Chinese smartphone maker Gionee is prepping up for a launch event on March 21, where the company will unveil its first 'A' series handset in the Indian market.
Designed to please selfie lovers, the smartphone was recently showcased in Mobile World congress (MWC 2017) along with Gionee A1 Plus phablet that boasts a 6-inch full HD screen and a dual-lens rear camera module.
While the A1 Plus is not in the picture as of now, the smaller A1 is all set to take on mid-range Android handsets with its metal design, 5.5-inch full HD screen, a 16MP front camera and a large 4,010mAh battery unit.
The company hasn't mentioned anything about the pricing of the handset, but we expect it to be priced around Rs. 24,000 in the Indian market.
We got a chance to test the smartphone before its official launch and here's what we found in our first impressions of the upcoming Gionee A1 mid-range Android handset.
Design: Premium metal build but nothing we haven't seen before
Gionee A1 is made out of metal and feels quite sturdy in hands. The smartphone has a noticeable weight (182g) due to its large 4,010mAH battery unit, but the weight distribution is very well managed and the handset does not feel bulky while using with one hand.
The right side of the handset has volume rockers and power button that offers good feedback, while the hybrid SIM card tray is placed on the left edge.
You can click the power button thrice to trigger the panic button that automatically connects the call to the emergency number, a handy feature in emergency situation/.
The clickable home button on the front has the fingerprint sensor embedded in it that unlocks the handset in a jiffy. However, the same home button does not offer a good tactile feedback upon pressing.
The 3.5mm headphone jack is placed on top. Overall, the Gionee A1 has an ergonomic design and looks quite premium, however there's nothing surprising about its design.
Display: Crisp 5.5-inch Full HD IPS Screen
The Gionee A1 sports a 5.5-inch 1080P IPS display with 2.5D curved Corning Gorilla Glass protection. The display offers a pixel count of and 401 ppi making content (text, pictures, videos, etc.) vivid and crisp for a good viewing experience. The screen also has good level of brightness and colours pop out quite well.
Besides, the IPS panel makes sure the colours displayed have natural tone to them for a balanced multimedia viewing experience. I also tested the display in outdoors and the good sunlight legibility made it possible to use the smartphone in direct sunlight.
Camera: Good front camera but sluggish rear snapper
The selfie-centered smartphone features a 16MP front camera to please the consumers who love to capture selfies. The camera is also supported by a LED flashlight to brighten up the images in non-ideal light conditions.
The pictures taken from the front camera have good level of detailing and the sensor captures true colour tones. You also get Face beauty mode to tweak the selfies you capture.
Coming on to the 13MP rear camera, it captures decent quality images in well-lit conditions but the results in low-light situations are not impressive as noise becomes quite evident.
Besides, the 13MP rear shooter is quite sluggish to focus on subjects that are really close while taking macro shots. We will evaluate the complete potential of the camera while reviewing the handset in the coming week.
Software: A delight for users who love to customize their handsets
Gionee A1 runs on Gionee's proprietary Amigo OS 4.0 based on the latest Android 7.0 Nougat. The Amigo OS is one of the most intuitive and customizable software layer we have tested on Chinese Android handsets. There's a dedicated online marketplace where you can download themes, wallpapers and widgets to customize the look and feel of your handset.
The settings menu also allows you to set smart gestures and manage touch capacitive buttons functionality to operate the handset with an ease in everyday usage. Besides, there are several nifty smart settings such as glove mode, edge bar that brings a window of predefined controls on the edges of the screen and skylight mode to make it easy to use the touch screen in case you have applied a flip cover on your smartphone.
Processor, RAM and Storage
Gionee A1 is backed by MediaTek Helio P10 chipset paired with 4GB of RAM to support multitasking. It's been more than a day that I am using the handset and haven't come across any performance issues.
The 4GB RAM makes sure the handset runs multiple applications simultaneously without breaking a sweat. We will also evaluate the gaming performance in the coming week to give a final verdict on the smartphone's computing and graphical performance.
Storage will not be an issue for users as Gionee A1 comes with 64GB of internal storage that can be expanded by up to 128GB via microSD card.
Battery and Connectivity
Battery is one of the highlight features of the Gionee A1. The handset draws power from a 4,010mAh battery unit that I believe would last long even with heavy usage. The smartphone also supports ultra fast charging and comes with a number of battery optimization modes to reduce the power consumption.
To give you better understanding, we will evaluate the battery performance in our full review of the handset.
As far as connectivity goes, Gionee A1 has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, dual-SIM support, 4G LTE and VoLTE and GPS.
Gionee A1 seems to be a decent mid-range Android handset for consumers who love to capture selfies and don't want to compromise on battery performance. However, there's nothing special about the design of the handset and its rear camera is not the best snapper we have tested in a while.
Now it depends on the pricing of the handset that can make it a success or a flop in the crowded Indian smartphone market. Stay tuned for the pricing and availability of Gionee A1 on GIZBOT.