Under the review lens in this article is the latest Gionee offering in India – the Gionee A1 Plus. As the name suggests, the plus variant is a bigger, more feature-loaded edition of the Gionee A1 which was launched in the country back in March. While both the Gionee smartphones were featured in the MWC, Barcelona, it took Gionee until now to bring the A1 Plus to India. Was it worth the wait? We will find out in this review but before that, let us have a look at what exactly Gionee is offering with the A1 Plus.
Gionee has brought its A1 Plus as a step-up competition in the Indian smartphone market. To compete with the likes of OnePlus, Honor and others, the Chinese smartphone company has launched the A1 Plus as its first smartphone offering with a dual camera setup. It also took care of another standard trademark of smartphones in this category – the battery. What else does the Gionee A1 Plus offer? Let’s find out.
Gionee A1 Plus is a big sturdy smartphone, something you will notice as soon as you see the phone. The smartphone looks neat with round edges and a curved back facilitating good grip on the phone. There are two antennae bands towards the the top and bottom at the back, a 3.5mm audio input at the top and a USB charging port at the bottom. The power key is right below the volume keys, both placed on the right. A fingerprint scanner doubles up as the home button and is placed at the bottom bezel of the device.
The 6-inch display of the Gionee A1 Plus carries a 1080p resolution. The absence of a 2k or a 4k display does not pinch you much, given that the display here delivers good picture quality. The display is sharp with optimum colours and more than enough brightness for even a sunny day. The Gionee A1 Plus is idle to watch videos or play games on but for which you will need a battery that lasts you enough to not let those ‘games’ hinder your everyday smartphone usage. The Gionee A1 Plus takes care of this too, with its massive 4,550 mAh battery that easily lasts more than a day. For an average smartphone user, the battery can easily provide 1.5 – 2 days of working with a single full charge.Gionee A1 Plus Display. (Image: News18.com)
The battery backup on the Gionee A1 Plus gains extra points for the smartphone’s ‘Ultrafast Charging’ feature. Just like the ‘Dash Charging’ on the OnePlus smartphones, the Gionee A1 Plus can easily refill to more than 30 percent of battery backup within 15-20 minutes.
The smartphone runs the latest Android 7.0 Nougat topped with an Amigo 4.0 skin. A swipe down on the home screen brings the notification panel, while the settings panel is located below and can be brought to front with an upward swipe. The fingerprint scanner is embedded into a push button located below the screen and is quick to respond. The scanner can also be used to initiate an ‘Edge Bar’ by swiping on it in any direction while the screen is unlocked. The Edge Bar essentially works like the one on Samsung Galaxy flagship devices, providing shortcuts to applications on the device.
Don't Feel Like Reading? Watch the Video Review of the Gionee A1 Plus
We found the internal storage of the device to be more than sufficient for our use. It comes with 64GB of internal storage and if in case you would require more, there is an option to expand it to 256GB using an external MicroSD. The Gionee A1 Plus is powered by an Octa-Core MediaTek Helio P25 SoC, backed by a 4GB RAM. The combination makes the smartphone run at an optimal speed. Now the Gionee A1 Plus is not too fast or as fast as the device’s competitors are, yet it delivers a pretty smooth smartphone experience. Gionee has managed to equip the smartphone with enough firepower to make it land in that sweet spot where your smartphone gives you enough confidence to multitask with ease.
Focussing on the camera of the Gionee A1 Plus, the dual camera setup comes as the first in a Gionee device. The dual camera setup neatly hides inside the back panel without any protrusion and houses a 13-megapixel primary lens coupled with a 5-megapixel sensor to add depth-effect to the images. The camera app offers features like Face Beauty mode, Portrait Mode for depth effect, Panorama, Text Recognition, Time-Lapse, Night Mode, Slow Motion recording, smart scan and more. With the plethora of options, the camera greatly expands the ability to do more and more photography fun stuff with it.Gionee A1 Plus Camera. (Image: News18.com)
More impressive than the dual camera at the back is the 20-megapixel selfie shooter at the front of the device. Gionee has always focussed on the selfie capabilities of its smartphones, the Gionee A1 Plus being no exception. The selfie camera carries equally impressive selfie lens that adds Bokeh effect to the selfies.
The Dual SIM functionality and 4G VoLTE support are certainly helpful.
What’s not so Cool?Gionee A1 Plus USB Charging. (Image: News18.com)
Gionee A1 plus is much bigger as compared to other smartphones, both in size and in weight. So much so that the 226 grams weight of the phone makes it a strict no-no to people who prefer carrying handy smartphones or are looking for single-handed functionality. As for its functionality, the Gionee A1 plus offers a smooth experience and that is that. There is nothing out-of-the-box or different that it has to offer. Over a period of 1 month of using the smartphone, we have occasionally experienced lags and app crashes. Though the fingerprint scanner is fast, there are times when it does not work at all. Repeated attempts at the scanner are denied by the smartphone and then only pattern lock can be used to unlock the smartphone.
Though Gionee has housed a dual camera setup inside the device, the final image quality is not something to boast of. In other words, it is good for capturing nearby objects with the added depth effect but an attempt to capture a picturesque location might just leave you disappointed.
VerdictGionee A1 Plus Back. (Image: News18.com)
The Gionee A1 Plus comes as a flagship offering by Gionee in India. At a price of Rs 26,999, it has decent offerings to justify the price tag on it but maybe not enough to lure the enthusiasts of its competitors like the Honor 8 Pro and the OnePlus 3T. With an above average smartphone experience, sturdy design and good camera capabilities, if you had to buy the Gionee A1 Plus for one feature, it would certainly be its impressive battery backup.