Gionee announced the Gionee A1 at MWC with a super camera and super battery tagline. The company was quick to roll out the product in Indian market after the announcement as the device was officially launched Gionee A1 on 23rd March, 2017. The phone was launched with a grand event and its own 'Selfiestan' song launch featuring Alia Bhatt. The phone as the campaign suggests focus on the Selfie camera along with a super battery. So as a buyer should you dare to buy tickets to land in Selfiestan? Let's find out.
Build and Design:
As it has become a standard now a days, Gionee A1 as well comes with a metallic back and glass front. On the back you can spot antenna lines running on top and bottom of the phone. The 13 MP rear camera is placed right in the middle on the top and dual tone LED flash light sits just below it. However, the most confusing part of the phone is the Brand Logo itself which is placed perfectly in a circle, just below the LED Flash light. Why we say its the most confusing one as this is not the finger print sensor of the device despite of its look and perfect position for the same. While the finger print sensor is placed on Home button in front similar to what we see in Samsung phones. The phone branding comes just above the bottom antenna line and looks elegant.
|Gionee A1 - BackSide|
Turning the phone to its front side and you will the the glass covering all of it. On the top there is a front flash light and proximity sensor on the left of the ear-piece while the 16 MP camera is placed on the right of the ear-piece. Below that you have 5.5 inch Amoled display which sports a very thin bezel. On the bottom of the display we have a physical 'Home' button with finger print sensor on it. There are two capacitive touch buttons on either side of the Home button, the left one for multi tasking and right for back operations.
|Gionee A1 (front side) - click to enlarge|
We have a sim tray on the left side of the phone, while the right edge sports a Volume rocker and power button. On the top edge we have a 3.5 mm audio jack while on the bottom edge we have a micro usb slot for data transfer and charging and speaker grill on either sides.
Overall the phone looks great in hands, with a sturdy built and common yet beautiful design. The phone does feel a bit heavy at 180+ grams when compared to other prominent smartphones in this segment.
|Gionee A1 Bottom Edge|
Specifications and Features:
The Gionee A1 runs on a MediaTek Helio P10 MT6755 octa-core processor and Mali-T860M2 GPU coupled with 4 GB of RAM. The phone comes with 64 GB storage on board which can be further expanded upto 128 GB via micro SD card provided you cannot use second sim in that case as the SIM tray is a hybrid one. We have a front flash light for selfies which is a new trend now a days. Finger print sensor is placed in the front on the home button itself.
The 5.5 inch AMOLED display provides a screen resolution of 1920x1080 pixels, The primary camera at rear is of 13MP and is supported by a dual tone LED flash light, however more weightage is given to the 'Selfie' Camera which comes with a 16 MP sensor and is supported by a Flash light too for selfies.
The phone runs on Amigo 4.0 custom UI based on Android Nougat, the device supports 4G LTE with VoLTE. Bluetooth, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n , FM, micro USB with OTG support and 3.5 mm audio jack.
The phone supports Gestures such as draw 'O' on the lock screen and camera app is launched which can be customized in a number of ways. The phone seems to have taken a lot of inspiration from the iPhones as we see with the icons and the toggle switches which are not present in the Notification drawer instead you need to pull it from the bottom of the screen as we see in iPhones.
The Finger print sensor does it job well but the oval design of the Home button makes it loose some flexibility on the angles from which it can be unlocked and we personally would have preferred the sensor on the back right where the logo is placed.
The sharp AMOLED display is a plus of this device, which offers a clear picture quality with high saturation levels, the sharpness is as we would have wanted it on a Full HD display. It was able to play full HD movies we threw at it and the over all visual experience was a treat to eyes. Readability under sunlight is another plus.
Running on Mediatek Helio P10 with 4 GB RAM, the Gionee A1 lives up to the expectations and delivers a quality performance in day to day tasks. Switching between apps is quite smooth and we didn't notice any lag while switching between apps. The phone also doesn't heats up in regular use, normally I had calls ranging from 3 to 8 minutes in a day and didn't noticed sudden rise in temperature. However, playing resource intensive games such as Asphalt 8: Airborne for more than 10 minutes, the phone starts heating up due to which you could be forced to leave in another 10 minutes of game.
The call quality from the device is crisp and clear, the super battery claim lives up as the phone easily lasted for a day and half on a single charge with more than average usage (including several game sessions, YouTube playback, voice calls and internet browsing). The phone also supports quick charging which comes in handy when you have to put in more juice in your phone in less time.
The 16 MP front camera is the one touted to be a 'Super Selfie' camera with LED flash, On the rear there is a 13 MP camera with dual LED flash and f/2.0 aperture which is same as the front camera.
The front cameras have evolved a lot in last 3 years and Gionee A1 camera does its job well in most conditions, the front soft flash helps in low lit conditions and various filters and beautify features makes it fun and satisfying to capture a selfie.
The rear camera takes great shots in good amount of light however in low light it struggles a bit to reduce the noise and pick up the details. The shutter speed and focus are quick and snaps the image as soon as you click on the shutter button. The rear camera comes with a lot of modes, including panorama, manual, slow motion, card reader, bar code reader and Translator. There are live filters available as well which you can choose while framing your subject. Below are few samples.
As the 'Super Selfie, Super Battery' tagline is justified with the performance of the phone, you have to give it to the design and the display quality to make this phone a desirable one. The specifications are as per the price segment. So if you are a selfie lover and looking for a stylish (not unique though) and sturdy phone, then Gionee A1 should definitely in your wish list.
Gionee is priced at 19,999 Rs, which is a good price when compared to the OPPO F3 Plus, Vivo Selfie focused smartphones.