Home >mint-lounge >Review: Gionee Elife E8

Chinese smartphone maker Gionee’s Elife E8 smartphone is its most expensive device till date ( 34,999). The only potential stumbling block is, will customers really pay a premium price for the E8? We find out how it fares against the Samsung Galaxy A8 ( 31,490).

Even though the body is made of plastic, it is of very good quality
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Even though the body is made of plastic, it is of very good quality

Design: Sturdy but too big

The Elife E8 is the Gionee’s most premium smartphone yet, and does look its part in the expensive phone ecosystem. Even though the body is made of plastic, it is of very good quality. We did not notice any rough edges or usability issues, and the soft feel finish works well. Though Gionee has been able to keep its thickness (9.6mm) in check, it hasn’t been very successful with the weight. At 210g, this is one of the heaviest smartphones in the market. The key highlight is the finger print scanner on the back panel just below the camera, which provides another layer of security on the device. It is easy to configure and quite accurate when reading prints.

The Galaxy A8, with its chamfered metal frame and noticeably thinner profile (5.9mm) looks more elegant and feels more handy (151g) than the Elife E8.

Sharp and vivid display and is ideal for avid readers, gamers and movie buffs
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Sharp and vivid display and is ideal for avid readers, gamers and movie buffs

Display: Sharp and bright canvas

The E8 has a 6-inch AMOLED display with an Ultra HD (2,560 x 1,440) resolution. It is a sharp and vivid display and is ideal for avid readers, gamers and movie buffs. But true to its AMOLED roots, this screen tends to exaggerate colours a bit for more effect and while it looks unnatural at times, it doesn’t hurt the eye.

Though the Galaxy A8 has a lower resolution 5.7-inch display (1,920 x 1,080) it doesn’t look inferior to the E8 in terms of colour reproduction and brightness and most of the apps and media content look pretty much the same to the human eye. It also has a layer of the Gorilla Glass 4, which better protects against scratches.

The interface, despite the heavy customisation, is smooth but plain
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The interface, despite the heavy customisation, is smooth but plain

Software: Runs custom UI over Android 5.1

Gionee has loaded the phone with Android 5.1 (Lollipop) with its own Amigo 3.1 interface over it. It is a neat-looking interface with multiple themes and customisation options. The interface, despite the heavy customisation, is smooth but plain. The Galaxy A8's also runs Android 5.1, but its TouchWiz interface looks slicker and more sophisticated.

The Elife E8 runs Mediatek’s Helio X10 octa-core processor
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The Elife E8 runs Mediatek’s Helio X10 octa-core processor

Performance: Smooth and consistent

The Elife E8 runs on the same Mediatek’s Helio X10 octa-core processor and 3GB RAM that powers the more expensive HTC One M9 Plus ( 39,999). Apps open quickly, and even with over 10 or more apps running in the background, the phone doesn’t slow down. It also runs Full HD videos and FIFA 16 Ultimate Team game without any hint of sluggishness or heating up on the back panel.

The phone has 64GB of internal storage and carries an expandable memory card slot too. In comparison, the Samsung Galaxy A8 has 32GB internal storage as well as a memory card slot.

The Elife E8 runs on a 3500mAh battery but don’t expect a lot from it. It lasts only a day on a single charge.

The Elife E8’s 24-megapixel camera has a Pro mode where the user can adjust focus, exposure and shutter speed
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The Elife E8’s 24-megapixel camera has a Pro mode where the user can adjust focus, exposure and shutter speed
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Camera: Fast and detailed

Gionee has come up with good cameras in earlier phones in the E series. The Elife E8’s 24-megapixel camera has a Pro mode where the user can adjust focus, exposure and shutter speed. There are some additional modes such as as Magic focus, Night mode, Ultra Pixel and Picnote. The Ultra Pixel mode which combines multiple shots to produce picture quality equivalent to a 120-megapixel camera is the most notable, and yes, there are significant detailing improvements in an Ultra Pixel image compared to a standard photo. Even in the normal mode, picture quality is outstanding in daylight. Not only it handles colour brilliantly but is good with detail and contrast as well. It is also one of the best lowlight cameras in this price range. The Galaxy A8’s16-megapixel camera is outstanding under bright light but looks relatively inferior in lowlight.

Verdict

The Gionee Elife E8 does well in terms of performance, offers a lot of internal storage and has a rather good camera. But, the problem is not with the phone but with the brand recall. At present, Gionee cannot really command premium pricing for a smartphone, which the Elife E8 is all about. The change may eventually happen, but at the moment, we feel most users will still prefer something from Samsung or Motorola.

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