Hands on and first impressions of the Gionee Elife S7!


Gionee created quite a lot of hype for the Elife S7 which was eventually showcased at the Mobile World Congress this year, and strictly on a device level (excluding the price factor, that is), the phone has so far proven to be a win for the company.

The Elife S7 was launched in India yesterday, i.e., on April 4th for 24,999 INR (US$400) where we spent some hands on time with the device. The phone is extremely thin and feels well built, but if that will translate in to heating issues is yet to be seen.

Elife S7 (21)

Before speaking more about the phone, let us take a quick recap over the specs; the phone has a 5.2-inch, Gorilla Glass 3 covered Super AMOLED display with a 1920 x 1080p resolution to churn out a decent 424 ppi; it’s powered by the popular MediaTek MT6752 processor that we’ve seen on a few Chinese phones, along with 2GB of RAM and a 13 mega-pixel / 8 mega-pixel camera set. Despite being as thin as the erstwhile thinness king Elife S5.5, the Elife S7 packs a 2700mAh battery.

Elife S7 (22)

The dual SIM phone also has 16GB of on-board storage and support for LTE networks thanks to the built-in modem of the MT6752. Bands supported are: B38/39/40 on TDD LTE, and B3/7 on  FDD LTE. The Elife S7 runs Lollipop out of the box, overlaid by Gionee’s Amigo 3.0 UI.

Elife S7 (19)

The phone is made out of a metal chassis, which Gionee call ‘U-shaped’ (the effect is felt on the edges), which make the phone feel thinner than it actually is.  The device itself is available in three colour variants, Black, White and Blue (which looks more like emerald).

Elife S7 (20)

The display seemed vibrant and bright, and a lot less saturated than usual Samsung phones that offer Super AMOLED panels. This might actually probably be to many people’s taste, including me.

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Elife S7 (25)

The design itself may appear a little crude on pictures, but the phone is in fact pretty comfortable to hold and use from one hand. It might take you a little time to get used to the extreme thinness, however.

Gionee Elife S7 Gallery

Based on the time that we spent with the phone, the device seemed very snappy with the OS in general. We’ll wait for an extended hands on session with the phone before giving the final verdict, though. It will be interesting to see if the heat dissipation tech that Gionee has put into the Elife S7 actually works… company president William Lu and India CEO Arvind Vohra made quite a big deal out of it at the presentation.

Elife S7 (3)

At 24,999 INR (US$403), I feel that the Elife S7 might be a tad overpriced. Make no mistake, the processor is extremely capable and the build and design are eye candy, but I don’t see a reason why any buyer of today would rather go for the Elife S7 at US$403 instead of other options such as the OnePlus One and Xiaomi Mi 4. Also, 2GB RAM on a US$400 phone sounds a little optimistic on Gionee’s part, in my opinion.

Do let us know what camp you would rather join, and why!

Previous Infocus M330 released in India for Rs 9,999
Next Kingzone Z1 Review: Hot or not?

38 Comments

  1. April 5, 2015

    In Romania price equivalent is about 415 dollars for the rebrand Allview X2 Soul PRO.
    Deliveries will begin in the month of May 2015 .
    Allview brand is also present in Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Moldova, Slovakia, Greece, Bosnia -Herzegovina and Poland .

    • April 5, 2015

      Hmmm… And what do you think about the pricing?

      • April 5, 2015

        Can buy 2 jiayu s3 or iocean rock for the price

        • Xalis
          April 6, 2015

          Or nearly 3 Mlais M52.

      • April 6, 2015

        Yes, it is a little expensive being a difference of $ 40 to a Samsung S5 .
        The bigger issue would be linked to Elife E7 equivalent of that here cost around 390 dollars, Allview X1 Xtreme .

  2. Srinath
    April 5, 2015

    Price for a third grade brand handset with a third grade custom UI should not be in the mid twenties. There are plenty of capable 6752 phones available for much lesser, with 99% of the specs covered (except the Amoled display).

    Tough luck Gionee, this one’s a pass in India, and something tells me elsewhere as well, given the plethora of awesome 6752 phones currently available, and in the pipeline.

    • April 5, 2015

      That’s sad but true. It is as if Gionee just doesn’t want to sell it’s phones.

  3. sandro
    April 5, 2015

    I am curious for the iOcean X9 right now instead of the 403 Dollar Gionee E7 and I believe it will be much cheaper.

  4. Crake
    April 5, 2015

    “… Elife S7 at US$403 instead of other options such as the OnePlus One and Xiaomi Mi 4… ”
    Maybe because it is a dual sim, no???

    • April 5, 2015

      Good point, but I personally don’t think the premium is justified despite the Elife S7 having the dual SIM feature.

  5. iKosh
    April 5, 2015

    Love the device, hate the price.

  6. eliHd
    April 5, 2015

    $400!!? Are they drunk!? What’s the sensor for the camera?

