JiaYu S3+ unboxing and hands on


Remember JiaYu? They were once one of the most exciting smartphone companies out of China but this year the only real notable release was the JiaYu S3 and the new JiaYu S3+.

At the start of this year JiaYu made a bold move. They ditched metal in favour of plastic on their flagship and built a 5.5-inch FHD phone with powerful Mediatek MT6752 chipset, and when all is said and done it was a good phone. With options for up to 3GB RAM, a FHD display, Coning Gorilla Glass 3 and NFC it had all the spec an early 2015 flagship could want. And then JiaYu went all quiet.

The next time we would hear about the company was when rumours of a restructure surfaced and news that they were working on a new 5.5-inch phone emerged.

Well here is that ‘new’ phone expect it isn’t new, it’s just the original 3GB RAM version of the JiaYu S3 with a Mediatek MT6753 octacore at its heart and a stock Android 5.1 OS running on it as standard.

You can watch my JiaYu S3+ unboxing and first impressions in the video above. I also plan to review the phone but so far it runs just like the original S3, only with a cleaner stock Android install. You can read my original JiaYu S3 review here.

Thanks to JiaYu.es for sending me this review sample.

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21 Comments

  1. Steven Fox
    December 15, 2015

    Hard to see Jiayu back in the market with this model, it`s uninspired.
    Basically they had lots of old S3`s in stock and changed the SoC(probably 6753 and 6752 are pin-to-pin compatible)and added quickly a stock 5.1.1 in there.
    Now, at this price point the phone does not have a selling point.
    Design is not good-looking to say the least, and no fingerprint scanner, no metal body, nothing new.
    The screen is obviously great as all Jiayu phones, and the device is probably well crafted.
    I think that the real selling price should have been at around 130-140$ at that price it would have a selling point as it would be cheaper than the Redmi Note 2, 3 and Meizu M2 Note, but at 160$ I doubt anyone will bother.
    Still hoping it does well and we get an all new Jiayu device in the near future.

    • MattD
      December 15, 2015

      To be fair, i don’t remember the original price, but I’m certain it is closer to 110$ than 140$… Surely the price was lower than s3 advanced! It’s actually resellers’ fault for the high price! And while many companies this year worked along with resellers to offer an official retail price, jiayu wasn’t in the market and haven’t made such type of agreements… So again: all considered, it’s not jiayu’s fault!

      • Steven Fox
        December 15, 2015

        Well, we can`t buy at that price, so retailers selling it for 160$ is the price for me and at that price it`s a NO-buy.

        • MattD
          December 15, 2015

          I agree, but resellers’ prices is not jiayu’s fault… They stated a price around 120$, if resellers add 40$ of own profit, they’re the one to blame!

          • Vlada
            December 16, 2015

            No, it is still Jiayu to blame. They can sell the phones directly or cooperate with the resellers to set the right price.

            • MattD
              December 16, 2015

              That’s not that simple, otherwise we can blame xiaomi and meizu for the same thing

  2. MattD
    December 15, 2015

    C’mon jiayu… Give me what i want… An helio x10 powered device with a monstrous battery, front speakers, and, in honor of star wars days, lasers coming from everywhere (irda and laser autofocus) 😀

    So far this S3+, we all know it, it’s just a way to get rid of s3’s stocks, plus making some money out of it… But they’re alive, their fanbase is great and we can expect something coming in a matter of a couple of months… And, if they’re not stupid (in fact, they’re not) they’ll try to get back their market share by facts, not just via marketing, with a nice, complete device missing nothing important!

    • Riccardo Benzoni
      December 15, 2015

      I believe this is an “all in” move, a healthy jiayu wouldn’t have masked a watered down version of a phone labelling it plus to fool unaware customers… and they also made it pretty much late, when the market is pretty much flooded with feature-packed mt6753 (would have had a sense 3-4 months ago maybe), unlike with mt6752 version, which was one of the first model with that SoC.
      Maybe the brand changed property and they will attack in some months, but that’s not a “traditional Jiayu” move at all.

