Gionee proclaims A1 to be a selfie and battery phone and that pretty much defines the phone and target audience the Chinese manufacturer wishes to convert. And to justify the marketing claim, the Gionee A1 makes room for a beefy 4010mAh battery and crams 16 million pixels in the 1/3” front camera module. Those are, however, mere numbers which make for convincing marketing pitch but tell you almost nothing about what you are getting into.
We have been using the Gionee A1 for a couple of weeks now and have had enough time to test if these selfie and battery claims hold water. Let’s discuss more in our Gionee A1 full review.
Gionee A1 Specifications
|Display||5.5-Inch, full HD, AMOLED|
|Processor||MediaTek Helio P10 octa-core|
|Internal Storage||64GB, expandable up to 128GB|
|Software||Android Nougat 7.0 with Amigo 4.0 UI|
|Primary Camera||13MP rear camera|
|Secondary Camera||16MP selfie camera|
|Dimensions||154.5 x 76.5 x 8.5mm|
|Battery||4010mAh with fast charger|
|Others||4G VoLTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, 3.5mm, IR blaster|
|Price||Rs. 19,999 (expected)|
Gionee A1 Design, Build, and Display
As we pointed out in our first impression piece, Gionee hasn’t sided with a radical design approach with A1 and instead safely sticks to tried and tested design labels that work. That’s not really a bad thing as lying on the table the Gionee A1 still looks pretty compelling.
Post a week of usage, the extra mm of width (8.5mm) and the few extra ounces (182 grams) seem to be agreeable trade-offs for some extra battery.
The display on the Gionee A1 counts as a veritable strength. Punchy colors, high contrast, and sharp full HD resolution makes using A1 a pleasant experience. From within display settings, you can toggle between three color profiles: neutral, cool and warm. The ‘Warm’ one is relatively lighter on eyes and is the one we personally prefer. It might feel a bit yellowish at first, but if you stick to it you will appreciate it over other profiles within no time.
Also Read: Best Dual Camera Phones Under 20,000 INR
Gionee A1 Camera Performance
What’s a selfie phone? Well, in principle, that has to be something tailored around shooting great selfies. On paper, this prowess is reduced to a front snapper that excesses on megapixels, is accompanied by selfie-flash and has a functional beautify software.
Gionee A1 has all the needed selfie paraphernalia and can shoot some good selfies, particularly in low light. Selfie software, however, including the HDR mode needs some more work. We did manage to capture great selfies with the A1 but performance was a bit inconsistent.
Also Read: Best Selfie Phones Under 20,000 INR
Gionee A1 Selfie Samples
The rear camera, on the other hand, fared much better than what we had expected. The camera doesn’t falter much even in low lighting. Check out the camera samples shot in different lighting conditions below.
Gionee A1 Rear Camera Samples
Gionee A1 Performance and Software
The Gionee A1 is powered by MediaTek’s Helio P10 SoC, something that Gionee has learned to control well (this is the same chip they used in 2016 India flagship phones). While this certainly isn’t class leading silicon but works better than MT6750 that almost all other selfie first phones under 20K rely on (the offline ones, that is).
If you try to do more than a few things simultaneously, the A1 stumbles for a bit, but otherwise, it has mostly been smooth sailing in our testing period. Moreover, 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage give some assurance that the same fluidity should hold over a period of usage. Also, the Gionee A1 runs cool most of the time but does get warm with gaming.
Also Read: Best Smartphones In India Under 20,000 INR
Speaking of which, the high-end gaming experience on Gionee A1 isn’t smooth. Basic games run fine, but there are many frame drops while playing graphic intensive games like Asphalt 8.
Talking about software, the best part is that Amigo UI on the Gionee A1 is based on Android Nougat Software and integrates Android assistant out of the box. Since we use Google Assistant every now and then and find the Nougat feature to place app shortcuts in quick settings very handy, this is a significant plus point for us.
At the same time, Amigo UI skin isn’t our personal favorite and we couldn’t resist putting a custom launcher on top. And once we had done that, the UI felt pretty cordial.
The UI isn’t unnecessarily cluttered with features and keep things simple. This isn’t a skin that integrates every customization option in the book but does have some pretty nifty features that most of you could use.
The quick settings shade pops from the bottom, settings menu neatly segregates all features in a separate tab, and you can activate edge bar to access your favorite apps by a single left or right swipe on the home button. Gionee also pushes interesting content and images to your lock screen.
Gionee A1 Battery, Connectivity, and Others
The Gionee A1 battery backup is pretty solid and you will have to charge it only once in two days. Moreover, the fast charging support will ensure that your battery juice gets fully stocked again in under 2 hours.
We didn’t face any connectivity issue on the device during our last couple of weeks of usage. The GPS navigation worked flawlessly and so did the Reliance Jio SIM card on Gionee A1. The audio output from speakers is loud enough and pretty decent in quality. The fingerprint sensor is extremely fast but can be used only for unlocking.
On the whole, the Gionee A1 practical usage experience is far better than what the spec-sheet might suggest.
The vivid display, excellent battery life, extremely fast fingerprint sensor, reasonably rear camera, Ample RAM and Primary storage, and the Nougat based software count as its primary advantages and add up to deliver a gratifying experience.
Who should buy it: Anyone who prioritizes big battery, vivid display, wants the selfie paraphernalia, latest Android Nougat experience, and is primarily looking forward to buying from offline stores.
Who shouldn’t buy it: If high-end Android gaming is what you wish to engage with or if you are particularly captivated by slim and light phones.
Gionee A1 Pros and Cons
- Vivid display
- Excellent battery backup with fast charging support
- Reasonable rear camera
- 4GB RAM and 64GB Storage
- Android Nougat with Google Assistant
- Extremely fast fingerprint sensor
- Not fit for high-end gaming
- Hybrid Slot
- Big battery makes it a tad heavy