A few months back I dared to indulge in one of the most polarizing debates in this universe — Android or iPhone, which one is better? I am a happy iPhone 6 user, so I sided with the iPhone. The Android supporting kid, who must be in his early 20s, said that the front camera of the iPhone wasn t good enough, yes that kind of debate. I didn t respond to that, but did realize that the front camera seems to be important for millennials, and no wonder smartphone companies are taking efforts to improve the front cameras. Just recently, OPPO F1s was launched, which had a higher resolution front-facing camera than the rear camera. And now, Gionee is joining the selfie smartphone brigade with the S6s, which launched in India today for Rs 17,999. Ahead of the launch, I spent some time with Gionee s new selfie smartphone, and here are my first impressions. Also Read - Amazon School from Home store live in India: What's newAlso Read - Amazon Fire TV Cube (2nd Gen) launched in India: It comes with Alexa integration
The Gionee S6s doesn t have a distinguishing design language, and looks a lot like several Chinese smartphones that are available in the market right now. That said, the smartphone does look good with metal back panel and side edges. The corners are slightly curved. It s a 5.5-inch smartphone, and feels slightly large if you are used to 5-inch or smaller smartphones. However, it is light and easy to carry around. On the back panel, the camera setup, fingerprint scanner and Gionee logo are symmetrically placed, which further adds to its aesthetics. There are speakers at the bottom of the back panel. Also Read - Amazon Pay to soon start facilitating small loans and insurance for kirana shops
The front is dominated by the display, which has 2.5D glass. On the top you have the LED notification light and front camera. The bottom has touch buttons, which are not backlit. The volume and power buttons are on the right edge, while the left edge has the hybrid SIM card slot. The Gionee S6s may not be a remarkably designed smartphone, but then it feels pretty decently-built device, and looks quite premium too.
The smartphone has a 5.5-inch display with full HD (1080p) resolution, which is quite vibrant. But during my brief usage I didn t find color accuracy to be consistent. Compared to the iPhone 6, colors appeared slightly dull. Moreover, the Gionee S6s has a little blue tint, but some people do prefer their displays to be slightly on the cooler side of the spectrum. Unfortunately, the Gionee S6s doesn t give you different display modes like standard, dynamic or vivid to adjust appearance according to your preference. That said the auto brightness works fine outdoors and indoors.
Now, let s talk about the USP of the smartphone, the 8-megapixel front camera, which comes with a dedicated flash as well as a slew of modes like smoother, whitening, slimming and eye enlarger to make your selfies look better. The smartphone also lets you play with the front flash as well. Either you can choose to use screen flash for moderate illuminating or ‘steady light for the consistent flash light. During my brief usage, the smartphone took some very neat selfies. The images were brighter and cleaner. I did use it in low light as well, and the results weren’t really remarkable but then were good enough. The front flash came in handy in low light. But I think screen flash is more appropriate for low light condition as it doesn t wash out the images. The routine flash can be used in when light is even lesser.
The Gionee S6s comes with a 13-megapixel rear camera with auto-focus. Like seen on the Elife E8, the Gionee S6s too comes with a range of modes like Panorama, HDR, Professional, Magic Focus, Face Beauty, Pic Note and Ultra Pixel. During my brief usage, the camera seemed fast and zippy. Image processing is pretty fast on normal mode, but gets slightly slow on other modes. The rear camera thrives in proper lighting condition. However, it is equally sluggish in the low light with ample of noise and lacks details.
For performance, the Gionee S6s relies on MediaTek 6753 octa-core processor along with 3GB of RAM. The smartphone comes with 32GB of internal storage, which is expandable up to 128GB via microSD card. It runs Amigo 3.2 based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The smartphone is powered by a 3,150mAh battery. Connectivity options include dual-SIM (nano+micro/microSD), 4G, VoLTE, Bluetooth 4.1 and Wi-Fi among others. As is now becoming increasingly popular, the smartphone comes with fingerprint scanner, and supports up to five fingerprints. The scanner recognize the fingerprints almost instantly.
During my brief usage, the smartphone ran fluidly and showed no signs of lag and stutter. I played a few preloaded games like Asphalt Nitro. The graphics looked pretty fine, and didn t heat up much on long sessions of gaming. It handled basic running games like Subway Surfers and Temple Run pretty easily.
As far as the first impressions go, the Gionee S6s looks like a fine mid-range smartphone, and of course a pretty good front camera. But with a price tag of Rs 17,999, it is likely to face stiff competition from popular budget smartphones like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 and Moto G4 Plus, and the OPPO F1s, which is competing in the same selfie-camera territory and is priced at Rs 17,990. And there are smartphones like the Lenovo Vibe X3, which are good looking as well as decent performers. We will be soon putting up a detailed review of the Gionee S6s, stay tuned.