Gionee Elife E8 hands on and first impressions


Gionee’s Elife E8 has been around for a while, but it was only late last week when it launched in India that I got to spend time with the rather bulky phone.

Gionee bet big on their entry-level phones, which I’ve been told do extremely well in offline-first markets in India. The higher-end market still doesn’t have as much Gionee in it as its bosses would’ve liked, which is why the company is striving hard to make a name for itself there.

Coming back to the Elife E8, the device had a lot to live up to after the camera antics of the Elife E7, which is still regarded as one of the best camera phones on the market (and it’s really cheap now). Between the Elife E7 and the Elife E8, the tech world saw a lot of improvements, mainly on the screen and camera departments, which Gionee had to include if the Elife E8 had to be a flagship… and they did.

Gionee Elife E89

The Elife E8 has a massive 6-inch 2560 x 1440p display, 3GB of RAM, a MediaTek Helio X10 processor, 64GB on-board storage with a microSD slot for further expansion and a 3500mAh LiPo battery. But if you do buy the Elife E8, it’ll be for the 24 mega-pixel rear camera with PDAF and dual rear flash, and the 8 mega-pixel front-facing camera with autofocus.

Gionee Elife E81

In my short experience with the phone, I found it to be rather bulky (mainly for the size, not the weight) but fairly well built. The golden colour seemed a little too much to go with the already massive size of the device, but then that’s venturing into subjective territory.

Gionee Elife E814

Gionee Elife E8 with the Letv Le 1

Gionee Elife E83

Gionee Elife E8 and the OnePlus 2

Moving on, the display seemed crisp and enjoyable with brilliant viewing angles. If you ask me, 6-inch is when a 2K panel makes most sense on a phone; more so than 5.2 or 5.5 inches. Because I remember when I first used the 2K OPPO Find 7 (5.5 inch display), it troubled my eyes for a bit… which did not happen with the Elife E8. Of course, higher pixel densities are always great, but then there’s the concept of keeping the picture natural.

Gionee Elife E8: Picture Gallery

Flipping the phone over had me face to face with the camera, which is surprisingly austere looking for what its worth. I didn’t get the chance to use the phone outdoors and in daylight, but in the artificial lighting of the launch arena, I felt the phone performed brilliantly. Of course, Gionee has thrown in a couple of software tricks to help with low light, which will sometimes leave a bit of a hue (maroonish-pink in my case) on the picture. Other than that, the Elife E8 left me wanting… not with the picture quality, but with the time I got to spend with the phone.

Aspects such as battery, performance, etc. will be tested once we get a review sample (which I hope happens soon), which is when we’ll also be posting a tonne of camera samples. Till then, you’ll have to make do with the one below.

Gionee Elife E815

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42 Comments

  1. Steve B
    October 13, 2015

    Looks ok, but shame Gionee and Iuni never built on what they did with the E7 and U2. Should have kept with Omnivision and updated that amazing Largon lens to f/2.0 or better. Too keen to move on to the next big thing, but in reality they’ve both gone backwards camera wise in the last year. U3 is now temptingly cheap, but camera, at least from early/launch samples, looks very weak.

    As for this phone, surely everyones waiting on the (delayed) $350 Blu Life XL 2015 version.

    • VMortens
      October 13, 2015

      I agree completely. E7 4G was hardly present on the market and the fact is that this phone with its’ specs (S801 is still doing great, as ZUK’s example shows) + 2.0 aperture and slightly better software support would be killer. If they were to make such a thing in 5 inches size too – it could be even better.

    • balcobomber25
      October 13, 2015

      Something I wish all companies would do, instead of chasing the newest sensor they should work with what they already have and update the lenses/software. Xiaomi and Meizu have both started to do this and the results have been good.

  2. rimakus
    October 13, 2015

    I call these shovelphones. You can use them as shovel if attached to selfie stick.

  3. Max
    October 13, 2015

    this picture looks like shit! did you compress it to upload it? it looks like you took it with a Samsung Galaxy S2 (which was a pretty good phone back in the days). o.O

  4. Steve B
    October 13, 2015

    Looks ok, but shame Gionee and Iuni never built on what they did with the E7 and U2. Should have kept with Omnivision and updated that amazing Largon lens to f/2.0 or better. Too keen to move on to the next big thing, but in reality they’ve both gone backwards camera wise in the last year. U3 is now temptingly cheap, but camera, at least from early/launch samples, looks very weak.

    As for this phone, surely everyones waiting on the (delayed) $350 Blu Life XL 2015 version.

    • VMortens
      October 13, 2015

      I agree completely. E7 4G was hardly present on the market and the fact is that this phone with its’ specs (S801 is still doing great, as ZUK’s example shows) + 2.0 aperture and slightly better software support would be killer. If they were to make such a thing in 5 inches size too – it could be even better.

    • balcobomber25
      October 13, 2015

      Something I wish all companies would do, instead of chasing the newest sensor they should work with what they already have and update the lenses/software. Xiaomi and Meizu have both started to do this and the results have been good.

  5. rimakus
    October 13, 2015

    I call these shovelphones. You can use them as shovel if attached to selfie stick.

  6. Max
    October 13, 2015

    this picture looks like shit! did you compress it to upload it? it looks like you took it with a Samsung Galaxy S2 (which was a pretty good phone back in the days). o.O

  7. Ajay Manideep
    October 13, 2015

    Hey yash, how did ya get letv in India?? Did u import it. If yes tell me where you brought it from reseller link!

