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03 Mar, 2017 ,
Chinese smartphone maker Gionee has come up with their latest instalment S6 Pro after debuting with the S6 and S6s previously. The S6 Pro is also the first offering from the company that supports VR. The S6s was a selfie centric device and the S6 Pro is also a ‘selfie-focused’ smartphone but with more powerful specifications. The Gionee S6 and S6s were not as impressive as offerings with only positives being the battery life and build quality. Also these phones were slightly priced above Rs 15000 and didn’t perform well as per our expectations either. The S6 Pro is priced in the upper mid-range segment at Rs 23,999 pitching it against the likes of the Xiaomi Mi 5 (Review), Moto Z Play (Review), HTC One A9 (Review), and Asus Zenfone 3 (ZE520KL). But is worth the extra premium or is it another overpriced device from Gionee? Read on for more.
The Gionee S6 Pro comes with 5.5 inch full HD IPS panel with Gorilla Glass 3 protection. Below the screen lies the capacitive buttons which are not backlit. An LED notification is placed beside the front camera at the top. The left edge of the phone houses the hybrid Dual-SIM tray while the power and volume buttons are placed on the right edge. The feedback is tactile and is easily reachable. The headphone socket is placed at the top edge and a USB Type-C port is placed at the bottom edge along with a speaker just beside it.
The back panel has the 13 megapixel camera and single-LED flash with a slight bump. There is a dimple under the camera lens which seems like the finger print scanner, but its not. The finger print sensor is integrated into the home button. The Dimple houses the Gionee logo. Antenna bands run above and below the back panel. Single-handed use is possible and the phone feels ergonomic to hold. Overall the design feels very premium. The sloping edges, the curved glass over the display and that golden colour make the smartphone attractive and worth the money.
The S6 Pro comes with a 5.5-inch IPS LCD panel along with a Full HD (1920×1080) resolution. You get 401ppi which is pretty good in terms of viewing sharpness. There are no options to adjust the tone of the screen. The screen is warm and contrast is well tuned. Viewing the display in broad day light is satisfying and sufficient. Overall the screen has punchy colours and viewing angles on this phone is superb!
The S6 Pro is powered by the octa-core MediaTek Helio P10 SoC along with a 4GB of RAM and 64GB of generous storage(can be expanded by using a 128GB microSD card instead of a second SIM.)
The S6 Pro runs Android Marshmallow with Gionee’s Amigo 3.2 UI. The user interface is a single layered like other Chinese smartphones. All application icons are spread across multiple home screens. The toggle switches for functions like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc are placed in a drawer which can be accessed by swiping upwards from the bottom-screen like we see on the Apple phones. The notification shade above the screen will only give you basic notifications.
Go to the setting apps you will find Edge Bar. It is basically a vertical list of application shortcuts which can be bought in by just swiping either left or right of the home button. Total of six shortcuts can be added here. Then there is the Split Screen feature which lets you to reply to an incoming message while watching a video simultaneously without having to jump out of the video player. Suspend Button is another feature where in a floating button containing shortcuts appear on the screen like the one seen on Xiaomi’s smartphones.
There are a list of preinstalled applications. Third party apps can be uninstalled except for the ones from Gionee. Trial games, shopping apps and social media apps can be removed if you don’t want them. Gionee has come up with their own VR launcher application and it works well with most Google Cardboard VR headests. Overall performance is good. There were no lag or stutter in the application animations or while shuffling the applications.
Gaming performance was decent on the device. Games like Asphalt 8 and Dead Trigger 2 performed well without any noticeable frame drops or lags. GPU Performance from the 625 SoC was low. We achieved scores of 47,360 points in AnTuTu, 17fps in GFXbench, and 6281 in 3DMark Extreme. There was a slight hint of warmth from the device when we gaming extensively for 30 minutes. Not something to be alarmed about.
The S6 Pro comes with a 3130 mAh battery and in our video loop test the device lasted for 10 hours and 13 minutes which is pretty good. The device lasted little more than a day in our regular usage. The high wattage adapter manages to charge the battery completely in a couple of hours. There is no fast charging here as well.
The S6 Pro smartphone features a 13MP primary camera with an f/2.0 aperture aided with an LED flash and a phase detection autofocus system. On the front there is an 8MP unit for your selfie deeds.
There is no PDAF or laser autofocus, that means its more difficult to get sharp and blur-free shots. Focusing on this phone in lowlight conditions is very slow compared to daylight conditions. Details and colours are not clear in landscape shots taken in daylight. Snaps on the display seem good but when you pinch in the images it’s a different story altogether. Macro shots also lacked details and depth.
The 8 Megapixel camera comes with a screen flash feature for selfies. But we didn’t find the flash quality up to the mark for selfies. The camera interface is easy to use and comes with a variety of shooting modes like including Pro, slow-motion, panorama, etc. Video quality is strictly average and tops out at 1080p. The camera quality on this phone is just average and we feel it could have been better.
The S6 Pro comes with a Hybrid (Micro+Nano) Dual SIM slots. We inserted two SIM cards for this parameter test and were quite happy. Call qualities from both the SIM were exceptionally good. Sound coming from the ear piece was crystal clear. There were no call cuts or unnecessary signal intrusions that we came across. Wi-Fi reception was also good and the device managed to latch on to bleak signals at the tightest of spots. The device also supports 4G LTE with VoLTE on Band 3, 5, and 40.
Overall Multi-media experience is satisfying. Viewing your favourite movies or videos on the device is an absolute delight. Audio quality from the external speakers could have been better. At times the sound is too loud but unclear. Sound quality from the headset is much better. We recommend third party headsets for much more engaging sound quality. The stock audio and video players do a good job at sorting your media files and also provide DTS audio boost, which can be toggled on or off.
The S6 franchise offers good battery life and build quality. The S6 Pro also delivers on the same but doesn’t offer anything special in other areas. There is nothing special about this phone that would make you go gaga and make you pick this device over similarly priced ones from Lenovo, Xiaomi, Asus or HTC. The camera is above average and also tends to heat up when the camera is used beyond 20 minutes. The S6 Pro also misses out on minute but essential features like like Wi-Fi 802.11ac, NFC, backlit capacitive buttons, fast charging, and perhaps a dedicated slot for the microSD card.
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