Gionee is one of the Chinese makers who recently became popular with a couple of phones in the Android segment. The E6 brought some considerable success and reputation to this maker and now they are heading to launch phones which directly aim to clash with the current flagships. Gionee E7 is the new phone in this category which comes with Snapdragon 800 chipset and a whopping 16MP camera. The overall specs too seem great enough to appeal and it comes in the sub 30k price segment. So does it perform as per the expectation based on its hardware? Let us find out.
Design & Display:
The phone looks elegant. It’s not quite a looker, the overall design layout feels basic, but the curved accents, smooth finishing and unibody look, gives a more premium feel. The phone feels quite slimmer at 9.5mm and weighs around 150gms. The build quality is rigid enough but the glossy surface at the back doesn’t feel good. The phone sports a 5.5 inch 1080p display with 401 ppi. Viewing angles are wider and colors look so vibrant. There is a good amount of brightness level and sunlight legibility is not bad at all.
The phone comes with Android 4.2.2 JellyBean. If you’re thinking that this is a Chinese maker and would come with stock UI, you guessed it wrong. It’s not exactly stock but comes with Gionee’s own UI on top of it. The UI though having some cool icons and redesigned interface you may not like it at all. There is no proper launcher and all the apps are placed on the homescreen itself which makes so tedious to find the app you want to open. And coming to widgets – no we are not treated with any widgets here – this is sad. There are a good number of transition effects and animation effects while navigating the UI, but those effects make the normal operation a bit slower. Gionee has bundled a lot of apps UC Browser, Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, Kingsoft Office etc. Overall even with some bells and whistles the UI doesn’t feel anything good and we are let down here.
Camera & Audio:
Gionee seems to mainly target the camera segment when it comes to this phone. The phone comes with a whopping 16MP camera with auto focus and LED flash at the back. The front cam too is appealing with 8MP. The camera UI is again different from the rest of the Androids’. The interface has two modes, simple mode and professional mode based on the amount of tweaking you want to do. The image quality is excellent with a great amount of detail and colors too look natural and appealing. The image processing seems to be well handled and noise is kept minimal. The camera managed to take some very good pictures even in low light. Overall the camera performance of the device is great and would be the major plus point for the device. Coming to audio output, the loudspeaker doesn’t have that clarity we were expecting and it isn’t so loud either. But with a pair of headphones, it feels quite better.
Connectivity & Additional Features:
If you’re expecting this to be a dual sim phone – no, once again it’s so sad to here. The phone only supports one micro sim. Network reception is good and we didn’t face any call drop issues. The call quality is good and both the parties are able to hear clear voices but loudspeaker loudness could have been better. The phone also has a built in call recording option. The phone also supports Wi-Fi 802.11, Bluetooth 4.0, 3G, FM Radio, A-GPS and even NFC. Internal memory is of 16GB but shockingly it doesn’t support micro SD cards. You only get around 7.5GB for storage and 5GB for apps. Well this is not what we expect from such a phone. Anyway, the phone also comes in 32GB version which could help if you’re not satisfied with the storage.
Performance & Battery:
The phone runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset with a Quad core 2.2 GHz processor, 2GB RAM and Adreno 330 GPU. These specs looks exceptional and the phone has an impressive score in benchmark tests, scoring around 34k in Antutu which is great, surpassing most of the current flagships. Multi tasking feature is not impressive but the phone is able to handle multi apps well. Some of the heavy games played quite well and the phone hardly showed any hiccups. The phone comes with a 2500mAh non removable battery. Sure the term non removable might feel disappointing but the battery life feels quite impressive and it can easily last more than a day under normal usage.
Decent battery life
Lacklustre custom UI
Non removable battery
No micro SD slot
Pricing (for not so reputed brand)
So far the Gionee Elife E7 gives the ‘wow’ kind of experience in most of the categories and it beats most of the flagship rivals when it comes to image quality and performance. But still it has its own weak points lying on a non removable battery – though most people have stopped complaining about it; a lacklustre UI – Gionee could have gone for stock UI which could have been a lot better and importantly no microSD card slot – when you have such a good display and performance, you definitely need more memory. Moreover the after sales support and brand value needs lot of improvement. So if you’re okay with these, we still cannot recommend this one as buying the 32GB version which comes with a minute price difference, a better processor and interestingly 3GB RAM makes better sense than buying the 16GB version. If you can adjust with the custom UI, Gionee Elife E7 makes for a great choice.
Gionee Elife E7 Rivals:
LG Nexus 5
Sony Xperia Z2
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
HTC One M8
Oppo Find 7a