Gionee Elife E8 Review! A 6 Inch Monster!

Gionee recently had a corporate restructuring that lead to major changes in their plan of attack in the Philippine market. One of their trump cards is the Gionee E8 and we're here to see if it holds up to the competition!
Gionee Elife E8 Review!
Gionee Elife E8 Review!

Gionee Elife E8 Specs

Display: 6 Inches QHD AMOLED 2560 x 1440 resolution at 490 ppi
CPU: 2.0 GHz 64 Bit Helio X10 octa core processor
GPU: PowerVR G6200
RAM: 3 GB
ROM: 64 GB expandable via micro SD card slot up to 64 GB
Back Camera: 24 MP f/2.0 w/ PDAF, OIS and dual tone LED flash
Selfie Camera: 8 MP w/ AF
Battery: 3,500 mAh
OS: Android 5.1 Lollipop w/ Amigo OS 3.1
Connectivity: WiFi, 3G, LTE, Bluetooth, GPS, A GPS, NFC, dual SIM, dual Standby
Others: HiFi Audio, dual speakers, fingerprint sensor, dedicated camera button
Dimensions: 164 x 82.3 x 9.6 mm 
Weight: 210 g
Price: 23,999 Pesos

Unboxing / Accessories

Inclusions inside
Inclusions inside

The box is huge for today's standards. We find out why its big when we popped it open. It is full of accessories! It had the following: power plug, USB cord, In-ear monitors, Screen Protector, Interchangeable back cover with Flip Cover, and NFC Tags. It seems overwhelming the consumer with accessories is one of their new strategies to add value to the purchase of the device.

Build Quality / Design

Faux Brushed Gold Plastic Cover with chrome details
Faux Brushed Gold Plastic Cover with chrome details

One of the stronger aspects of this device is its outward design. It looks absolutely stunning with its brushed Aluminium finish, and bright 6 inch AMOLED display. The only gripe I have with the outward design is the sharp edges on its metal frame and the flimsy manual buttons (Power button, Volume Rocker and Dedicated Camera Button). It feels a little less than polished because of these.
The huge Display with the physical buttons all on the right side!
The huge Display with the physical buttons all on the right side!

The flip cover is sturdy, and is permanently sealed to the accompanying back cover. It has a 3:4 Parallelogram slit for quick glances of the clock, of the notifications, and for the quick Camera shot feature with the flip cover still folded onto the phone.
3.5 mm headphone jack on top!
3.5 mm headphone jack on top!
Micro USB port and mic below
Micro USB port and mic below
The volume rocker and the power button on the right
The volume rocker and the power button on the right

Along the top and the bottom of the metal frame are the antenna gates. You will also find on top the 3.5 mm headphone jack; In contrast, you will find the micro USB port at the bottom.

Placing all the manual buttons at the right side was an interesting choice and may take a while to get used to. Capacitive buttons are reliable but don't seem to light-up with my use of the device. The placements are as follows: the home button on the middle, the recent apps on the left and the the back button is on the right.

Note: There's also a dedicated camera button on the lower right side of the handset

Display Quality

Look at those viewing angles!
Look at those viewing angles!

At its price point, it is only fitting that it bears a bright and vibrant 6 inch AMOLED display. The colors are vibrant while the blacks are deep. The 10 point multi touch screen itself is very responsive and it never misses. 
10 points of multitouch!
10 points of multitouch!

Sound Quality

Speaker placement is concentrated at the back so it can get muffled when placed screen-up on a surface. It is fairly loud, but we want it to be louder. At least Gionee placed a speaker setup that's louder than My36 with little to non distortion even if you crank it all the way up.

Touted as a real HiFi ready smartphone, the sound quality is the second best we've heard from so far. The highs, mids, and the lows are above average which can play tunes in mid-audiophile level sound.

The in-ear monitors that comes with it doesn't disappoint. In fact, it is one of best in-ear monitor that was bundled with a mobile device that I heard so far. Sonically it is just a tad below the RHA MA450i priced at around 2.4K Pesos.

Lastly, mic and call quality is also very good in this one.

Battery Life

7 hours and 26 minutes of on-screen time!
7 hours and 26 minutes of on-screen time!

For everyday use of calling, texting, chatting, Youtube, social media, and  e-mail productiviy, the Gionee is able to last a whole day without problem. What is impressive is 7 hours of on screen time on Geekbench!

The 3500 mAh may seem to be a lot but for a 6 inch phone but it can be tough. Luckily the phone supports quick charge at 2 amperes. The phone charges from 0 to 100 in less than two hours. Not too bad. My Samsung Galaxy Note which had a 3000mAh battery charges for 90 minutes. It makes sense that it took a little more to reach full power.

Camera

The Main camera doesn't disappoint. It even surprises because in CERTAIN situations the photographs it produces can almost go toe-to-toe with Samsung Galaxy Note 5's photograph.

The in-house camera app carries several software features like HDR, Professional mode, Ultrapixel mode and the like. Like most camera app features, they work most of the time and are a nice to have but I personally don't see myself use them most of the time. It also has a manual spot metering mode for you to adjust lighting effectively. Flash is pretty bright as well and doesn't over expose.

Note: Selfie camera needs improvement for me, as it doesn't take photos that accurately.

Video capability-wise, the main camera can take 4K videos with image stabilisation while the secondary camera can take up to 720P videos with image stabilisation. The videos it pushes out is decent, and it would be enough to please the masses.

Rear camera samples

Bright lighting conditions
Bright lighting conditions
Macro sample
Macro sample
Dim lighting
Dim lighting
Super low light (cropped)
Super low light (cropped)

Selfie camera samples

Selfie Cam Action! It is grainy up close even in bright conditions!
Selfie Cam Action! It is grainy up close even in bright conditions!
Beautify mode
Beautify mode (decent selfies if you're not moving)
Lowlight selfie
You need steady hands in taking photos especially in the dark (notice the blur at the back)

Note: For unknown reasons, we cannot upload the 4K video on YouTube, but they're good and has decent stabilization.

Performance

Benchmarks
Benchmarks

With an Antutu Score just below the Nexus 6 and the LG G4, this phone is indeed the monster from Gionee. What is even more appealing is that the phone almost never became alarmingly hot when using or playing power intensive apps like asphalt 8 or 4K video recording. In fact, it took at least 10 minutes of continues 4K video recording did it become somewhat warm to the touch.
Software performance
Software performance

A powerful processor with 3GB of RAM is enough to push enough power to never make it stutter or lag. We were able to play Asphalt 8 for an extended period without heating issues or slow downs. We are pretty happy with most of the software experience.

The only gripe we had with the home-brewed software is the launcher. Some of its unique set ups could take a while to get used to. One of which is that the notifications and quick settings are separated. The quick settings can be found by swiping from the bottom while the Notifications can be found by swiping down which is similar to iOS.

Pros - bright and vibrant screen, stellar main camera, beautiful and solid design, Sound Quality is true Hi-Fi
Cons - price point is a little steep, speaker placement could be better, sharp metal frame 

Verdict

If money is not an object, then this phone should be in your consider list; however, for its price we would hesitate a bit considering we can get the LG G4 at this price point. Buy this if you need to have a 6 inch powerhouse with great camera.

GIZ Rating: 4.25/5 Stars
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