Gionee, a reputable brand in China, is making a big push in India with handsets across different price ranges. Its cheapest smartphone so far is the Pioneer P3, which has good hardware on paper. But does that translate into real-world performance?
Quick Tech Specs: 4.3-inch display (800×480 pixels, 217 ppi) | 1.3GHz Cortex A7 quad-core processor | 512MB RAM | 4GB storage + microSD slot (up to 32GB) | 5MP rear camera (720p HD video), VGA front camera | 3G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 | GPS with A-GPS | 1700mAh battery | Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
Design: It’s been some time since I have used an Android phone that’s so chunky and heavy, even at this price range. The Gionee Pioneer P3 wins no design points—there’s nothing new to see here. It’s a slab of plastic with a rubber-finish on the back, with a fatter width than most phones. But to make up for that, it is sturdy. I accidentally dropped the phone from a height of 5 feet to a marble tile and the P3 has a mere scratch on one of the sides—there’s no dent, let alone any cracking on the screen. Granted, the impact was on its back and not its front, but that’s still better than even some of the flagship handsets out there.
Screen: The screen can make or break the smartphone experience and this is the most disappointing factor of the P3. The viewing angles are extremely poor—tilt it even slightly in any direction and the colours or contrast will distort. On top of that, the colour temperature of the screen is among the worst I’ve seen. And like all phones at this price, it doesn’t have a scratch-resistant glass so a screen guard further distorts the viewing angles under direct sunlight. This screen will be a deal-breaker for most people.
Performance: The quad-core processor on the Pioneer P3 sets it apart from most of the smartphones in this budget, as it handles most games well. It struggles with high-end titles like FIFA 14 and Asphalt 8, but it’s not unplayable—and at this price, that’s good enough. To its credit, multi-tasking on the P3 is much smoother than other phones with 512MB RAM and even some with 1GB RAM.
Memory: With just 4GB of built-in memory, you are going to run out of space quickly. Android now requires you to install apps on the internal memory first and with Gionee’s custom UI already taking up disk space (along with the inability to uninstall certain apps), 4GB is stifling. Then again, you don’t get anything better in this price range.
Connectivity: There’s nothing great and nothing bad about continued…