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Gionee F103 Review: The Thin, 4G Enabled and Affordable Device
In the past, Gionee has launched phenomenal devices like the Elife S5.1 which has rocked the smartphone market with its incredible thinness. The company has still not been able to satiate their hunger for the fame and innovation and continues to launch array of new devices, which definitely makes its native Chinese rivals like Oppo, Xiaomi and others go competitive.
Their focus on the smartphone's design, camera and battery has immensely helped the company to create such a versatile portfolio. And now the company has launched it's yet another smartphone and probably a new series called F103, which clearly is a combination of design, functionality and affordability. The device which comes with a price tag of just Rs. 9,999 also comes with a 4G LTE support.
Anyway, as Gizbot had the device for quite some time, we have used it thoroughly and have some feedbacks to share. Hence, here is a full on review of Gionee F103.
The Gionee F103 is although a device which is claimed to be a fashionable one, it doesn't look as fashionable as it should have been. That, however, doesn't imply that there is a flaw in the design of the handset. The design is pretty good but not so fashionable. To make it fashionable the company should have added a bit of "bling" to it like the spotty back panel instead of the glass finish which we have already seen in the company's previously released devices and from others like Sony. You can probably call Oppo Mirror 5 a fashionable device as it comes with a fashionable diamond faceted mirrors on the back panel.
But, the Gionee F103 is definitely the device with great design. The sleek design complimented with a lightweight build is something which definitely all the smartphone users want in their smartphone. However the device is not all metal but just the frame which shows up in silver and golden color. Yes, this does give a sort of a fashionable accent to the device. Rest of the device is built out of plastic and despite its use, the smartphone doesn't look less sturdy in anyway. Unlike other slim devices which come with a uni-body design, the F103 comes with a removable back panel, which is quite solid.
As far as the buttons are concerned, the device has capacitive buttons instead of on-screen buttons, just below the display. While the left side is devoid of any physical buttons, you will see the volume rockers and power button on the right side. The 3.5mm headphone jack seats at the top and microUSB 2.0 port is placed at the bottom side of the device right beside the primary microphone.
Talking about the back panel, although, it is a glass coated plastic, it doesn't feel cheap. You will see the camera module and a LED flash on the top and at the bottom, there is a speaker grille. While removing the panel, you will see a Dual SIM slots, as well as microSD card slot.
The 5-inch device with a dimension of 146×70.3×7.95mm does look like a promising device in terms of build and design. It did impress us as we used it. It offers a strong grip to the hands and despite the glossy plastic pack panel, it doesn't attract so much of fingerprints.
The F103 comes with a 5-inch display that offers 720p resolution and uses an IPS technology with Dragontrail glass protection. This however, doesn't make the Gionee F103 the best of the devices in terms of the display. The company should have at least used Corning Gorilla Glass protection on the display.
Functionality-wise, the display does offer pleasing experience. The touch response is quite fast and responsive. The brightness level is not so great, which means that there will be a bit of a problem looking at your phone under the extreme sunlight. Color reproduction was average but while we saw YouTube videos in it, the colors were really crisp and sharp. One of the disappointments is that since the device comes with a less than 300ppi pixel density, not a lot of things will be super clear. You can see this clearly when you zoom in the images. Since it uses an IPS display, the viewing angles are not so bad.
Power and Performance
Powered by 1.3 GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6735 64-bit processor with Mali-T720 GPU, the Gionee F103 is not going to make you regret about the performance. Add to that a 2GB of RAM, which makes the device pretty swift in terms of operating apps.
Although, the device is not the best one in terms of hardware, but it definitely pleases you in terms of performance. The average chipset does run multiple apps with ease but while playing games, the GPU starts highlighting problems. Graphic intense games like Dead Trigger 2 and Asphalt 8: Airborne initially well but once we played for over half an hour, it started to blip. We also faced an occasional screen freeze when we continued playing until an hour.
Moving on to the benchmark score on the device, it scored around 25524 on AnTuTu benchmark tool while it scored. Considering the price of the handset, the power that it offers is not bad. But this device is definitely not built for avid gamers.
Slapping the custom UI on top of Android OS is not a new thing but I must say that of all the UIs Gionee's Amigo OS has impressed me a lot. However, there are certain moves that have been adopted from the iOS like the swiping up for settings and swiping down for notification. But regardless of the adoption of certain features, the company still has made the UI quite interesting. The Amigo 3.0 which is used in the F103 is based on Android Lollipop 5.0 version, which means you will basically get all the rich features of Lollipop version. The UI brings in a lot of integrated features like smart gestures like drawing an alphabet to launch app.
The F103 sports an 8-megapixel primary shooter and 5-megapixel snapper as a frontal camera. The rear camera comes with an Auto Focus feature with LED flash and an f/2.2 aperture value. The performance of the rear camera is average. You can say it is among the best in the given price category. The color reproduction and color saturation was good enough.
While taking shots of moving subjects, as it is always is a very common problem with smartphone camera, the F103 struggles if the hands are not stable and the light is not enough. Talking about light, the camera also struggles in taking pictures in the low-light environment. Yet another problem with the camera is the Autofocus which is not fast at all. Therefore, forget taking good pictures in haste.
The front-facing shooter is comparatively better. It shoots great selfies and works incredible for making video calls. Obviously, the images are not as detailed as the images that are shot from high-end devices, but you can still get a decent images for your social handles.
The camera UI is quite easy to use and gives enormous options to the users such as HDR, Pro, PicNote, Night Mode, Beauty, etc. Moreover, you can also manually set the exposure, ISO, and many more if you are a niche photographer with some knowledge.
Storage and Connectivity
You will get 16 GB of internal storage in the device but worry not if you need more as there is a microSD card slot to increase the memory of the handset. Anyway out of the 16GB memory, you can only use about 8 GB for images, music and videos rest are used but the system for the apps and OS.
Connectivity option plays a major role in this device. Apart from the 4G LTE connectivity, which is the major highlight of the smartphone, the F103 supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v4.0, GPS and additionally it is a Dual SIM supported handset.
The Gionee F103 is powered by 2400mAh battery, which is average. However, the device impressed us with the performance. Not that it has the battery pack but with full charge, the phone will last about 9 hours in a standby mode but with WiFi on. With the screen time, the device will last about 4 and half hours, which is more than you could ask for such battery capacity. What I didn't like personally was the fact that the phone takes seriously long time to charge the battery. However, thanks to the power management feature in Settings app. You can manage the battery according to your need. You can use wither from Normal Mode and Extreme mode, which are both efficient.
The price, 4G LTE, beautiful design and 5-inch form factor are the selling factors of the Gionee F103 smartphone. The processor of the device is not quite likable as it is old and not the best ones. However, the fact that it is a 64-bit means a lot.
The slim build factor and the light-weight of the device is what everyone will like the most. But this device is definitely not meant for extreme users because the battery capacity is less. Graphic intense gamers will also struggle with the handset. But you can play average games with ease.
This phone is particularly meant for average users who just needs to make a phone call and surf web and who loves selfies.