Gionee A1 - A surprisingly good phone

God know's I love my LG's, Huaweis' and Samsungs' however I've recently started to think that I was becoming a victim of product branding, a trade I ply with some success for my clients. Besides as an Android developer, I have frequently backed phones long before they became the flavour of the day. I remember my first phablet the Dell Streak, one of the most beautiful devices ever created. It did not do well - 18 months after Dell panned the whole mobile dev business Samsung releases the first Galaxy Note and the rest they say is history. Ok I digress, back to the matter at hand. I decided to take a plunge with the Gionee A1

First impressions:
In a word it looked good, I like black phones and this was a jet black 5.5 inch phone. The phone comes with a 5.50-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1080 pixels by 1920 pixels. The damage to my wallet N100,000.

The Gionee A1 is powered by 2GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio P10 MT6755 processor and it comes with 4GB of RAM, so its power is not in doubt. The phone has 64GB of internal storage that can be expanded up to 256GB via a microSD card, but only if you decide not to use 2 SIM cards. As far as the cameras are concerned, the Gionee A1 packs a 13-megapixel primary camera on the rear and a 16-megapixel front shooter for selfies.

The Gionee A1 runs Android 7.0 and is powered by a 4010mAh non removable battery. It measures 154.50 x 76.50 x 8.30 (height x width x thickness) and weigh 183.00 grams.

This is a dual SIM (GSM and GSM) smartphone that accepts Nano-SIM and Micro-SIM. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, USB OTG, FM, 3G and 4G (with support for Band 40). Sensors on the phone include Compass Magnetometer, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer, Ambient light sensor and Gyroscope.

Feeling the phone:

Ok so enough about the tech stuff, the phone feels good to touch, like metal with a furry finish, it's a nice tactile feeling. The box it comes in is quite premium but the Seyi Shay picture on the front nearly put me off buying the phone. Brand choices - ah well.
I've never used a phone whose default launcher I like, so I really did not spend much time using it, I just downloaded my usuals (Nova and Go)and got on with it.
The battery life is decent, forget  the bloated claims, but depending on usage it can do about 24 hours from full to empty with light usage, heavy usage will lower these times, still it's bloody decent. The battery cannot be removed.

I've been impressed with the camera, fore and aft cameras do a great job, but it's best in good light. Definitely not my choice in low light, but the flash does help.
This picture was taken on a not so bright day, kind of cloudy, but the colours are sharp and quite close to real. Sorry no selfies for you to see, I hate taking them, too private I guess :)

Fingerprint sensors and other things:
the A1 fingerprint sensor is perhaps not as speedy as the Huawei Mate 8, but seriously we're talking nano seconds and you really will not notice the difference. It works well and that's all there is to it.
I really do not like the desktop setting manager, perhaps in a bid to be different Gionee has put it at the bottom rather than at the top, I do not like it. I also do not like the fact that a lot of widgets, some of them my favourite do not work on the A1. They install and display as required after they are first installed, but one restart and the only evidence you can find of them is a shortcut to the app in the Widgets manager, very annoying - and no way visible on the phone to redress this.
The phone comes with a flip cover case, I did not like it at first, but now, it does not seem so bad, it definitely protects the phone from the basic falls and stuff
Gionee is obviously trying to build  its customer base so they have a decent warrantee program, I had to fill this out and give this to the retail outlet I bought the phone from. I have the other copy
Contrary to some reviews I've read, it heats no differently from other phones I've used. It's hottest when I use Google Maps, but then it's usually in a phone mount suspended from my wind shield - temperatures here are generally 30+ degrees Celcius

What I think:
It's a bloody good phone, and for the price it's definitely recommended


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