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Elife S7: Has Gionee missed the pricing trick?

By Himanshu Juneja
April 07, 2015 13:20 IST
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The mobile phone scenario has changed quite a bit since Elife S5.1's time, and Gionee will do well if it decides to sell the Elife S7 for about Rs 3000-5000 cheaper, says Himanshu Juneja

Photographs: Courtesy, Gionee

Ever since Gionee bagged the crown for manufacturing world's slimmest smart mobile phone (Gionee Elife S5.1), people have come to expect a repeat of that feat a few times more, if not with every release.

So when Gionee's Elife S7 showed up at MWC Barcelona 2015, the buzz was Gionee haven't come up with the slimmest phone. The phone did impress nevertheless.

The Elife S7 has now been launched in the Indian market at a Hyderabad event and tentative pricing has been revealed as well.

It will be interesting to see how Gionee plans to impress without attempting to regain the super slim crown.

Build

The company claims to have used aviation grade magnesium alloy with the Elife S7. Considering this phone is quite thin, the magnesium alloy will help in boosting the phone's sturdiness.

Coming to the essentials, the phone measures 139.8 x 67.4 x 5.5 mm dimension wise. The phone weighs little less than 127 gms.

The right edge of the phone comprises of the power and volume controls. The left edge has the slots for the two Nano SIM cards, and the lower edge carries the 3.5 mm audio jack, the mic and the speaker.

Absence of camera bulge at the back is a huge plus.

Both the front and back side of the phone are protected with Gorilla Glass 3. Overall, the phone maybe just a bit too big for one-handed operations, but it felt quite solid when held.

Screen

Gionee decided to go with a big screen with the Elife S7. The 5.2-inch SUPER AMOLED screen carries a full HD resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels. The ppi translates to a whopping 424 ppi. This are pretty good numbers.

The screen turned out quite an impressive performance. The screen is bright and colour reproduction looked good as well. With vibrant colours and good viewing angles, the screen has covered the vital areas nicely.

Hardware

The phone is powered by a 64 bit Mediatek Octa core processor. Good thing to notice that every core is clocked at 1.7 Ghz. The phone is supplied with 2GB of RAM and comes with 16GB of onboard memory.

A big plus is the fact that the handset supports LTE for both the SIM card slots.

Downside in this area is that the phone doesn't come with a microSD card slot. Whatever memory users get out of the 16 GB, they will have to manage with it.

This really shouldn't have been the case, and it well might prove to be a deterrent for interested buyers.

Operating system

Elife S7 comes with Amigo 3.0 skin, which is based on Android's latest Lollipop 5.0.

Consistent with the Chinese manufacturer's penchant, the OS lacks any idea of an app drawer. As a result, the apps are strewn across the homepage.

It does seem like Gionee has tried to address earlier issues and introduced some new features as well. The users access the notifications by swiping upwards from the bottom part of the screen. Users familiar with iPhone's working would know the feeling.

Users will also find a certain chameleon feature quite amusing. The feature picks up a colour from a clicked photograph, and applies it to its own interface, thereby creating a sort of blending of the user's mood with the surroundings.

For the short hands on time experience of the device, the operating system came across as quite slick and fast.

Camera

The phone comes with a Sony 13 Megapixel rear camera, which comes with an LED flash, and an 8 Megapixel front facing camera.

The rear camera takes some good snaps, capturing good amount of details in them. Colours seemed a bit too punchy for the liking but were not too offensive either.

This is true for photographs in well-lit conditions only. The result for photographs during darker sorrounding remains to be seen when the phone comes in for a full-fledged review.

The camera focus was quick to obtain a lock when tapped. This should come in handy for the instant capturing of 'blink and you miss' moments.

Battery

A non-removable Li-Ion 2700 mAh battery comes along with the handset. This makes the phone look a bit stranded as going by the general trend, a full HD display of 5-inch should have had access to at least 3000 mAh battery pack.

But Gionee assures of technological prowess, which would help in prolonging the battery life. As per official claim, the battery is capable of delivering 22 hours of talk time and churns out 33 hours and 45 minutes of standby time alone.

The phone has power saving mode as well, should the user be in any need to stretch the last few bits of charge left.

Verdict

It seems like Gionee has tried to present a capable handset while not trying to go for the slimmest phone's title again. A dual SIM phone, which supports LTE for both the SIM cards is good news for the cellphone world overall.

Gionee also isn't trying to go the flash sales way in order to create hype and sell its product by encouraging artificial demand strategy either. Easy over the counter access would be in customer's favour again.

But Gionee may have missed the trick with the pricing bit. Sure the phone is slick and comes with good features, but the current price of Rs ~25,000 seems too much.

The mobile phone scenario has changed quite a bit since Elife S5.1's time, and the Elife S7 will do well if Gionee decides to sell it for about Rs 3000-5000 cheaper.

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Himanshu Juneja