  8. balcobomber25
    October 13, 2015

    I got somw hands on time with the Blu version. Overall it is very bulky, especially after using the MX5. But as usual with Gionee the build quality is excellent. The camera is good but its not amazing like the E7 was at the time. It is comparable to most other flagship cameras.

    • yalok
      October 13, 2015

      Shouldn’t be much bulkier than the other 6″ phones. For me, even 5.5″ is bulky already, although I’m 2m tall and have big hands.

      • balcobomber25
        October 13, 2015

        Dimensions pretty much matches the Nexus 6 but it is a lot heavier.

        • yalok
          October 15, 2015

          I wouldn’t call 14% heavier “a lot”, that’s more like just “a little bit”. Though, nexus 6 may be more comfortable to hold.

          • balcobomber25
            October 15, 2015

            I would call heavier in my hand a lot heavier. The hands on time they had a Nexus 6 there for comparison, in the hand the 6 felt much lighter.

            • yalok
              October 19, 2015

              That could be also due to how weight is distributed across the device. A lighter device may seem havier if that’s done poorly.

            • balcobomber25
              October 19, 2015

              But it’s not it is a physically heavier phone. 210g to 184g (according to GSM). Weight distribution is about the same on both, the Gionee is just a bigger device overall. It’s not absurdly bigger but it is noticeable when you hold them side by side.

            • yalok
              October 19, 2015

              I’m speaking generally, not about the gionee and nexus. I trust your opinion about those. Sorry for the boring conversation 🙂

            • balcobomber25
              October 19, 2015

              It’s all good I like a good debate on here.

    • Steve B
      October 18, 2015

      Elife E7 and IUNI U2 still shine over most recent releases, especially at current reduced prices. Not an especially cheap option, but Innos D6000 looks good quality with same 16mp OV, but different lens (I presume).

      • balcobomber25
        October 18, 2015

        E7 was an excellent camera phone, I had one myself. The only thing IMO that was better last year was the Vivo Xshot. Having said that I would take the camera on my MX5 over it any day.

  9. Faress ElFarissi
    October 13, 2015

    Knowing also as Blu pure xl

  10. Ajay Manideep
    October 13, 2015

    Hey yash, how did ya get letv in India?? Did u import it. If yes tell me where you brought it from reseller link!

  11. balcobomber25
    October 13, 2015

    I got somw hands on time with the Blu version. Overall it is very bulky, especially after using the MX5. But as usual with Gionee the build quality is excellent. The camera is good but its not amazing like the E7 was at the time. It is comparable to most other flagship cameras.

    • yalok
      October 13, 2015

      Shouldn’t be much bulkier than the other 6″ phones. For me, even 5.5″ is bulky already, although I’m 2m tall and have big hands.

    • balcobomber25
      October 13, 2015

      Dimensions pretty much matches the Nexus 6 but it is a lot heavier.

    • yalok
      October 15, 2015

      I wouldn’t call 14% heavier “a lot”, that’s more like just “a little bit”. Though, nexus 6 may be more comfortable to hold.

    • balcobomber25
      October 15, 2015

      I would call heavier in my hand a lot heavier. The hands on time they had a Nexus 6 there for comparison, in the hand the 6 felt much lighter.

    • Steve B
      October 18, 2015

      Elife E7 and IUNI U2 still shine over most recent releases, especially at current reduced prices. Not an especially cheap option, but Innos D6000 looks good quality with same 16mp OV, but different lens (I presume).

    • balcobomber25
      October 18, 2015

      E7 was an excellent camera phone, I had one myself. The only thing IMO that was better last year was the Vivo Xshot. Having said that I would take the camera on my MX5 over it any day.

    • yalok
      October 19, 2015

      That could be also due to how weight is distributed across the device. A lighter device may seem havier if that’s done poorly.

    • balcobomber25
      October 19, 2015

      But it’s not it is a physically heavier phone. 210g to 184g (according to GSM). Weight distribution is about the same on both, the Gionee is just a bigger device overall. It’s not absurdly bigger but it is noticeable when you hold them side by side.

    • yalok
      October 19, 2015

      I’m speaking generally, not about the gionee and nexus. I trust your opinion about those. Sorry for the boring conversation 🙂

    • balcobomber25
      October 19, 2015

      It’s all good I like a good debate on here.

  12. Faress ElFarissi
    October 13, 2015

    Knowing also as Blu pure xl

  13. Joel Adames
    October 13, 2015

    What I can’t yet figure out is the price differences between this and the BLU and the Xtarr brand from Romania (sorry if I’m misspelling) if someone can explain please feel more than free

    • Steve B
      October 18, 2015

      BLU and Allview have bought massively in bulk and passed the saving on whilst catering for local market. In China Gionee are reasonably expensive and sometimes high value is more attractive.

  14. Joel Adames
    October 14, 2015

    What I can’t yet figure out is the price differences between this and the BLU and the Xtarr brand from Romania (sorry if I’m misspelling) if someone can explain please feel more than free

    • Steve B
      October 18, 2015

      BLU and Allview have bought massively in bulk and passed the saving on whilst catering for local market. In China Gionee are reasonably expensive and sometimes high value is more attractive.

  15. jitender singh
    October 15, 2015

    WHAT ARE THE FULL SPECS OF THE Gionee Elife E8 & WHAT IS THE PRICE

  16. jitender singh
    October 15, 2015

    WHAT ARE THE FULL SPECS OF THE Gionee Elife E8 & WHAT IS THE PRICE