    • balcobomber25
      April 6, 2015

      Gionee phones use Omnivision sensors. I have a used a few Blu phones (rebranded Gionees) and they all had very good to excellent cameras.

      • eliHd
        April 6, 2015

        Is it as good as Samsung s5 camera (as prev comment below) or even Sony imx214 sensor tho. $300 max this phone should cost imo

        • balcobomber25
          April 7, 2015

          I haven’t been able to figure out exactly what sensor they are using in this one. Omni makes several very good sensors that are as good or better than anything from Sony or Samsung. Omni is the main supplier for the Iphone camera which even though I hate Apple they have excellent cameras.

  7. Owsley_66
    April 5, 2015

    Another “not impressed” moment. Asus Zenfone 2 with 5.5″ display is not much larger so I think it’s a fair comparison. Right now on Ebay, I can buy the ZE551ML 2gb/32gb version for U.S. $299. This is the version that supports a multitude of 4G bands in Europe and the U.S. However, I have seen the same Zenfone 2 model on sale for $379 (perhaps that’s the 4gb model) but even so I think it’s a much better phone than the Elife S7 based on the price and because of all the supported 4G bands, cameras, etc.

    I
    Sorry about the size of that link, but it takes you to the Zenfone seller who is exporting from Taiwan.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Asus-ZenFone-2-ZE551ML-5-5-32GB-Android-OS-Smartphone-Red-Free-Ship/151635519316?_trksid=p2047675.c100012.m1985&_trkparms=aid%3D444000%26algo%3DSOI.DEFAULT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D28790%26meid%3D12a7f8f869874e6dbd45f144ecd3fd5b%26pid%3D100012%26rk%3D5%26rkt%3D10%26sd%3D151615928741

  8. George
    April 5, 2015

    R. I. P Elite S7

  9. Adam Irvine
    April 5, 2015

    Ye….. That ain’t happening is it…

  10. Angry Mobile Nerd
    April 5, 2015

    The price is what it is because they’re actually trying to come out with a cheaper alternative to the Oppo R5 and Vivo x5 Max which are both around 30,000 INR.

  11. Stef
    April 5, 2015

    What is its dimensions? The ones on their website are blatantly false (Gionee better be sued about that as they falsely inform people in a manner which may convince them to buy a product that is not at all how they describe it).

    The dimensions reported as being similar to those of Xiaomi Mi4 but when their profiles are compared the Gionee is a lot bigger. So what gives? A phablet sized phone quoting phone size dimensions? This type of misinformation ought to be considered a crime, no?

  12. Sere83
    April 5, 2015

    LOL @ $400, they must be smoking something funny over at Gionee if they think they are going to sell many of these at that price. Meizu M1 note has basically the same spec and costs literally half the price.

    • stan
      April 6, 2015

      agreed, MT6752 is mid-tier SoC and spec are mir-tier too, so $400 is too steep for my taste. I think design alone won’t be able to attract buyers.

  13. dear
    April 5, 2015

    for this price ,here in Australia I can buy a

    Samsung Galaxy S5 4G LTE Dual Sim SM-G900FD
    with local warranty and service

  14. 3_nity
    April 6, 2015

    Notification led, please?

    • April 6, 2015

      Does have one. Take a look at the last few photos on the gallery.

  15. Cpaun
    April 6, 2015

    It’s pricey but let’s be fair: it’s a lot of tech inside a thin phone. I’m personally impressed by the battery size. Anyway, the price will probably go down in a few months…

  16. Still-considering
    April 6, 2015

    The Elife E7 has a very good camera. Is this camera anywhere near as good?
    The E7 is available for 180$ at antelife

    • Oz
      April 7, 2015

      $160 at Gearbest (black only) – on special.

      • Oz
        April 7, 2015

        I meant Elife E7 for $160 from Gearbest. You can get white now.

  17. April 6, 2015

    $400 is reasonable if it had the upcoming flagship MT6796, but overpriced with the mid-tier MT6752.

  18. billybloggs
    April 6, 2015

    Think I will leave this one alone

  19. balcobomber25
    April 6, 2015

    Needs to drop about $150 before I would even consider it, and I love Gionee phones. For half the price I can buy the Blu Vivo IV/Gionee S5.5 which looks just as good and isn’t that far off in the specs department. For even less money you can buy the E7 last years flagship with a Snapdragon 800 chip, 3 GB RAM and one of the best camera’s available on a smartphone. I see massive price cuts in the future of this phone.

  20. SPLEND1D
    April 7, 2015

    too expensive. Full stop. Just because it’s thin they try to sell testicles as kidneys :/

  21. GTester
    April 7, 2015

    If they support custom rom developer (Cyanogen Mo). Why NOT 🙂

  22. April 8, 2015

    The actual cost of this Gionee Elife S7 Smartphone should certainly be lesser than the announced price of $403… Really dont get any tough competition at this cost!!!

  23. Faux-News
    April 8, 2015

    As usual people compare this with phones like One plus one when it isnt falling into the same category in the first place.