After launching several Android-based smartphones in the low and mid-end segments, China-based Gionee, which has good presence in countries such as Vietnam, Taiwan, Myanmar, Thailand and the Middle East has forayed into the flagship segment. Although this segment is already well defined with specific set of devices, especially led by device makers such as Samsung, Apple, Sony, HTC and Microsoft, so how much will Gionee be able to cut with its recently launched Elife E8, only time will tell. Priced at R34,999, the device is bundled with an impressive camera, stunning display, great speaker output and a clean user interface but will the user invest in E8? Let us look into the device.
Out of the box, the first thing that may come to your mind is that the E8 more or less looks like a small size tablet. It has 6-inch quad-HD display with a screen resolution of 1140 x 2560 pixels and is protected by Gorilla Glass 3. The display is sharp and vibrant. You can read in direct sunlight and also adaptive display works fine indoors.
You may have to spend some time with the device to get an idea of capacitive touch keys as they are unlit. The detachable rear panel is home to Gionee branding in the centre, along with rear camera and LED flash on the top. The back is also home to a speaker grille. The power and volume rocker keys are placed at the right edge while the left is completely free from any distraction. Gionee has also brought back a dedicated camera button that is placed on the right edge. With a thickness of 9.6 mm and weight of 207 grams, the device is little heavy and bulky but still it is comfortable to hold and operate.
The Elife E8 runs on the latest Android 5.0.1 and its entrails are powered by Helios X10, Mediatek’s premium chipset that clock at 2 GHz along with PowerVR G6200 GPU and 3 GB of RAM. The Octa-core X10 is the first of the Helios series of chipsets that MediaTek has launched to compete directly with latest Snapdragon 800 series processors.
On the camera front, Elife E8 is the real performer. It comes with a 24-megapixel auto focus LED flash rear camera and a 8-megapixel front camera with flash and BSI sensor. The camera division is supported by some impressive technologies such as BSI Sensor, Ultra Pixel and PDAF (Phase Detection Autofocus) and also there is a Lossless Zoom up to 4X, Smart Scene and dual-tone LED flash. During the test shoot of photo and video, I was able to click some quality pictures and video with fine details. Elife E8 is indeed a phone for shutterbugs.
The device is packed with a non-replaceable 3500mAh battery. It has a decent standby time and can easily last between 8-10 hours with multitasking and continuous data usage. The device supports dual SIM and connectivity options include Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, 3G, 4G.
In totality, Elife E8 is an impressive phone with good camera quality, stunning display, good speaker output and clean UI. It is a flagship product and targeted at high-end but if you are a shutterbug and looking for a smartphone with maximum specifications and powerful camera, this could be your price catch.