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Gionee Elife S5.5 Review : Slim Awesomesauce

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Gionee Elife S5.5 Review : Slim Awesomesauce

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Gionee announced the ELife S5.5 at MWC 2014 and launched it in India early April. For a price of Rs. 22900/- the handset also takes on the moniker of the “Slimmest Phone in the World”. But, does this handset compromise on performance and capability because its slim? Lets find out in our Review !

Gionee Elife S 5.5 14

Overview

The Gionee ELife S5.5 comes only a year after the company started operations in India. With claims to become Top 5 vendor in less than 5 years the company seems to be headed in the right direction. The few handsets in the past have shown us that the company not only focuses on bringing handsets into the market but also ensures that the user experience is good. With previous handsets like the E6 and E7 winning us over the S5.5 shows a great mix of design and performance at a good price.

Gionee S5.5 26

Build, Design and Hardware

The build quality on the new Elife S5.5 is superb, a perfect mix of Gorilla Glass laden exteriors mixed with a structure based on a hardened aluminum alloy. The buttons are also made from metal, and have a premium and tactile feel. At first it seems that the bezel is flush with the glass but is actually slightly, almost not noticeably, raised, giving the S5.5’s glass design some protection from flat drops.

The frame itself has been designed to release shock and therefore drops should not easily shatter the glass. The phone can take quite some damage and almost show no signs of wear and tear, the frame is metal so expect it to scratch easy.

Gionee S5.5 7

Design wise the S5.5 is very very good looking, especially in the Gold and White variant. The company has ensured that everyone gets a version they like and the colors should help in that. The phone has a very premium design and the finish on the handset is very rich.

Gionee S5.5 11
Hardware wise the Gionee Elife S5.5 somehow seems to find a good balance. A Mediatek 6592 chipset with 8 cores clocked at 1.7 GHz a Mali450 MP4 variant GPU, 2 GB of RAM and 16/32 GB storage capacities. The main camera sensor is 13 MP and the front camera sensor is 5 MP both with 1080p capture.  Battery is on the low side with just 2300 mAh under the hood, however with the slimness of this device in consideration, its a pretty high value.

UI, Performance and Gaming

The Elife S5.5 comes with Android 4.2.2 out the box with no official word on updates to Android 4.4 aka KitKat. However the highlight of this is the new Amigo 2.0 UI which has been put right on top of Android. Now, unlike skins, it is a rebuild of Android, similar to the likes of Cyanogen and MIUI. The newer Amigo is much faster and more responsive than previous builds. The improvement also translates into installed applications, which include “power booster and performance booster” the two of the most significantly useful preloaded apps till date. The performance booster allows you to ban apps that forcefully startup on powering the handset, therefore considerably improving the free ram and performance of the phone.

The handset is stable and powerful enough to handle daily tasks and also the extremities you might want to expose it to. Heat management is also much more controlled than the competition, possibly because of the lack of a turbo variant of the MT6592 chipset.

Gaming is impressive and lag free in most cases, most games are compatible out of the box and run smooth. Audio could have been louder and we have expressed this in the past. The screen is beautiful and the dimples on top and bottom somehow not only make it look good but also provide adequate grip for holding the device in landscape.

Dimple for grip?

Dimple for grip?

Camera

The big disappointment is that there is no 4k video capture, especially when most companies are moving forward with the same trend. The chipset is very capable, the module of the camera is very capable, the hardware is very capable, the only problem seems to be extra large video files, and the lack of SD card slot may be the biggest reason to blame for the lack of 4K capture.

For the camera, the colors and saturation is near perfect, with no problems with exposure or white balance. Images are crisp and autofocus works really well, even up close. Video is also good with no lag in video capture, it is also worth stressing that the onboard microphone for video is exceptionally good.

The front camera is equally good with 5 MP on the badge, pictures are clear and it works well in low light conditions. If you are a selfie fiend, then this might just be right up your alley.

Phone and Battery

The Gionee Elife S5.5 comes with a globally unlocked 3G capability, so this single sim device will come in handy for the global traveller. However the lack of 4G is really worth a notice, especially considering we are not far away from launch of said services in India (Or so we are made to believe).

Gionee S5.5 13

The networks are solid and the phone holds its connections mostly throughout the range of the conversation. The inbuilt noise cancellation is good but not comparable to the likes of flagships from Apple and Samsung. Audio coming in and going out is crisp, loud and clear and honestly we really have nothing to complain about in the phone department and thats saying a lot.

