The Gionee A1 Plus is the successor to the A1, and is the first ever dual camera-totting smartphone to hit the Indian shores. Intended to be another one of those phones that are big on camera and battery, the A1 Plus is also a viable option for those looking for a phablet-sized device, particularly in the offline segment.
- Ample Battery Life
- Good Quality Optics
- Android Nougat with Google Assistant
- Ultra fast Charging
- A Bit Heavy
- UI Laden With Bloatware
- Lacks High-end Gaming Capabilities
- Hybrid SIM slot
Gionee A1 Plus Specifications
|Model||Gionee A1 Plus|
|Display||6-Inch, full HD IPS LCD|
|Processor||MediaTek Helio P25 deca-core|
|Internal Storage||64GB,expandable up to 128GB|
|Software||Android Nougat 7.0 with Amigo 4.0 UI|
|Primary Camera||13MP+5MP rear camera|
|Secondary Camera||20MP selfie camera|
|Dimensions and weight||166.4 x 83.3 x 9.1mm;. 226 grams|
|Battery||4550mAh with ultra fast charger|
|Others||4G VoLTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, 3.5mm audio jack, stereo speakers|
By unveiling its A1 Plus handset, Gionee has once again clearly stated the audience it is targeting: the people who want a phone big on camera(s) and battery. This one here is a device that comes loaded on both aspects, featuring a mammoth 4,550mAh battery, as well as a 20MP selfie snapper (and a 13MP+5MP camera module on the back).
We spent quite a few days with the successor of the popular Gionee A1, and tried to weigh in, on its credentials. Let’s have a look at what we found.
Gionee A1 Plus Design and Build
With a 6-inch display size, you cannot really expect a device that fits the ‘compact’ moniker, while Gionee’s decision to insert a 4,550mAh battery inside the phone makes it a bit heavy and chunky. But it does feature a design that’s pleasant on the eye, much like the A1, and the metal plate, laden with the company logo and dual camera unit, at the back works well to support the cause.
Since this is a big phone, the fingerprint sensor placement on the front is a big convenience particularly with the placement of the home button-cum-fingerprint sensor (pretty fast indeed, this one) on the front.
The volume rockers as well the power button occupy the right side of the phone and are easily reachable upon one-handed usage. To the left of the phone, you will find the hybrid SIM slot. Topping off this list are the dual speaker grills at the bottom accompanied by a micro USB port down at the bottom, and a 3.5mm audio jack on the A1 Plus’ top.
Well, for the design bit, we frankly believe that Gionee A1 Plus is a fairly customary and functional phone. It’s thick and heavy profile, however, robs it of a premium feel.
Gionee A1 Plus Display
The device offers a 6-inch Full HD display, and the target audience (read: bulk multimedia consumers), should find it up to the mark in every aspect. The phone doesn’t really falter much in this department, giving out crisp and sharp images as well as vibrant colors. At the same time, it must be mentioned that unlike Gionee A1, there is no AMOLED panel on the Plus variant. Also, the full HD resolution won’t feel as sharp on the big screen.
The 2.5D curved glass laid on top of the phone imparts a nice feel to your edge swipes, while sunlight readability is also fine. Gionee doesn’t mention Gorilla Glass in the spec-sheet. A screen guard (and a transparent back cover) does come with the packaging if that’s some consolation.
Gionee A1 Plus Camera
The A1 Plus, in terms of hardware, comes pretty stacked up in the optics department, featuring a 13MP and a 5MP snapper combination arranged in a vertical manner (alongside the flash unit). The rear camera unit does enough justice to its credentials and manages to scour some good quality images, although it does often stumble in low lighting conditions.
The extra camera on the rear is used for background blur or bokeh shot which doesn’t lend it much of a competitive edge as at 26,999 INR, we’d expected more from the extra shooter than just depth sensing. Quality-wise the ‘Portrait mode’ works fine and can detect edges of the object in the foreground reasonably well (it’s not perfect, though).
For those interested in the types of modes offered by the camera app, they are the Night Mode, Smart Scene mode, Slow Motion capture, GIF maker, Time Lapse, Panorama, Professional mode and Mood photo. Other than that, the camera app also offers some pretty nifty features too, that include the QR code scanner, card scanner, translation, text recognition, as well as PicNote (that helps to crop and optimize the text photo after clicking).
Up front is what is being billed as the USP of the phone, which is the 20MP selfie camera, that lives up to the hype, calibrating some detailed selfies. The images so snapped by the camera are crisp and vibrant, which also features a dedicated beautification mode to iron the creases (if you know what we mean).
Oh, and there’s also a soft LED flash integrated with the front camera to take care of your vanity needs, even in the absence of proper lighting conditions (but we didn’t find ourselves using it very often).
Gionee A1 Plus Software
Yes, it boots the latest Android 7.0 Nougat OS, but it is garnished by the company’s customary Amigo OS skin (version 4.0 here), so you won’t be getting the ‘Vanilla software with dedicated app drawer’ kind of a situation here. Though a bit cluttered, it is still (arguably?) the most customizable skin there is, at the moment.
What you get is, in all essentiality, a lot of bloatware, but there are some pretty handy features put into place, too. First off, there’s the one-handed mode that shrinks the size of the screen (thankfully) to a more ‘uni-finger friendly’ one. Other such features include the glove bar, the edge mode (that lets you access some apps quickly by swiping left or right on the home button), and the skylight mode (aids in phone’s functionality if you have placed a flip cover on it).
Although we are takers for a stock Android experiences, this one has some pretty handy and ready-to-customize features at its disposal.
Gionee A1 Plus Performance
Under the hood, the A1 Plus employs an octa-core MediaTek MT6757T (Helio P25) chipset clocking at a frequency of 2.5GHz, which is supported by a 4GB RAM and a 64GB ROM. The interiors meet the standards in all aspects, be it multi-tasking or video streaming, and in the time that we spent with the review unit, we did not experience any lags or interruptions.
The key here is to remember that although the innards are pretty much adept at handling whatever is thrown at them, the case is not so similar in terms of high-level gaming (light to moderate games are perfect, though), which, frankly is a bit of dampener, considering how good the phone works otherwise.
For audio, the Gionee A1 Plus has stereo speakers – one on the top clubbed with the earpiece and one on the bottom – and together they can get sufficiently loud. The audio quality via speakers is mediocre, though. We didn’t face any issues with 4G VoLTE and call quality in our area.
Gionee A1 Plus Battery
Gionee has also taken pride on marketing the big battery of the A1 Plus to the hilt, and rightly so, as the mammoth 4,550mAh battery of the phone is one of the things that work fervently in its favor. The high-rated power unit gets charged to its full capacity in about an hour and a half, and can easily last for two (more in case of light usage) days, even with heavy usage.
Another plus point here is that it is Ultra Fast charging compliant, enabling it to charge for hours of usage in a small amount of time (our review unit charged from zero to fifteen percent in just 10 minutes!). Furthermore, you get a few options to customize your power management even further, with a dedicated Power Saving mode (that reduces the performance), as well as an Extreme Mode (that enables only the contacts, messaging and clocks to function freely.
Gionee A1 Plus Review
The device comes with its set of pros and cons and is thoroughly a phone meant for offline buyers. Yes, it is a bit on the bulkier side, and not a perfect match for those who enjoy high-end Android gaming, it is nevertheless a decent smartphone which gives the users a vivid display, Android Nougat, good optics, and a larger than life battery. Having said that, it certainly feels overpriced at 27K and perhaps you can consider it after the first few price cuts.