Gionee S6s is the successor to the Gionee S6 which was launched just a few months back. Though the S6s is launched shortly after its predecessor, there are a lot of changes both cosmetically and under the hood. The ‘s’ of the S6s stand for Selfie and the phone certainly lives up to its name. For just Rs.25,000, the Gionee S6s the best phone you can get right now. Period.
There are a lot of things to like about the Gionee S6s and very little to not like about it. Let’s quickly run down the strengths of the Gionee S6s.
- Beautiful 5.5″ Full HD IPS Display
- 3GB of RAM
- 32GB Internal Storage
- Excellent Selfie Camera
- Front CRI flash that works like a charm
- Android 6.0 out of the box
- 3000mAh Battery
And here are some of the things that are not so great in the Gionee S6s:
- MediaTek SoC
- No support for Quick Charging
- Average Rear Camera
- No USB-C type connector
- Average gaming performance
In Nepal, it’s the budget and the mid range phones that sell the most. As the Gionee S6s falls in the latter, it faces some tough competition from its competitors. The price of Gionee S6s in Nepal is Rs.26,000. However, since the phone is sold offline at numerous retail shops around Nepal, you can get the phone for as low as Rs.23,000.
The first thing that will impress you about the Gionee S6s has to be its build quality. Sure, it looks like most of the phones from other Chinese manufacturers but the sturdiness is in a whole new level. The phone feels solidly put together and there is very little to complain about the design.
Gionee has been in Nepal for a very long time. Sure there are new companies like Oppo, ZTE, Meizu and Xiaomi who goes head-to-head with Gionee. But it is Gionee who knows about market better. Or they don’t? Let’s find it in our In-depth Review of the Gionee S6s down below.
Design and Build Quality
Also Read: Gionee S6s: Best Budget Smartphone in Nepal?
Gionee S6s is a large phone with 5.5-inch and it certainly is not a one-hand operation phone. But since most of the phones that we use today are large, using this won’t be a concern to most of us.
The left side of the phone just houses port to eject the dual-SIM tray with no ports or buttons. The right side of the phone is very busy with the inclusion of volume rockers and power button. As you’d expect, at the bottom, we have the Micro-USB port alongside with the 3.5mm headphone jack. We think a USB Type-C port instead of the Micro-USB would be a good switch. But then again, none of the other mid-range phones comes with the Type-C port.
Up front, we have the 1080p IPS display with very minimal bezels at the sides. The top and bottom chin are fairly large. Above the panel, we have an excellent 8MP front-facing camera with CRI flash, one of the best we have seen in the business. At the bottom, we have 3 capacitive buttons which are back-lit.
At the back of the Gionee S6s, we have got a 13MP camera with single LED flash. A few centimeters far off, there is a fingerprint scanner which works like a charm. And below the fingerprint scanner, we have the facelifted Gionee logo.
Display and Sound
The display of the Gionee S6s has to one of the best features of the phone. There’s no phone in this price segment which has a screen as good as that the Gionee S6s. The Gionee S6s has a 5.5-inch full HD display with really good color reproduction. The phone goes reasonably bright and can also get just as dim when the brightness slider is turned all the way down.
In bright sunlight, we had no problem reading text on the phone. However, we can’t say the screen is great outdoors as the phone screen is very reflective.
The sound that comes out from the Gionee S6s is nothing to write home about. At the back of the S6s, there is a mono speaker which gets reasonably loud. The phone loudspeaker though loud can sound tinny while playing sounds full of bass. The Gionee S6s which plugged into a high-end headphone produces decent sound at best. We found out that the DAC in the Gionee S6s wasn’t good enough to properly drive the Audio-Technica M50x headphones.
But for general music listening, unless you are an audiophile, you won’t complain. Also, included in the box is a pair of earphone which sounds really good. Have you used the Apple earpods? Well, if you have, the bundled earphones sound almost as good as those from Apple.
Battery Life and Connectivity
The battery life of the Gionee S6s is generally good. A 3150mAh non-removable battery powers the phone. The Gionee S6s easily lasts a day and that too coming from a heavy user perspective. If you are a light user, you can stretch the battery life to two days. I am a heavy user and I returned home with the Gionee S6s with 15% battery left. While the battery life isn’t exceptional, we think it is still very good.
One thing we are disappointed with the Gionee S6s , which very few reviewers talk about is the rate at which the phone charges. In our testing, the phone took 2hours 30 minutes to charge from 0-100 percent. With the charging technology getting better every day, we expected a little more from the Gionee S6s. Apart from the slow charging speed, there is very little to complain.
The Gionee S6s is fully loaded when it comes to connectivity. The phone houses 2 slots for dual-SIM usage or filling the empty one with a micro-SD card. The phone has Bluetooth 4.1, GPS and is 4G capable. Wireless charging and NFC is missing but then again none of the competitors offer this feature either.
The Gionee S6s is powered by an 8-core Mediatek MT6753 SoC. While the phone launched in in mid-2016, the processor is quite old. The Mediatek MT6753 was launched in 2014 and its age can be seen in its performance. Don’t get us wrong though, the phone performs reasonably well while performing day-to-day task. Also, since the phone as 3GB of RAM, lack of memory isn’t an issue. Using Facebook, Viber and playing light games isn’t a problem to the Gionee S6s. Even heavy games like the Dead Trigger 2 and Asphalt 8 run really well on the phone. It is only during extensive period of gameplay that the processor shows its age.
All-in-all, we think that Gionee is on-par if not better than its competitors in the performance department. The 3GB of RAM helps a lot too.
Camera and Video
Remember the “s” in the Gionee S6s stands for Selfie? Well, this phone is primarily focused on the front facing camera. Gone are the days when you review the rear camera in in-depth and just mention the resolution of the front camera. In this review, we will be reviewing the front camera in detail.
The Gionee S6s has an 8MP front camera with CRI flash and has an aperture of f/2.2. What is CRI flash? Well, we will get to that in a minute. Before that, let’s talk about the image produced from the front facing camera of the phone. The 8MP camera on the front gas a fixed lens but the exposure can be manually adjusted by the user. The photos from this camera are really good. In fact, it is the best in its class and better than phones that costs twice or thrice as much.
About the CRI Flash, here is what you got to know: “CRI is a measure of a light source’s ability to show object colors “realistically” or “naturally” compared to a familiar reference source, either incandescent light or daylight.” And yes, the flash works just as advertised. Take a phone with the flash on day or night, the flash works like a charm. With this flash, there is no red-eye issue or whatsoever. However, at times, the image processing resulted the photos to turn out yellow. But it happened only rarely. Overall, the Gionee S6s lives up the selfie hype.
The rear camera is average at best. The 13MP camera of the Gionee S6s is sourced from Sony and does well in well-lit environment. In addition to that, we were surprised to see how well the phone handled images taken in dark environments. However, we noticed, on close inspection that the images were soft and lacked punch in terms of colors. All-in-all, the camera is good but nothing to write home about.
Here are some of the photo samples for you to check out!
Gionee S6s may not excel in a lot of things but gets the most important things right. Also, priced at Rs.26,000, we think it is a good phone for the money. In addition to that, you can get this phone for as low as Rs.23,000 if you can shop around for a while. Though there are many phones to choose from in this competitive mid-range smartphone market, we think that the Gionee S6s certainly stands out. The phone has a good performance, good battery life and front facing camera. If you aren’t into heavy gaming and want an excellent rear camera, you can’t go wrong with this phone.