Chinese smartphone maker Gionee has announced the successor to its selfie-focused handset Gionee A1 with Gionee A1 Plus. Gionee A1 Plus gets upgrades in camera, display and battery department. The phablet sports a massive 6-inch Full HD screen, a 20MP selfie camera, a dual-lens rear camera setup and a big 4,550 mAh battery unit.
From the tech specs perspective, the Gionee A1 Plus appears to be a great device but does it also deliver in real world? Lets find out.
Gionee A1 Plus gets much bigger 6-inch screen compared to Gionee A1’s 5.5 inch one, and while in my fairly large hands fits well, most will find it slightly tough to use it with one hand. Rounded corners and gentle curves makes the device feel smaller than it actually is, and that means most of the tasks like basic screen navigation, calling, scrolling the Facebook etc is still comfortably one-hand operation for any one. The device is 9.1mm think and weighs 229 grams which is 50 grams more than Gionee A1, and is even heavier than the Xiaomi Mi Max 2 which even with larger 6.44 inch display and much bigger 5300 mAH battery is both lighter at 211 gms and thinner at 7.6mm. Gionee certainly is bulkier than it should be but that in our opinion is not a deal breaker.
Gionee A1 Plus is made out of metal and feels sturdy in hands and is also not as slippery as Xiaomi Mi Max 2. The phone has a premium look to, especially rear panel. On the back you have dual-lens camera setup, dual LED flash and Gionee’s trademark branding which can be easily mistaken for a circular fingerprint scanner. The right side of the handset has volume rockers and power button that offers good feedback, while the hybrid SIM card tray is placed on the left edge.
You can also click the power button thrice to trigger the panic button that automatically connects the call to the emergency number, a nifty feature in emergency situations. The clickable home button on the front has the fingerprint sensor embedded in it that unlocks the handset, though we found it to be slightly less responsive than Gionee A1, but that is because the later has ultra responsiveness and not that A1 plus is bad. The 3.5mm headphone jack is placed on top.
Big 6-inch Full HD IPS Screen 1080×1920 pixels resolution and 367 ppi pixel density. And as on paper the display delivers well in real life usage as well. The display is crisp and colours look vibrant. The screen is quite comfortable to use in daylight and the 2.5D curved glass makes for some good viewing angles.
The phone boasts impressive camera specs a Dual camera setup with 13 megapixel and 5 megapixel sensors at the back and 20 megapixel selfie camera in the front. Both cameras are capable of taking portraits with bokeh effect.
Front camera clicks crisp and vibrant selfies. The front camera is also supported by a LED flashlight to brighten up the images in non-ideal light conditions. You also get Face beauty mode to tweak the selfies you capture. However, Bokeh effect on front camera is not polished enough and is more of software effect and therefore has its shortcomings, the camera also blurs the edges of the face and will retain focus in some areas around the face. However it is better to have this feature than to not have it at all, if you are careful you can get some cool bokeh effect selfies with this phone.
Dual-lens rear camera setup on the Gionee A1 Plus is in fact rather good. Camera delivers impressive depth of field effect. Bokeh effect works flawlessly on this. The camera manages really crisp pictures even indoors, though low light situations does produce some noise which is a grouse with most phone cameras. In Outdoor bright conditions, you do get some over saturated images, however the camera app offers manual settings which can easily control this. Overall a good camera for a mid range phone.
Android 7.0 Nougat with Gionee’s Amigo 4.0 Gionee A1 Plus has the same customized skin- Amigo OS 4.0 based on the latest Android 7.0 Nougat that we have tested on Gionee A1. There is no difference between this phone and Gionee A1, you can read our Gionee A1 review Here. While it feels quite cluttered, it is also one of the most customizable software layers in the market. The settings menu also allows you to set smart gestures and manage touch capacitive buttons functionality to operate the handset with an ease in everyday usage. Besides, there are several nifty smart settings such as glove mode, edge bar that brings a window of predefined controls on the edges of the screen and skylight mode to make it easy to use the touch screen in case you have applied a flip cover on your smartphone.
Gionee A1 Plus is backed by a MediaTek Helio P25 octa-core chipset paired with 4GB of RAM to support multitasking. The chipset comprises of 4 Cortex A-53 cores clocked at 2.5GHz and the other four clocked at 1.4GHz. On the Antutu bench mark it scored a descent 63336 and CPU score 17579 which is a mid to high end score. However it gets beaten by its rivals like Honor 8 Pro, which manages a much higher 140247, OnePlus 3T at 160500 and Nubia Z11 which scores 132020, while its phablet rival Mi Max 2 scores 63688 which is only marginally higher, however it scores 20845 in CPU test.
As the benchmark scores suggest the phablet does not deliver scorching performance but does all the daily tasks and even 3D gaming rather well. Even multitasking on the device is not an issue. In our time with the device we did not encounter any lag in performance.
Storage will not be an issue for users as Gionee A1 comes with 64GB of internal storage that can be expanded by up to 256GB via microSD card. The phone also gets Maxx Audio speakers which is fairly loud and crisp.
Battery and Connectivity
The device boasts a large 4550 mAH battery and that easily propels the phone for at least 2 days of usage for a moderate user. We have already managed without charging for more than 2 days. The added advantage with the phone is fast charging which charges the battery in under 2 hours. There are other battery optimization modes to reduce the power consumption as well. As far as connectivity goes, Gionee A1 has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, dual-SIM support, 4G LTE and VoLTE and GPS.
Gionee A1 Plus is a significant upgrade over the previous Gionee A1. Bigger Battery, Bigger Display and better camera means that it is better than a already very good device. However it has its share of issues, first being the size but that it a trade-off that one has to make, if you want bigger display and bigger battery you have to make do with slightly bigger size and weight.
The bigger issue is the pricing which at Rs 26,999 gets it pitted against phones like Honor 8 Pro (Rs 2000 extra), OnePlus 3T and Nubia Z11 and all of them get better benchmark scores and Honor 8 Pro even gets dual camera setup up its sleves, though all of them have smaller displays compared to this Gionee device. Mi Max 2 is almost Rs 10,000 cheaper also manages similar performance and offers bigger display and battery. However in camera department it is far behind.