Overview
Introduction
Design
Display
Hardware
Software and apps
Camera
Audio and video
Performance
Battery life
Conclusion
Lowest Price: ₹14972 Check Price

Gionee Elife S7 Review

A stylish and slim 4G device which gives a distinct yet smooth software experience
By Samir Makwana on 2015-11-26
Key Features
  • 5.5mm thick
  • Super AMOLED display
  • Octa-core SoC
  • 2750mAh battery
What we like
  • Light, sleek design
  • Gorgeous display
  • Great battery life
  • Excellent audio quality
What we don't like
  • Glossy rear collects fingerprints
  • Susceptible to scuffing
  • No MicroSD card slot
  • Lacks Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS)
7.9
Our Score
Introduction

The Gionee Elife S7 arrived in India with much fanfare. Flaunting a premium look and a slim form factor, the S7 is yet another of those ‘slim-built’ devices which have inundated the market of late. Furthermore, another reason the Elife S7 was so sought after, was the fact that this happens to be one of those rare dual-SIM devices to support 4G LTE bands in both slots. Introduced at a price tag of Rs. 24,999, the Gionee Elife S7 competes with lower-priced devices in the same price segment such as the OnePlus One and the Xioami Mi 4. The Elife S7 comes with the Amigo 3.0 UI based on Android 5.0 Lollipop. On paper, the S7 impresses with a combination of recently-released hardware and optimised software. However, we took a closer look at this device to check its performance in real world usage, and this is what we found.

Gionee Elife S7 Head Shot
 

Design
8

For a while now, Gionee has been touting about that fact that it used an aircraft-grade aluminum to build the chassis of the Elife S7. A U-shaped frame provides better ergonomics, allowing the phone to fit quite snugly in your hands. The frame, however, is prone to scuffing. 

The S7 gets a glass panel at the back, which is quite similar to what’s found on the Galaxy S6. It does not come coated with a layer of Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3 for protection, though. Measuring 5.5mm thick and weighing 127 grams, the S7 is quite a lightweight phone, despite the aluminum-magnesium alloy frame. There are no capacitive buttons on the front, only a front-facing camera at the top, right next to the earpiece. The power and the volume control buttons rest on the right side while the microUSB port and the standard 3.5mm audio port rest at the bottom. The speaker out is given through five holes drilled at the bottom. A mic with active noise cancellation support also comes at the bottom. On the left side rests the dual-SIM slot, which fits in seamlessly with the panel and appears as though it is a part of the panel itself.

Gionee Elife S7 Hardware

Although Gionee’s S7 is crafted to provide a premium look and a great feel in hand, the glass back can be slippery at times which is a let down. The company packs a polycarbonate case and a leather flip cover in the bundle which also includes earphones, data cable, SIM ejector tool, and power adapter. The S7 is available in Los Angeles Black and North Pole White color options. Giving a sleek and premium feel in hand, the S7 is one of the best slim-built devices currently available in the market.

Display
8.5

Gionee’s S7 comes with a 5.2-inch Super AMOLED display with HD resolution and a pixel density of 424 PPI. The display is protected with Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3 technology for protection. The display has good clarity with vivid colours. Display settings provides a temperature option, which allows the user to choose from Warm, Neutral and Cold options. When the brightness level is set to the lowest, the notification drawer and control central interface changes to a mix of red and brown.

Gionee Elife S7 display

Hardware
7.5

Under the hood, the S7 houses a MediaTek MT6752 mobile chipset that has an octa-core processor clocked at 1.7 GHz and a dual-core Mali-T670MP2 GPU which supports the graphics. Packing 2GB of RAM, the S7 offers 16GB on-board storage. Unfortunately, there is no slot to allow you to expand the memory space. The dual-SIM tray, which can hold two microSIM cards, has SIM numbers clearly labelled on it.  Both slots support 4G LTE networks for Indian bands - Band 3 (1800MHz) and Band 40 (2300MHz). But only one 4G-capable SIM card can be used at a time. 

