Gionee-Elife-E7-Mini-Review-Philippines-NG

The Gionee Elife E7 Mini is not your traditional miniaturized version of a renowned device. In contrast to its older brother, the Elif E7, this device still sports some high-end quirks which can really make you think twice if this one is really belongs to the ‘Mini’ category.

The Elife E7 Mini packs a MediaTek octa-core processor, unlike the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, which is probably the trifling reason why this device is hailed as an inferior version of the original E7. Also other basis about this claim is the device’s display, 1080p versus 720p. To be fair, HD resolution on a 4.7-inch smartphone isn’t bad at all, as I barely noticed pixels when viewing it on a decent distance. Then we have the 2500mAh battery versus 2200mAh, 2GB and 3GB option of RAM versus 1GB.

Gionee Elife E7 Mini Specs

  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean (Amigo UI), Android 4.4 Kitkat update incoming
  • 4.7-inch capacitive touchscreen (720×1280 HD), ~312ppi
  • 1.7GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6592 processor
  • Mali-450 GPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16GB internal storage
  • microSD support
  • 13-megapixel camera, with autofocus, swivel, and LED flash
  • No secondary camera
  • 3G, Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth, GPS
  • 2100mAh battery

But despite all of the advantages that the Elife E7 has, it’s still obvious that the Gionee Elife E7 Mini packs a lot of punch as well. So, would you love it or leave it? Let’s figure that out:

In a hurry? Check out our video review!

Design

I am seeing a traditional look and feel on this device. The material used is same plastic, which reminds me of the Pioneer P4, also from Gionee, which I have reviewed before. But this has been improved immensely as it feels very nice in the hand. It’s nothing like Samsung plastic, but more of Nokia Lumia quality. Unfortunately, the device’s whole body construction is really covered with this unibody type material, there’s no trace of metal, even on the sides. But nevertheless, the device still feels solid and the matte finish really give it a premium look.Gionee Elife E7 Mini review

The highlight of this device is probably its rotating camera. There’sthis bar at the top that rotates for up to 180˚. This bar houses not only the 13MP camera, but also the flash and the two earpiece (one at the front beside the camera, one at the other side), so you could make and take calls wherever it is rotated. Although, I am not pretty sure how many rotations the camera can take, but not being too trigger happy on turning it may be enough to not eventually damage it over time.Gionee Elife E7 Mini rotating camera

That said, we have here the 4.7-inch IGZO capacitive display with the capacitive buttons at the bottom.Gionee Elife E7 Mini Philippines - NoypiGeeks

The left side only has the clever SIM tray. Clever I say? This one can accommodate two SIM cards, nano and micro, in one tray. It helps lessen the clutter on the device’s sides, giving a more minimalistic look.Design

The right side has volume controls and the lock/power switch.Buttons, ports, sides

The microUSB port, 3.5mm headphone jack and the built-in mic are at the bottom.Back-Gionee-E7-mini

At the back are the Gionee branding and the loudspeakers.Review-Elife-E7-Mini-Gionee

I’m pretty pleased with the device’s overall look and feel. Both the left and the right sides are flat, to increase ergonomics. The bottom is curved, the materials extends directly to the back of the device, while the top is also kinda curved, but has a little more flat-out touch so it matches the shape of the camera when you rotate it at 90˚.

The material choice makes it look elegant and feels decently light in the hands, thanks to its plastic construction. Also, I would like to note that Elife E7 Mini has a unibody construction, which means that the there’s no back panel to pop-out to replace the 2200mAh battery inside. Another limitation is the lack of microSD card slot, which means you are stuck with its 16GB internal storage.

Display

The Elife E7 Mini uses a 4.7″ IGZO HD display, 720 x 1280 resolution, and has 312 pixels-per-inch. The IGZO display was developed by Sharp and known to be more power efficient and entails less production cost compared to other displays like IPS. But, power-saving doesn’t mean the display quality has been sacrificed. The display surely did perform impressively on this one. It had enough brightness and saturation, although the contrast is a little off. And for a 312ppi, sharpness is mediocre yet pleasing in the eyes. Enjoying movies and other media content feels very satisfying as I haven’t encountered any problems with it.Gionee-Elife-E7-Mini-Specs-Price-NG

The device also has some outstanding viewing-angles. Watching content with a group of friends or operating the device in broad daylight is a breeze. The bezels are pretty respectable too, not too thin yet not too thick, just enough for you to not hit the screen mistakenly when you try to reach buttons on the other side.

