Gionee the name synonymous with ‘Making Smiles’ went a step ahead to make your smiles looks even better and last longer. With the launch of Gionee’s latest flagship smartphone, Gionee A1, the company changed its brand tagline from ‘Make Smiles’ to ‘Selfie & Battery.’
With Virat Kohli making everyone smile, Alia joins the brand to create Selfiestan, a place for all selfie lovers. So what is this Selfiestan? Well, I let this brand video do the talking (PSA: By the end of watching this video, you will be addicted to it and it will be stuck in your head forever. I was humming it throughout whilst writing this review) –
With both Virat and Alia as brand ambassadors, it’s clear that Gionee is not leaving any stone unturned to reach the audience be it a girl who loves Virat or a guy who adores Alia.
Having tested Gionee A1 smartphone for over a month now, I can assure that you would get tired of clicking selfies, but this phone will never give up. Look at the specs of the device, and you would know what I’m talking about
Gionee A1 Specifications
|Release date||February 2017|
|Dimensions (mm)||154.50 x 76.50 x 8.50|
|Battery capacity (mAh)||4010|
|Colours||Gray, Black, Gold|
|Screen size (inches)||5.50|
|Processor make||MediaTek Helio P10|
|Expandable storage type||microSD|
|Expandable storage up to (GB)||256|
|Operating System||Android 7.0|
|Wi-Fi standards supported||NA|
|Number of SIMs||2|
|Supports 4G in India (Band 40)||No|
|Supports 4G in India (Band 40)||No|
|Ambient light sensor||Yes|
IN THE BOX
- Gionee A1 handset
- Silicone Cover
- USB Cable
- User Manual and Warranty
DESIGN AND DISPLAY
It’s really hard to differentiate one smartphone from another. And that’s not the case with just Android smartphones, you can’t tell the difference between an iPhone 6, 6s or the 7 either.
Where most smartphones are just blatantly copying iPhone design for years, Gionee has always come out with its unique design. I candidly remember chatting to Arvind ( CEO and President, Gionee India) at the E6 smartphone launch about the design philosophy of Gionee. He then mentioned, that his professional better half William (CEO Gionee Global) has an eye for detail and is constantly working with the team in enhancing UI/UX of Gionee devices. And that’s why Gionee is one of the few companies that hasn’t launched an iPhone lookalike device.
Similarly, Gionee A1 has its own design language but at the same time an uncanny resemblance to the OnePlus 3/3T. In my opinion, which is a good thing! Have a look at the device, and you be the judge –
On the front is the 5.5″ Full HD screen. Under the screen is the Home button with an embedded fingerprint sensor. Next to the Home button are the menu button and the back buttons which are sadly not backlit.
The top is where the courageous 3.5mm Audio Jack is. Interestingly, the A1 also has an IR blaster which is nowhere to be found on the device. On closer inspection, we found it secretively placed inside the 3.5mm port. Brownie points to Gionee for this innovation in design.
You get the Power button and Volume rocker on the right side and the hybrid sim tray on the left side of the device.
On the back is the 13MP camera with a dual LED flash underneath it followed by the Making Smiles Gionee Logo.
- MediaTek Helio P10 processor
- 4GB RAM
- 64GB of internal memory expandable up to 128GB
- 4,010 mAh battery
Gionee association with MediaTek continues as the A1 is powered by the Helio P10 processor, which has a speed of up to 2GHz. It has 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage which is further expandable to 128GB via MicroSD card.
All this backed up by a massive 4010 mAh battery that comes with Quick charge support.
- Android 7.0 (Nougat)
- Amigo UI skin
The A1 uses Android 7.0 (Nougat) operating system, with an overlay of Gionee’s proprietary Amigo user interface. With each smartphone, the UI & UX of Amigo is getting better, but it’s still not the same intuitive level that you get in Chinese variant of Amigo powered Gionee devices.
Nevertheless, A1 has a very smooth and lag free user interface. Even with performance intensive apps running you’d be able to switch apps and scroll through screens without lag.
Moving on the user interface of the device, like all Gionee devices, Amigo’s UI takes time for some to get used to. But, if you have ever used a Gionee device or an iOS device in the past then you would be very comfortable with it. As, just like iOS or any Gionee device, the A1 doesn’t have an app drawer. And, the quick settings are accessible from a swipe on the bottom of the screen, similar to the iOS.
Amigo overlay over Android Nougat also adds Multi-window mode, theme engines, Child mode and other tweaks that might be useful to most of us.
The good thing is the amount of bloatware has come down significantly on all the recent Gionee devices including the A1. Still, there are a few pre-installed third-party apps, but you can easily uninstall them.
- 13MP rear camera with f/2.0 aperture
- 16MP front camera with f/2.0 aperture
- Selfie Flash
It didn’t take long for smartphone makers to realise that there are more people who click selfies than people who click photos from the pseudo-primary (rear) camera. Hence the shift in 2016-17, now the secondary front (Selfie) camera has more megapixels from the rear camera.
The camera app is loaded with features and modes like – Night, Professional, Timelapse, Slow Motion, GIF etc
The Gionee A1 has a 16-megapixel front camera and a 13-megapixel camera rear camera. Both cameras have F2.0 lens and flash for better low light photos. Here are some camera samples –
THE UNBIASED VERDICT
Gionee is not only the pioneer of bringing quality Chinese smartphones in India but also one of the first brands to start the selfie trend. In the past, we have seen the S6s, S6 Pro level up the selfie game but the A1 takes it one step further.
Priced at INR 19,999 /- the device is priced really well considering it’s a complete package of a vibrant display, solid built, great selfie camera, mammoth battery, IR blaster and expandable storage. The only downside we think is the lack of USB Type-C port and lack of FM Radio.