Gionee Elife S7 Buttons

A fast mobile web and download can be enjoyed over the dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi network (but there is no support for the new ac standard which was surprising). The speaker at the bottom is powered by the DTS sound implementation for delivering richer and louder sound. The FM radio app allows you to tune in to the various radio stations, but works only when a headset is connected. The Torch function comes in handy at night. The microUSB 2.0 port supports only USB Host. 

All in all, the hardware on this device is ideal for a mid-range smartphone, since it can perform most of the tasks thrown at it easily.

Software and apps
7.5

The Amigo 3.0 UI uses the Android 5.0 Lollipop OS as the base with a heavily skinned layer. There’s no App launcher so all the installed apps are spread across the various home screens. The Virtual menu keys are flipped in their placement by default, however, this can be changed through the display settings. The basic apps come pre-loaded with a bunch of games which can be uninstalled if you want to. As compared to the previous Amigo version, this new 3.0 version takes up less storage space. 

The combined Dialer and Contacts app is quite useful to add new contacts or search for existing ones. A Settings app allows frequently accessed options such as Display, Sound, Notifications and Control Center to be displayed right upfront. Rarely used ones such as App permissions, Smart Gestures, LED Light and others are nested under the Advanced Settings. Switching between apps is easy, but since the Multi-tasking window doesn’t offer a single button to close all recently opened apps, one has to swipe them left/right individually. By default, the phone packs only six themes, and the Chameleon app doesn’t work well when it comes to selecting accurate colours. 

Gionee Elife S7 Screenshot

Xender works fantastically when transferring content from other phones to the S7. But here as well, the lack of an app launcher results in a lot of swiping to look for apps. We noticed some spelling mistakes in the system alerts at times. The overall software experience is smooth and spiffy, with the exception of a couple of niggles which we hope are fixed in the next update.

Camera
7.5

A non-protruding camera module is yet another feature that Gionee boasts about in this phone. The S7 comes with a 13-megapixel camera comprising of Sony IMX214 BSI image sensor teamed with LED flash and autofocus. Xiaomi’s Mi4 uses the same sensor as well. The camera app offers a variety of features ranging from Beauty mode to Picture Note. The Take Anytime feature reminds one of the Lumia Camera app, since it  allows the user to choose the Best shot, Tracks, Motion Blur, Eraser and Best Face. The camera is fast and shoots images with good detail, colour and contrast. Furthermore, it takes only a couple of milliseconds to lock focus.

Gionee Elife S7 Camera Sample Landscape

The images of landscapes clicked by keeping the HDR mode on, give a very balanced output and don’t have too much of noise in them. The low-light shots are fairly decent when aided with flash and obviously, without the OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation). A front-facing 8 megapixel camera is best used for clicking wide-angle selfies. 

Gionee Elife S7 Sample Image Colours

Videos can be recorded at 1080p HD resolution but the focus is compromised. The Anti-shake feature is a minor add-on, and not something that can make up for the lack of Optical Image Stabilisation. One can also switch on the Night Scene mode to get the best possible quality in low-light conditions. The camera performs well in day light and slightly-lesser in low-light environment, but not comparable during night-time.

Gionee Elife S7 Camera Sample Low Light

Audio and video
8

Gionee packs a dedicated app for Music and Video with this version of Amigo 3.0 UI. The Music app comes with options in grid-like circular buttons to navigate between songs, artists, folders, favorites and several other categories. The fancy ‘Shake to change song’ gesture is supported on the app, but there are no options to create playlists. You can play the usual MP3 files as well as lossless FLAC files without any issues, and use the Equalizer to choose your preferable settings. In the Equalize, you have the option of choosing from pre-tuned device settings or from a list of presets such as Classic, Dance, Folk, Heavy Metal and Jazz.

