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Gionee A1 Lite Unboxing and First Impressions

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Last October 2017, Gionee has officially introduced the A1 Lite in the Philippines. It's a selfie-centric smartphone with 20MP front facing camera sensor.
Gionee A1 Lite Unboxing and First Impressions
Meet Gionee A1 Lite

Fast forward early 2018, the Gionee A1 Lite finally landed in our lab for full testing and review. However, we discovered that its chipset is already 3 years old.

Can this handset still compete with the newer mid-rangers? 

Here's our take!

Gionee A1 Lite Specs

Display: 5.3-inch HD IPS 1280 x 720 resolution w/ 2.5D curved glass and Gorilla Glass 3 protection at 277 ppi
CPU: 1.3GHz 64-bit MT6753 octa-core processor
GPU: Mali-T720
RAM: 3GB 
ROM: 32GB expandable via microSD card slot up to 64GB (dedicated)
Back Camera: 13MP f/2.0 w/ PDAF and dual tone LED flash
Selfie Camera: 20MP f/2.0 w/ LED flash
Battery: 4,000mAh
OS: Android 7.0 Nougat w/ Amigo UI 4.0
Connectivity: WiFi, 3G, LTE, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Others: Fingerprint sensor, Colors: gold, red, black
Dimensions: 154.5 x 76.5 x 8.5 mm
Weight: 182 g
Price: PHP 12,999

The A1 Lite review unit we have was seeded by Gionee Philippines for our unbiased review.

Unboxing / Accessories

Unboxed!

Gionee is consistent! The company's package is fully loaded as usual! Inside, you'll find the speedy 2A USB wall charger, USB 2.0 to micro USB data / charging cables, and a nice type of in-ear monitors with microphone.
Case and screen protector
Case and screen protector

In addition, Gionee also included a SIM ejector tool, TPU clear case, screen protector, microfiber cleaning cloth, and the paper documents.

Build Quality / Design

Metallic design

The A1 Lite arrived with a familiar "metallic" construction. At first, we thought that its mostly made out of metal, but after holding it we determined that its backplate is made out of plastic. In front, the screen is made out of glass and has Corning's Gorilla Glass 3 protection against scratches.

Build is decent, but it could have been better!

The build of the handset generally feels decent. But, it isn't as premium versus most similarly priced mid-range smartphones.
Below
Below
Left
Left
Right
Right

It has a curvy back design, nice chamfered edges, and semi rounded corners. Paint finish is metallic and looks quite nice. Considering that it has a big 4,000mAh battery, we liked that it isn't thick at 8.5 mm. Bezels on the side are not thick too. There's just slight bump on the camera part at the back.


Design is basic and common!

Ergonomics is nice. The phone is isn't that big and it isn't that small too. The size of the phone due to its 5.3-inch screen is just right.

As a result, the phone is handy! It isn't that slippery as well. The fingerprint scanner at the back and the buttons at right are easy to each.

Its Android keys has no backlighting though. But, it has triple slots for dual SIM and microSD card.

Initial findings

Triple slots!
Triple slots!

1. Build quality and design is just alright. We liked that its screen has Gorilla Glass 3 protection. The 5.3-inch screen is unusual, but the size is actually great. It would have been better if the resolution is sharper though.
2. The 3GB RAM and 32GB ROM is decent at this price point. We also like its BIG 4,000mAh battery capacity. However, the MT6753 octa-core chip it is using is already outdated and very slow compared to competition. For example, it will definitely lag against the Helio P23 chip or Snapdragon 450 chip of its similarly priced rival selfie phones.
3. This phone runs with Android 7.0 Nougat OS with Amigo UI 4.0 skin. The Amigo UI 4.0 skin is clean and rich in features.
4. The 13MP f/2.0 main camera w/ PDAF and dual tone LED flash and its 20MP f/2.0 w/ LED flash are promising. The main camera has a night mode and professional mode with shutter speed adjustment. The selfie camera has a nice set of beautification modes.
5. Keys aren't lit and no LED notification light though. But, it has OTG support, reverse charging (power bank mode), and gyroscope sensor for AR and VR apps.

Related: Gionee A1 Lite: First Camera Samples

As of the moment

The Gionee A1 Lite has the potential to be a good mid-range mobile photography and selfie phone with long battery life. However, its processor is already dated. It is noticeably slower versus the competition on our first try.

Full review next!
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