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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Gionee S11 Lite review: Good design and battery, but there are a few misses

Gionee S11 Lite review: Gionee S11 Lite features a good design with compact form factor and decent battery backup

Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Rs. 13999
Written by Meghna Dutta | New Delhi | Updated: June 22, 2018 3:48:40 pm
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Gionee S11 Lite is the latest mid-range offering from the Chinese handset maker, Gionee. Although the company introduced the smartphone in China last November, it arrived in the Indian smartphone market in April this year. Gionee S11 Lite packs almost all the trending features a user expect in the mid-range category. The phone flaunts a FullView display and dual camera setup at the back. The device comes for a price of Rs 13,999 and it is available for purchase on online and offline retail stores.

With such price tag, Gionee’s mid-range handset has tough competition in the Indian smartphone market, for instance, popular Chinese brand Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 5 Pro, Asus’ Zenfone Max Pro M1 and Honor 7C. We used the phone for a week and here’s our review of the Gionee S11 Lite.

Gionee S11 Lite Specifications: 5.7-inch HD+ display, 18:9 aspect ratio | 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor |4GB RAM+32GB storage (expandable up to 256GB) |13MP+2MP rear camera | 16MP front camera | 3030 mAh battery | Amigo OS 5.0.13S based Android Nougat

Gionee S11 Lite Price in India: Rs 13,999 

Gionee S11 Lite review: What’s good?

The most noticeable aspect of the Gionee S11 Lite is its design. The phone features a plastic body, however, the glossy finish on the rear side makes it look premium. Further, the compact form factor offers a good grip on the phone. Ergonomics wise, the phone is good, with the thumb comfortably reaching the volume keys and power button and you can handle it easily with one hand.

Talking about the display, Gionee S11 Lite features a 5.7-inch HD+ 18:9 display with 1440 x 720 pixel resolution. The display offers good viewing angles and it works well in broad daylight. The colour reproduction on the phone, however, is quite average and the icons appear a bit washed out.

Gionee S11 Lite carries Qualcomm’s mid-tier SoC, Snapdragon 435. In our benchmark test, the phone managed to score 58937 on AnTuTu. On Geekbench, it showed a single-core score of 653 and 2505 in multi-core score test. On PCMark test, we got an average run time of 11 hours and 37 minutes.

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Moving on to real-world performance, Gionee’s mid-range handset managed to render decent output. We didn’t face any lag while running casual games like Orbia, Bubble Bash on the phone for nearly half an hour. The phone managed to handle basic tasks smoothly. But we did face noticeable lag while running multiple tabs on the Gionee S11 Lite, especially when several notifications from Gmail, Facebook appeared on the phone.

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Like most smartphones in this price range, Gionee S11 Lite also includes facial detection to unlock the device. During our usage, we found the face recognition to work well in good and moderate lighting condition. Alternately, the phone offers a fingerprint sensor to unlock it.

Gionee S11 Lite offers good battery backup as well. Packing a battery backup of 3030mAh, it managed to provide a day’s worth of charge with moderate usage. Our day-to-day tasks included sending texts on WhatsApp, Messenger, Hangouts, surfing the internet, playing casual games on the go and streaming video content on YouTube.

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Gionee S11 Lite review: What’s bad?

Although the Gionee S11 Lite bears dual rear camera setup we found the performance to be quite inconsistent. While the phone managed to retain decent colour reproduction in good lighting condition, some of the images that we captured looked very low-quality and the details were missing. In low-light, the phone struggled to retain details and colour accuracy.

The selfies clicked with Gionee S11 Lite didn’t turn out that satisfactory as well. While taking multiple shots, the phone took a fair amount of time to load and process. The native camera app on the phone offers a bunch of features, for instance, Pro Mode, Backlight, Group selfie, Slow motion etc. However, you need to have patience to get decent images as the phone takes time to lock focus on the subject.

Another disappointment that we had with the device is its cluttered UI. While many smartphones in this price range now come with Android Oreo, Gionee S11 Lite still runs Android Nougat OS. The phone carries a good amount of bloatware as well. But thankfully, the phone has the option of uninstalling these apps.

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Gionee S11 Lite review: Verdict

In a nutshell, Gionee’s mid-range offering, the S11 Lite is a decent option for those users who want a good-looking compact smartphone. The performance was at par with budget handsets that carry entry-level specifications.  The battery backup is also decent for the price. While many smartphones in the mid-price range offer a full HD+ display, Gionee has  implemented an HD+ display on the S11 Lite. Besides, certain handsets come encased with either aluminium or metal design.  Considering its price, there are a few better options available in the market like Redmi Note 5 Pro, Asus Zenfone Max Pro 1 and Oppo Realme 1.

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