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Battery life is the most we could expect from this handset, and honestly with the kind of hardware inside, and the lack of a bigger battery we were expecting much less. You will still get a days use of the phone even if you talk upto 5 hours on this and then use it some.

Conclusion

The Gionee Elife S5.5 shows that new players can have great phones, where many Indian counterparts have let us down. Gionee tries to deliver a complete package, a custom UI, a great built device, a good set of hardware along with impressive performance and battery life. All this at a fairly low price when compared to the market value of flagships. However it does let us imagine why things like a microSD card slot are left out, features like 4K video capture and 4G networks are ignored for markets like India. Even if as a higher price option, consumers deserve an option to choose a handset which is more capable. And what about those KitKat updates?, why can we not simply get a handset that runs Android 4.4. out of the box.

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The Elife S5.5 impressed us,  now if the company can roll out a KitKat update consider us sold. The color options, the impressive build quality, and great hardware are just the beginning, the UI is good and so is the overall experience. There are other options in the market, the Moto X delivers faster updates handsets from Samsung and Sony also now belong in this category. Honestly the Elife S5.5 deserves a chance because it sort of sits above the rest, sort of!

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About The Author
Bharat Nagpal
Founder and Chief Editor of iGyaan. Bharat likes to keep on top of technology ! Follow Him on Google Plus : Google+
  • Anirban Biswas

    I heard that this doesn’t have google play store in it and it force closes many google services including Gmail. Is that true?

  • itmrbharath

    Had the review been updated after kitkat update? or just the video that you guys released?

  • PawanYadav
  • RajaRajan1

    How to share pictures and videos form the mobile to tv

  • shreejeetp

    hey i want to correct this review, you have written that “The Elife S5.5 comes with Android 4.2.2 out the box with no official word on updates to Android 4.4 aka KitKat ” but Gionee had officially confirmed 4.4 update by the end of the month.

  • SagarPatel3

    gionee s5.5 is better

  • SagarPatel3

    AhmedZaquiSiddiqui

  • AhmedZaquiSiddiqui

    In comparison of gionee elife s5.5 grand 2 which one is better ?

  • saxena10kush

    abhi_mukherji I’m going for Desire 816. Safer Bet.

  • abhi_mukherji

    saxena10kush  NO Led lights. But honestly I dont miss that much and it saves a lot of battery..

  • RamkumarNatarajan

    ragini95 who said?…it has excellent customer service…my elife e3 got replaced just for a small charging issue that too within 5 days…unlike other brands it has unique designs for each and every model…look at samsung and sony smartphones having same kind of look and feel from entry level to high end level smartphones..i used e3 for 6 months and its better than samsung and sony smartphones  selling at 20k range..

  • saxena10kush

    Does it have LED notification light ?

  • mehuuser

    i have heard that amigo captures nearly 1.1 gb ram and user get only 0.9gb ram to use……………………..? TRUE or NOT ?

  • yoyash

    Bharat Sir…. i know that u might not be able to update the reviews everyday…. but to those who don’t know gionee is saying that they will roll out the kitkat update soon…. like in june or july….

  • devsathish

    AjithSubramanya Hi, Can you please mention where did you buy this phone?! Looks like you’re using the trial version of the phone.

  • SaurabhJain1

    When is the 32gb version be available to purchase in india???

  • AjithSubramanya

    Dont waste your money in buying S 5.5 the phone has heating problem the phone gets heated up to 50 C and the battery drain from 100 % to 75 % in less than 45 minutes of time and lots of problem with the interface many apps dont work for example facebook never worked for me. if i open facebook app the phone gets crashed. Do not get fooled by looks you will regret after buying i sold my phone in less than 3 days

  • imran352

    last day i got my brand new Gionee Elife s5.5 . mobile looks good but having some issues with apps like facebook app and some games crashes every time  as i started

  • abhi_mukherji

    Hi, this is a useful review. Can you tell me whether this phone comes with google apps/services. My understanding is that the google play store is missing on this and therefore all apps have to be side-loaded?

    Can someone confirm?

  • AisyaPatel

    I tested Elife E7 mini vs Elife S5.5 and also tested Gpad4 ….. 

    for design my point of view

    1. S5.5
    2. Gpad4
    3. Elife E7 mini

    for Performance 

    1. S5.5
    2. Elife E7 mini
    3. Gpad4

    S5.5 having heating problem…. backside….
    but design is superb…..

    for camera..
    1. Elife E7 Mini
    2. Gpad4
    3. S5.5

    elife E7 Mini is Superb Camera Function mind blowing ….

