The dual-rear camera is here to stay, and we have seen various companies implement it in different ways. Apple, OnePlus, Oppo and vivo — with dual front selfie cameras — and Huawei’s Honor brand are some of the players with dual cameras in the market. Now Gionee has launched its new A1 Plus smartphone in India with a dual rear camera and a 20MP front camera with flash.
Priced at Rs 26,990, this phone is competing with some of the mid-range options in the market like Honor 8 Pro, which again has an excellent dual rear camera. Then, of course, there’s the OnePlus 5, which has a more powerful Snapdragon 835 processor. So how does the Gionee A1 Plus fare in our review? Here’s what we thought of the device.
Gionee A1 Plus Specifications: 6-inch Full HD (1920x 1080 pixels) IPS display | Helio P25 (octa-core upto 2.6Hz) | 4GB RAM + 64GB storage, (up to 256GB microSD support) | 13MP AF f/2.0 + 5MP fixed focus with f/2.2 rear camera + 20MP front camera with FF, f/2.0 | Android Nougat v7.0 with amigo 4 |Dimensions 166.4 x 83.3 x 9.1 mm, weight 226 gm | 4550mAh, Li – Polymer battery |
Gionee A1 Plus price in India Rs 26,990
Gionee A1 Plus Display, Design review
Gionee A1 Plus has a 6-inch full HD resolution display, and at 226 grams this is heavier and bigger than your average smartphone. We got the matte black version, which looks nice, but matte black is like the rose gold for 2017. Still there’s no denying that this is one bulky smartphone. The fingerprint scanner is embedded in the front button on this smartphone.
The Gionee A1 Plus comes with a slightly curved back, and a vertically stacked dual rear camera set up. Just below that is the Gionee Logo. The phone’s rear body has two prominent antenna band lines on the top and bottom, there’s a headphone jack on the top. Dual bottom firing speakers are also present on the device, and in the middle of these there’s a micro-USB charging slot. Gionee has not gone for a Type-C cable, but fast charging is included in the device.
From a design perspective, I would say Gionee A1 Plus has a disadvantage given the size and weight. With the competition offering thinner, lighter phones in a similar price range, Gionee A1 Plus might end up alienating those looking for a phone that can fit in their pocket easily.
On the display front, the 6-inch full HD resolution is not bad at all, and at par with what rivals are offering. From a video consumption perspective, the phone’s big screen means a lot more viewing space, though the thicker bezels do seem outdated. Nonetheless, this is a bright and vibrant display and should appeal to most users.
Gionee A1 Plus Performance review
Gionee A1 Plus comes with the MediaTek Helio P25. There’s 4GB RAM on board and 64GB storage, which should be enough for most users. However, there’s some serious bloatware on this phone; more on that later. The Gionee A1 Plus is more than capable of handling basic performance, which includes browsing the web and social media apps, without any issues.
Games like Lara Croft Run work smoothly on this phone, but with Asphalt 8 there’s a noticeable lag in some instances. While gaming, the phone tends to get warm, although it is nothing unbearable. I wouldn’t say this is the fastest smartphone in this price range. It scores around 64,000 for us in Antutu, which isn’t really that impressive. On GeekBench the single-core score was 798, and the multi-core score was 3643. Benchmarks aside, this phone’s performance isn’t as a flawless as it should be for this price range. Additionally, the fingerprint scanner in this phone is not always accurate. There were times when it would say incorrect fingerprint and I’d have to type in the PIN.
Gionee A1 Plus Camera review
The dual-rear camera is a bit of a hit and miss on this smartphone. The portrait mode, which blurs out the background to keep in the object in sharp focus, does give good results in some cases, though the blurring effect can often extend on to the actual person. I tried a couple of these with my dog, and while the lighting and the object in question were far from ideal, the results were pretty good.
However, with indoor lighting the portrait mode does struggle, and in some photos you can see the person’s hand has got blurred. Also, the portrait mode does have a processing time after you click the picture, so be a bit patient.
The regular camera though is impressive, and you can get some detailed photos. Colours like greens, red appear a bit over-saturated. The camera managed to capture some nice shots, though it’s not the best for low light. The selfie camera has some good results, though it takes a little bit of effort. However, I don’t really care for the selfie-flash so much, though it can make your pictures look brighter in low-light. Overall, I’d say the dual-rear camera is fun, but it’s not yet perfect.
Gionee A1 Plus Software UI review
Gionee A1 Plus comes with Amigo 4 OS from the company, with Android Nougat 7.0. It’s good to see the latest version of Android running on this phone. However, Amigo OS is a mess and confusing. The settings are placed at the bottom menu, kind of like iOS style, and on Android phone it is confusing to swipe up for these. As I’ve said the phone comes with a lot of bloatware, including pre-loaded games, etc all of which is unnecessary even with 64GB storage.
Gionee A1 Plus also has a feature where it would automatically limit the amount of data that could be used via hotspot, and it took me some time to figure out how to increase this limit from 10MB to a lot more. For users, a simple, clean UI works better than something so confusing.
Gionee A1 Plus Battery review
The smartphone comes with a 4550mAh battery, and it has fast charge feature as well. The fast charge is useful and you can expect a full battery in over two hours, which is impressive. On the PC Mark battery test, it scored around 10 hours 10 minutes, which is good, but this phone sports a big battery as well. On average, expect this phone to last all day easily, even if you’re doing a lot of browsing on the web, watching videos or listening to music like I did with this phone.
Gionee A1 Plus Verdict
The Gionee A1 Plus combines some interesting features like a dual-rear camera, a big 6-inch display and ample battery life. However, the phone’s performance is far from perfect, and certainly not as powerful as some of the other rivals in the price range. Buy the Gionee A1 Plus if you want a good selfie camera and dual rear camera, but can’t afford to pay extra for OnePlus 5. For those who want more powerful options, the market has a range of offerings to consider from, including Moto Z2 Play, Oppo F3 Plus, and even the older OnePlus 3T.