Gionee Elife E8 Detailed Review
The Gionee Elife E8 is the latest flagship offering by Gionee that was recently announced on June 2015. Fast-forwarding it to November, and we finally have the device in hand. First and foremost the device feels a lot more premium and solid in hand than what it looks in the images.
The entire phone is constructed out of premium metal, glass and some plastic. Although it does have a plastic back, it feels solid and everything seems to be just right on point. It is a big phone coming at a screen size of 6 inches but due to the overall form factor, it still manages to fit in one hand. Something that has to be noted is the fact that despite being a large 6 inch phone, it is easy to accommodate the entire device in one hand. One handed operations aren’t completely possible, but its definitely easy to use compared to other phablets out there in the market.
Before we proceed, just need to mention the fact that the BLU Pure XL is just a rebranded Gionee Elife E8. It features similar design, built, specs and everything is exactly the same from the ground up.
We generally start our review with the most attractive part of the phone, i.e. Display. But this time around the build quality of the Gionee Elife E8 takes the mark. The chassis is made out of solid metal, and the chamfered edges add a premium touch to it. It comes with a glass front and a plastic back, but with a metal chassis and perfect engineering, everything looks and feels solid and makes this device less prone to damage.
The Gionee Elife E8 takes a lot of design cues from the predecessor the Gionee Elife E7, and improves upon it to make it a much better experience. This time around they’ve added a fingerprint reader and a dedicated two-stage camera shutter key. Unlike the Elife S7 or F103 the back is little rounded instead of a complete flat surface, which actually helps in holding and gripping the phone better.
Because of the metal build the antennas of the Gionee Elife E8 comes in a form of pair of little stripes, both on the top and bottom.
All the buttons like the power key, the volume rocker and the dedicated two-stage camera shutter key is placed on the right hand side of the device. The 3.5mm headphone jack is on the top middle, and a MicroUSB port on the bottom.
The Gionee Elife E8 comes with a huge 6 inches of 1440x2560p AMOLED display. And 6 inch might sound really big for smartphones, but the Gionee Elife E8 manages to accommodate the same display in a much smaller body. That being said, it is still a huge phone. Comparing it side by side to the Samsung Galaxy Note 5, and the Elife E8 completely dwarfs the Note 5.
Thanks to the AMOLED display the blacks are pitch black and the colors are vivid and saturated. It is a QuadHD display, which means that comes at a resolution of 1440x2560p giving it a pixel density of 290ppi. 6 inches of sharp vivid panel and excellent colors makes it one of the best displays for media consumption.
The Gionee Elife E8 comes with a 24 megapixels of rear camera, which is capable of shooting videos in UHD or 4k resolutions. The camera is also well-equipped OIS and phase detection auto-focus sensor, which puts this camera in the list of the best camera in any smartphone.
A lot of people don’t understand the need of OIS and the amount of difference it can make to your images/ videos. OIS or Optical Image Stabilization allows the camera to reduce the minor handheld shakes and jumps while stabilizing the camera at the hardware level and not on the software level. Which helps the smartphone to stabilize the video without losing any quality.
Taking about the image quality and the dynamic range was good, colors were decent and it also managed to keep the contrast of the image well. But once in a while, clicking images with various colors it would start shifting the white balance making the image look more blue or green for most of the time. It is something that can be quite tricky to fix but you can shoot in manual mode to get rid of this issue as well.
The front facing camera on the Gionee Elife E8 is a 8 megapixel sensor, and it also shoots videos in 720p. Although this sensor is capable of shooting in 1080p, for some weird reason Gionee has limited it to shoot only 720p video. This can be easily fixed via a software update, but it’s very unlikely to happen.
The colors were decent, the white balance was also good, dynamic range was acceptable but the contrast was quite high. It would’ve been great if they could just minimize the contrast of the image in processing.
In terms of performance the Gionee Elife E8 just flies through in terms of day-to-day usage. It won’t lag or jitter anytime in any situation. Even while gaming it was able to push all the pixels at a very high resolution without breaking a sweat.
It comes with a MediaTek MT6795 Helio X10 chip, which is a Cortex- A53 Octa-Core processor, clocked at 2GHz each. It is also worth mentioning that it also comes bundled with 3GB of RAM and PowerVR G6200 GPU, which can easily power all the graphical needs of this smartphone.
It also comes with 64GB of on-board memory, which is also expandable via MicroSD card upto 128GB
The Helio X10 Chip has proved itself many times to be one of the best chip out there which can easily compete with the Qualcomm Snapdragon’s higher end processor or Samsung’s Exynos processor at any given point of time.
One new addition to the Gionee Elife E8 is the fingerprint reader on the back. It is very nicely placed on the back where your fingers would rest naturally. And also it happens to be one of the fastest fingerprint reader in smartphones competing head to head with Samsung Galaxy Note 5 or Nexus 6P or iPhone 6s for that matter.
It also allows you to wake your phone up and unlock the device by just placing your finger on the fingerprint reader. It’s fast and accurate and makes an absolutely usable add-on with the best kind of privacy security. It is also worth mentioning that it let’s you register 5 fingers in total.
The Gionee Elife E8 comes with Amigo UI 3.0 on top of Android 5.0 Lollipop. This is the same UI found on the Gionee Elife S7, but few things have been moved around and tweaked a little bit, which for some reason has removed couple of easy access toggles.
Overall the Amigo UI is fast & responsive and also offers some additional options, which adds a lot of value to the end user. Like the control center for example which slides up from the bottom, letting you quickly toggle/ change settings on the fly. The Chameleon app also makes a come back with the Gionee Elife E8, and it basically allows the users to create a simple theme while point the camera to any subject.
The Gionee Elife E8 comes with a 3500 mAh of battery, which lacks fast charging or wireless charging but once charged to the full, can easily go through the entire day without hitting the charger again.
The Gionee Elife E8 is a big and beautiful smartphone, which is capable of doing anything and everything that you can expect out of a flagship high-end smartphone.
The specs sheet might show it less powerful than any of it’s other higher end competitor like the Note 5 or Nexus 6P. But the performance is right up there on point and is no less compared to any of those hot selling smartphones in the market.
If you can pass the 6 inches of big display, then it would be a perfect fit with high-end performance, amazing battery life, great display and solid build.
This review is written by Sudipto Chakraborty, a 18 year old is a techie at heart, does technology reviews and video blogging for a living. He loves Apple as much as sarcasm. Has a soft corner for well built premium devices. He also runs a gadget blog – TekhSquare.