Gionee Elife E6: Slim body, high performer

Published: 10 November, 2013 08:56 IST | Sameer Mitha |

Gionee Elife E6 comes with a vibrant display, slim body and performs well too, making us think whether this is a poor man's iPhone

The Gionee Elife E6 has a slim and sexy unibody design. You could easily mistake the product for a premium smartphone. Comfortable to hold, we can’t stress how light the smartphone feels in one’s hands. The smartphone has a black matte finish that is a fingerprint magnet. Everything is placed well on the phone’s body except the position of its camera — which isn’t ideal, as your finger may come in the way at times.

The Gionee Elife E6 runs on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean straight out of the box but the device comes with its own custom User Interface (UI). This is evident from the lock screen itself. Starting with the home screen, you don’t have the apps listing page, which is found on all other Android phones. Just like we have seen on the Huawei Ascend P6, the smartphone houses all the apps on the home screen itself — very iOS in nature. Another thing the E6 borrows from iOS 7 is the way in which you kill running apps. Bringing up the multitasking menu on the E6 gives you the same multitasking view we have seen in iOS 7. It displays running apps as cards and you can swipe up to kill a particular app.

The Gionee Elife E6 also has a bunch of gesture controls that we have seen on the Micromax Canvas 4. You can look away from the device to pause a video, lift it to answer a call, turn the device to silence the alarm, so on and so forth. A feature that we have seen on the Lava Iris 504Q — the ability to wave your hand in front of the display to cycle through the gallery — has also made its way onto the Elife E6. These controls can easily be switched on or off through the settings menu. Overall, the UI is interesting and brings a slew of features that we have already seen. The UI does slow down the smartphone, though, but installing a launcher from the Play Store does help it perform smoother.

In terms of benchmark scores, the performance of the Gionee Elife E6 is at par with the competition if not better. The display of the Elife E6, at full brightness is vibrant. The viewing angles are great too. The five-inch display has a pixel density of 440ppi, which is great. We saw the standard array of videos on the device ranging from MKV to MP4 and AVI. MKV file playback is suspect but the rest of the formats were recognised natively by the phone and that is a good thing. The keyboard on the E6 is stock Android and interacting with the device, browsing the web and downloading apps, etc. was a good experience.

Temple Run, Dead Trigger 2 ran very well on the device. Real Racing 3 too worked but there were constant frame rate drops and the game lagged.

The camera on the rear of the Gionee Elife E6 is 13MP and its performance can be described at best as average. In well-lit conditions, the camera performed well. In terms of its battery life, the Gionee Elife E6 lasted for five hours in our continuous video playback test. The smartphone can last for an average day of use but you will have to keep the brightness low and kill running apps frequently.

The Gionee Elife E6 brings an impressive set of features to the table. But recommending it at its price point is a little difficult. If you are looking for a smartphone in the R20,000 to R25,000 price range, the Nexus 4 and the Samsung Galaxy S3 are the better options. But if you don’t mind experimenting, we suggest you give the E6 a chance. It has a good build, interesting UI and a vibrant display.

>> Great build
>> Vibrant full HD display
>> Loud speakers
>> Interesting UI

>> Camera isn't great in low lighting
>> Lags at times
>> No expandable storage

SOC: MediaTek MT 6589T chipset
CPU: 1.5 GHz
Display: 5.0-inch IPS LCD display (1920 x 1080 pixels)
Battery: 2020mAh
OS: Android 4.2
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Camera: 13.0MP rear camera and 5.0MP front camera
In-built memory: 32GB
Price: Rs 21,590 

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