Gionee F205, S11 Lite quick review: Can they take on the Redmi 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro

first_imgGionee this week said that it aims to start the financial year strong and to that effect the company announced two new smartphones for the Indian market – the Gionee S11 Lite and F205. The phones aren’t exactly new per se since they were previously launched in China back in November. So it has taken a little over 5 months for them to make it to the Indian market. The phones have been priced in the budget to mid-range segments and will look to take existing players like the Redmi 5, Redmi Note 5 Pro and even the recently launched Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 to name a few.The Gionee S11 Lite and F205 highlight FullView 18:9 displays and tout impressive selfie cameras among other things. The former has been priced at Rs 13,999 while the latter comes with a Rs 8,999 price tag. I got to play around with both the devices briefly during the event and here are my initial impressions.Talking about the design first, the Gionee F205 comes with a plastic rear body that curves around the edges making it easy enough to hold. The S11 Lite has a more premium look although it also sports a plastic rear panel. However, the rear panel on the mid-ranger has a reflective glassy look to it and it does look a little more appealing than the F205, at least from a distance. The moment you touch the S11 Lite you will notice smudges and that does ten to ruin the look after a while. Both the phones are incredibly light to hold and that’s again largely due to its plastic shell.advertisement One of the highlights of the phones are that they both sport FullView 18:9 displays. The S11 Lite features a 5.70-inch HD+ display, while the F205 comes with a 5.45-inch HD+ display. It doesn’t really bother me that the F205 sports a 720p display, but seeing the same display on the pricier S11 Lite is quite disappointing, considering its competitors like the Redmi Note 5 Pro and Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 both come with FHD+ displays. In my brief time with the devices, I found that the F205’s display was quite dull and the colours looks washed out. The S11 Lite does a little better with colour reproduction, but it is again white dull. Additionally, brightness levels were seemed low especially when using the phone under bright sunlight.I will need to use the phones for a while longer to know how the displays handle videos and gaming. Now the next big thing that the phones highlight is the selfie camera. The Gionee S11 Lite bears a 16-megapixel front sensor while the F205 comes with an 8-megapixel selfie snapper. I briefly used the front cameras indoors and found that the S11 Lite manages to get a good amount of detail and colours, but the F205 has some trouble with letting in light and photos looked a grainy. The S11 Lite also sports dual rear cameras which include a 13-megapixel primary sensor and a 2-megapixel secondary sensor, while the F205 gets a 5-megapixel rear camera. You should also know that the cameras on both the phones come with features like Bokeh Selfie, Group Selfie, Face Beauty and Backlight among other things. I wasn’t able to test the cameras at length and you will have to wait for our in-depth review for more on that. Both the phones run Amigo 5.0 based on Android 7.1 Nougat, which is a little disappointing to see as one does expect phones to run Oreo out-of-the-box by now. The Amigo skin does come with a few pre-loaded apps like UC Browser, WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram and you get a feeling that it is quite cluttered and may to appeal to Android purists. However, Amigo does offer some neat little features like App Clone, Private Space and if that wasn’t enough the company also announced something called Fake Private Space.The skinned software is supported by a 1.4GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8937 chipset on the S11 Lite and a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek processor on the F205. Briefly using the devices, I found that browsing through the UI and opening and closing apps were a little laggy on the F205. The S11 Lite, on the other hand, handled things a more smoothly, but in my brief time with the device I wasn’t able to intensively test the performance.Overall, both the phones feel a little too late to the game. They will face a very stiff competition from phones from Xiaomi and I’m not quite sure if the the S11 Lite and F205 are ready for that. The Redmi 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro offer a little more bang for the buck thanks to their more premium-looking metal design and impressive specs. Gionee’s phones look decent and their 18:9 displays are perhaps their biggest draw, we will need to take an in-depth look to see if they perform well or enough to take on the competition.advertisementALSO READ: Gionee F205, S11 Lite launched in India: Full specs, top features, price and everything you need to knowlast_img

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