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Gionee S 5.5 Review : A Great Device For Selfie Generation; Amigo Needs Improvement

Gionee wants to take on Samsung. Gionee’s founder believes that Samsung is greedy. And that’s why the company wants to launch great devices at a much affordable rate.

Gionee S5.5 Review
Gionee S5.5

“We want to bring products that are priced at 60-70% compared to Samsung,” Hu said. The company has sold 24 million phones worldwide. Of that, nearly 1 million were sold in India with 6 local partners.

The latest smartphone from Gionee’s factory is Elife S5.5, which is touted as world’s slimmest phone. The phone, first introduced at the Mobile World Congress- Barcelona, is 5.5 mm thick and weighs 130 grams.

Gionee S5.5 Review
Gionee S5.5 Review [stock pic]

The phone runs on a 1.7 GHz Octa-core MediaTek MT6592 processor and a Mali 450- MP4 Graphic processor. S5.5 has got two cameras (front- 5MP and back 13MP) and a 5-inch Full HD Super Amoled display with Gorilla Glass. The 3G phone is backed by a 2300 mAh battery and comes in Black, Blue, Pink, Purple and White colors.

Gionee Elife S5.5 Specs

  • Dimensions: 145.1 x 70.2 x 5.5 mm

  • Display: Super Amoled capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors

  • Primary Camera: 13 MP, 4160 x 3120 pixels, autofocus, LED flash

  • Secondary Camera: Yes, 5 MP

  • OS: Android OS, v4.2 (Jelly Bean)

  • CPU: Octa-core 1.7 GHz

  • Radio: FM radio

  • GPS: Yes, with A-GPS support

  • Colors: Black, white, blue, pink, purple

  • Battery: Non-removable Li-Ion 2300 mAh battery

  • Price of Gionee S 5.5 in India is INR 22,999/.

Gionee Elife S5.5 Review

With 0.55mm front cover and 0.4 mm back cover, 98% of the S5.5 is built with metal and glass!

What does that translate to? Well, S5.5 is super slim and has stunning looks. In the looks department, Gionee S5.5 is much better than a lot of phones (even in 35K+ range). In fact, to a large extent, it’s an ice breaker if you are with a group of strangers!

Having said that, I found the glassy back to be too slippery for one’s hand – you are better off putting a case on the device.

The S5.5 comes bundled with apps like GioneeXender, NQ Mobile Security, Traffic Assistant, Amigo Paper and CharmCam.

Gionee S5.5 Review
Gionee S5.5

Gionee’s Amigo S5.5 : Review

Before I share a quick review of Gionee’s Amigo, here is how I look at Android device users.

There are two types of Android users :

  1. Type A that cares deeply about the Android version.
  2. Type B that that doesn’t really care about Android versions. All that matters to Type B is the device and cool utilities.

That is, Type A is geeks and Type B is consumers.

Gionee devices are mainly meant for consumers – i.e. the Type B.

Gionee runs on a tailored version of Android – Amigo, which uses Android Jelly Bean (4.2), which I am sure won’t go very well with geeky users.

I found Amigo to be a bit sluggish and overall, not so amazing as the device itself! For example, some of the basic apps like Google Maps etc took a while to load – noticed quite a few crashes with popular apps like Gmail etc.

Having said that, there are some really cool features of Amigo that needs mention:

– The homescreen
There is no camera button on the device, but the homescreen is nealy design for one to quickly take pictures/videos (even when the device is locked).

S for Selfies
With its amazing 5 MP secondary camera, I’d like to assume that S in S5.5 stands for Selfies!

– Fake call
Want to get out of an uncomfortable situation? Use the Fake call feature that comes handy in the homescreen (you have an option to set a fake name to the fake call) .

– Pic Sliders : Play music, Add a little life to your pictures. Slideshows are really cool.

Apart from performance issues with Amigo, I’d also urge the Gionee team to revisit the device language. It’s quite a bit of Chinese English and needs some serious revisit (take a look at this).

To quickly summarize, Gionee S 5.5 is a great looking device with great hardware, but Amigo doesn’t really lives up to one’s expectation. There are quite a few minor issues in Amigo, which really impacts the overall experience.

Given that there are some great options available in the price range that Gionee is selling S5.5 for (the price of Gionee S5.5 is INR ~22k), I’d urge the team to really work hard on making Amigo friendlier and a high-performing piece.

Gionee S 5.5 Review : To Buy Or ..?

BUY : If you are looking for a great looking device with great experience. Overall, Gionee S 5.5 packs some great utilities (Face recognition/smile shot etc) and is a device to boast about!

DON’T : If you are looking for a stock Android experience.

Next up : Video review of Gionee S 5.5

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