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Gionee A1 Specs and price in Kenya,Nigeria & Ghana

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HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The A1 runs the latest version of Google’s Android OS –Nougat.
  • The A1 is pitched as a selfie-centric smartphone.
  • Under the hood,  Gionee A1 uses a mid-range MediaTek Helio P10 SoC.
  • The A1 comes with a micro USB instead of USB-C.

What makes a smartphone praiseworthy? Is it the design, the camera, battery life? In my opinion a good phone is one that can handle all those things with ease. It doesn’t have to be bezel-less, nor does it need to be razor thin. All I need is a reliable phone that works for me.

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Gionee A1 is probably one such option that convinced me to look beyond my usual set of favourites when it comes to smartphones. For the record, Gionee A1 isn’t the most distinctive smartphone in the market. It may lack some of the hype, but the fact remains it offers acceptable camera capabilities, decent hardware performance and a long-lasting battery life. Here’s my full review of  Gionee A1 smartphone.

 gionee-a1_1491545020 Gionee A1 Specs and price in Kenya,Nigeria & Ghana

Gionee A1 specifications:

NETWORK
GSM / HSPA / LTE
LAUNCH
2017, February
Status Available. Released 2017, April
BODY
Dimensions 154.5 x 76.5 x 8.3 mm (6.08 x 3.01 x 0.33 in)
Weight 182 g (6.42 oz)
SIM Dual SIM (Nano-SIM/ Micro-SIM, dual stand-by)
DISPLAY
Type AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 5.5 inches (~70.6% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels (~401 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch Yes
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass (unspecified version)
– Amigo OS 4.0
PLATFORM
OS Android 7.0 (Nougat)
Chipset Mediatek MT6755 Helio P10
CPU Octa-core (4×2.0 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4×1.0 GHz Cortex-A53)
GPU Mali-T860MP2
MEMORY
Card slot microSD, up to 256 GB (uses SIM 2 slot)
Internal 64 GB, 4 GB RAM
CAMERA
Primary 13 MP, f/2.0, phase detection autofocus, LED flash
Features 1/3″ sensor size, 1.12 µm pixel size, geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR
Video [email protected]
Secondary 16 MP, f/2.0, 1/3″ sensor size
SOUND
Alert types Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
– Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
COMMS
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
Bluetooth 4.0, A2DP
GPS Yes, with A-GPS
Radio FM radio
USB microUSB 2.0, USB Host
FEATURES
Sensors Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
Messaging SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Mail, IM
Browser HTML5
Java No
– Fast battery charging
– MP4/H.264 player
– MP3/WAV/eAAC+ player
– Photo/video editor
– Document viewer
BATTERY
Non-removable Li-Ion 4010 mAh battery
MISC
Colors Black, Gray, Gold
Price About 280 EUR

Gionee A1 bears a striking resemblance to phones made by other “Chinese” manufacturers. You’d have a hard time telling them apart. But it would have been great to see a distinctive design, like Gionee did in the past with Elife E6.

But this is still a good looking phone.

The metal back and the buttons are great to the touch and the addition of 2.5D curved glass at the front allows the panel to blend well with the metal frame.

The A1 measures 8.3 mm thick and weighs 183 grams. Despite its size, it doesn’t feel bulky.

Gionee A1 bears a striking resemblance to phones made by other “Chinese” manufacturers.

The home button on the front features a fingerprint scanner flanked by two additional touch buttons for multi task and back. If you head into the settings, you get the option of swapping the functions of each side.

The volume up/down and power switch is still on the right. That leaves the dual-SIM (hybrid) tray to occupy the phone’s left side, while the bottom features a micro-USB connector flanked by the mono loudspeaker. On the top of the phone there is a 3.5-mm headphone jack. Plus there is the IR blaster which has high utility.

images-2 Gionee A1 Specs and price in Kenya,Nigeria & Ghana

So what’s good?

Now, about the screen. Featuring a 5.5-inch full HD 1080p resolution, Gionee A1 screen has 401 pixels per inch. The display is full of colour, and retains the crispness. Even with the brightness set at 50 per cent, the screen looks rather bright.

Plus, you also get the option to set the color temperature of the screen which can be adjusted as required in the Settings menu. Neutral mode was selected by default, and it gives the A1 a bit more balanced colour temperature.

Even with the brightness set at 50 per cent, the screen looks rather bright.

To make sure it keeps all that power going all day, there’s a 4,010mAh battery built into the body.

Gionee promised a lot about the cameras on the A1. While the A1 doesn’t come with dual rear cameras, like the Honor 6X and Micromax Dual 5, its 13-megapixel rear and 16-megapixel front cameras are pretty capable.

Gionee A1 Sample images

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Kitengela Community gym

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In bright daylight conditions, the A1’s camera performs well, and its 13-megapixel sensor (f/2.0) captures a lot of detail. The white balance is accurate and colours are vivid without being oversaturated and unrealistic. Auto-focus is fast and the A1 also copes very well with macro shots. The lack of OIS means it can’t match the sharpness levels of the Galaxy S7 and G5. Otherwise, the camera seems functional for day-to-day use.

The 1080p video recording does a good job of focusing on objects nearby and further

The A1 is pitched as a selfie-centric smartphone. The front camera has a higher resolution like most phones’ front cameras these days, and lets you capture a lot of details in your face. Its front-facing camera is 16-megapixels coupled with a LED flash, so you can snap a selfie of yourself in the dark.

The results from the front camera are quite good. The A1, like many selfie-centric smartphones, offer multiple beauty modes that lets soften an image in an attempt to make you younger.

Apps launched almost instantaneously, and I was able to open multiple Chrome tabs.

Under the hood,  Gionee A1 uses a mid-range MediaTek Helio P10 SoC. It’s an octa-core processor clocked at 2.0Ghz, paired with 4GB RAM and 64GB of native storage which is further expandable up to 256GB via a microSD card slot.

So what’s not good?

The A1 runs the latest version of Google’s Android OS –Nougat. The OS has been customised with a skin called “ Amigo OS 4.0”. The interface is heavily skinned (as expected) and comes preloaded with apps such as Amazon Shopping, Xender, Hotoday, Truecaller, Facebook, WhatsApp and Messenger. Even though Gionee’s native Amigo OS is significantly improved, I still prefer the standard Android interface.

The A1 comes with a micro USB instead of USB-C, which all premium mid range Android smartphones have been using for a year. I’m still trying to figure out the reason for the absence of a USB Type-C port on the A1.

The fingerprint sensor on the Gionee A1 is embedded on the home button. This is not the best fingerprint scanner I have used to date.

The A1 is lacking near-field communications (NFC) which could be crucial for Google’s  Android Pay. Keeping this in mind, Gionee seems to have missed a chance by not adding an NFC chip into the A1.

Conclusion

At Ksh.34,000($340), Gionee A1 is a well-packaged smartphone, barring a few trade-offs. The build quality is excellent, the all-metal finish is appealing, day-long battery life and the screen is good with popping colours – even if it lacks an AMOLED panel. The cameras are respectable, too.

Although I wish the phone had a better processor and unskinned Android, the phone doesn’t really disappoint.

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