September 30, 2016 1:30:25 pm
Gionee – the name is now iconic with smartphones equivalent to power banks. Gionee has been pioneering big battery smartphones for quite sometime now. The company’s last offering in the Marathon series has a massive battery of 6020mAh battery, enough to keep your phone alive for days of continuous 4G use. But is the battery the most significant selling point anymore? Well, the trend does suggest otherwise.
More and more OEMs have adopted features like ergonomic design, decent specifications paired with generous battery. At the end of the day, OEMs are moving from smartphones lasting days on single charge to one’s lasting two days with a really nice design. Gionee which has played the battery card for far too long is also moving in that direction.
Gionee S6 Pro
While the Marathon series continues to focus of battery life, Gionee’s S series puts emphasis on design and performance over battery life. Gionee S8 was an incredible smartphone in terms of design and S6s tried to woo selfie fans. With S6 Pro, Gionee is trying to appeal to pro users, but does it justify the tag? We find out in our review.
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Specs: 5.5-inch (1080x1920p, ~401 ppi) IPS LCD display | 1.8GHz Octa-core MediaTek Helio P10 processor | 4GB RAM | 64GB storage | 13MP rear camera + 8MP front | Li-Ion 3130 mAh battery | Amigo 3.2 OS
Price: Rs 23,999
What is good?
Gionee S6 Pro is one of the best looking smartphones out there in the market. Our review unit came in gold colour trim with elegant use of metal and blue colour band running across the chamfered edges. The Gionee logo sits below the camera sensor now and it looks more like a dimple than the real logo. The antenna bands are akin to iPhone 6s and 6s Plus (we can’t really complain) and overall the design is very minimalistic and meaningful.
One reason for getting this phone has to be the performance, justifying the pro branding. Gionee S6 Pro is powered by MediaTek MTK6755 processor, widely known as Helio P10. The processor is an octa-core model, which is not a benchmark shattering chipset but gets the right combination of performance and efficiency.
There are four low power cores and four high power cores, which always translated into really smooth multitasking. I keep multiple apps running in the background and often keep switching between them. I never observed any lag or slow-loading screen on this phone.
The performance is very well taken care of in the graphics department too. I tried playing my usual favourites Real Racing 3 and Asphalt 8: Airborne, the load times were faster and games rendered really fast. Thanks to Mali-T860 GPU, this phone does get smartphone gaming right.
Like I mentioned before, Gionee S6 Pro’s USP is not battery life but it still manages to perform reasonably well. I would rate the battery life as average with a screen on time of nearly 3 hours with heavy use and nearly five hours on moderate usage. And once I even got a screen on time of 7 hours and 38 minutes before the battery reached 14 per cent and I plugged it in for charging.
On one occasion when I was out attending a launch event and the 4G connection kept struggling, the battery drained significantly faster. I am convinced this phone will easily last one full day for heavy users and leave some juice behind for average users, which is exactly what you should expect from a mid-range smartphone right now.
Gionee S6 Pro doesn’t have the brightest or sharpest display out there but it certainly delivers the right balance. Under direct sunlight, the auto brightness works extensively to make the text sharper and brighter, but I feel OnePlus 3 holds an edge when it comes to best display on a mid-range premium smartphone.
Gionee S6 Pro’s home button also doubles as fingerprint scanner and it is really quick. It is not easy to get the home button to work as fingerprint scanner and here, the response is just instantaneous. Gionee has also added gesture feature to the fingerprint which exposes an Edge Bar with a slight swipe. The Edge Bar works very much like the edge screen on Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge. It gives quick access to apps and works really well.
What is not good?
Gionee has always managed to pack great cameras with its smartphones. In the case of Gionee S6 Pro, the camera is cool but not consistent. I prefer a smartphone camera that works well in the auto mode and if I need to tinker with the setting then let the result be as good as Huawei P9. With Gionee S6 Pro, I found the camera performed really well in the Macro setting, but the regular pictures always felt underwhelming.
There is an option to shoot in HDR mode but it was underexposing the background while getting the highlights right. I tried shooting wide range of subjects and while the results were good, but definitely not the best among smartphones I have tested.
Gionee S6 Pro is a well designed smartphone, but it is not foolproof. I managed to slip the device while pulling out from my pocket and as one would expect, the chamfered metal edge got dented, and the blue colour band started peeling out.
Gionee S6 Pro runs Amigo 3.2 based on Android Marshmallow. The good part is that the phone’s UI skin is not too heavy, but the accessibility is bad. It takes few clicks more than normal Android to get into the battery setting. It is hard to find something like software update or set up a new Google account.
Should you buy?
Gionee S6 Pro is an excellent smartphone in terms of design, but it still didn’t convince me as a great overall smartphone. It delivers decent battery life, the camera is not exceptional and the display is adequately bright.
At Rs 23,999, Gionee S6 Pro is a decent option but it pales in comparison with OnePlus 3, which sets the benchmark for a great mid-range premium smartphone.
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