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Gionee Marathon M5 Plus Review: Powerful but Bogs Down With Its Weight

The Gionee Marathon M5 Plus smartphone.

The Gionee Marathon M5 Plus smartphone.

There are phones which promise either functionality or looks and then there are those which offer the best of both but come with a price. Here's what we think about the plus-sized Gionee Marathon M5 Plus.

Gionee is known for building battery-focused handsets in the past and recently the company added a new phone to its Marathon series, the Marathon M5 Plus. Priced at Rs 26,999, the phone packs in it a 5020mAh battery. But is it good enough for your money? Let's find out.

What’s Cool

The Gionee M5 Plus comes with a huge 6-inch full HD display that is super bright and offers quite an overwhelming experience when it comes to watching movies or playing games. It has a front fingerprint sensor that is fast and responsive.

Gionee Marathon M5 Plus comes with a front fingerprint sensor

Coming to the highlight of the device, the M5 Plus comes from Gionee’s Marathon series of smartphones which are known for their mammoth battery power. The phone packs in it a whopping 5020mAh battery that lasts easily more than a day. Because it comes with a smart power consumption system, you can always choose the best plan based on your usage and keep the phone running for longer. You can binge-watch, play, or talk on this phone and you will not have to look for a charger soon.

The processor on the M5 Plus offers a smooth experience. During the review period, the 1.3 Ghz octa-core processor coupled with 3 GB of RAM did not disappoint. Be it multitasking, gaming, or online streaming of videos, there were no instances of app crashes or lags.

Gionee Marathon M5 Plus features a 13MP rear camera and a 5MP front camera

The phone is based on Android Lollipop with Amigo 3.1 custom skin layered atop. While the custom skin is non-intrusive and only enhances the overall experience, it does borrow subtle elements from the popular iOS interface like bottom-up menu for display settings, icon designs, etc.

Another good thing about the phone is that you can expand the storage up to 128 GB via microSD card over the base 64 GB storage.

With a 13 megapixel rear camera and a 5 megapixel front camera, the results are sharp and rich in colour. There are plentiful of tools within the native app to help you get the shot right. From pro settings, filters, to even shooting GIFs, the options make sure you don’t need a separate photo-editing app.

What’s Not So Cool

Although there were no lags using the M5 Plus, it was while streaming online videos for a prolonged duration that the device heated up a bit.

In terms of sound, the phone comes with a single speaker in the rear. Although the output is decent, given the position of the speaker, it might hamper the video viewing experience if one doesn’t intend to use earphones.

The phones features a USB Type-C port

The phone is supported by a USB Type-C connector which may or may not come as a sticky point depending on which battery percentage you are currently in. Given the huge battery, you might want to skip carrying the charger while commuting but the exclusivity of the port might put you in situations where finding the compatible charger becomes a task.

The biggest disappointment with the M5 Plus is its weight. At 210.8 grams, it is one of the heaviest phones around and makes it difficult to hold for long. You might want to place it on a table or keep it inside your bag while commuting but don’t think about holding it in your hand to watch even an hour-long movie.


The power-focused M5 Plus is in competition with Xiaomi Mi 5 which is priced at Rs 24,999 and Oppo F1 Plus which is priced at Rs 26,990. The Mi 5 comes with a 3000mAh battery and has an option of 32 GB model, while the M5 Plus is available as a 64 GB model. The F1 Plus, on the other hand, packs a relatively low battery at 2,805mAh but comes with 4 GB RAM and 2GHz MediaTek octa-core processor. The Mi 5 focuses on a slimmer and lighter design along with a good battery backup while the F1 Plus is a selfie-focused phone with a 16 megapixel front camera. The closest competitor to the M5 Plus is therefore the Mi 5 that comes at a lower price tag and offers similar features as the Gionee handset.


Gionee Marathon M5 Plus comes with 5020mAh battery

There are phones which promise either functionality or looks and then there are those which offer the best of both but comes at a price. The Gionee M5 Plus is a powerhouse with its mammoth battery backup and huge display. It doesn’t lag or disappoint with camera, gives you dual SIM support, is 4G enabled and also packs in it biometric security. The only thing bringing down this otherwise feature-packed device is its serious weight issue which might put off power users. At Rs 26,999, the phone makes sense if you are ready to take on the weight of the powerful battery and ready to switch to the future of USB Type-C.

Rating: 3.5/5

first published:June 13, 2016, 15:09 IST