Gionee Elife E7 hands-on: a monster from China


The Gionee Elife E7 is the Chinese manufacturer's 2014 flagship model. It's one of the most powerful phones on the market today, sporting premium hardware that puts it ahead even of the newly outed Galaxy S5 in some aspects. We believe Gionee (basically pronounced “Johnny”) has done a good job with this phone, although we had higher expectations about its usability and performance. Nevertheless, here are our early hands-on impressions.


Even though its made of plastic, the Gionee Elife E7 looks quite sturdy, and looks don't lie - it's solid and well put together. The glossy finish, however, might not be everyone's cup of tea, because fingerprints tend to stick to it. Also, the corners are very, very sharp, which makes the phone difficult to hold for long. Still, the Elife E7 is a beautiful phone, especially when you have one of its colored versions with their subtle shimmering effect. It's also quite slim and portable for a big-screen phone. While the sharp corners are a letdown, one can certainly live in peace with the Elife E7.


The phone's display measures a cozy 5.5 inches in diagonal, and has a 1080p resolution. Notably, the bezels around it are only 0.09 inches (2.33mm) thick. The pixel density is excellent – 400PPI, and the colors look quite nice. Our only gripe with the display is that it seems to be on the dim side. Set at maximum brightness, the Elife E7's screen remained at what most of us call “dark”. This could be an issue for many, if it's not worked out by the launch date.

Interface and software

The E7 runs a heavily customized build of Android 4.2. We saw many new icons and visual effects. In addition, there are some smart features built into the operating system, for example answering an incoming call by simply picking up the phone. From the little time we spent with it, Gionee's interface didn't seem half bad. However, there is visible choppiness to the UI. Hopefully, this is just a software issue, because the Elife E7 is an extremely powerful device.

Processor and memory

Inside this phone, you will find a quad-core Snapdragon 801 chip running at 2.5 GHz. It's the same chip that comes in the new Galaxy S5. It's paired with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of on-board storage. This is a flagship phone, alright, but the software obviously needs more polishing to take advantage of it.


The main camera has a 16MP resolution with auto-focus and single LED flash. The actual pixel size is quite large, so the camera should be a good performer. The front facing camera is 8MP, which is outstanding for a smartphone. In regards to photography, we expect the Elife E7 to perform on par with other Snapdragon 801-based phones, thanks to the CPU's hyperdriven image processing capabilities.


In China, the most expensive and powerful version of Elife E7 (this one here) will retail for about $500. It goes without saying that it holds a lot of value for its cost. It remains to be seen whether this phone will be China's global answer to the latest premium brand flagships, or it will remain a privilege of Chinese customers.

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