Gionee ELife S5.5: Delightfully thin

Written by Vikram Chaudhary | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 14 2014, 07:28am hrs
The first person calls it blade, the second person says like a glass, the third says gracefully thin, and the fourth exclaims like a supermodel! These are opinions from some executives whom I had met at a corporate dinner, when I showed them the Gionee ELife S5.5 that I had for review. The ELife S5.5, for the record, is not only the slimmest phone in the world, it actually redefines slimness. Consider this, the ELife S5.5 gets the worlds thinnest back cover (at 0.4 mm) and the thinnest front cover (0.55 mm). Both the back and front have Gorilla Glass protection to guard against scratches. Further, 98% of the S5.5 is built with metal and glassthe metal body, in fact, is durable magnesium alloy, a combination of hardness with softness to bring maximum protection to the phone. The edges are tapered and this adds to the grip.

The S5.5 sports a five-inch, full-HD, super AMOLED display (with 16 million colours). The brightness levels of the screen are high, viewing angles are quite good and colour reproduction is just right. So, watching videos, reading documents, and playing games is a joy on this display.

Next, the camera. While the rear primary camera is a 13-megapixel unit with auto focus that gets features such as face beauty, panorama (horizontal and vertical), eraser, face detection, geo-tagging, touch focus, 40 snaps in one click, smile shot and more, the front camera is a 5-megapixel ultra-wide angle lens. Both the cameras produce really good imagesprovided there is ample lightand the front one, especially, is great for video chatting. Here I must add that we made some really good videos with the phones rear camera and what added to the joy was the playbackthe S5.5 gets DTS 3D Surround Sound that makes watching videos/movies on it an immersive experience. A very cute feature is the CharmCam, an app, that gives you various shooting mode options.

Coming to the operating software, the S5.5 gets Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, while its CPU is Octa-core 1.7 GHz Cortex A7. It gets 2 GB RAM and 16 GB storage but, unfortunately, the phone doesnt come with a microSD card slot to increase storage. Although Gionee has been able to fit a lot of hardware in such a slim body, a slim body has its drawbacks. No, I am not indicating that the body is feeble, it is that the phone tends to get warm after some usage. For instance, when I used 3G on the S5.5 for more than 30 minutes, I could feel the warmth on my palm. Similarly, when I played Temple Run game on it for long enough, I could feel the warmth. But the good news is that this heating up doesnt really slow down the phone. Another nice thing is that the S5.5 comes equipped with a digital compass.

Now, the battery. The ELife S5.5 comes with a 2300 mAH battery that, though, is decent, but it does exhaust with heavy usage; so you have to keep the charger handy.

For R22,999 (the actual store price may turn out to be lesser), is the ELife S5.5 value-for-money Considering the fact that it does get Galaxy range equalling features, the ELife S5.5 is a decent buy. Moreover, the kind of attention it receives is priceless. Only if it had a microSD card slot to

increase storage.