Gionee surely loves to create records. After making the world’s slimmest smartphones, Elife S5.5 and Elife S5.1, Gionee is now aiming to achieve the ‘smartphone with best battery life’ title with its Marathon M3 handset. This smartphone is powered by a 5,000 mAh battery and promises a month of standby battery backup. It can be used to charge other phones as well through OTG. But can the Marathon M3 actually deliver its promise? Let’s check out.
Quick specs: Android 4.4.2 OS | 5-inch 720p IPS display | 1.3 GHz quad-core MediaTek MT 6582 CPU | 1GB RAM | 8GB internal memeory expandable up to 128 GB | 8MP rear camera| 2MP front camera | 5000 mAh battery
Price: Rs 12,999
Design: Gionee has totally focused on delivering good battery life, maybe at the cost of design. The Marathon M3 looks like any another smartphone in the sub Rs 15,000 price category. The 5-inch smartphone is easy to hold, but at 180 grams it is a bit heavy thanks to the massive 5000 mAh battery. The build quality is good. The back cover, which can be removed, hides two SIM card slots, a microSD card slot and a reset button. The battery cannot be removed. This is not a slim device by any stretch of your imagination.
Display: The Marathon M3 features a 5-inch 720p IPS display at a pixel density of 294 ppi. Overall, the display is decent. However, at full brightness, the colours were not accurate and a bit more whitish. Outdoor visibility is average and you might have to put the screen at maximum brightness under direct sunlight to operate the device. The viewing angles are good.
Performance: The phone comes with an average spec sheet. The 1.3 GHz quad-core MediaTek MT 6582 with 1GB RAM scored an average 17708 on AnTuTu Benchmark (v5.3). The overall experience was not all that smooth. I witnessed ghost touches (touches with no response), app crashes and sometimes I had to make an extra effort to literally pull down the notification panel.
Keeping these flaws aside, the phone performed well while doing regular stuff. Heavy games like Dead Trigger 2, Dead Target, Gunship Battle and Blood and Glory worked smoothly. So, the hardware doesn’t disappoint on the gaming front.
The Multi-media performance is surprisingly good. I watched several movies through the OTG without any lag at all. The speaker is loud and audio quality is decent at this price.
The phone runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat operating system with Gionee’s custom UI. The notification panel includes a lot of handy shortcuts and users will mostly like the UI. Overall, the performance is satisfactory, however, be prepared for some occasional glitches.
Camera: The 8MP camera does a decent job at normal lighting. However, low light images produced a lot of grains. The camera is capable of capturing good macro shots. Low light HDR shots produced good colours but grainy. The front 2 MP camera is surprisingly good.
Storage: The device offers around 4GB of free internal storage and supports up to 128GB microSD cards.
Connectivity: The phone comes with two SIM card slots- 3G + 2G along with regular connectivity options. Overall, there are no issues with connectivity.
Battery: This is the major differentiator. Gionee has delivered its ‘Marathon’ promise. The phone delivered 27 days of standby battery life with 65 per cent remaining. It seems doing regular things like listening to music, watching movies, WiFi, 3G connection and full brightness has no effect on the battery at all. The only thing that can drain some battery life is heavy games. After shooting zombies and flying a helicopter for almost five hours (at full brightness with WiFi), the battery drained from 65 per cent to 25 per cent. The remaining 25 per cent was good enough for a 2-hour movie (played via OTG) at full brightness and volume.
For average users, the battery can deliver a week (at medium brightness and economical data usage). For heavy users, you will not have to worry about charging the device every day. The 5000 mAh battery, obviously, takes some time to get fully-charged. The device can be used to charge other phones too through USB OTG. At this price range, Gionee is the first to provide an excellent battery life.
Verdict: If you are average user craving for more battery life, then the Gionee Marathon M3 is a great choice. The experience on the device is decent. However, you will have to compromise on the look and design a bit. The battery is the only differentiator for this smartphone at Rs 12,999 as there are several other good smartphones with similar spec sheets at the same price or even less.