Chinese smartphone maker Gionee recently announced their flagship phones, Gionee A1 & A1 Plus, at MWC 2017. The Gionee A1 is expected to launch in Nepal before the end of this month and the A1 Plus later next month. The Gionee A1 is the company’s first phone in A-series lineup. According to the company, A-series is a merger between M-series and S-series that focuses on battery and camera respectively.
Gionee organized the bloggers meet in Nepal to showcase the A1 and I had around 2 hours to play with the device. The company expects the price of the Gionee A1 in Nepal to be around Rs. 35,000 which is commendable considering the international pricing of €349. Before I jump into the review, you can check out the specs overview of the Gionee A1:
- 5.5-inch (1920× 1080 pixels) Full HD IPS 2.5D curved glass display
- Gorilla Glass 3 on the front; Full Metal body on the back
- 1.8 GHz Octa-core MediaTek Helio P10 processor with Mali T860 GPU
- 4GB RAM, 64GB Internal memory, expandable memory up to 128GB with micro SD
- Android 7.0 (Nougat) with Amigo OS 3.5
- Dual Hybrid SIM (4G + 4G)
- 13MP rear camera with LED flash, PDAF, f/2.0 aperture, 1/3.0+” sensor, 5P lens
- 16MP front-facing camera, f/2.0 aperture, 1/3.06″ sensor, 5P lens, selfie flash
- Fingerprint sensor (embedded on the home button)
- 3.5mm audio jack, Waves MaxxAudio
- Dimensions: 154.5 x 76.5 x 8.5mm; Weight: 182g
- 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 /a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS
- Gyro Sensor
- 4010mAh battery with fast charging
- Color Option: Black, Gold, and White
As soon as I hold the Gionee A1 in my hands, it felt premium and similar to One Plus 3. The back features a metal body and the front houses a gorilla glass 3 for protection against scratches. Despite featuring a huge 4010mAh battery, the phone didn’t feel heavy and indeed felt ergonomic. Job Well Done in terms of weight distribution. The buttons are located on the right side and provide good feedback. Below the screen on the Gionee A1 is a fingerprint reader/home button. It’s blazing fast and snappy and unlocks the phone in less than a second.
The Gionee A1 features a 5.5-inch 1080P display with 2.5D curved glass and 401 ppi. It’s an IPS panel so the color is accurate and the viewing experience is excellent. Since I didn’t get the chance to use the phone during sunlight, I couldn’t comment on its sunlight legibility yet, but while using indoor, the brightness seems ample. I will be able to tell you more after I use the phone for few days.
The Gionee A1 comes with a 13MP Sony Rear camera (IMX 258). It’s the same sensor found on the Gionee S6s and Lava A3. The rear camera is good, but nothing extraordinary. There’s enough detail, colors are nicely saturated, but the dynamic range is average. Up front, it gets interesting as it features a whopping 16MP selfie camera. It’s the phone biggest asset. Even in the indoor lighting condition, the 16MP camera shows good promise.
Gionee has also upgraded the chipset on the A1, going from a 1.3Ghz MediaTek MT6753 on the Gionee S6s to a MediaTek Helio P10. That one still uses an octa-core Cortex-A53 processor, but at a higher clock speed of 1.8Ghz. You also get more RAM – 4GB – and the storage doubled to 64GB ( and yes there’s a microSD card on the side).
This configuration yields in a good performance if you are not a heavy user. Having said that, it’s a missed opportunity for Gionee in this department. The competitors offer more powerful SoCs at this price range. Bottomline, better-performing phones can be found for the same amount of money, or even less, so if ultimate gaming performance for all your money is top on your list perhaps you should be looking elsewhere.
Connectivity and Sensors
The Android 7.0 running Gionee A1 features a dual hybrid SIM slot and both the SIM slot supports 4G (VOLTE). There is also dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth v4.2 (but no detail on aptX for high-quality audio), microUSB 2.0, USB OTG, and an FM radio receiver. It also includes all the sensors like proximity, accelerometer, barometer, and gyro.
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Speaking of the battery capacity, the Gionee A1 has a big 4010mAh battery. It also comes with fast charging (18 Watts) that the company claims will charge the phone from 0 to 100% in 2 hours. It also features a dual chip charging technology that keeps the battery cool and safe when the phone is being charged. We expect the 4010mAh battery to provide 2 days backup and maybe the new Helio P10 chipset running Android Nougat will even surprise me.
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Early Impression on Gionee A1:
If you accept that high-end performance isn’t really your need and you want a phone with excellent build quality, great selfie experience, and a big battery, then you should closely follow the Gionee A1.