Gionee announced its flagship phone the Elife E8 at an event in New Delhi today. The Elife E8 will be successor to the Elife E7 which was launched in 2013. The Elife E8 is priced at Rs 34,999 and will be selling on Snapdeal from 12 October. Post the launch event we spent some time with the device and here are our first impressions.
Build and Design
The Gionee Elife E8 is quite a handful at its 6-inch form factor. While the bezels are thin, using the phone one handed is out of question, unless you have unnaturally large hands. The phone comes with a metallic edge which is complemented by a plastic rear cover which has a slight curvature, reminiscent of that seen on the Elife E7. The metallic edges give the phone an elegant look. The back cover is removable, but the battery is not.
The left hand side is clean whereas on the right hand side you have the volume rocker button, power/standby button and a dedicated camera shutter button. A 3.5mm audio jack graces the top edge and there’s the microUSB charging and data transfer port on the base.
On the rear side, you have a circular finger print scanner placed just below the 24MP camera. On the front, you have a 6-inch Quad HD display. There aren’t any physical buttons on the front portion of the Elife E8. The menu soft buttons are sadly, not backlit.
The phone will require two handed use for most users. Due to the smooth rear cover, the grip is a bit slippery.
QuadHD displays have become a standard with most flagship phones these days and the Elife E8 is no different. It sports a 6-inch 2560×1440 pixel AMOLED display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. The colours appear vibrant and the text is sharp. But we will have to check the legibility in sunlight and video playback quality, which we will, once we get the review unit.
Chipset, RAM, Storage
The Elife E8 houses the MediaTek Helios X10 (MT6795) system on chip which houses a 2.0GHz octa core processor. This is paired with 3GB of RAM. The phone comes with 64GB of on board storage and you have the option to expand it to 128GB via a microSD card.
The Gionee Elife E8 comes with Android 5.1 Lollipop and as is the case with most Gionee phones, there is the Amigo 3.1 user interface skin atop the Android OS. Gionee will be working with its Indian research team to add on more India specific features on the Amigo 3.1 UI. It will come with support for 9 Indian languages out of the box. The user interface on the Elife E8 felt really smooth as compared to what we had seen on the Elife E7 when it had launched. But we will need to use it more extensively to give a proper verdict.
The Elife E8 has a dual microSIM card configuration and it will support 4G SIM cards as well. It supports WiFi 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS with A-GPS, FM and so on.
Gionee flagship phones have had good cameras and we were impressed with the 16MP shooter on the Elife E7. With the Elife E8, Gionee has gone a step further and added on a 24MP rear camera. This is complemented with an 8MP front-facing camera.
The 24MP camera on the rear side has a true tone dual LED flash unit. The camera user interface is quite intuitive. The Gionee Elife E8 comes with phase detect AF feature to help with faster focusing. But thanks to the poor lighting in the demo zone, we couldn’t try it out. The camera comes with many specialty modes such as Professional mode, Real HDR, Real Night, Magic Focus 2.0 and so on. The UltraPixel mode let’s you shoot an almost 120MP image by stitching around 5 images. The video camera is capable of shooting 4K videos as well.
We will need to use the phone’s camera extensively to be able to talk about the performance, as on paper it certainly ticks off all the right boxes, including a dedicated camera shutter button which will be appreciated by photography enthusiasts.
The Gionee Elife E8 houses a 3,520mAh Li-ion non-removable battery. Gionee claims that you can get up to two days of regular use with the E8, but we will hold back on that till we test the device.
Gionee has upgraded its flagship after two years and it has put in a good overall feature set. The Helios X10 chipset with 3GB of RAM and 64GB storage, a 24MP shooter, fingerprint reader, 3,520mAh battery with fast charging technology are high end specifications. We will have to see how it comes together as an everyday phone, when we review it.
The Gionee Elife E8 is priced at Rs 34,999 and going by Gionee’s history, their flagship phone pricing has been premium since the launch of Elife E6. But this time around, Gionee has partnered with Snapdeal to sell the E8 online. This brings with it the hassles of registration. Considering this is a premium device, one should not be concerned about phone selling out within seconds as Gionee has promised a limited, although good volumes of phone for online sales.
At Rs 34,999, the Gionee Elife E8 will certainly have some good competition in the form of Samsung Galaxy A8, the just launched Motorola Moto X Style, and others phones such as the OnePlus One, Huawei Honor 7 and so on.
Do check back for the full review of the Elife E8 soon. In the meantime, do let us know your thoughts on the product, its feature set, price point in the comments section.