Software

The Gionee Elife E7 Mini runs on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean out of the box. But I have checked Gionee’s international site and saw a KitKat tag was already on the Elife E7 Mini.  No word from the folks at Gionee Philippines on when it will arrive here in the country, but we’re hopeful that it is on its way especially with Android 5.0 Lollipop now official.

Also, on top of Android, is the brand’s very own Amigo UI. Well, I have praised this interface before for being good-looking and efficient. The gesture implementations are just plain impressive as it could really increase productivity, and also the novelty in using the device. What am I talking about? Let me name a few: First, we have the ‘Knock-knock’ feature, something that became popular with LG devices. What it basically does is it wake the screen by double-tapping it. Also, almost every gesture are being done by swiping up or down; like unlocking and locking the device, dismissing open apps and many more.

Another thing to love on this UI is the overall look of it. Everything just looks so bubbly. From the colorful icons, high resolution wallpapers and the lovely widgets, it’s a pleasure to look at. Everything really adds to the whole user experience.

Here are some of the UI’s actual screenshots:Gionee-Amigo-UI-2.0

Performance

The device is driven by MediaTek’s true octa-core processor Cortex A7, clocked in at 1.7GHz, backed by 1GB of RAM and has a Mali-450MP4 GPU.For that particular chip, the processing power on this one is something to be expected. We’ve seen a lot of devices running on MediaTek’s eight-core processor, I have tested a lot of those devices, and the results are identical on this one. As I’ve noted before, the MT6592 works best on 720p smartphones compared to their 1080p counterparts. The chipset may seem powerful on paper, but I’ve seen it struggle a lot on a few handsets with full HD displays.Gaming-Gionee-E7-Mini-rotating-camera

Everything feels fast and snappy. Every game I throw at it, it ran seamlessly. Multi-tasking is also superb thanks to its 1GB of ram. Although, some might still think this storage amount may not suffice, but thanks to its ultra-efficient Amigo UI, everything’s still bearable. Just don’t expect some heavy app-switching on this one.

Also, the whole navigation experience is not that the fluid. There’s this very strange bumpy or split second lag when browsing the homescreen (which the only thing it has asthe Amigo UI doesn’t have an App drawer). But that’s just it, everything feels fine and powerful. I tried games like the Batman: Arkham Origins and FIFA UT 15, and enjoyed every gaming experience that I had with it.

For better reference, Antutu Benchmark gave it a score of 31942, Which goes to show how powerful this one is. Though, there are still a lot of device with different processor that scored better to this, but on this particular chip, MediaTek’s octa-core processor, it just levels.Antutu benchmark results

The Mali-450 MP GPU is also showing-out on the E7 mini. NenaMark 2 graded it a 59.6fps, rounding it off to 60fps, which safely states that gaming experience is really impressive on this one. And as what I have tested, there’s nothing, even a single frame that dropped.

Audio

I don’t usually include this section on my reviews but now, I’m making an exception as there’s just really something we have to talk about the device’s audio division. What I’m talking about is the extra driver that Gionee pulled-in on this device to bring extra punch to its musicality. The device is packed with DTS’ 3G Surround Sound software. This software treats all your media content with virtual surround sound capability.DTS 3G Surround Sound on Gionee Elife E7 Mini

The settings is pretty straightforward. You got your levels for Focus, Bass Boost and 3D effect and Knobs for Clarity and Space Reverbation. The Focus kinda highlights the tones that are really important on a music or movie (i.e voice of the vocalist/actors). Bass boost is self-explanatory. 3D effect is probably the actual ‘Surround Sound’ effect, it creates  additional dimensions of where the sound comes out, it feels like it’s adding some virtual speakers when I tried it on my headphones. Space reverberation kinda mimics the room that you’re in; the higher the notch, the spacious. While Clarity is perfect when on loudspeaker. It decreases the bass and rave up the treble, perfect to catch those lyrics.

But if the settings look very complex to you, you may just choose from the presets installed. Your choices are Standard, Nature, Surround, Voice and Default.

Camera

This is probably where we should stretch things out. The Elife E7 Mini boasts not only a 13MP camera, but a rotating one. The camera can be spun for up to 180˚, which means it can also be used for selfies. Now, it may be a plus or minus to some as it signifies that there’s no secondary camera on this one, which is in comparison with the actual Elife E7 that has a 16MP primary camera and an 8MP secondary/front-facing camera.Camera-Gionee-E7-Mini

The 13MP camera is a pretty decent shooter for sure. The color reproduction is visually stunning, details are pretty accurate, although the contrast and exposure are dull at times, but playing with the unfussy camera app can easily patch things up. You can easily get your hands with the proper controls like the exposure, saturation, brightness and contrast, playing with these basic settings can improve the look of the photos taken.

