Gionee Marathon M5 Lite Review

Gionee’s mission in the budget smartphone segment has been all about delivering the best battery life possible. Its Marathon series really took off after the company launched the Marathon M4 (Review |Pictures) and more recently, the Marathon M5 (Review | Pictures).

Following up on the success of the latter, we now have the Marathon M5 Lite, which was launched last month. The specifications and features of the newer phone bear a striking resemblance to those of the older M4, only with a newer version of Android and slightly beefed up internals. Although the M4 is still being sold for around the same amount as the M5 Lite, it could replace the older model going ahead.

Look and feel
The Marathon M5 Lite definitely scores more points when it comes to aesthetics. It’s slimmer with a more premium look thanks to the new colour and the chrome accents running along its edges. It’s slightly heavier though and that heft is noticeable when it’s in your pocket.

Specifications and software
Gionee has used the same internals as the Marathon M5, which consist of a quad-core MediaTek MT6735 SoC, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of onboard storage. This is good considering the price difference between the two phones. Other features are similar as well, including Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, USB OTG, FM radio, Miracast and GPS. There’s a slightly smaller 4000mAh battery, though it still promises multiple days’ worth of usage.

Battery life
This is of course the main highlight of the Marathon series, and although the M5 Lite delivers, it isn’t as great as we had hoped it would be. In our video loop test, we managed to get 11 hours and 47 minutes of continuous video playback. With everyday usage, it was more like a day and a half of battery life. While this is good, it isn’t ground-breaking like we’ve come to expect from the Marathon series. For instance, something like the Oppo R7 Lite (Review | Pictures) delivered better battery life in our video loop test with a mere 2320mAh battery.


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