The last Gionee S series phone to come to India was the S10 in December 2017. And now, the Chinese company has launched its S11 Lite smartphone in India after a hiatus. The Gionee S11 Lite is priced at Rs 13,999 which puts it against some tough competitors. Nonetheless, Gionee is confident that the phone has what it takes to take on the competition. I used the device briefly during the launch event and here are my first impressions.
Look and feel
You have to hand it to Gionee that both the phones that they launched today feel premium at first glance. The Gionee S11 Lite is exceptional. Right from the bezel-less 5.45-inch Full View display with 18:9 aspect ratio, to the mirror finish curved back panel and sides, the phone looks great. But then again some people who have reservations towards phones that are fingerprint magnets may not agree with me.
The screen of the Gionee S11 Lite is bordered by thin bezels on the side, with the earpiece and front camera on the forehead and a chin where a home button could fit. Gionee did not hold back when designing the S11 Lite and even the sides have the same mirror finish treatment that the back panel has. The dual-camera setup at the back is placed horizontally.
The user interface of the device is typical of Gionee’s Amigo skin which borrows the format from iOS. No app drawer again, which means a cluttered arrangement of icons on adjacent screens. The device does not weigh much even though it carries around a 3,030mAh battery.
The Gionee S11 Lite uses a 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8937 octa-core processor along with 4GB RAM and 64GB onboard storage. I tried opening some apps in quick succession, and there seemed to be a very negligible lag in the initialization. But how this survives the test of time is yet to be seen.
One of the selling points of the device is the rear camera and from the few shots I took with the dual-camera setup of 13-megapixel and 2-megapixel, the photos were not the most satisfactory for a camera of this price range. The 16-megapixel camera on the front struggled in low light with noise despite the big sensor and the software enhancements.
The use of the fingerprint sensor as a camera shutter is one of the convenient things about the device and is a much better option than using the volume rockers which sometimes cause shakes.
The Gionee S11 Lite is a great looking device that has relatively good specs to compete with the competitors. But it all comes down to the finer points of how the user experience of the features turs out. We will be able to talk about those finer details once we test out the device thoroughly, so stay tuned for our full review.