By Anuj Sharma
At a time when margins are razor-thin in the fast-growing domestic smartphone market, any new device faces the challenge of not only meeting consumer expectations but also offering that something extra to stay in the race for at least one quarter.
Keeping this in mind, China-based Gionee -- known for delivering camera-driven smartphones in the past -- has launched the selfie-focused, mid-segment A1 smartphone in India.
Priced at Rs 19,999, the main highlight is its 16MP selfie camera and 13MP rear camera.
Here is what works for the device.
Taking a cue from the flat design of its earlier devices, A1 features a metal body which feels sturdy in hand and has a polished look. The overall look is clean but uninspiring.
The 5.5-inch full-HD display worked well indoors, delivering sharp colour reproduction and contrast with good viewing angles.
The rounded-off edges allow it to sit comfortably in the hand and offers plenty of grip. Armed with 2GHz octa-core P10 Helios processor and 4GB RAM, A1 ran smoothly with whatever we threw at it -- be it movies, games or browsing.
The 16MP front camera produced brighter pictures. It packs an LED flashlight to light up the images in case of low-light conditions. The images captured had rich colour tones with an appreciable amount of detailing.
The 13MP rear camera is good, fast and the shots captured had bright colours, fine details and delivered good depth of field when clicking in bright-light conditions (sunny days are here and so this will work even better now).
The 4,010mAh battery did a better job in this price segment, solving the issue of poor battery life faced by smartphone consumers. The device with full charge ran for approximately over a day.
Packing 64GB internal memory that can be expanded up to 256GB, storage is another key feature on the A1, allowing you ample amount of space to create and store moments, apps and music, etc.
What does not work?
As with some other smartphones, the rear camera fails to impress in low-light conditions as noise becomes apparent. Watching videos and surfing outdoors was also a bit of struggle and we had to top the brightness to max levels for comfortable viewing.
Weighing 183 grams, the smartphone is slightly heavy to use with one hand.
Conclusion: Gionee A1 looks like a straight-forward phone with standard features and is again built for selfie-lovers.
(Anuj Sharma can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)