Gionee launched its new A-series A1 and A1 Plus smartphones at the MWC 2017 trade show held last month. Without waiting much, Gionee A1 has been launched in India. This smartphone has 16 megapixel front camera and big battery. The phone runs on Android 7.0 based Amigo OS. However, this phone has been launched in a category where other smartphones with similar specifications also fit in.
Will the Gionee A1 be able to compete with its rival smartphone coming in this price range? Know all the shortcomings and features of the phone in the review.
Gionee A1 Design
Metal body has now become a standard feature in most smartphones sold in India, even in the budget segment and that is a good thing. While metal makes the phone strong, it also gives a premium feel. The A6000 aircraft-grade material has been used in the Gionee A1 and the company claims that it is used to make cars and planes. The curved edges and rear of the device also make it look attractive. The front part of the phone is occupied by glass. The phone fits easily in the hand.
A fingerprint sensor has been integrated into the home button of the phone. Along with this, there is also a capacitive rear and recent button. On the right side there is a volume and power button. Gionee has given a reddish tone to the power button which looks unique. There is a front camera just above the screen and there is also an LED flash, which Gionee calls ‘selfie flash’. The micro-USB charging port and speaker are on the bottom while the 3.5mm audio jack is on the top.
The rear of the Gionee A1 looks familiar, as the rear has been seen on many recent smartphones. Above and below are antenna lines. Earlier, a similar antenna line was seen in the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (Review), which is available at a lower price than the Gionee A1. The camera protrudes a bit on the outside, but it’s not like the Moto G5 Plus (Review). Below the primary camera is a dual-LED flash and the Gionee logo. The logo is fitted in a circle. And it feels like a fingerprint reader. We first touched our fingers on the logo on the rear, as we have become accustomed to this fingerprint space. A Gionee is written at the bottom on the rear.
Weighing in at 183 grams, the Gionee A1 feels a bit heavy as its screen size is not too big. The metal body Redmi Note 4 packs a 4100 mAh battery and weighs just 165 grams. The Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime (167 grams) and Moto M (163 grams) also fall in the same category and weigh less than the Gionee A1.
The Gionee A1 comes with a charger, a Micro-UAC cable, earphones, a transparent back cover, an instruction manual and a SIM ejector tool. Overall, we liked the design of the phone. But if it had less weight, it could have been more convenient to use.
Gionee A1 Specifications and Software
Gionee A1 is powered by an octa-core MediaTek Helio P10 (MT6755) processor clocked at 2GHz. The phone has 4 GB RAM. This smartphone has 64 GB inbuilt storage which can be expanded up to 256 GB. It is a hybrid dual-SIM phone. 4G support is available on both the SIMs but only on one slot at a time. Apart from this, features like VoLTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and USB OTG are also available.
This handset has a 4010 mAh battery, with which the company has claimed to last for two days. Gionee A1 comes with fast charging which is a nice feature.
Gionee A1 flaunts a 5.5-inch Full HD (1080×1920 pixels) display. In our opinion, this is one of the best displays you can get at this price point. The display is quite bright and can be read even in sunlight. The colors are produced well. Text and photos look crisp. There is no problem with the viewing angle while watching the video. However, the front part of the phone is like a magnet and we had to clean the screen of the phone frequently during the review period.
This handset runs on Android 7.0 Nougat based Amigo 4.0 OS. Gionee’s own Amigo OS has got a lot of updates and looks better than before. It also has many Nougat features. The user will get a chance to run many different apps simultaneously with the split screen mode. The Settings app is also new, though there’s no menu button in the top left corner.
Gionee has also given some features like smart gestures in the phone. Smart Vibration lets you know missed calls and messages when the phone is on standby mode. And the phone gets activated only by double tapping, even if the power button is not within your reach. The phone also has an edge bar feature for shortcuts to your favorite apps, which can be activated by swiping left or right on the home button. The Amigo OAS on the phone comes pre-installed with many Gionee apps as before and there is no way to get rid of them. The Theme Park and Mood Wallpapers app provides an option to change the look of the UI. The phone has a G Store app for new apps, games and videos. Apart from this, Amazon, Xander, Hotoday, Messenger, Saavn, SwiftKey Keyboard and Truecaller Plus, Asphalt Nitro, Bubble Bash 3, Danger Dash and Rear Football come pre-installed.
Gionee A1 Camera
Gionee A1 has been introduced as a selfie smartphone in the market, so let’s start with this. This phone has a 16-megapixel front camera with autofocus and an LED flash. The camera app also comes with live filters like smoothing, whitening, slimming and eye enlarging features to beautify photos after they have been taken. Selfies come with vibrate and detailing. Selfies are great most of the time, although we did notice excessive color tones in the photos which made it look artificial. Selfie coming from regular selfie, HDR selfie is better. Photos coming in low light are also good and the quality of pictures coming from the front camera looks good in low light. According to the company’s claim, the selfie flash feature works.
The 13-megapixel rear camera on the Gionee A1 comes with a dual-LED flash and aperture F 2.0. Sony IMX258 sensor has been used in this. The camera app has multiple modes such as Night, Professional, Time-lapse, Slow-motion, Smart scene and GIF. There is a translation feature in the camera app of the Gionee A1. Video recording of up to 1080 pixels and 720 pixels can be done from the rear camera and the quality is excellent.
The colors of the pictures coming from the rear camera are good but these pictures look oversaturated. It also takes a while for the camera to focus. The quality of pictures taken at night was good. However, when we zoomed in to full size, we saw some noise and motion blur. Overall, the front and rear cameras of the Gionee A1 do a great job. However, we feel that it needs to be improved a bit as its main feature is the photography itself.
Gionee A1 Performance
Gionee A1 will not disappoint you in terms of performance and the octa-core processor does most of the work properly. The handset has 4 GB RAM and during our review we found that 1.8 GB RAM remains empty most of the time. The fingerprint sensor of Gionee A1 works very well.
We played games like Asphalt 8: Airborne and Dead Effect 2 without any problems. And we didn’t face any problem while playing the game or running the app. The 5.5 inch screen is good for watching movies and videos. And we loved streaming the show on our test unit.
We were disappointed with the Gionee A1 getting hot most of the time. Only after playing the game for 30 minutes, it felt uncomfortable to hold. The phone gets hot even when using GPS for navigation and the camera app and talking on the phone for a long time. After several warm ups, our unit restarted on its own. And this is not expected from a phone coming in this price. This problem spoiled our entire experience with the phone.
The Gionee A1 Max comes with audio enhancements that are claimed to improve the sound of the speaker as well as the sound of the earphones. With loud volumes, the Gionee A1 doesn’t disappoint. The earphones that come with the phone are good. Call quality is also excellent and we did not face any problem with voice quality. We were impressed by the smartphone’s ability to connect to networks even in areas with slow connectivity and weak Wi-Fi signal.
Gionee A1 also scored well in the benchmark test. But with this price, we have also seen a better score than Gionee A1 in other smartphones.
The battery performance of the Gionee A1 does not disappoint and this is one of the biggest highlights of the phone. The handset packs a 4010 mAh non-removable battery and supports fast charging. Up to 40 percent battery is available in 20 minutes of charging and the phone gets 100% charged in less than 2 hours. The phone’s battery lasted for 14 hours and 45 minutes in our HD video loop test. At the same time, the battery of the phone lasted for more than 36 hours during normal use. At the same time, even after running for 45-48 hours with little use, the phone’s battery remained up to 20 percent.
The Gionee A1 is a good option at this price point and its sleek build and design won our hearts. Battery performance is excellent and camera quality is also good. The overheating of the phone is the biggest problem and customers will have to face this problem while using the phone which is a bit inconvenient. The phone runs on Android 7.0 Nougat which gives it a slightly higher number than us but the software disappoints.
Gionee A1 will be sold on Amazon India and offline retail stores. The company has started taking pre-orders for Gionee A1 from March 31. And on every booking, the company is giving free JBL Headphones or Swiss Military Bluetooth Speaker with two years warranty.
Many recently launched smartphones have been specially made for selfie lovers. And Gionee A1 is another name in this list. This phone will be challenged by Vivo V5 Plus (Review) which is priced at Rs 27,980. At the same time, Oppo F1S (Review) coming in a low price of Rs 17,990 will also compete. Other rivals also include the Moto M and Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime (Review), which come under Rs 20,000.