While the biggies like Sony and LG grabbed the headlines with the launch of their flagship smartphones at MWC 2017, there were other players too that made their presence felt. Among them was Gionee, which launched two selfie-focused smartphones — A1 and A1 Plus. Having spent some time with both the devices at Gionee’s booth, here are my first impressions of the A1 and the A1 Plus smartphones.
The Gionee A1 and the A1 Plus look the same, and the overall design language is pretty run-of-the-mill. The front is dominated by the display, and below is a physical home button that doubles up as a fingerprint sensor. The back is pretty spartan with only the camera lens and the Gionee logo breaking the monotony. Where the A1 has a single camera lens, the A1 Plus has a dual-camera setup at the back. While both devices feel premium to hold, the overall look is quite unassuming, and it is unlikely to stand out in the crowded Android market.
The talking point of both the Gionee smartphones is their selfie cameras. The A1 sports a 16-megapixel snapper up front, while the A1 Plus sports a 20-megapixel snapper. Needless to say, both the cameras seem quite capable. In the short time I spent with the smartphone, the selfie cameras were able to click some very good selfies even in the harsh lighting conditions at the demo booth. ALSO READ: Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 hands-on and first impressions
At the back, the A1 is equipped with a 13-megapixel snapper, while the A1 Plus is equipped with a dual-rear camera setup — 13-megapixel and 5-megapixel. While both sets of cameras are quite capable, the camera setup on the A1 Plus is worth talking about because of its ability to click DSLR-like photos with bokeh effect. We will, however, reserve our judgments on the camera till we have extensively used them under different lighting conditions. ALSO READ: BlackBerry KEYone hands-on and first impressions
Both devices flaunt full HD resolution displays, but with different screen sizes — A1 comes with a 5.5-inch screen, and the A1 Plus comes with a 6-inch screen. Under the hood, Gionee continues its love affair with MediaTek chipsets. The A1 is powered by a Helio P10 SoC paired with 4GB of RAM, while the A1 Plus is powered by a Helio P25 SoC paired with 4GB of RAM. In the short time I spent with the devices, performance was pretty smooth with apps opening and closing with ease. Even with multiple apps open in the background, performance continued to be smooth. We will however take a closer at the overall performance in our review.
Both Gionee smartphones are backed by massive batteries — 4,010mAh on the A1, and 4,550mAh on the A1 Plus. The company claims both the batteries are good enough to last for over a day, and can be charged pretty quickly thanks to fast charging.
In the short time that I spent with both the Gionee A1 and the A1 Plus, they seemed to be decent smartphones. But what they really lack is a killer feature that will help them stand out in the crowded Android smartphone market. The A1 is priced at 349 Euros (Rs 24,500 approximately), and it is scheduled to go on sale sometime this month. The A1 Plus will follow with a launch in April, priced at 449 Euros (Rs 31,500 approximately). Gionee wouldn’t say when it plans to launch either of the smartphones in India, but it is clear both of them will face strong competition from existing devices.
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