--By Sanjeev Sharma
Recognised by the Guinness World Records as the world's slimmest smartphone in September 2014, the Gionee Elife S5.1 has garnered popularity among Nepali gadget lovers following its official launch here in December.
Design: Elife S5.1 has an exceptional build quality and a superior design. The 5.1 inch handset with candybar form factor is attractively simple, with square design and round edges for comfortable grip. At 97.7 grams, Elife S5.1 is among the lightest smartphones available in the market. The phone comes with a polycarbonate unibody covered with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 (on both panels) along with an aluminium frame that adds grandeur as well as sturdiness to the overall build of the phone. However, the volume and power keys are aligned on the left edge of the phone and that can take some time getting used to.
Specs and Performance: The hardware specs of the handset seem very promising. Armed with a 1.7 GHz Octa-core Cortex-A7 processor and a Mali 450-MP4 graphics processor, the phone packs tremendous power to handle processing tasks along with multi-tasking and gaming. HD games come out in their full life with vibrant colours, without showing any kind of snag and the phone's 1GB RAM doesn't feel insufficient.
However, while playing the heavyweight mobile FPS Modern Combat 5: Blackout, for an hour and half, we experienced significant amount of heat being dissipated. The most likely reason for this could be the Octa-core processor producing lot of heat during heavier task processing.
Display: Elife S5.1 sports a 4.8 inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 720 X 1280 pixels with 306 ppi for immersive viewing experience. The screen specs are higher when compared to other mid-range phones, giving a colourful, crisp and vibrant HD display. During the review, we noticed that the phone's display provides ease of use even in a bright daylight.
Camera: The micro-SIM smartphone features an impressive imaging system. With its 8 MP autofocus LED flash primary snapper, we were able to take colourful and sharp looking photos at a maximum resolution of 3264 x 2448 pixels. Similarly, descent quality 1080p videos can be recorded at 30 fps. We found that, under normal outdoor and indoor conditions, colour reproduction of the camera is satisfying compared to other mid-range devices. Likewise, the primary snapper also performed well under low-light environments. The rear camera has all the usual features including face detection, geo-tagging, touch focus, HDR, 360 degree panorama, burst mode, gesture shot and smile shot. The phone's 5 MP secondary snapper also seems to quench the thirst of selfie lovers with its 88-degree wide angle lens capable of capturing wider frames.
OS: Elife S5.1 comes with Amigo OS 2.0 which is in fact Android KitKat-based proprietary operating system from Gionee. The handset's atypical UI hosts features such as double tap wake up, black screen gesture, pocket mode and wet-hands mode. With its customised icons, lock screen, notifications and settings, the Amigo 2.0 is different from regular Android UI's. Multitasking is also unusual compared to other UI's as users need to hold the menu button instead of the home button.
Connectivity: With the latest WLAN options of Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Wi-Fi hotspot along with 3G, users can enjoy the phone's fast internet connectivity. Its other connectivity features include Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS with A-GPS and a built-in FM radio. Its micro-USB 2.0 and USB OTG offer support for connecting the handset to keyboard and other USB devices.
Sound: Elife S5.1 has on-par sound quality as it comes with DTS surround sound support for an enhanced audio experience. While examining the handset, we were delighted to hear the quality of sound through its loudspeaker. The provided earphones also gave off superior quality audio.
Storage and Battery: The phone has 16 GB native storage. Nevertheless, users are likely to feel inadequate if the phone runs out of space as it doesn't have a micro-SD expansion slot. The handset packs a 2,050 mAh Li-Ion non-removable battery which scores impressively. Our tests revealed that Elife S5.1 can run up to four days in standby mode, nine hours in 3G mode, six hours of video playback, seven hours of web browsing through Wi-Fi and five hours of gaming.
Verdict: At Rs 29,995, Elife S5.1 is among the best mid-range smartphones available in the market. The ultra-slim handset offers a unique style statement to fashion conscious users through its design, and its rich features conveniently allows power-users to fulfil their communication and computing needs.