Gionee A1 Review: Gionee is back with its all new A-series of smartphones. Introduced at MWC (Mobile World Congress) the Gionee A1 and the Gionee A1 Plus combine a massive battery and a highly effective selfie camera. The A1 has formally entered India, and Gionee even has an entire ‘Selfiestan’ marketing campaign around the smartphone. The corporate says that it’s changing its smartphone strategy and will be combining the massive battery and selfie-centered smartphone into one. So does the Gionee A1 deliver to its promise? Check out our article on Gionee A1 Review.
Gionee A1 Review – Specification
|Display Size:||5.5 inches 1080p|
|OS:||Android OS, v7.0 (Nougat)|
|Internal Storage:||64 GB|
|Battery Life:||Non-removable 4010 mAh battery|
Gionee A1 Review – Design
The Gionee A1 comes with a metal back and a glass finish on the front. The metal casing on the back curves on the edges and while the finish is matte, it does get a bit slippery. Fortunately, Gionee provides a case in addition to a screen protector in the box. The handset does feel a bit cumbersome though. Now that’s one thing that one would count on in a smartphone with a massive battery. However, it isn’t utterly unavoidable. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 provides a comparable display size and a huge capacity battery. But the Gionee A1 weighs a bit more than the Redmi Note 4.
The finish is premium, and Gionee often takes care of its smartphone design. On the back you’ll be able to see the rear camera, the dual LED flash and the round dimple with the Gionee brand which always feels just like the fingerprint scanner. You can also see the antenna bands which are chromed up. On to the sides, the right side has the volume and power keys which supply a good feedback; the audio jack is at the top, the hybrid SIM tray is placed on the left edge, while the speaker and micro-USB port are at the bottom.
At the front, the re’s the 5.5-inch display covered with a 2.5D curved glass. The home button sits under it with two capacitive keys for back and recent apps. Above the screen is the earpiece, the front camera, a bunch of sensors and a LED flash. I was happy with the design although I assume Gionee wants to pull up its socks as nearly every other smartphone appears the same. It could’ve minimized some corners and made the overall dimensions smaller.
Gionee A1 Review – Display
The Gionee A1 features a 5.5-inch AMOLED display Full-HD (1920×1080 pixels) display. I love AMOLED screens for their high-saturation and vivid image quality. It provides enough brightness and colors look punchy. I compared the display with the OnePlus 3T and was left stunned. Not only was the display on the Gionee A1 less warm, but also it felt brighter as well.
With a pixel density of 401ppi, the whole lot appears crisp on it. The screen to body ratio is about 71 % which is just average. I wish the makers could’ve tried to reduce down the bezels and the room above and under the display. I had no hassle reading text under sunlight, and viewing angles are also great. Touch response on display is also smooth and quick.
Gionee A1 Review – Software
While smartphone manufacturers are reducing down on their UI skin features to make it closer to stock, most Chinese distributors are still providing a heavy UIs on top of Android OS. The Gionee A1 comes with company’s own Amigo 4.0 over Android 7.0 Nougat, making it the company’s first smartphone that comes with the Android Nougat update. There are different embedded features like a beautified video that allows some beauty filters while making video calls on WhatsApp and Messenger. Thanks to Android Nougat that you also get the split screen mode, MaxxAudio enhancement, and an inbuilt virus scanner.
However, you don’t get the app drawer, and iOS normally inspire the UI. The quick toggles slide from the bottom (rather than sitting in the notification shade) as you’d see on an Apple device. Even some icons appear to be ‘highly inspired.’ The UI is smooth regardless that it’s heavily customized. Apps open quickly, and multitasking was done with ease.
I am not a huge fan of bloatware, and some apps might’ve been averted. Additionally, why not make G-board/Google keyboard as the default keyboard? There are also a couple of personalization apps for themes and wallpapers that are not very spectacular, at least for me.
Gionee A1 Review – Hardware and Performance
The Gionee A1 is powered by MediaTek Helio P10 MT6755 octa-core processor and a Mali-T860MP2 GPU. This is paired with 4 GB RAM which is slowly turning into a standard for most mid-range Android smartphones. Offering an Helio P10 SoC at this price level is not sensible. Having stated that, I think it does handle to perform pretty efficiently. As I talked about above, the overall software experience is smooth on the handset. Multiple apps including e-mail, browser and social media run without any issues.
