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Gionee Elife S7 first impressions


Gionee Elife S7 first impressions Gionee has made its latest flagship, the Elife S7, official for the Indian market, and we were live to cover the launch. The smartphone is faster and better, according to the Chinese manufacturer, but not thinner than the rivals and its own predecessor. 

With India launch next month, Elife S7 is poised to enter a market that is riddled with smartphones packing the best of features at affordable prices. We went hands-on with the new Gionee handset to see if it is really as good as the company claims. 

Display and design



Gionee Elife S7 has a 5.2-inch SuperAMOLED display with Full HD resolution, a jump from the 4.7-inch HD panel of its predecessor. Being an AMOLED panel, it offers great viewing angles but colours appear a little oversaturated, though not too much so. You can expect the phone to deliver vibrant, punchy colours overall. 
Being an ultra-slim phone, Gionee Elife S7 has focussed a lot on design in order to remain functional despite being so thin. It is a little big to hold in one hand comfortably, but feels very light; the Gionee team at the demo could not tell us exactly how much it weighs. 

The smartphone has magnesium alloy body inside and a metal frame outside, making it sufficiently tough to handle falls. The back is made of glass and protected by Gorilla Glass 3, same as the front. The sides have U-shaped curves that don't feel comfortable when the phone is held in the hand for an extended period. 

Unlike ultra-thin phones by Oppo and Vivo, Elife S7 has standard 3.5mm earphone jack, which is much more commonly used than earphones with microUSB jacks. The camera is also in line with the back panel, unlike the ones we see on the new iPhones and Samsung's new Galaxy S6. 

Software



With Elife S7, Gionee has debuted it Amigo 3.0 UI, which is based on Android 5.0 Lollipop. The first thing you will notice is that the notification bar appears when you swipe up from the bottom of the screen, like on iPhones. 

The software is filled to the tip with Material Design animations which lead to a good effect overall but can be distracting at times. The OS is pretty smooth, especially when swiping between home screens; however, we noticed slight delay when switching between apps rapidly. 

The company has added a number of software enhancements to the OS, including the ability to detect the earphone type and find the best settings, including high-fidelity audio, for it. Similarly, the battery optimization software is claimed to elongate the battery life up to 46 hours on a single charge. 

Camera
The 13MP rear camera comes has a Sony lens and takes pretty good photos, which can take in a lot of detail while keeping the noise down even at zoom. The front camera has 8MP resolution, which means that it offers a lot more detailed photos than the front cameras of most phones. The photos we took with the selfie camera had a glazed look as the software tried to edit out the blemishes. 

Performance



Powered by a 64-bit 1.7GHz octa-core processor, Gionee Elife S7 is pretty fast, but certainly not the fastest in the market. With 2GB RAM and Android Lollipop based UI to back the processor, the phone should be able to handle most tasks with easy, but we did notice that some apps did not open instantly when tapped on the screen. 

However, we can give a better judgment when we get to use it for an extended period of time. 

What we think
Gionee is sticking to its strengths and playing design as a key part of its smartphone strategy, but this time without skimping out on the hardware. The hardware and software are well played out here, but we do think that just 16GB internal storage and no microSD card expansion hurt it a lot more than one would expect. 

Stay tuned for our full review of Gionee Elife S7 for more details on the latest ultra-slim smartphone.
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