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Gionee Elife S5.1 Price & Specifications Review

The Background of Gionee Elife S5.1

It is highly unlikely that you have a Guinness Book of World Records winner in your house, but take home a Gionee Elife S5.1 and you will own one. At just 5.31mm at its widest, it holds the record for the slimmest phone and even Apple, with its legendary engineering skills, could only manage 6.9mm in its flagship iPhone 6. Obviously, this little fella is going to hold the record for quite some time to come. It also weighs in at only 100g and your shirt pocket is not going to sag in an ungainly fashion.  But it will certainly dent your pocket by up to Rs. 23,000 and a careful evaluation is essential before you part with that kind of money for a Gionee.

Gionee Elife S5.1

Gionee Elife S5.1

How Does Gionee Elife S5.1 to Look?

Display Screen: Obviously, the slim looks by itself go a long way to make the S5.1 draw admiring looks and this Gionee is really a great looking phone with a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED Capacitive display. However, it only packs a resolution of 720×1280 pixels and a pixel density of 306 PPI, whereas the S5.5 boasts a resolution of 1080×1920 pixels with a density of 441 PPI.

Weight: Since it weighs 30g less than the S5.5 for a total of 100g, you hardly feel it in your palm, or pocket for that matter. Its predecessor boasted a 5-inch screen, but maybe the ultra slim body and the reduced weight justifies the slight reduction in screen size.

Colors: There are four colors on offer, namely, White, Black, Sky Blue and Pink, yet another superfluous upgrade as the S5.5 was offered only in White.

The design and display of the Gionee Elife S5.1 warrants a very high rating, but sadly, it does not warrant anything more than average on other parameters.

So the question that begs an answer is, “Can a phone sell just because it is slimmer?”

The slim looks make the phone a very elegant and desirable object of ownership. But can the USP, or indeed the Only Selling Point of a phone be its slimness? 

The Hardware Specifications Of Gionee Elife S5.1

Processor & Ram: The Gionee Elife S5.1 is powered by 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 (MSM8926) Quad Core Processor with 1GB of RAM while rich graphics are ensured by Adreno 305 GPU. However, this is yet another downside compared to the Gionee Elife S5.5, which boasts a 2GB RAM. There is an internal memory of 16GB but with no micro SD slot, you are stuck with it for evermore.  But the phone is pretty fast, can run quite a few apps and games without any apparent slowdowns, and will support 4G LTE networks in certain regions. However, like the S5.5, the Gionee Elife S5.1 has some obvious heating issues when under pressure.

Camera: It has an 8 mega-pixel rear camera with a LED Flash and auto focus, and a 5-megapixel front camera, which pales in front of the 13 mega-pixel that adorns its similarly priced predecessor, the S5.5. That camera came with Face Detection, Smile Shutter, Flash Support, Image Editor, and the world’s first 95-degree ultra-wide angle, none of which are offered on the S5.1. Even so, that camera never drew rave reviews, so I am going to be very wary of this downgraded offering.

Battery: The Gionee Elife S5.5 came with a 2300 mAh battery pack and there were complaints galore about inadequate power, so we cannot understand the rationale of Gionee opting for a 2100 mAh non-removable power pack for the S5.1.  I am almost certain we are going to hear a lot on this subject in the not so distant future.

2G (or) 3G (or) 4G: The Gionee Elife S5.1 is a single SIM phone with 2G and 3G connectivity, and will not generally support 4G, although that is hardly going to matter on the Indian sub-continent.

In almost every which way, the S5.1 is a downgrade of the S5.5, and while being slim and pretty is desirable, it does not justify so many sacrifices in terms of technology and features. After all, everyone expects a successor to be superior to its predecessor so the disappointment is justified.

Gionee Elife S5.1 Software

This phone runs on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean based Amigo 2.0 UI, one of the rare upgrades vis-à-vis the S5.5 that packs the 4.2 Jelly Bean.  The performance of the 4.2 was considered below par but the 4.3 is a definite improvement. The interface is fast, responsive, fluid, and well optimized with numerous apps, and you will not be disappointed.

All said, the S5.5 which was just an average phone to begin with, is far superior to the S5.1, except for the superfluous slimness, and the Android 4.3, so does it really justify the hype?

Most of you who have used an Android before should feel comfortable with the familiarity of the Gionee Elife S5.1’s OS.

The Final Verdict of Gionee Elife S5.1 Review

Limited service centers in India are definitely a concern, and in Karnataka for example, it has service centers in only 18 out of 27 districts.

The Indian Air Force has advised its warriors and their families to refrain from using Xiaomi, since the servers are located in China and pose a security risk. The Office of the Director General of Military Operations of the Army had issued a similar alert of the security threat from a Chinese mobile App. Gionee suffers the same security risk as vital information, call and SMS records, could be accessed by China. Surely, this phone is not safe for government officers, businesspersons with Chinese connections, and their families.

Volkswagen launched a high-end model the VW Phaeton to compete with Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, and Audi in America. It sold just over 1,400 cars in 2004, some 800 units in 2005, and was subsequently withdrawn from USA. There was nothing wrong with the car per se, and in fact, it got rave reviews with even four separate climate zones, but people were simply not willing to pay a hefty price for a VW logo, a brand always been associated with cheap cars.  Would you really like to part with Rs 23,000 for a Gionee? I would not, especially when it does not even really compare well with the Gionee Elife S5.5.

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