The Gionee Elife S5.1, officially, still holds the record for being the slimmest phone in the world if you are to go by what the Guinness world records say. However, in the past month or so the device has been one upped by the likes of Oppo R5 and the Vivo X5, both the devices which have a bulging camera unit, which makes the exact thickness a matter of big debate. There is no hiding away from the fact that slimness of a phone is misplaced priority, yet it definitely is the trendy thing to do and play on for the OEMs. For us though, we would much rather give up on a couple of millimeters and have a larger capacity battery or a heftier processor on board, but sadly that decision is not up to us.
Gionee is no stranger to the whole slimness game and in fact should be credited for being the initiator of the slimness game with their Elife S5.5, which was launched earlier in the year. While the S5.1 in ways is a successor to the S5.5, there are several places where the device has been compromised, possibly to bring in the slimness number that would perhaps put the best ramp models to shame. Gionee is calling it the #SexiestPhoneIntheWorld and perhaps rightly so. The device is primarily made out of metallic frames with glass body, just like the Elife S5.5, though minus the sharp chamfers. The Elife S5.1 sides do have chamfers but the edges are more rounded and even the chamfers are not as acute as on the S5.5. The S5.1 feels just every bit as premium as the S5.5 and is a device that you must hold in the hand to appreciate the build quality. The bezels on top and bottom of the screen are huge and that kind of kills away some of the swag.
In terms of dimensions, theGionee S5.1 measures 139.8 x 67.4 x 5.1 mm and weighs just 97.7 grams. The screen here is a 4.8 inches diagonally with 720 P resolution. The device is powered by Mediatek MT6592 SoC with a RAM of 1 GB and internal memory of 16 GB. There is no slot for memory expansion and the Elife S5.1 uses a single Micro SIM card. The rear camera on the unit is an 8 MP snapper while the front facing camera is a 5 MP unit. In terms of OS, the Elife S5.1 runs Android 4.4.2 with Amigo UI on top of that. There has been no word from Gionee about the Android Lollipop update, but you would expect them to bring the update to the Elife S5.1.
In our time with the device, while the phone looked snappy and quick, you could feel that Amigo really holds back the phone from being a terrific performer. Load the device with Google Play Launcher and as many as Google applications as possible and you have a great experience. Gionee for some strange reason has decided to remove the ability to unblur the background, so you are stuck with a blurred image on your desktop irrespective of the launcher you use. The phone stutters through when using with Amigo even in very basic tasks such as deleting applications or running a Youtube video, while does perform better with third party launchers. Games play average and heavy games really struggle with device heating a fair bit. We did note that the heating here was better than the S5.5 and maybe that is down to a display that is slightly inferior, hence pulling comparatively lesser power. The few pictures we took from the camera look good, but it is definitely not made for high-speed shooting as there is a sizeable shutter lag.
In-hand the phone feels really premium and good, and nice to hold on to without offering great grip. Use the silicon case that comes in the box of the device, and you should have no issues with gripping, even though it takes away from the whole sexiness and slimness feel. Here, we have shot the device from the various angles to give you an idea about the look and feel of the phone, in the attached gallery: