Gionee S6 review: A sleek mid-range smartphone
Gionee has been offering a number of smartphones in mid-range and budget price segment in the country. The company has successfully delivered good value for money handsets in the form of Marathon M4 and the recent M5, which are designed to offer a great battery life to users. The company’s Elife series also has a number of smartphone that are sleek and powerful enough to execute all smartphone-related tasks. The Elife S7 is one example that is the slimmest dual-SIM smartphone around.
And today, we have the Gionee S6, which carries the same design tradition and competes in the mid-range smartphone category with a price tag of Rs 19,999. Let’s find out more about the smartphone in the following review.
Display: 5.5-inch HD 1280x1080p display, 267ppi
OS: Android Lollipop 5.1 with Cool UI 6.0 skin
CPU: Octa-core Mediatek MT6753 SoC, 3GB
Storage: 32GB inbuilt storage, expandable upto 64GB via microSD
Cameras: 13MP (rear with LED flash), 5 MP (front)
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, 3G/4G/2G, GPS, Bluetooth, Reversible USB Type-C port
Dimensions: 151 x 77 x 6.9 mm
Weight: 148 grams
Price: Rs 19,999
Gionee has earned a name for itself in terms of designing the smartphones. The company has given a number of handsets in the past, especially in S series, which are super sleek and comes with a premium look and feel. That said, the S6 is also elegantly-designed device and is crafted out of utilising quality material.
The smartphone shares a close resemblance to iPhone 5 and looks like a stretched version of it, especially the Rose gold variant that we got with its chamfered edges and the antenna bands.
Gionee S6 has a unibody aluminium build and is quite sleek, just 6.9mm. Moreover, the overall weight (148g) is very well managed and the smartphone feels extremely light to carry. The front has the 5.5-inch screen with minimal bezels on either sides, three touch capacitive buttons at the bottom, a camera sensor, light sensor, and the earpiece on the top. The right side has the power and volume rockers, placed ergonomically and offers a good tactile response. The hybrid SIM card tray is placed on the left edge.
The bottom has the USB type-C slot in the centre of the two speaker grills. The left speaker grill is just to give the symmetry and does not house any speaker unit. The top has the 3.5mm headphone jack.
Coming on to back, we have a 13MP camera sensor with the LED flashlight and a microphone at the top and Gionee branding embossed in the centre.
Gionee is offering a 1.3GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6753T SoC coupled with 3GB of RAM. In term of storage, S6 got 32GB internal memory that can be expanded by up to 128GB via microSD card. The rear has a 13MP camera along with an LED flash and a 5MP camera is provided for selfies and video calling.
Gionee is also providing USB Type-C charging port (USB 2.0 speeds). The smartphone supports Dual-SIM 4G with VoLTE and company is offering a hybrid SIM tray, which means you have to choose between a second SIM or a microSD card. Other connectivity options include Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, USB OTG, GPS, FM radio and Wi-Fi Direct.
If we talk about pure numbers, the S6 fails to top the list in its price category. At the same price-point, Lenovo Vibe X3 offers a far better value for money deal. You get DOLBY ATMOS audio, a fingerprint sensor, better display, camera sensors and a powerful battery unit.
We have to say that Gionee S6 does not match the current market standards in terms of hardware it packs underneath. Gionee could have packed better internals with the S6.
In the times when one can buy a smartphone with 1080p display under-Rs 12,000, Gionee is still sticking with an HD panel on the S6. The 5.5-inch HD AMOLED display accounts to 267ppi, which is not the best in terms of pixel density and clarity as other similar priced smartphones such as Lenovo Vibe X3, Moto X Play, Nexus 5X (after its recent price-cuts), etc. offers displays with higher resolutions. Other options with a full HD display and a comparatively lower price tag are Lenovo Vibe K4 Note, Infocus M812i, Xiaomi Mi 4i, Le Eco Le 1S, etc.
However, Gionee has opted for an AMOLED panel, which in real life usage offers vibrant and punchy colours. The blacks are deeper and saturation levels make content appear quite lively on the display, sometimes more than required that results in oversaturation. And unlike Lenovo Vibe X3, Gionee S6 does not offer any settings in the display to tweak the colour levels.
Besides, the display has good viewing angles and also gets Gorilla Glass 3 for protection
Gionee S6 is powered by an octa-core MediaTek chipset which is accompanied by 3GB of RAM to carry out multitasking. For most of the part, the smartphone was pretty much capable of handling everything. You can throw basic as well as demanding tasks and S6 can execute them without much problem. We played Need for Speed No Limits to check the graphical performance and Gionee S6 handled it quite well. There were no major problems in the game-play but the aluminium body of the S6 gets heat up with such kind of tasks.
However, the smartphone fails to give a good audio performance. The mono speaker unit at the bottom is no match against the Lenovo Vibe X3 speakers that comes equipped with Dolby audio.
Other than this, we don’t have much to complain about the performance of the smartphone.
Gionee S6 runs on Amigo UI 3.1 built over Android 5.1 Lollipop and is one of the most customised UI we have used. However, this does not affect the smartphone performance and we did not encounter any software hiccups in the real-life usage.
It is fast, responsive and comprises of a variety of themes, wallpapers and features that makes it a good overall UI. For instance, the pinch out gesture in gallery to see your hidden photos is a nifty feature.
The 13MP rear camera is quick to focus the subject and gives good shots in daylight conditions. The colours look quite vibrant on the AMOLED display and the sensor also captures crisp videos. However, the smartphone is marred by the same problem as most of the handsets are affected in this price-point, i.e., the low light performance in which noise becomes quite evident.
Besides, we have notice that the HDR mode in Gionee smartphone is not very effective. The results come out to be quite plain with no variations in the presence of different lighting conditions.
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