seen with other Chinese vendor's software skins, the Gionee's Amigo UI also don't feature an app drawer and the applications are spread across the screen. Also, at first boot, you will find a tough time to locate the Settings app.
Same as the Apple's iOS, the Amigo UI also comes with a control center where all the quick toggles rest. The phone also has a feature called 'Suspend Button', which functions same as the Apple iPhone's Assistive Touch. The Amigo UI comes with a lot of preinstalled apps such as the WhatsApp, Facebook, Flipkart, Myntra, etc. All of these can be uninstalled, though.
Finally, the user interface is optimized perfectly to match the device and as mentioned in the performance section, the phone has great RAM management as well.
Decent Battery Life
The Gionee S6 Pro comes with a 3130mAh battery which easily lasts for a day with Wi-Fi usage, but the scenario drastically changes if you use the smartphone with 4G LTE turned on. The phone doesn't even last for eight hours and it doesn't have support for the fast charge as well. But, we noticed that with the bundled charger, the phone charges from zero to 100 percent in under two hours, which is a good thing.
Verdict: Strictly for Selfie Aficionados
Gionee has been trying hard to attract customers in the mid-range segment and the Gionee S6 Pro is another example of the same. Instead of getting a device with all features, the Chinese vendor is manufacturing separate smartphones with unique USP.
For example, the Marathon M5 comes with a USP of battery and the Gionee S6 series is aimed at selfie lovers.
But, things aren't going as expected by the company. The Gionee S6 Pro comes impressed us with its bright display, decent design language, and overall performance, but hugely disappointed us in terms of rear camera performance and battery life. Although the front-facing camera impressed us, but that alone isn't enough these days.
Priced at Rs. 23,999, the smartphone doesn't justify its price tag. In the similar price range, we have the LeEco Le Max 2, Xiaomi Mi Max, and OnePlus 3 with much powerful hardware and lot better camera.