Here are some of the shots I’ve taken (auto settings):

Gionee Elife E7 Mini camera samples Gionee Elife E7 Mini outdoor shots Elife-E7-mini-camera-shots Gionee Elife E7 Mini review (4 of 11) Photo samples Low light images using E7 Mini rotating camera Gionee Elife E7 Mini camera review Night-shot-image-photos Camera-samples-Gionee-Elife-E7-mini

This device probably goes to my personal favorites. As an aspiring street photographer, the rotating camera really made taking pictures in public easy, specially for a beginner like me. It makes taking photos in a crowd of people hassle-free without the awkwardness I usually feel. I really did look like I was just making a text when actually, I was taking shots.Yeah, I feel like I’m James Bond.

Not only that it’s for photography enthusiast; this device also makes doing mirror selfies less awkward, or taking pictures of your friends’ displaying weird actions or funny faces, without being caught. It can be used for fun at times, that’s the novelty part.

The device can also take good quality videos, capable of up to 1080p quality. The video section of the camera app also has some dynamic settings option: Video quality (From low to fine), exposure, sharpness hue and saturation. There’s also an EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization) installed which results to a smoother and steady shots.

Battery Life

I’ll give a virtual high-five to the battery performance of the Gionee Elife E7 Mini. For a battery that only has a typical 2200mAh capacity, this one performs a lot better than what I expected. The device can last for up to a and a half day with light to moderate use and 6 to 7 hours with heavy use like non-stop gaming or having a movie marathon. We shall probably thank the power-efficiency of the IGZO display and the power-saving capabilities of MediaTek’s octa-core processor.Gionee-Elife-E7-Mini-battery-life

For a perspective, the device can play 3 to 4 movies on a single charge, perfect for movie marathon. Almost a whole day of casual web browsing over WiFi.

Verdict

The original Elife E7 may have a better spec sheet compared to this version, but taking into account all the goodies that this one has, it can still be considered a prominent device.Gionee-Elife-E7-Mini-Review-NoypiGeeks

This device really delivered impressive performance, thanks to its octa-core processor. The clean and neat Amigo UI 2.0 made Android lovelier, bringing a refreshing feel from the stock Android experience. The beautiful yet power-efficient IGZO display also contributed a lot thanks to its good viewing angles and sunlight legibility. Battery life is very dependable. And of course, the rotating 13MP camera can really come in handy in different situations.

There’s nothing really much to hate about the device. There are probably a lot of other smartphones with better specs and cheaper than this one. But the Elife E7 Mini has a lot to offer too, especially on the camera department which is its main selling point. If you’re in the market for a smartphone with an awesome and innovative camera, then take a look and see if this handset fits your needs.

The Gionee E7 Mini is available nationwide for retail price of Php13,999.

Pros

  • Great build quality
  • Power-efficient and beautiful display
  • Good battery life
  • Innovative 13MP Rotating camera
  • DTS 3D Surround Sound

Cons

  • Some performance glitches
  • Android 4.4 is still on the road
  • Only 1GB of RAM
  • No microSD card slot



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2 Comments

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  1. WARNING: SCAM ALERT! BOYCOTT @gionee philippines
    POOR PRODUCTS & POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE

    JAN 2015 – Bought a brand new Gionee S5.1 (not cheap!)
    FEB 2015 – Gionee S5.1 died and no power and returned it to retailer. Retailer refused to accept phone saying it would take long to fix. Called up Gionee they they will pick it up but they didnt
    April 2015 – still no pick up. Gionee sent me bac to retailer and said they will pick it up.
    May 2015 – Still no update regarding my phone
    June 2015 – after 2 months phone was ok for pick up. Great news: phone was still broken!

    After hours of debate and stress they said they would replace it and deliver to my house.

    PRESENT: No replacement phone. They will return the REPAIRED PHONE. And they are asking me to pick it up at a mall 2 cities away!!!

    BE WARNED STAY AWAY!!!!! THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT CUSTOMERS!!!!! BOYCOTT GIONEE!!!!

  2. No MHL, No Chromecast or Miracast??

    Its Nowadays
    Standard Specs features!

    Take a
    look d specs of some model of Xperia Z2 or Z3 to give anyone’s idea or the
    affordable Starmobile Up Mini (4.4.2 KitKat) which has own Miracast capable to
    screen mirroring your 1080p HD Movies to your Big LCD TV or with this price take
    a look the specification of the O+ Evo 4G Smartphone with LTE and 64-bit Quad
    Core CPU. It is the best “Model Standard Android Nowadays”.