We go hands-on with Gionee’s S Plus!
Since Gionee has managed to score a new distributor in the PH, they’ve punched out a couple of new phones in the market to try and regain lost ground from before. We’ve already seen two of their devices before, and today we’re taking a quick look at their mid-range offering, the S Plus, that sports a USB Type-C display as well as a 5.5-inch AMOLED panel. But before we dive in, let’s take a look at the specs:
Gionee S Plus
- 1.3GHz MT6753 octa-core processor
- 3GB of RAM
- 5.5-inch HD AMOLED display, 1280 x 720 resolution
- 16GB of storage, expandable up to 64GB
- 13-megapixel rear camera
- 5-megapixel front camera
- Dual SIM
- 3G, LTE
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, USB-Type C
- 3150mAh battery
- Android 5.1 Lollipop
Initial impressions: a solid mid-ranger, with a beautiful display
The S Plus follows the established blueprint for most mid-range phones nowadays – an aluminum frame with lovingly chamfered edges, curved corners and a removable back. The front part of the phone are a little HTC-like, with grey strips of plastic on the top and the chin of the device breaking up the monolithic look of the display.
The phone uses physical capacitive keys for navigation. Bezel sizes aren’t too bad, though the phone is a little tall, at 155mm.
As far as physical buttons and ports go, both the power button and volume rocker is on the right of the phone. The S Plus uses a USB Type-C connector for data and charging. The 3.5mm jack is on the top.
Once you turn the phone over you’ll see that the S Plus uses a removable, glossy back. While we like the subtle weave design on the rear, we’re not a fan of the glossy back since it’s such a smudge magnet. Thankfully Gionee includes a jelly case with every purchase of the S Plus so you don’t have to deal with that. There are three color variants available – dark blue, white and gold.
Moving on, the 13-megapixel rear camera is located on the upper left side, flanked by a single LED flash. The speaker grille is located on the bottom. Once you take off the back, you’ll be treated dual SIM slots, microSD slot and the removable 3150mAh battery.
Gionee has a penchant for using AMOLED displays on its phones, so much so that three of the four phones officially offered here in the Philippines use that particular display technology. There’s a good reason for that – AMOLED panels look great and are relatively power efficient compared to its IPS brethren. Unfortunately, the S Plus also uses an HD resolution rather than a full HD one that’s usually associated with phones that have screens bigger than 5 inches. As a result, text and images aren’t as sharp, and if you look hard enough you can see some of the individual pixels on the display.
If you’re willing to ignore the lower pixel count, then you’ll be happy to know that the display is rather nice to look at, with deep blacks and excellent overall image quality. Viewing angles are quite generous as well.
Just like their other phones, Gionee used their own Amigo UI overlay on top of Android Lollipop for the S Plus, dubbed Amigo. It takes a little getting used to, since it strips the app drawer (just like every custom UI overlay of most Chinese OEMs) and lays everything out in the open.
Internally the S Plus runs MediaTek’s MT6753 octa-core processor paired with 3GB of RAM. We’ve seen this combination before in other phones, and it’s pretty solid for a mid-range phone. Some people may not like the fact that this particular device has the same specs as the cheaper Flare X though.
That’s it for our hands-on of the S Plus. The S Plus retails for around Php 9,999.