Gionee, a brand name not many are acquainted with and rightly so because of its limited presence in markets. With a stronghold in China and investing heavily in India recently, Gionee is expanding its reach. They are taking on the well established brands (Samsung) with competitive and well priced android ‘based’ devices, Gionee Elife E7 being their latest release. Alright, now that you know what we will be talking about in rest of the article, let’s begin with Gionee Elife E7 review.
Gionee Elife E7 sports a unibody design i.e no break points in between. I have always liked the unibody design but the downside to this is the battery cannot be replaced. At the front is a 5.5″ inch display protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The screen size does appear large speaking in pure numbers but 2.33mm measuring surrounding bezels ensure that the device is comfortable to operate and hold in hand.
Moving on, located at the top is 8 MP front camera and at the bottom there are 3 capacitive buttons (no on-screen keys). On the right side is volume rocker and at the top is power/screen on-off button next to 3.5mm audio jack. Located on the left is a micro SIM tray (no dual-sim support). The base houses a micro USB slot for charging and syncing the device.
The rear panel consists of a non-removable battery tucked under a marginally curved back panel, 16 MP rear camera and LED flash. Strangely Gionee opted for a glossy plastic for the design of the Elife E7 considering the fact that the glossy finish is highly prone to fingerprints and major players have already shifted to an alternative (remember faux pas leather?!).
With a 8 MP front facing camera and 16 MP rear camera, touted to be the most sensitive camera in the market, I had to talk about camera well before other aspects of the phone. Now a 16 MP rear camera is common in flagship devices and there’s nothing extra ordinary about this but what will amaze you is the presence of powerful 8 MP front facing camera! Yep, in an age when manufacturers struggle to provide a decent 8 MP rear camera, Gionee has gone one step ahead and deliver a 8 MP front facing camera. Selfie enthusiasts, cheer!!
Talking in terms of specifications, Gionee Elife E7 comes with a Largan M8 lens and 1/2.3-inch sensor with 1.34µm pixels (aperture size of F2.2). If you are not aware of the technical jargon, worry not, we have included some sample photos for you to judge the quality of the camera. Accompanying such a great camera hardware is a dedicated camera app allowing you to shoot professional photographs with easy to use and understand interface.
Gionee Elife E7 features a 2.2 Ghz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor Adreno 330 GPU, humongous 2 GB RAM, 5.5″ inch FHD display measuring 1920 x 1080 protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. All this high octane hardware is managed by Gionee’s own, android based, Amigo OS (more on Amigo OS later).
I will start by discussing the performance of Elife E7 purely from results obtained from benchmarking application AnTuTu. This score was obtained on a newly formatted (reset) Elife E7, thus there were no other applications installed or running prior to this test (with the exception of the default applications). Gionee Elife E7 scored a fabulous 31479 points. You might argue that with such splendid hardware, why didn’t it score more? Precisely my question and the only reasonable explanation I could come up with was the Amigo OS. A higher degree of optimization is required for the OS to justify underlying hardware.
In terms of day to day usage, I had no problem using the device. It felt like a breeze to use, no major lags of any sort. Although everything worked very well, games, applications, video playback, music playback, background sync but one thing that irked me was the fact that despite of having a 2 GB RAM, I could see visible albeit minor animation lags. I am hoping that a software update will take care of this.
A Word On Amigo OS
Gionee Elife E7 runs Amigo ROM, based on Android OS (duh!) and supports entire suite of Google apps with full access to Google Play Store. Like any other android based ROM, Amigo has its own set of additional features including but not limited to mobile data monitoring apps, advanced photo features, professional image capturing camera app, etc.
Amigo OS does entice you with its flatter design language, bright colors but it struggles under the burden of heavily cooked android os. As mentioned earlier, with 2 GB RAM, quad core processor you shouldn’t be expecting even a minor lag but Amigo OS does stutter especially when it comes to animations. I am sure Gionee has realized that and will be dishing out performance enhancing updates soon but more than that I am more interested in seeing how a CyanogenMod would work on it. It would fly, I guess!
Gionee Elife E7 comes with non-removable 2500 mAh battery. Since Gionee went with a unibody design, the makers could have added 500 mAh of more battery juice to rake up the total capacity to 3000 mAh battery but nevertheless Snapdragon 800 is far more power efficient as compared to other processors and this allows Elife E7 to make it through 14 hours of medium usage.
Gionee Elife E7 comes with great specifications. The inclusion of ultra sensitive camera gives you the ability to capture to great images on the go plus 8 MP front camera allows for a great video calling experience! Gionee Elife E7 has all the points one asks for in a phone with the exception of Amigo OS. The OS takes away some degree of charm from the device. It would do great on Gionee’s part to optimize their OS in order to utilize to phone to its true potential. Also, an aftermarket firmware like CyanogenMod would do wonders with this device (assuming developer community is already working on it).