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Hands-on: Gionee Elife S5.5, world's slimmest phone

Hands-on: Gionee Elife S5.5, world's slimmest phone
Here are the first impressions of world's slimmest smartphone Gionee Elife S5.5, which is just 5.5mm thick.
GOA: Gionee has finally launched Elife S5.5 smartphone in the Indian market. It is the slimmest phone available in the market at just 5.55mm thickness.

The phone also boasts of high-end hardware and comes with an octa-core processor. Originally unveiled at the Mobile World Congress, the phone will be available for purchase starting April 27.

We got a chance to spend some time with the phone and here is what we think about it:

Gionee Elife S5.5 sports a metallic frame, while the rest of the body is made of Corning Gorilla Glass. The combination of these materials gives the phone a premium feel, but also makes it a little fragile, mainly because of the glass back.

The phone is super slim and we were awestruck by the fact that Gionee managed to squeeze in so much into its sleek body. Yet, it feels solidly built thanks to the metal frame. It is also lightweight and easy to use with one hand, even though it features a 5-inch display.

Elife S5.5 will be available in black, white, blue, pink, and purple colour variants and we were impressed with the black and white models.

The front of the phone features a Super AMOLED screen, with the three capacitive navigation keys placed just below it, and the 5MP front camera with ultra-wide angle lens positioned above it, along with the sensor array.

The full HD display of the phone is very bright and offers vivid colours, sharp text and rich graphics. We felt that colours were a bit oversaturated, but that may be because of the AMOLED screen.

The left edge of the phone features the Power button and the Volume Rocker key, while the right edge sports the sim card tray. While the black and white variants of the phone do not disappoint when it comes to the fit and finish, the blue variant that we tried did not have the same level of refinement and we could see some rough edges.

The bottom edge of the phone features the 3.5mm headset jack while the microUSB port sits at the top edge.

The back panel features Gionee branding and a speaker outlet, in addition to the 13MP rear camera and LED flash located at the top left corner. The two stick out a bit, but don't increase the thickness of the phone.

The placement of the rear camera is a bit odd as the user's finger is likely to partially cover the lens while taking pictures in landscape mode.

We tried clicking a few pictures and found that the phone's front camera as well as the rear one take good quality pictures even indoors with artificial lighting.

The phone is certainly not slim on features and comes with high-end hardware under the hood. Powered by a 1.7GHz octa-core MediaTek chip and 2GB RAM, Gionee Elife S5.5 comes with 16GB internal storage. The phone comes with Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) with Gionee's Amgo 2.0 UI running on top.

It is disappointing that it doesn't come with the latest version of Android and the quirks that we found in the Elife E7, including the overload of transition effects and lack of support for widgets, are still there.

That said, we did not encounter any lag while launching and using apps, and clicking photos in the brief time that we spent with the phone. We'll need to play some games and use the phone for a longer period to comment on its overall performance.

The phone comes with a 2,300mAh battery and Gionee has said that it will increase the capacity to 2,450mAh after a software update. Again, it's impressive how Gionee has fitted a high capacity battery in a super slim form factor.

We'll have a detailed review soon with an emphasis on all aspects of the phone, including its battery backup.

(The correspondent has travelled to Goa on the invitation of Gionee)


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