      • Muhammad Yasir
        December 15, 2015

        if wat u say is indeed true … well , then the real jiayu is gone forever. probably a top-level change at the management and stakeholders which means a drastic change in decision making and marketing.

        i do hope this is not the case , since jiayu offered some of the best price-spec ratio handsets !

        • MattD
          December 15, 2015

          They said they had “new investors”, so probably something changed, but not everything… Or, at least, let’s hope so!

          • balcobomber25
            December 15, 2015

            Basically two of Jiayu’s biggest partners formed a joint cooperation to take over Jiayu. The old Jiayu was dead in the water due to an archaic business model and increased competition. The old ways of doing things won’t work for them any more.

            • Riccardo Benzoni
              December 15, 2015

              yep, won’t work for no one right now, that’s why we see all these smaller brands rushing phones every month to survive, “few but good” doesn’t pay when the margin is so low and competition so tight, unfortunately.

            • MattD
              December 15, 2015

              Hopes it goes for the better, improving things needed to be improved, rather than doogeefy the good old jiayu…

      • MattD
        December 15, 2015

        Agree, it’s not something they would have done normally, but we know they had many problems this year, so it’s reasonable to assume they just couldn’t have done something like that before this moment… Now they’re back, probably with a new property as you said, so we can expect they’ll move foward once things are settled!

        And yeah, the “+” move is tricky, but it had to have some kind of reference to S3 since it’s the same phone, plus it’s a marketing move from someone who’s trying to make some cash to move his market in a desperate moment, so i can justify something like that from a company who has always been fair with his customer (assuming there’s a limit to the “being fair” policy from a chinese company :D).
        All in all, while the “+” may be misleading, what’s that matter (original price) isn’t: it’s been set between s3 standard and s3 advanced pricing… Again, seems fair to me!

      • balcobomber25
        December 15, 2015

        I think it’s more of a hold over phone until next year. They needed to release something to keep interest in their brand alive and bring in some revenue. Keep in mind Jiayu is under new leadership now, so the “traditional Jiayu” is no more. I have a feeling we see an S4 around CES.

        • Vlada
          December 16, 2015

          I just realized it is more then a one year since we heard about Jiayu S4. I would still get the phone if it came out now with the promised specs (4.7″, MT6752(3), 3GB RAM, SD slot, metal frame and other common features).

          I’m afraid we won’t see this from Jiayu. But there are other companies which promise good sub 5″ phones. I heard something from Meizu and OnePlus. Maybe other companies will join this nice trend too if Apple really releases a 4″ phone.

          • balcobomber25
            December 16, 2015

            I doub’t you will see any 4″ phones, 4.7-5.2 is the smallest you will see these days.

            • Vlada
              December 16, 2015

              If Apple really releases a 4″ phone, I bet every Chinese company will start copying it. I don’t want 4″. My ideal size is 4,5″ – 4,7″. I hope there will be something to choose from next year. This year the only good 4,7″ phone is the overpriced Sony Z5 Compact.

            • balcobomber25
              December 16, 2015

              I doubt it. Apple has actually been the one doing the copying these days. When it comes to display sizes it has been Apple doing the copying. For years Apple and their sheep said they would never use a 5.5 inch phone, it was too big and not needed. With the popularity of Android 5.5 phones, Apple followed suit. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 5.7 or 6 inch Apple phone down the line.

  3. Muhammad Yasir
    December 15, 2015

    boring jiayu , thats just OUTRIGHT dismal !

    go for something new … HELL , we’re on the verge of 2016 !
    ATLEAST try something with 6755 , 4gb ram , fingerprint scanners and all the other fancy stuff OTHER phone-makers are madly planning on !

  4. rimakus
    December 15, 2015

    Plus for this one is only NFC and stock android. And build quality looks good.