Gionee Elife S5.1 is the successor to the super slim Gionee Elife S5.5, but is even more slimmer and costs close to Rs. 17,000 online. Now, what the designers at Gionee have done is toned down the hardware of the S5.5 a bit. It included reducing the RAM from 2 GB in Elife S5.5 to 1 GB in Elife S5.1, smaller 4.8” HD display instead of 5” full-HD, brought down the camera from 13 MP to 8 MP and installed a smaller 2050 mAh battery. And the result is…
A phone which measures 5.2 mm uniformly across its waistline and weighs super light at just 97.7 g. If you are used to holding heavy phones weighing close to 150 g then you would start questioning the performance (in a good way) of the Elife S5.1 when you’d hold it in your hands.
Given its slim profile and color combination (white & gold) it is easy to mistake it as a girls’ phone but hey, who said that men can’t use good looking phone which come in black, white, golden and silver colours?
The price segment that the Gionee Elife S5.1 belongs is ruled by flagships of the local manufacturers or the Samsung Grand series. And…please note that these phones come with beefed up spec. sheet showcasing 2 or 3 GB RAM, 5 inch FHD display, 13 MP camera, and so on. What we can tell from the first looks of Elife S5.1, it has only 1 USP; and that is its gorgeous design and form factor.
It actually addresses a very genuine problem faced by many smartphone buyers who want to spend their money on a smartphone which looks good and has a premium feel attached to it. People are bored of phones made out of cheap-looking plastic.
- HD AMOLED display
- Great Looks
- Wide angle front camera
- Low internal memory
- Average real-world performance
- Fragile build
The retail box of Gionee Elife S5.1 comes with every accessory that you can think of for daily use. The box itself doesn’t look great but the number of accessories that comes bundled inside will make you forget about its looks. It contains the following things:
- Travel adapter
- USB cable
- USB OTG cable
- SIM tray ejector pin
- Faux leather flip cover
- Silicone case
- 2 pair of screen protectors (for front and back)
- Gionee service center list, user guide, and a warranty card.
Wow! Is that a real phone or a dummy?
These were my first words when I saw this phone. Our review unit is white in color and looks very similar to the iPhone. In fact, it looks way better than the latest iPhone.
The phone has a premium look and feel attached to it imparted its glass-looks. It has a layer of Gorilla Glass on its front and back. There is also a metallic golden bezel on the sides.
The presence of glass on the back side means that you won’t be able to remove the battery on your own.
Now as this a delicate phone, we will advise you to always keep it protected either with the provided silicon case or any other after-market case.
Elife S5.1 is very light in weight and weighs less than a 100 g. Given the footprint of the phone it almost feels like a feather.
The volume rocker and the power button are present on the left side and can be reached out easily with a single hand for taking screenshots.
The rear loudspeaker situated at the back produces average sound levels.
The Elife S5.1 runs on Amigo OS 2.0 based on Android KitKat 4.4.2. For those you haven’t used this Amigo OS let me inform you that it puts everything on the homescreen. There is no app menu. The UI is hence similar to iOS in a way. If you don’t like this then you should install a custom Android launcher like Nova Launcher, Apex Launcher, etc. It comes with 4 built-in themes along with dozens of desktop switch effects.
The Amigo OS comes built-in with a number of apps like Torch, compass, Kingsoft Office, WeChat, Saavn, Du Battery Saver, Gionee Xender, Yahoo Cricket, NQ Mobile Security, CamCard, and TouchPal X keyboard app.
The System Manager app lets the user free up RAM, delete junk files, optimize power consumption and app permissions easily.
The user can also move the installed apps from internal memory to phone storage. You can also define default apps for a number of tasks while also allowing selective system permissions to certain apps.
Gionee has also optimized the UI for non-tech people by organizing the main settings into 2 sections- Quick Settings and All Settings.
The phone is very smooth to operate and I didn’t encounter even a single lag or stutter during my whole testing process. All transitions & animations were super smooth.
The default file manager lets the user browse the storage and files via Type and Location.
Gionee Elife S5.1 sports a 4.8” HD AMOLED display featuring excellent contrast and good sunlight legibility. The pixel density stands at a respectable 306 ppi. The colors are somewhat saturated but the viewing angles are very good for enjoying a video among a group of friends.
If you interested in Gionee Elife S5.1 then chances are that you will be interested in its front camera. It has a 5 MP front camera supporting AF, and a 8 MP AF rear camera coupled with an LED flash for shooting photographs in low-light scenarios. The camera UI is very simple to operate and the auto switches to night mode in low-light conditions.
An interesting feature about the camera is that it supports HDR even for the night mode. Noise cancellation is also present but it is spoils the low-light HDR to some extent. The HDR on the other hand works very well and brings out more details in the photographs.
The front camera supports AF and is a wide angle camera. Take a look at the camera samples and be the judge.
The Gionee Elife S5.1 produces sound with average loudness and supports almost all popular audio formats. The loudspeaker at the back might get muffled if you place the phone on soft surface such as a cushion or a pillow but sounds just fine on flat surfaces.
The video player has a very simple layout too and plays video files in formats like mp4, avi, flv, and mkv.
All videos up to full HD resolution play just fine.
The phone runs on a MediaTek MT6592 chipset having 8 CPU cores clocked at 1.7 GHz each. The graphics needs are taken care of by Mali-450MP4 GPU. The phone is very fast to operate and apps fire up as soon as you touch their icons but I couldn’t ignore a few minor lags here and there. These lags are mostly encountered due to low amount of RAM (1 GB).
So, whenever you encounter such lags I would recommend that you go to System Manager and do the ‘Memory Clean’ operation. You can also do the same by pulling up the drawer and touching on the rocket icon.
The phone does heat a little while gaming and watching videos but it’s nothing to be concerned about. It marginal and only the portion around the camera heats up on the back. This area is not in contact with the hand of the user, so you can continue using the phone for as long as you want. You can also tweak power settings and make it last even longer.
The phone has above average battery backup. During our video playback test the battery lasted for 7 hours and 15 mins while playing a 480p video clip in a loop at 50% brightness and full loudspeaker volume.
During our battery charging test, the phone charged up from 20% to 100% taking an average time close to 120 mins.
The fascinating part about its battery backup is its standby time. It didn’t even lose a single percent of charge when we kept idle for a night with no app running in the background. This standby time will certainly prove to be highly useful to those who don’t run too many apps on the phone.
Gionee Elife S5.1 is great phone for its price especially if you worry too much about the aesthetics of your gadgets. It not only looks great but is also feather light and packs a sharp AMOLED HD display.
It has good overall battery backup too but the audio is not too loud and is very delicate to carry around if you work at a construction site or some other kind of place where you move and jump a lot.
Some other good alternatives to this phone are Huawei Honor 6, HTC Desire 816G, and Asus Zenfone 6.