Hands on: Gionee Elife E7

“Attempts to redefine VFM in the same vein as the Google Nexus 5” Following the international launch of its flagship Android smartphone the Elife E7 last month in China, Gionee has now unveiled the device for the Indian market as well. The smartphone will be making its way to the customers next year in two variants, with differences in internal storage and RAM as well. The Elife E7 will be made available in a 16GB storage variant sporting 2GB of RAM priced at Rs 26,999, and there will be a 32GB variant which will come with a massive 3GB of RAM, carrying a sticker price of Rs 29,999. We got a chance to get our hands on the device during the launch event, and here are our first impressions. The Elife E7 comes encased in a glossy unibody. Although the glossy finish is definitely a fingerprint magnet, it looks good on the big 5.5-inch display-bearing smartphone. The Elife E7 has an impressive curvy design at the back that aids in grip. At its slimmest point, the Elife E7 measures 6.2mm, which is the slimmest ever for any Android smartphone till date. However, due to its camera module that bulges out quite a bit, the thickness is increased to about 9.5mm at the thickest point. As for weight, at 150 grams the E7 is not really the lightest, but is still quite lightweight considering its large footprint. Designers have resorted to a minimal bezel for the E7 making it comfortable for single-handed usage. However, the power key is placed topside, making it a tad difficult to reach out in one-handed operation scenarios. Thankfully, the display gets pressure sensors that allow users to unlock the device just by a double tap or by drawing a custom gesture on the display. In terms of colour options, the Elife E7 comes in the black and white along with blue, green and yellow hues as well. The Elife E7 comes with a 5.5-inch full HD display built using LTPS (Low-temperature polycrystalline silicon). To protect the display, Gionee has opted for the third generation Corning Gorilla Glass that offers better protection against scratches and knocks as compared to earlier generations. The overall experience of the display is good, and it offers bright and vibrant visuals while not over saturating colours, which has been a common problem with Samsung’s Super AMOLED displays. With the Elife E7, Gionee has gone full throttle and has not compromised anywhere. To power the device, Gionee has opted for the industry-leading Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor. Along with that, the 2GB and 3GB RAM options are a big welcome as performance-seeking users get more choice. While the hardware definitely makes the E7 fluid to use even with multitasking, we’ll reserve our judgement till we get the our hands on a review unit in the coming days. The camera is the main USP of the Elife E7, and the company claims it’s the best Android camera till date. We won’t really comment on its performance till we actually try it out for ourselves, but on paper at least, the shooter looks quite impressive. The 16-megapixel sensor at the back comes with a 7-element lens setup that claims to produce great images. Along with that, the Elife E7 also gets a 1/2.3 inch image sensor featuring a 1.34-micron pixel size that promises more detail in images captured. The camera app and user interface have been upgraded offering multiple image capture modes as well. In the front there is an 8-megapixel camera, which is also the biggest ever on any Android device till date. Overall, the Gionee Elife E7 comes in as a strong contender for the VFM device segment, just like the Google Nexus 5, and we can expect it to be a big hit in the country when it launches next month. One thing is for sure: with the Elife E7, Gionee has started a new price war and that would make the international brands like Samsung, LG and Sony rethink their pricing strategies for upcoming devices.

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