Not too long ago, Gionee launched their flagship phone, the Gionee Elife E6 (read our review here). However, it’s not only the flagship phone that they introduced here in the Philippines. They’ve also introduced the entry level Gionee Pioneer P6. Understandably, it has much more modest specs than that of the Elife E6.
Gionee Pioneer P2 Specs
- 1.3 GHz dual core Cortex A7 processor
- 512 MB RAM
- 512MB ROM, expandable up to 32GB microSD card
- 4″ WVGA TFT display (480 x 800 pixels) 233 ppi Multi-Touch Screen Display
- Dual SIM
- 5 MP Fixed-focus Rear Camera With LED Flash
- 0.3 MP Front Camera
- FM Radio
- 1700 MAh Battery
- Android 4.2 Jellybean
That’s pretty decent specs for an entry-level camera. With a SRP of PHP 4,490, though, it tends to be pretty pricey. But you do get GPS, something rarely found in entry-level phones. And it’s not priced too ridiculously like their Gionee Elife E6. Overall build quality is above average for phones in this classification. Before I share what I think about this device, here are the box contents: unit, usb cable, charger, screen protector, earphones, warranty card, and a jelly case.
Design and Construction
Like its bigger sibling, the aesthetic has a premium feel to it. I think it’s one of Gionee’s trademarks. Then again, they seem want to be limped together with big-name manufacturers like Samsung and LG. Heck, even their flagship phone has a certain Apple-ness feel to it.
For the Gionee Pioneer P2, its looks seem to shout out “I’m more than a budget phone!”, which is a good thing. But don’t expect too much, though. The best I can describe it is that it looks like a high-end budget phone. That’s how umch of an oxymoron it is.
Hardware-wise, the phone is pretty solid as far as budget phones go. In fact, it’s at the higher end of the spectrum. Starting with the display, the screen does a good job for the most part, though you won’t see yourself playing hardcore games here. But it gets the job done for simple reading and casual games. It took me a while to adjust, though, because of the screen size. But that mostly due to personal preference. For the price and the specs, the screen’s ok.
Gionee P2 runs acceptably well when using moderate tasks. You won’t have any problems when using the phone aspect. However, things start to bog down when trying to maximize the “smart” aspect of the smartphone. You could really feel the need of more RAM sometimes. It could tax Jellybean’s Project Butter to its limits. Then again, entry-level phones aren’t meant for power users to begin with. You’d really appreciate the generous 1700mAh battery! Battery life is above average.
Software and UI
Like its bigger sibling, this phone uses Gionee’s own skin, the Amigo UI on top of JB 4.2. So, unlike other “budget” brands, Gionee is taking strides to differentiate itself from the rest not just hardware-wise, but software-wise as well. And like other manufacturer OEMs, the Amiga UI strays really far away from vanilla Android. Some like it, some don’t.
Personally, I’m not a fan. As much as possible, I would like my Android as AOSP as possible. However, it’s not to say that the Amiga UI isn’t good. Actually, there are some components here and there that make it shine. Unfortunately, I feel that at times it tries to do too much but the modest hardware specs bog it down. More often than not, you’d experience some lag. It doesn’t make the phone unusable, though, and some of the gesture-based features you’d really like. I just wish that these manufacturers would instead add these features in the app level, so to speak, instead of baking it into the OS. Or, they should look at how the XPosed Framework do their customs and learn from them.
Again, I honestly feel that it needs at least 1GB RAM to accommodate the amount of additional stuff. But for the price, we can’t really complain.
One of the good things about this phone is that it gives you a 5MP shooter when its other spec-wise brethren could just usually scrounge up to just 3MP. But don’t get your hopes up. As we say in the photography world: Megapixels aren’t everything, and this phone exemplifies it. Image quality is serviceable, but you can’t expect anything beyond that. Low-light shots are especially bad, though given the specs, I really shouldn’t be hoping for much.
As far as budget phones go, the Gionee Pioneer P2 performed very well. Despite the performance issues being bestowed by the Amigo UI, it’s still quite intuitive to use. Battery life is also top-notch. Overall, I can say that it’s a good budget phone.
But is it worth PHP 4,499? Now, that where it gets tricky. On most counts, its performance doesn’t stray too far away for the other budget pones of similar internals but cost PHP 1.5k less like the O+8.31z, Cherry Mobile Life, and MyPhone Agua Rain 3G. But, if you take into account it’s design, the above average screen resolution, and the relatively excellent bettery life, then that could make the higher price tag a little worthwhile.
Gionee seem to be trying to poise themselves as the high-end side of budget phones (yeah, that oxymoron again) and it clearly shows in their products. However you think about it, though, what I can safely say is this: between their flagship Elife E6 and this phone, Gionee Pioneer P2 is hands-down able to give you more bang for the buck. Yes, it’s pricier than its contemporaries, but at the same time, it’s able to give you much more. In fact, if Gionee Pioneer P2 was priced at just PHP 4k, then I’d really be singing a more positive note, hands down.
As it is, it isn’t too much of a bad deal. If you’ll have to choose between its contemporaries, it all boils down to whether you need the GPS on a budget phone or not. Do remember that opening the GPS could siphon your battery life considerably. Also, Android doesn’t have a very good offline navigation app yet, so you’d be using mobile data if you’re not within wiFi range. If you’re a Smart, Sun, or Talk ‘N Text subscriber, then there’s good news for you on that regard. Then again, GPS is used by apps that aren’t navigation-based. It means that your budget phone can use FourSquare, Facebook check-ins, or even some camera pass that make use of your coordinates. All for less than 5,000? You decide.