When Gionee announced the Elife E7 at Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida, many tech enthusiasts of India termed it to be the greatest tech launch in the country. The launch involved the premier racing track in India being booked for a whole day and bloggers and various media personal were engaged in a unique Gionee Grand Prix which involved some fast laps around the F1 circuit. While the morning was filled with hard rubber burning on tracks, the evening saw Gionee claim that they aim to become the biggest smartphone player in India in the next five years. The claim definitely swept the air out of the room but just about everyone in the room appreciated the confidence and energy of Mr Arvind Vohra, the country lead of Gionee.
However, after all the dust on the glistering launch has settled, it is time to evaluate the device on its merit. Although we had a very brief time with the device, it was enough for us to come up and state how we felt about it in the fifteen twenty minutes that we spent with it.
The Gionee Elife E7 is the successor to the Gionee Elife E6 which was pretty well received in India. The E7 carries on the same design board from where the E6 originated. The E7 is a similar unibody construction that the E6 was. The device is available in 7 different colours and brings a more curvilinear and rounded design as compared to the more liner and sharp profile of the E6. The E7 has a glossy finish and we felt that the phone was a finger print magnet, attracting prints rather easily. However, a quick wipe with your shirt or kerchief and the phone was good to go.
No doubt that the phone is absolutely huge in size. The screen measures 5 inches diagonally and the device definitely comes in the ‘Phablet’ category. It is definitely made for a two hand usage and despite pretty big hands, we were not able to stretch them to reach the top of the device.
This is the reason why it baffled us that Gionee decided to place the power lock/unlock button on the Elife E7. The button is practically impossible to access with one hand and that was a major turn off from a hardware that was otherwise solid and top notch.
It is nearly impossible to predict the performance of a smartphone after using it for only for fifteen twenty minutes, however in the time we spent with the device, it flew. Amigo, which is the custom skin in Gionee devices looked a lot better on the E7 when compared to E5 and E6 where there have been complains of it stuttering. The E7 comes with the all new Amigo 2.0 and some of the add ons are indeed useful and we found the gestures and some of the customisations done to the camera of the device pretty damn interesting.
We did not have time to test the memory hogging games and apps due to congestion of network at the demo area, so we will reserve our judgement on the same. However, the device comes with Live multitasking and you can actually see the live state of the app in the background which was kind of neat.
We did run 6/7 apps simultaneously and the device responded well and had only minute stutters. the Gionee Elife E7 comes in two different variants, there is a 16 GB ROM device with 2 GB of RAM and the other one being a 32 GB ROM with 3 GB of RAM. The 3 GB RAM device definitely showed the effects of extra juice and went along nicely without any trouble.
The Gionee Elife E7 sports a 5 inch full HD display and to put it mildly, the screen is gorgeous. The phone was expected to sport a 2K resolution display but that definitely has not happened. As expected from any flagship today, the Elife E7 produces good colours and we did not have much complain of colours being over saturated. The video we played which was the default video looked fine without skipping any frames or jittering.
The images looked natural and popped out nicely. Is this is the sharpest display we have seen? Perhaps not, is it a brilliant display, absolutely is. The viewing angles on the device are decent and the outdoor visibility was really good in our brief time of taking the device out. We did face some issues with auto brightness though that could well be down to having a pre release software on the device.
The camera on the Gionee E7 is it’s USP. The phone sports a 16 MP sensor with single LED flash. Gionee is calling the device the best Android smartphone thanks to it’s large pixel size at 1.65 microns. As much as we would like to share the images we took with the device, we feel it would be an injustice to do so given the phone was running a pre production software. We were promised several improvements in the software of the camera a we did face issues with lag in focussing and in some cases abrupt non responsiveness. Apart from that, the images from the phone looked good, in well lit conditions. Unfortunately, we could not get the device out in late evening to test the low light performances, but in our full review, we will make sure to share all the images from the device with you. Till, then though, we will reserve our opinion on the camera of the device and if it is indeed the best one out there on at least Android.
The Gionee Elife E7 is one of the better built smartphones. Although the phone is a finger print magnet, we liked the build quality of the phone. In our short time with the device, it definitely looks snappier than the Elife E6, the previous flagship from Gionee. The device is now available in the market, and we will be definitely exploring it more in detail when we get a full production review unit. Till then, the device definitely is a good choice given the short time we spent with it, but beyond that we will be able to dissect the device more when we have it for a longer period.