  • Akash Singh

    when it ll be available to buy in market….????

  • rahuljhadav

    vickyisbad  the comment is from facebook, when they shared the link on their Fanpage, and replied to comments. Dont make a fool out of yourself in proving someone is wrong.

  • John_d7  The comparison is b/w similar priced phones, there is no over-exposure around the subject. Gionee did not give us any phones, nor did another company.

  • pradpradhan  The S5.5 works on Google Licensed Version of Android 4.2. with a custom UI

  • niksss  There will be a 32 GB variant later

  • ragini95

    problem with phones that aren’t a huge brand – no customer service.
    then the superficial problems are lack of availability of things like covers and chargers. would love to buy this phone otherwise..

  • SaMarVeErSiNghPuRi

    vickyisbad But still he is above them all those who have started creating videos like Igyaan it is the best and it will remain

  • SaMarVeErSiNghPuRi

    niksss No sir there is no 32 gb variant

  • SaMarVeErSiNghPuRi

    pradpradhan Sir Gionee uses its custom Ui known as Amigo and S5.5 has Amigo2.0 which is better than previous version of amigo seen on E3 E5 E6 E7

  • vickyisbad

    yeah it is a biased review with gionee people commenting on behalf of igyaan.

  • vickyisbad

    So you are giving 7.5 rating to MOTO X and 8 rating to this phone. Moto x is a far better phone as compared to s5.5. With nearly same price, 9 out of 10 people would go with moto x. moreover it looks like a biased review with gionee people giving replies in the comments. guys, is there any other website that we can trust for reviews?

  • vickyisbad

    oh John was right. Gionee has sponsored this review that is why they are giving replies on behalf of igyaan.

  • pradpradhan

    what os does gionee 5.5 use? is it pirated version or original? please give your honest and true opinion

  • niksss

    Is there a 32 gig variant also as you have mentioned?

  • John_d7

    Awesomesauce? I checked the sample shots provided by you and
    they are below average. Didn’t you notice the overexposure in the shots taken
    by you? Just because you’re receiving this device (actually 2 devices) free
    from Gionee, you don’t have to show your loyalty towards their PR team. Bharat,
    we need an honest review. Please don’t loose your honesty in the process.

  • Gionee India

    Hi Manjul,
    Thank you for writing in. Yes, the rear camera is capable of recording 1080p videos at 30FPS.
    Regards,
    Gionee India Team

  • Rohit Digraskar

    what does it mean for , dual as well as quad core of snapdragon beat it easily ,,

  • Manpreetsingh King

    No doubt..s5.5 beat micromax

  • Iqbal Javed

    gift me one

  • Ajay Gondaliya

    Phonearena is the most trusted one

  • Vishal Saini

    Please give me that one beauty please

  • Venkateswaran Elangovan

    igyaan is untrustable

  • Manjul Walia

    video recording with rear camera = 1080p @30fps ?????

  • Mukesh Sah

    nice phone

  • Hoze M

    So the Micromax Knight is out of the question.. When does this phone come out in the market? I suppose the Gionee Elife E7 is also a great option.

  • er.kapilgoyal

    Hi Bharat, very nice review but not a full review. However, i want to buy this phone but doubt abt the after sale service of the Company. Plz tell me any of your past experience abt Gionee After sale service. Plz reply..

  • Pranit Bhansali

    are bhai market mai kab aa raha hai

  • Prince Breeze

    Even the rebranded second hand handsets like Xolo Q800 which is actually made by Gionee is bought by some paying full amount. There be enough people buy at any price at any time.

  • Addi Basu

    Worth buying ! !

  • AntonyTerrence

    Hi, I am planning to buy a phone in the range of 23K. I have Lumia 1320, Grand 2 and Sony Xperia t2 Ultra in mind. With this review, may be this one included too. My use include reading, watching videos, education, taking photos, videos, and a bit of gaming (not the priority). Which one do you suggest? if you were me, which one would you pick? 

    Is W8 a bad ecosystem?
    I am a firm believer that any amount above 20k for a phone is sheer waste of money, if you care for money.

  • Rishav Gupta

    Alas,there’s no resale value