The smartphone doesn’t heat all that a lot of regular used, however as soon as you begin gaming, you’re left with a scorching back. I played Mortal Combat X for just 15 minutes before I could feel the back panel warming up. As for the gaming efficiency, it presents a good experience. I hardly observed any frame drops or any form of lag or stuttering.
Moving to synthetic benchmarks, it wasn’t very spectacular. Nearly all benchmark results were lower when compared to the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 and even the Moto G5 Plus. The only comfort it gets is that it scored higher than the HTC Desire 10 Pro which has a comparable configuration. It scored 48464 and 6871 on AnTuTu BenchMark and 3DMark Ice Storm Extreme respectively.
Call performance, as well as network performance, is all good. The smartphone provide VoLTE as effectively, and I tried to using Reliance Jio. Call quality is quite good and crisp. The loudspeaker placed on the bottom edge is loud and presents a little bit of bass too. However, I have seen smartphones with louder and better quality sound output. I was fairly stunned with the fingerprint scanner because it was the fastest and probably the most accurate ones I’ve seen.
Gionee A1 Review – Camera
This is without doubt one of the USPs of the smartphone, particularly the front camera. The front camera is 16 MP, and the re’s a f/2.0 aperture lens in addition to a soft LED flash. On the back, the re’s a 13 MP shooter with similar aperture size, a dual LED flash, phase detection autofocus and other primary camera features. Both the cameras can shoot Full-HD videos which just above average. I wish they may employ 4K video recording. However, I think the Helio P10 chipset is the main culprit.
So let’s take the front camera first. It can shoot some good and vibrant looking selfies. The front LED flash does flatten the images at occasions however it helps when you’re clicking photos in low light. Overall, the quality of the front camera is nice and using a few of the beauty filters on the camera app; you possibly can tweak your face to be lighter, slimmer and smoother. Frankly, photos could use a bit more detailing however perhaps that’s asking too much.
As for the rear camera, you will get some decent looking photos. Low light does likely to kill some detailing and colors go a bit neutral. I was a bit unhappy with the HDR mode. The HDR mode simply messes up with the saturation. Apart from that, focusing is quick, and shutter speeds are also good. In well-lit environments, you may get some sharp photos with natural looking colors. Even the macro mode is good and gets nice sharp photos.
The camera app is quite easy to use. There are lots of modes together with time-lapse, a manual mode, barcode scanning, slow-motion, card scanning, GIF mode, and even a translation feature where you’ll be able to scan a word and translate it, similar to Google Translate.
Gionee A1 Review – Battery Life
Apart from the selfie camera, Gionee has targeted on the battery performance. The Gionee A1 features a 4,010mAh battery which is claimed to supply about as much as two days of backup with mixed usage. We Managed to use the smartphone all day with a bit left at the end of my day. Heavy usage does result in depletion of the battery before the day ends, however in case you are a light user then the phone will last you at least one and a half day.
The Gionee A1 also supports quick charging and gets the battery charged up quickly. The provided charger is rated at 2A which means you can get similar charging speeds as on Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0.
Gionee A1 Review – Connectivity Options
WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot
Bluetooth: v4.0, A2DP
GPS: Yes, with A-GPS
USB: microUSB v2.0, USB Host
Sensors: Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, proximity, compass
Gionee has performed effectively with the A1. While the smartphone doesn’t provide something unique in the design department, it is strong and feels premium. The claims of longer battery life and great selfies get a thumbs up. Performance is nice enough, but it surely isn’t as good when compared to another smartphone at a similar price range.
If you’re looking for a smartphone with a long battery life and love capturing selfies, then the A1 is a recommended device. However at that price is it the very best smartphone to get? Perhaps not. If you’re just looking for a worth for cash handset and even a better performing smartphone, look elsewhere like the Lenovo Z2 Plus or the extremely popular Xiaomi Redmi Note 4.