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At the recent MWC (Mobile World Congress) 2016, Gionee announced their latest smartphone S8, along with their new logo. Gionee Elife S8 is an upgrade to its predecessor S7, which was launched last year. The S8 is Gionee’s narrowest 5.5-inch metal phone, which is only 74.9 mm wide. The S8 is being projected as a camera centric phone. Here are some details about the Gionee S8 which were noticed at Mobile World Congress at Barcelona.
The Gionee Elife S8 has a metal body all around, which cannot be opened. According to Gionee, it is an invisible antenna loop design, but when we looked at it closely, we were able to observe the antenna strip right along the rear edge. The phone is designed in such a way that it feels good in the hand and is not at all slippery as we expected it to be. There are no sharp corners around the edges. The dual SIM card slot is located on the left-hand side of the phone at the center, and on the right, there is the volume rocker and power key. There is the speaker grill at the bottom left, a USB C port in the center and the 3.5 mm audio jack.
At the back, there is the primary camera on the top left, which has an LED flash beside it. At the center, on the back, there is the Gionee’s new logo, which is inspired by smileys. At the front, there is a 5.5 inch full HD display and the bezels on its sides are quite slim. There is the home button at the base, which also houses a fingerprint scanner. On either side of it, there is a soft multi-tasking key and the soft back button. The phone measures 154.3 x 74.9 x 7 mm (6.07 x 2.95 x 0.28 in) and weighs 147.2 gm. Despite the 5.5 inch display, the phone feels quite handy on the palm, and can be used with one hand easily. It is available in three colours: Grey, Gold and Rose Gold.
The display used in Gionee Elife S8 is a 5.5-inch AMOLED display with 1080p resolution and is covered with 2.5D glass. It is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 4. It is a very sharp display, and its blacks are deep. Gionee has added a new feature, which was present in Apple iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, the 3D touch functionality. It works the same way as in iPhone. Long pressing the camera icon brings up the options to shoot videos, selfies or snapshot. Upon continuously pressing the home page animates the wallpaper and similarly different similar options like iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Gionee said that they are working with app developers to bring the 3D touch functionality to feature on more apps. You can also bring up the apps quickly by hard pressing on the edges.
The Gionee Elife S8 runs on Mediatek’s Helio P10 or the MT6755 chipset, which has an octa-core processor running max at 1.9 GHz. The P10 belongs to midrange series in the MediaTek hierarchy of chipsets. The GPU used is Mali T860MP2. All this is backed by 4GB of RAM. The benchmark results will come out once we get our hands on at the phone after its release. But as far as the configuration is concerned, it looks like an excellent handset. And yes, it is just a prediction with a fair percentage of truth.
This device sports Android 6.0 Marshmallow, which is tweaked with Gionee’s proprietary Amigo 3.2 UI. Gionee said they had made a lot of optimizations on their new variant of Amigo skin. You can use two WhatsApp apps for different SIMs on the same device. But as we have seen in the past on Gionee’s other handsets, the user interface stutters during usage on S8 as well. We will need a lot of time with the phone after its release, to be able to get a clear idea about the Amigo 3.2 UI.
The phone also has 64GB of internal storage, which can be further increased to 256 GB using a microSD card.
The Gionee Elife S8 has a 16-megapixel primary camera, with an RWB sensor, having a f/1.8 aperture. It comes with both phases detect AF and laser AF, which must give quick AF acquisition speeds. On the front, there is an 8-megapixel selfie camera, with a quarter inch sized sensor. The camera app used in S8 is quite similar to the camera app we saw on Elfie E8. It also has time lapse and slow motion video shooting modes. There is a video editor app bundled by Gionee, which lets you make and edit videos on your own or you can also use its presets which are demarcated based on time. On the video mode, there’s beautified video mode, and on the skin camera, the lightning skin feature works with non-facial skin portions as well. The camera also supports animated GIFs, mood captures, and barcode scanning as well. It has lots of features, which we will be able to check after its release.
The battery packed under the hood of Gionee Elife S8 is a non-removable 3000mAh battery, which seems quite good. But obviously, in the matter of battery, nothing can be said without testing. The specs of this device are quite heavy, and we cannot say how this 3000mAh battery would react to such configurations. Also, there was no mention of quick charging and wireless charging support. So we cannot say anything sure about it either.
For connectivity, this is a dual SIM phone which supports 4G+. The rest of the connectivity options are Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, Hotspot; Bluetooth 4.0, A2DP, GPS with A-GPS, FM Radio and microUSB v2.0, USB Host.
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