Gionee recently launched a metal-clad smartphone, the Gionee S6s, in Nepal for Rs. 25,999. The phone features a premium look and feel, full HD display, and an 8MP selfie-centric camera. But, like with all the smartphone reviews, the question is if the phone is worth all your money? We review to find out.
The Gionee S6s has a full metal jacket with a curved body. Comparing with the existing midrange phones like Huawei GR5 and Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, the Gionee S6s feel more premium and well built. It weighs satisfactory at 166gms and measures just 8.3mm in thickness. It offers capacitive buttons with haptic feedback, but are not backlit. The curved body offers better handling and doesn’t feel uncomfortable even after continuous use.
The Gionee S6s sports a 5.5-inch 1080P display with gorilla glass 3 protection. Unlike the predecessor Gionee S6 that comes equipped with AMOLED display, the Gionee S6s houses an IPS LCD panel. It’s necessary not a bad thing as the IPS LCD panel offers true color reproduction and excellent viewing angles. However, i would have liked even more if the display was AMOLED since I like oversaturated colors. The display is also slightly dim with average sunlight legibility but gets the job done most of the time.
The Gionee S6s is currently running on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with Amigo OS 3.1 layered on top. I am not a big fan of Amigo OS since I am more of a stock android user. The Amigo UI lacks App drawer and is difficult to manage apps on the home screen. The quick access panel can be accessed by swiping from down to up which is awkward and eccentric for an android user.
The UI is heavily customized with lots of bloatware which results in a lot of RAM consumption. Even without any apps open, the UI consumes around 1GB of RAM.
The Gionee S6s is powered by a 1.3Ghz Octacore Mediatek Processor (MT6735 SoC) with 3GB of RAM. The MT6573 SoC is a decent performer for browsing, navigating, chatting, etc. However, we are looking at a 64bit Cortex A53 processor cores and Mali T720 GPU which doesn’t live upto the expectation while playing high-end games and heavy multitasking.
The phone feels warm on the back after using for more than 30 mins, but its nothing to get worried about. It doesn’t have any overheating issue to get worried about, but the phone does reach above 50 degrees while playing high-end games and it’s unplayable afterwards.
The 3GB of RAM is a welcome presence. However, unoptimised software means it consumes around half of the RAM without doing anything. The phone comes with 32GB of ROM and if that’s not enough a microSD slot with which you can expand the storage for upto 256GB.
The Gionee S6s features a 13MP rear camera with f/2.0 aperture lens, phase detection autofocus, and LED flash. During daylight, the photos comes out decent at first impression, but there is nothing to write home about. The color reproduction is inaccurate and the photos lack in details while you zoom in. Dynamic range is poor considering the price tag and HDR mode doesn’t do any miracle at all. The low light photography is mediocre with lots of noise.
The 8MP front camera is the phone’s biggest asset. It is easily on of the best front facing cameras I’ve ever tested and goes even head to head with flagship handsets like Galaxy S7. Also, the built-in high CRI flash offers a level of low-light usability that most rivals cannot match.
The fingerprint scanner of the Gionee S6s is located on the back and works well. It’s accurate and fast and it’s better than Xiaomi’s redmi Note 3, but not as good as Huawei GR5.
The Gionee S6s features a dual SIM slot with 4G VOLTE support, however, these are a hybrid SIM slot which means you can either insert 2 SIM card or a SIM card and a microSD card. The call quality is good thanks to an active noise cancellation with dedicated mic, but despite that it’s not as good as flagship phones. Other connectivity option includes WiFi b/g/n (no dual band, ac), GPS, Bluetooth, and FM Radio.
The Gionee S6s has a sizeable 3150mAh battery which will easily make it through a day if you use it for two hours each of telephony, web browsing, and video playback. However, if you are a heavy user, you need to charge the phone twice a day. Speaking of charging, it lacks quick charge support and will take around 2-3 hours to charge from 0 to 100%. Overall, the Gionee S6s has an average battery life with 3.5 hours of onscreen time, but it has a good standby time.
This year’s S6s is easily Gionee’s best Android smartphone to date. It combines attractive looks, excellent build quality, superb front camera, and Android Marshmallow out-of-the-box to go with an attractive price tag of Rs. 25,999. Having said that, you will compromise in 3 areas: performance, rear camera, and fast charging.
If Rs. 26,000 is all you can spend on a smartphone, and looking for a big display, excellent front camera, and premium looks, I believe that you will be hard-pressed to find a better option for your money than the Gionee S6s. However, let’s also look around to see what other phones can one get for the money Gionee is asking for the S6s. Here are some of the notable alternatives to the device:
Priced at Rs. 24,500, the Huawei GR5 offers a better rear camera, more powerful chipset in Snapdragon 616, however, it’s 2GB RAM and 16GB ROM is no match for the 3GB/32GB storage of the Gionee S6s.
Priced at Rs. 25,499, the Redmi Note 3 Pro offers excellent performance with Snapdragon 650 Soc onboard. It also offers a good 16MP rear camera and a huge 4100mAh battery.
Priced at Rs. 24,995, the Meizu M3 Note offers slightly upgraded hardware specs like Helio P10 SoC and 4100mAh battery. However, the 8MP front snapper of Gionee S6s is twice as good as the 5MP front snapper found on the M3 Note.