Gionee has always been known industry wide to have larger than life launch events. fair to say that these launches are parties than anything else. The most recent launch of the Gionee S6s, their latest release, followed the trait as te launch was held at a popular theatre in New Delhi. The star of the show though, was the Gionee S6s, a smartphone focussed on taking good selfies, in trend with the selfie life that we all are living. We received our unit of the Gionee S6s, right before the launch and therefore have had some time to play around with the device and gauge the performance of the same.
While this is by no means the final conclusion around the device, we are ready to share with you the first impressions of the S6s and some pictures of the phone to give you a clear idea of what you are looking at when you purchase the phone.
Unlike the current market wave, where every major player seems to be releasing an online exclusive in order to save on expenses, Gionee has always been a firm believer of purchasing offline model. Like most of their devices, the S6s went on sale offline first and then made its way to Amazon as the brand’s official online partner. In fact, at his keynote, Mr Arvind Vohra, the CEO of Gionee India announced proudly that over 80K units of the device were picked up by the offline retail partners, even before one unit was made available. he also made it clear that the phone will be sold at the same price, both online and offline. The phone will set you back by about Rs 17,890.00 when you purchase it. It is available in two different colours: Latte Gold and Mocha Gold, clearly the task to name the phones were left to a coffee lover. The unit we were given had the Mocha Gold colour, which is basically a nice mix of grey and golden colours. That is in fact, the first thing you notice about the phone, its colour. Not often do brands dare to come up with strikingly different coloured devices, but Gionee has dared and we really like the attempt. In fact, the packing box has the device name written in the Mocha Gold colour, which is a nice touch.
Once you are past the unique colour on the device, the S6s is far away from the design of the Gionee S6, its namesake. The S6s is a lot curvier and refined in overall design. The front of the phone is dominated by a 5.5 inch Full HD IPS panel with a curved edge display. The back of the phone also has a neat curve across which makes it sit well in the palm of your hand. However, if you use one the phone on a flat table, you are going to have to put up with the phone rocking all over the place, a bit like what you would see from the likes of Motorola Moto X Play. The front of the phone has three capacitive buttons just below the screen and an earpiece on the top which is flanked by a proximity sensor and a front facing flash. The extreme right on the top front has the 8MP front facing camera. The back of the phone has a 13MP camera with the lens projecting outwards. There is a red colour lining around the camera lens to give the rear an added personality and it really does stand out. Below the camera you have the flash, fingerprint scanner and Gionee brand logo. We cannot help but wish the Gionee logo had some sort of a matte finish because, in the current state, the logo picks up a lot of smudges. The fingerprint scanner is rapid and we were able to unlock the phone from standby in about .2 seconds. The speakers on the phone too are located on the back, which houses a 3150 mAh non-removable battery. the back of the phone has a dual tone colour, like on the M5 Plus, but thanks to a more understated colour like grey, it actually looks good here.
The sides of the phone feature power button and the volume rocker on the right and a SIM slot on the left, which is a hybrid slot capable of housing either a micro and nano SIM or a micro SIM and a MicroSD card. The device is running Android 6.0 with Amigo 3.2.0 on top. Amigo has received some important updates, for example, the lock screen wallpaper can be shared or changed or deleted, without unlocking the phone. There is a camera launching shortcut on the lockscreen and the quick settings shortcut tray that can be accessed by swiping up from the bottom of the screen has been cleaned to show lesser options too. It is still frustrating though that f your phone is locked and you quickly launch the camera app from the lock screen, it needs you to unlock the phone, leaving you to lose the subject to shoot.
Translation errors that have marred Gionee phone in the past have been cleaned up, but once in a while they still pop up, eg: ‘Notice Management’.
While we did not get a lot of time with the camera, we did try a few selfies with and without the Face Beauty mode and the phone does the magic no doubt. The camera in our first few test shots was a bit sluggish but it did pick up. On taking about 5-6 continuous shots we did feel the phone was fairly hot on the backside towards the right side of the camera lens. The performance was largely stable, with a few hiccups, especially when playing HD videos on a loop frantically. On the AnTuTu benchmark that we ran, the phone scored upwards of 38,000 which is very respectable.
Several third party applications on the phone can be uninstalled, though we did find that the launcher had a few issues in the dock, where when trying to uninstall applications, would lead to the cross mark being cut off half way.
Interestingly, when we unboxed the phone, it came with a fully charged battery against the usual 40-45% battery that OEMs pack in, so that was a pleasant surprise as the phone was good to use right out of the box. the phone does not come with a USB Type-C port but with a Micro-USB port at the bottom, so that was a bit of a bummer. At Rs 17,000+, you could perhaps make a case of the chipset on the phone, MediaTek MTK6753, being a bit underwhelming but for the little time we used, we did not come back feeling the phone to be slowing down. There is a judicious 3GB of RAM and 32GB storage on board too.
Overall, the S6s while not being a spec blockbuster, seems to be like one of those phones that have a fine-tuned performance and looks that will definitely make it stand out, especially because of its colour. We will be back with the full review of the phone in a few days, till then, you may want to look at the phone from several angles and we have attached a few shots for you below.