Gionee is one of the Chinese brands trying to expand their portfolio in India from a couple of years. They have been introducing quite a number of devices in India since stepping in, but have not seen a good amount of success. Things might change with the launch of their latest device Gionee A1 which boasts a superior selfie camera along with a front flash.
The device has a premium metal body with thickness 8.3mm and weighing in about 182 grams making it slightly heavier than other phones in the same segment. There is a 5.5-inch FHD AMOLED display protected by the Gorilla Glass providing excellent color reproduction. On the back, there is a 13MP camera with dual LED flash and the Gionee Logo which is embossed in a circle making it look like a fingerprint scanner. To the sides, we have the volume rocker, Power key, and the hybrid sim slot, and while the bottom houses microUSB port and speaker grille along with a primary microphone, at the top we have a 3.5mm audio jack.
The 5.5-inch AMOLED screen on Gionee A1 is one of the best we have seen in this category given most of the other companies use LCD screens. The viewing angles are good along with great outdoor visibility. The colors are reproduced well while the blacks are deep like on other AMOLED screens and the text/images appear sharp. I wish Gionee had some kind of coating on the screen because it is a fingerprint magnet and requires constant cleaning. Below the screen, there is a home button which also has a fingerprint scanner embedded within. On either side of the home button, we have the capacitive navigational keys. At the top, there is a 16MP selfie camera and a flashlight for brighter selfies along with other sensors.
The device packs an Octa-Core MediaTek MT6755 Helio P10 processor (4×2.0 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4×1.0 GHz Cortex-A53) and Mali-T860MP2 GPU to take care of gaming. On the memory side, there is 4GB of RAM for faster performance and multi-tasking actions while the internal memory is 64 GB that takes care of storage for applications and multi-media. The phone is capable of handling everything your throw at it, whether it’s a graphic intensive game or resource intensive application. There was no lag during any of the actions or while switching applications thanks to the 4GB RAM.
Gionee A1 runs on the Amigo 4.0 OS which is based on Android 7.0 Nougat making it one of the few devices running the latest Android OS out of the box. The UI has undergone a makeover from the previous versions and looks a lot cleaner and visually the icons resemble the ones in iOS. There is split screen mode that allows the users to use two different apps at the same time without switching between them. Smart features like answering the call automatically when you pick up the phone or pausing the alarms by flipping the device etc. are also found. You can also enable the Edge Bar feature that allows the user to access the favorite apps by swiping left or right on the home button. There is a control center like feature which can be invoked by swiping up from the bottom of the screen to toggle options like cellular data, flashlight, wifi etc. Though we like the Amigo OS, Gionee could have reduced the number of bloatware applications and games like Xender, Hotoday, Messenger, Saavn, Asphalt Nitro, Bubble Bash 3, Danger Dash, and Real Football that come pre-installed.
Gionee A1 packs a 13MP Sony IMX258 sensor with f/2.0 aperture and dual LED flash. The camera app includes options like night, professional, time-lapse, slow-motion, smart scene, and GIF. The pictures look sharp and natural but the focus speed could have been better. There is some noise during low-light conditions but that is expected with this type of mid-range camera. The front facing camera is a 16MP sensor with autofocus and also has a LED flash for bright selfies at low light. There are live filters and other beauty modes to enhance the pictures like you find in other selfie-centric mobiles nowadays. The pictures are very good and detailed even at low-light without the use of front flash but the colors do look over saturated at times. I used the flash rarely when there was no light at all, but otherwise, the camera is a really capable one.
Call quality was very good on the Gionee A1 and people were able to hear the voice clearly. The phone also supports 4G VoLTE on both the sims but one sim at a time. The speaker is quite loud and even at maximum volume, the clarity didn’t deteriorate thanks to the MaxxAudio enhancement. The 4010mAh battery supports fast charging and easily allows you to use the phone for more than a day even with VoLTE enabled, casual gaming, video, and audio. With light usage, the phone can easily go on for about 36-40 hours.
Overall, the Gionee A1 impresses with build quality, high-quality screen, and a great selfie camera. There are only couple of devices that actually provide a good selfie camera in this segment and so Gionee A1 will have less competition in the market. The ample storage and RAM with a big battery also make this a good buy. The only downside is the processor which makes the phone hot sometimes during extended usage. The device is available on Flipkart for INR 16,699 in Black, Gold and Grey color variants.