Chinese smartphone maker Gionee has launched 2 new smartphones - Gionee F205 and Gionee S11 Lite - in India. The smartphones were launched at an event in New Delhi on Thursday, April 26, and if we can recollect, Gionee F205 and S11 Lite were launched in China last year. But the interesting part is that both the smartphones have been launched in the same price segment as the Xiaomi Redmi 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro, respectively.
The main highlights of both the smartphones include Full View displays with 18:9 aspect ratio, Face Unlock, Bokeh effect, Private Space 2.0, App Lock and App Clone features.
The Gionee S11 (pictured above) also comes with a dual camera setup at the back. Sadly, the Gionee handsets boot with Android 7.1.1 Nougat-based Amigo OS custom UI out-of-the-box. Gionee hasn't revealed when the phones will receive Android Oreo update, but it would have been nice if it had launched them with Oreo. Nonetheless, both F205 and S11 Lite have been 'Made in India', according to Gionee.
Gionee F205 and Gionee S11 Price and availability
Gionee F205 has been priced at Rs 8,999 and will be offered in Rose Gold, Black, and Blue color variants. The smartphone will be available for purchase starting Thursday, April 26, from leading online and offline retailers across India.
Gionee S11 Lite, on the other hand, carries a price tag of Rs 13,999 and comes in Black, Gold and Dark Blue color options and will start shipping in May.
Gionee F205 Specifications
Gionee F205 is the smaller of the two handsets and flaunts a 5.45-inch HD+ (1440x720p) Full View display with an 18:9 aspect ratio and 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass protection on top. The handset is powered by a 1.3GHz MediaTek MT6739 quad-core SoC which comes mated to 2GB RAM and 16 GB of internal storage that can be expanded up to 256GB via a dedicated microSD card slot.
In terms of the camera, Gionee F205 features an 8MP rear camera with LED flash and a 5MP camera at the front for selfies and video calls. Although the front camera is just 5MP, it comes with a bunch of in-vogue camera features such as Face Unlock, Bokeh selfie mode, Group selfie mode and a Face beauty mode with 100 Level Face Beauty and 7 levels of Bokeh effect.
F205 comes with 4G VoLTE support, Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi, GPS, Micro USB and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Sensors onboard the device include an ambient light sensor, digital compass, gravity sensor and a proximity sensor.
It has to be noted that there is no fingerprint sensor on Gionee F2905. Gionee also seems to have compromised the battery capacity in order to make the F205 slimmer. The dual-SIM smartphone is just 7.9mm thick and packs a disappointing 2,670mAh battery.
As mentioned earlier, it runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat with Gionee's Amigo OS 5.0 custom skin on top.
Gionee S11 Lite Specifications
Gionee S11 Lite features a slightly larger 5.7-inch HD+ (1440x720p) Full View display with an 18:9 aspect ratio and is powered by a 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 octa-core chipset which is paired with 4GB of RAM.
Gionee S11 Lite also packs dual-camera setup at the back housing a 13MP primary camera and a 2MP secondary sensor. At the front, there is a 16MP selfie snapper which again comes with Bokeh selfie mode, face beauty mode, and a camera backlight. Besides, the smartphone comes with 64GB of internal storage which is expandable via a microSD card up to 256GB.
Connectivity options include 4G VoLTE, Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi, GPS and a 3.5mm headphone jack and the phone has the same set of sensors as the ones found on the F205, with the addition of a rear fingerprint scanner placed below the rear camera setup in the center of the back.
Other specifications include a bigger 3,030mAh battery, despite a thickness of just 7.85mm and Android 7.1.2 Nougat-based Amigo OS 5.0.
Are they better than Xiaomi Redmi 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro?
Gionee F205 at Rs 8,999 and S11 at Rs 13,999 seem to be interesting propositions, but they are still somewhat overpriced when compared to other smartphones in the same price segment, especially Redmi 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro or the recently-launched Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1.
F205 comes with a 5.45-inch display, a MediaTek quad-core processor, and a paltry 2,640mAh battery, whereas Xiaomi Redmi 5 offers a 5.7-inch display, Snapdragon 450 processor, and a 3,300mAh battery, and the 2GB+16GB variant is priced at just Rs 7,999.
Gione S11 Lite, despite its glass back and premium looks, doesn't come even close to the kind of specifications that the equally priced Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro has to offer. The 13MP+2MP dual camera, Snapdragon 435 SoC, 16MP selfie camera and 5.7-inch display are simply no match to the Redmi Note 5 Pro's 12MP+5MP dual camera, SD 636 SoC, 20MP selfie camera and a 5.99-inch display. Not to mention, there is also the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 which offers better specs and starts at just Rs 10,999.
Gionee could have come up with even cheaper price tags for the phones, considering the competition and the fact that it is betting big on these two smartphones to make a comeback into the smartphone game in India.