The video app plays popular video file formats out-of-the-box, but doesn’t support 4K resolution videos. The video player also gives you an option to turn the window into a floating window. With a floating window, you could watch a video and use any other features on the phone at the same time. The Elife S7 works wonderfully as a portable multimedia player for entertainment.

Performance
8

While the MediaTek MT6752 claims to deliver almost-flagship level performance on paper, it works smoothly in real-time usage as well. The S7 managed to score about 43,939, in terms of overall performance, which places this device very close to the OnePlus One and slightly above the HTC One M8. 

We were able to play games such as Mortal Kombat X and Asphalt 8: Airborne without any issues. Avid mobile gamers can count on this phone to run most of the popular games. When it comes to video playback, the phone easily manages to play 1080p HD resolution videos in the popular video formats easily. Also, the Super AMOLED display makes visuals appear much better with greater clarity. The sound quality of the speaker is loud, and at times, shrill when it comes to treble. 

Gionee Elife S7 Slim Profile

Music can be enjoyed if you have a good pair of earphones for the DTS Sound mode kicks in to let you choose the presets as per your preference. While the devices works well with most headphones and headsets, it is also powerful enough to drive premium pair of headphones such as Audio Technica M50x, to a great extent. The voice call quality was quite clear and audible, and the built-in noise canceling mic helps cancel out the ambient noise. In terms of software, the app download and install performance was surprisingly faster on this device as compared to other models. The Amigo 3.0 UI delivers almost lag-free performance, except when third party launchers were used.

In terms of overall usage, the Elife S7 does manage to deliver stellar performance and give good all-round experience. 

Battery life
8

Gionee packs a 2750 mAh Lithium-Ion battery inside the S7, which charges quickly and lasts for two days. It offers a screen-on time of about three hours which is good considering the fact that this is a slim device powered by an octa-core mobile chipset. We used a 4G LTE (on Band 40 - 2300 MHz) with usage involving calling, clicking images, gaming, watching videos for about an hour, and listening to music for couple of hours. Even after such usage, there was sufficient battery left to last by at least half a day. 

The Amigo 3.0 UI also brings the new battery saver option to this phone which turns the UI into black mode, enabling the phone to last a full day even on 10 percent battery. We tested this and found that it did last for an entire day. This feature is especially useful when one is travelling. The Power Manager feature in the Settings app lets you choose between Normal and Extreme modes in order to conserve power. Beneath each mode, the suggested battery runtime is mentioned in tiny text. The Extreme Mode is the minimalist mode which greys out the display a bit and offers access only to Phone, Contacts, SMS, and Clock.

Gionee Elife S7 Box

Conclusion

The Gionee Elife S7 was launched in India for Rs 24,999, but now retails online for roughly around Rs.22,999. At its price range, it competes with more powerful devices such as OnePlus One, Xiaomi Mi 4 and Asus ZenFone 2 (4GB). What’s disappointing is that even if this device were to be priced somewhere between Rs. 15,000 to Rs.18,000, it would still have to fight devices such as OnePlus One and Xiaomi, owing to their recent price drop. Having said that, the slim form factor and the premium build quality still give it an edge over other devices. Surely, there are some hiccups, such as the U-shape design, which is prone to chafing at the edges, apart from a few other software issues; but even if these were to be overlooked, it is ultimately the price point which seems a bit too high for the features that this phone offers. 

The Elife S7 scores brownie points for being a good portable media player and delivering a great battery life. Besides this, the phone also supports 4G LTE network but delivers good battery life, for those of you who’re concerned with battery consumption. The imaging department not only takes cares of the basic stuff, but also captures great images which you can flaunt on your social networks. Clearly, this device is for anyone who wants to make the best of 4G capabilities, enjoy good quality multimedia on-the-go as well as enjoy a dependable battery life.

User Reviews
Write a Review
Share your experience about this product with other users.


Top 10 Mobile Phones
© 2019 MySmartPrice Web Technology Private Limited
Made with in indian flag