We were present at the event and got some hands on time with the Gionee Elife E7. The smartphone has been priced at Rs 24,999 but is the premium price tag justified? We will need to review it before giving our verdict. However, our first impressions suggest it is a solid device with premium looks, hardware and built quality. The software, although not final, was very snappy compared to the one we saw in the Gionee Elife S5.5.
Before the Gionee Elife S7 hands on, lets quickly go through the specifications of the device. It features a 5.2-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display, powered by a 1.7 GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6752 processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage (not expandable). It runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop with Amigo OS 3.0 on top of it. It has a 13 and 8 megapixel rear and front-facing cameras respectively. It supports 4G LTE on both the SIMs, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, WiFi, USB OTG as connectivity options. The Gionee Elife S7 packs in a 2,750 mAh battery under the hood in spite of being 5.5 mm thick. There is Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection on both sides of the phone.
Gionee Elife S7 Hands on and first impressions
First of all, lets talk about the built quality and display. Our initial impression of the device is it is extremely well-built. A metal chassis made up of aluminium magnesium alloy is used with two parallel lines which Gionee is calling ‘U shaped skeleton design’. This makes the phone more solid and rigid not resulting in ‘Gionee Elife S7 Bend Gate’. The dual cover of Gorilla Glass 3 on both the sides gives more protection but makes it quite a finger print magnet. The 5.2-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display of the S7 is vivid and churns out good colour reproduction. You will love to consume a lot of media content on that display, for sure. Overall, the design of the phone is very sophisticated and has looks premium from every angle.
Now, coming to the camera of the Gionee Elife S7, it features a 13 megapixel rear shooter and a 8 megapixel front-facing selfie camera. Firstly, the camera of the S7 doesn’t protrude like that of the iPhone 6 and others in spite of being just 5.5 mm slim. Kudos to the engineering team of Gionee to pull that off.
The 13 megapixel rear shooter has a Sony IMX214 CMOS sensor. On popping open the camera app, it immediately started focusing on objects and we were good to go. Gionee is using a new image processing system called ‘image+’ and are making it a big deal. It has a lot of features (some of them gimmicky) and overall took good pictures. The 8 megapixel selfie shooter performed just as good. However, we need to test out the camera in detail to give our complete opinion. Also, we do not have any camera sample to show, sorry about that.
In our Gionee Elife S7 hands on, lets talk about the software. It runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box with Amigo OS 3.0 on top of it. The OS felt snappy from the word go, specially when we have tested the Amigo UI 2.0 before on the Elife S5.5. Gionee has done a great job with the brand new Amigo OS 3.0. It comes with Themes park to customize your phone, has a iOS like control centre instead of the quick toggle on top. It has power saving (extreme mode) which changes the theme to black and white when the battery goes below 20% and promises 33 hours of battery life. The Amigo OS comes with smart cleaner which auto boosts RAM if it is less than 20%. It also comes with smart device manager and smart notifications. Overall, the UI felt very smooth and we didn’t notice any frame drops whatsoever. However, we need to play with it more to give our full verdict on it.
The Gionee Elife S7 packs a 1.7 GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6752 64-bit processor which should not stutter while doing day-to-day tasks, watch HD videos, take pictures or play high graphics games. Gionee, however, has developed HPM technology that consumes low power and gives better performance. It has a polar cooling system which would not heat up the device according to the company. With limited testing, we did not find any heating issues but to believe Gionee’s claims, we need to test it for a longer period. Although, we believe it would not heat up like the previous Elife models due to new polar cooling technology and better software optimization in respect to the Amigo OS 3.0.
In our Gionee Elife S7 hands on, let’s have a look at the connectivity options of the smartphone. It supports dual SIM and 4G LTE works on both. It comes with WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, USB OTG and GPS as well. There is no expandable storage and it has only 16GB of storage on board. For a flagship device, this is not acceptable. Gionee should have provided more variants with 32/64 GB storage options. However, that is not happening and in case you buy the device, you need to use USB OTG, if you consume a lot of media.
With limited Gionee Elife S7 hands on time, we fell it is a well-built, rigid device. It has an array of hardware goodness which brings it at par with other mid-range flagship devices. Priced at Rs 24,999 in India, targeted at the offline retail customers, will it sell in India to make a dent in the balance sheet of Gionee? Only time will tell. However, we give it a thumbs up based on our first impressions. For final verdict, do stay tuned for our Gionee Elife S7 review.