First Look: Gionee A1 Plus

Chinese smartphone maker Gionee has announced the successor to its selfie-focused handset Gionee A1 with Gionee A1 Plus. Both Gionee A1 and A1 Plus were originally showcased in Mobile World congress (MWC 2017). Gionee A1 features a capable 16MP front camera and now sells at Rs. 16,500 on Amazon.in, while the  Gionee A1 Plus is priced at 26,999.

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. The phone will be pitted against recently launched Xiaomi Mi Max 2 that sports even bigger 6.44-inch screen and bigger 5,300 mAh battery unit and given that Mi Max 2 retails at Rs 16,500. However Xiaomi Mi Max 2 lacks behind in camera department, as far as specs on papers are concerned.
Here is our first look of the upcoming device.

Design

Side Gionee A1 PlusGionee A1 Plus frontGIonee A1 Plus Back HR
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 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 weighs 229 grams which is 50 grams more than Gionee A1, but is understandably so given the big 4,500 mAh battery unit inside.

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.
Display

Display Gionee A1 Plus
Big 6-inch Full HD IPS Screen 1080×1920 pixels resolution and 367 ppi pixel density. And is on paper the display delivers well in real life use 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.

Camera

Gionee A1 Plus camera picIMG_20170720_143641
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 that 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.

Dual-lens rear camera setup on the Gionee A1 Plus is also a step better than what other are offering in the range. Camera delivers impressive depth of field effect. The pictures it captures have a good bokeh effect that looks quite natural though there were some issues with the edges, we will comment only once we do detailed review of the camera.

Software
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.

Hardware
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. The handset has been with us for couple of days now and we have not found any performance issues. Since the chipset is the upgraded version of the one used in Gionee A1, we feel it will perform better over a already good performer. 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, more on that when we review the device.
Battery and Connectivity
The boasts a large 4550 mAH battery and that should easily propel the phone for atleast 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.

Conclusion
Gionee A1 Plus is a significant upgrade over the previous Gionee A1. Bigger Battery, Bigger Display and better camera means that it is bound to be better than a already very good device. The device has been priced at Rs 26,999 where it directly competes with the likes of OnePlus 3T, Honor 8 Pro and Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro. To find out, how it fares against competition, wait for our review.

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