Gionee A1 Review- Fast UI, Great camera and decent battery life/ VS Vivo V5
• Swift user interface
• Packed with excellent specifications
• Decent camera setup
• More than a day of battery life
• Fast charging
• Bright display
• Quick and accurate fingerprint sensor
• Loud audio output
• Customary form factor
• Heating issue
• Feels overpriced
Just like its Chinese competitors Vivo and Oppo, Gionee has also introduced its sub 20K selfie focussed smartphone in Indian market. The biggest highlight of the smartphone is its 16-megapixel front facing selfie camera which is packed with a front facing flash. The selfie flash can be used to capture properly lit photographs in low light conditions. Although, Gionee A1 packs a lot in its unibody metal design, is it worth the price you’re paying, or you should go with a different choice, let’s find out.
Design and Portability
The Gionee A1 is crafted out of a unibody full metal A6000 airplane grade material with a 2.5d curved glass on top. The display on the smartphone is an AMOLED screen which features a Full HD(1080 x 1920pixels) resolution with a pixel density of ~401ppi. It’s a 5.5-inch screen that offers a screen to body ratio of nearly 70.6%. Dimensions of the smartphone are 154.5 x 76.5 x 8.3 mm at a weight of 182grams.
The smartphone is easy to use with a single hand. Most of the functions available on the screen are in reach of index finger and thumb. Even if the Gionee A1 features a 5.5-inch display, the smartphone does not feel very big. The screen feels bloated a little which makes the edges around the screen feel sharp. The edges aren’t too sharp to slice your finger, however does feel clumsy when you’re not accustomed to such a type of form factor.
Looking at the device from front, you’ll find the 16MP selfie camera, proximity sensor, LED flash and calling speaker at the top of the device. The fingerprint sensor is placed at the bottom of the smartphone with gold color frame, adjoining which there are navigation keys. Although you can interchange the position of the keys from the settings, the buttons are not backlit, which does take time getting used to. However, I did miss the backlit keys.
The speaker placement is good for watching videos. Otherwise, while playing games it does gets affected with the way we hold the smartphone.
The smartphone features a dual color design on the rear side, with top and bottom made up of the same color, while the centre panel has a slightly light in shade. The camera is placed on the top, below it there a dual tone LED flash and the Gionee logo which I thought was a fingerprint sensor. There is another Gionee marking at the bottom of the device.
Starting with the application performance first. All the applications that I used worked smoothly; I didn’t notice any sort of lags using the applications. Facebook, Whatsapp, Youtube, Chrome, Picsart and Instagram worked without frame split. The applications did not crash at all during our review period, and the Amigo skin was pretty swift and clutter free all the time.
Well, let’s look at the specifications before talking about the gaming performance.
Gionee A1 is powered by a Mediatek MT6755 Helio P10 Octa-core (4×2.0 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4×1.0 GHz Cortex-A53) chip coupled with Mali-T860MP2 GPU. It has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of integrated storage which can be further expanded upto 256GB via micro SD. The smartphone is running on Amigo OS 4.0 on top of the latest Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box.
Talking about the gaming performance now, i started playing the Nova 3 first. The game ran pretty smooth and even after an hour of gameplay I didn’t encountered any kind of performance issues. Then I switched to Asphalt 8 Xtreme which also worked without any lags. Although all the high-end games were running without any issues, still there was a noticeable heating issue that I encountered across the rear panel. The body gets a little warmer even when the ambient temperature was comparatively cool.
Not only the device gets warmer during gameplay, the problem remains the same while charging. This does bother sometimes and feel a little peculiar as most of the other smartphones of the same price range does not deliver any sorts of similar issues.
The Vivo V5 is also priced at a similar price tag and offers a decent set of specifications. However, before we compare the actual performance let’s compare the smartphones specifications directly.
|Criteria||Gionee A1||Vivo V5|
|Display||5.5 inches (~70.6% screen-to-body ratio), 1080 x 1920 pixels (~401 ppi pixel density)||5.5 inches (~71.8% screen-to-body ratio), 720 x 1280 pixels (~267 ppi pixel density)|
|SoC||Mediatek MT6755 Helio P10 Octa-core (4×2.0 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4×1.0 GHz Cortex-A53) with Mali T860MP2 GPU||Mediatek MT6750 Octa-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 with Mali-T860MP2 GPU|
|RAM and Storage||4GB and 64GB (expandable upto 256GB)||4GB and 32GB (expandable upto 256GB)|
|Camera||13 MP rear and 16MP front||13MP rear and 20MP front|
Well, the spec sheet makes it clear that the Gionee A1 is a better choice than the Vivo V5 on paper. Also, if we look at the performance, then I would say there’s hardly any difference in the overall performance among both the smartphones. Both the smartphones can play high-end games without breaking a sweat. Both the smartphones are powered by a wonderful selfie camera with flash. However, as the battery digits say, Gionee A1 is comparatively better in battery life compared to the Vivo V5 smartphone. Lastly, I didn’t encounter any heating issues on Vivo V5, which is the other way round on Gionee A1. Movie playback was fun on both the smartphones. The speaker output is better on Gionee A1. Lastly, I feel like the Amigo OS is a little less user friendly compared to the one on Vivo, but that depends on own preference.
Camera Performance on both the smartphone was mostly similar. Except, the Vivo V5 packs a 20-megapixel front facing selfie camera with flash that Vivo calls as moonlight flash. But the images captured on Vivo V5 in low light condition are either get blur or just have too much of noise in them. Gionee A1 on the other hand is still pretty sharp in low light conditions and captures sharp selfies. The rear camera of both the smartphones did a decent job in both the low light and day light conditions.
I start my day at 7am in the morning and need the smartphone as long as 12PM in midnight. Gionee A1 lasted for the whole day and after working on it till midnight there was nearly 22% charge left on the smartphone. Vivo V5 on the other hand lasted nearly the same. I mostly use the smartphone for the purpose of watching videos online, social network, reading news and making phone calls.
After using the Gionee A1 for nearly a week I would say that the smartphone is an overall decent choice. Apart from the fact that it heats up during charging and sometimes playing games, there’s nothing that bothered me more. Selfie camera on the smartphone is good and the rear camera also captures decent choice. And if you compare it to Vivo V5 then definitely it’s a superior choice. However, most of the similar specifications are available at a much cheaper price on Redmi Note 4. So, only if you take tons of selfies and love selfies more than anything, this is a good choice.