Gionee came up with the M7 Power as its latest budget offering in India, more than a month back. With a FullView display and an impressive 5000 mAh battery, the M7 Power comes with everything it takes to give its competitors a tough wake up call. Just what all are the fortes in which Gionee M7 Power beats any other smartphone and where it lacks, find out in this in-depth review of the near bezel-less Gionee device.
Gionee, a company mostly known for its budget smartphone offerings, recently came up with a rather premium looking smartphone for the Indian market in the form of Gionee M7 Power. With all the other OEMs going for an as bezel-less a device as they can create, Gionee joined the bandwagon too, with this near bezel-less offering in India. The M7 Power, as indicated, sports a FullView display, coupled with a finish that rather sets it apart from the rest of the Gionee’s line-up. Better or not, just how much is the M7 Power different from the previous Gionee products and all the other smartphones priced near to it, let us find out in this review.
It is safe to say that the Gionee M7 Power comes as the most refined Gionee smartphone in terms of looks. While the design is in itself is a quite impressive one in its budget, what’s even more appealing is the build quality of the smartphone. Though quite thick (8.6 mm), the metallic finish of the M7 Power, coupled with its curved edges and glossy texture at the back give a modernistic feel to the device. The FullView display at the front is accompanied by very small bezels at the top and the bottom, carrying an earpiece speaker, selfie camera and a Gionee logo respectively. Hard buttons, including the power button and the volume rockers, are conveniently placed on the right for an easy one-handed operation. At the back, Gionee has donned the M7 Power with a glass strip on the top that carries the camera and the LED flash. Below it is a glossy textured back that houses the fingerprint sensor. A slim strip below this is made of yet another different material. The textured finish at the back is quite a relief, had Gionee decided to put an all-glass back on the device, as in comparison, the textured back provides a better grip and keeps the fingerprint smudges away. All of this is housed in a metallic frame that carries a 3.5 mm audio jack, a USB port and speakers from the order of Left to Right at the chin.
The 6.0-inch HD+ display with 1440 x 720 pixels resolution completely solves the purpose of going for a FullView display. It is big, delivers optimum colours and brightness and is easy to use under bright daylight. It enables fun gaming, a good video experience and easier multi-tasking with the split screen feature. As for the firepower on the smartphone, the Gionee M7 Power is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor, coupled with a 4GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage, which is further expandable up to 256GB using an external microSD. In practicality, all these specifications deliver quite a smooth smartphone experience. The smartphone does not lag (never has, in our over 2 weeks of usage) and enables smooth multi-tasking on a lot of levels, including all the social media activities, web browsing, gaming, movie watching, music as well as everyday office tasks. The Gionee M7 Power lives up to its name in this criteria.
The M7 Power runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat topped with Gionee’s in-house Amigo 5.0. This includes Gionee’s Music, Video, Gallery, Theme, User Centre and more such apps embedded into the smartphone. The apps might require getting used to for a stock Android user but have their own little impressive tweaks here and there. As an example, the Music app lets users change the background theme only for the app (not the case for Google Music). The UI is neat, with a simple layout and large rounded square icons that successfully manage to enhance the user experience. Simple features like super (extended) screenshots, smart protect eye, glove patterns, and reverse charge and OTG also come in handy every once in a while.
The biggest USP of the device is undoubtedly the 5000 mAh battery. No matter how much we tend to use the smartphone on a day-to-day basis, the M7 Power always left us impressed with ample battery remaining at the end of the day, to not make us go out of the way to put it on charge. One can easily manage to pull off two days of smartphone’s usage if dire need be. We even tested the smartphone’s battery in idle mode, wherein we left the device untouched for a week and the result was a good 20 percent battery still remaining at the end of the week.
What’s not so cool?
As futuristic as the Gionee M7 Power looks like, it is a hefty device. At 199 grams, the M7 power will not be the first choice for many who like to use sleek smartphones in comparison. Design-wise, placing the Gionee logo at the bottom front was a dull move by the company and why they did not decide to use the full area for an even larger display or at least for capacitive touch keys beats us. Also, the fingerprint sensor at the back is placed rather upwards of what could be called a ‘convenient spot’ for the same. So one might have to extend their fingers or adjust the smartphone in their hands before finally reaching the sensor.
While on the overview, the UI on the Gionee M7 Power is impressive with a plethora of features, an insight into the same comes as a shocker on some fronts. For instance, the multi-window (split screen) functionality on the smartphone is not supported by many of the apps in the smartphone, including Facebook, Instagram as well as Gionee’s own Calendar, Clock, Music, File Explorer and many other apps. By count, there are a total of only 21 apps that support the split screen functionality and this list even excludes the dialer/ phone app.
Gionee M7 Power Power Button with Volume Rockers. (Image: Sarthak Dogra/ News18.com)
While the Gionee M7 Power perfectly manages to cope up with heavy tasks, a healthy tip to keep the smartphone running in this condition would be to keep the device’s memory a bit free than the complete 51.7GB available for use. If in case you reach that threshold wherein the smartphone flashes the message ‘not enough memory’, it might just be time to delete those unused apps stored on the phone.
Checking out the optics of the Gionee M7 Power reveals that the company tried hard to make the camera modules on the device likeable. Likeable? They are, yes, with a plethora of modes and filters on both the 13-megapixel (with LED Flash) rear and the 8-megapixel front cameras. These include Night Mode, Card Scanner, Backlight Mode, PicNote (for scans), TimeLapse, Slow Motion, Group Selfie, 3DPhoto and two extremely impressive Text Recognition and Translation modes. On top of all this, the smartphone also comes with handy after-click features like Graffiti and Beautification. Now despite these ups, the cameras on the Gionee are under the ‘What’s not so cool?’ section for the sole reason that they lack the detailing and the desired effect in the final output. The final images produced by the cameras are just not up to the mark and many of its rivals at an even lower price point manage to produce better images. The cameras on the Gionee M7 Power tend to display capabilities of a good camera but the fact that one has to use the optimum mode and set everything in place before clicking a better than average picture beats the whole purpose of having a quick snapper in your pocket. It is not a DSLR after all.
Gionee M7 Power Fingerprint Sensor and rear camera. (Image: Sarthak Dogra/ News18.com)
Gionee has undoubtedly produced an impressive device in the form of M7 Power. It displays an elegant side to it that very few smartphones at this price range can pull off. On top of it, the battery backup is so impressive that it can easily outweigh the flaws in the smartphone for any average user. So if one has to prioritise battery over everything, is looking for a good performance in a budget, and can make do with decent pictures, priced at Rs 16,999, the Gionee M7 Power is the top-notch pick.