Gionee Marathon M5 Lite Review
Gionee’s main task in the budget phone segments has been mostly about delivering handsets with best battery life possible. The company’s Marathon series took after the launch of Marathon M4, and the recent Marathon M5.
The Marathon M5 Lite was launched in earlier this year. The features and specifications of the smartphone are quite similar to M4, only with a new Android version and slightly enhanced internals. Gionee M5 Lite price in India is Rs. 12,999 which is almost same as the price of M4.
So is Gionee M5 Lite better than Gionee M4? Let’s find out.
DESIGN AND BUILT
The Gionee Marathon M5 Lite indeed scores some extra brownie points when it comes to visuals. The smartphone is slimmer and thanks to the new colour and the chrome accents along the edges the handset definitely gives a premium feel. Though the handset is slightly heavy, and the heft is obvious when it is in your pocket.
The display is sharp with a 5-inch HD IPS screen with Dragontrail glass for extra strength. With the pixel density of just about 300ppi, the images and texts are quite sharp without any visible colour banding. The brightness level, viewing angle, and sunlight legibility are also good. Though what’s disappointing is the company has again skipped on a LED notification and backlighting for capacitive keys.
The power and volume keys are nicely placed on the right which makes the single-handed use easy. The side doesn’t offer as much grip as compared to the rear, so the users may find it slippery if they just hold the sides. While the rear cover is removable, the battery is not. There we have the two Micro-SIM slots that support 4G, by the side of a microSD card slot that you can use to extend the storage capacity by 128GB.
Inside the box, you get charger, screen guard case, USB cable, and instruction manuals. The accessories look cheap and aren’t of the same quality as the ones that accompanied Marathon M4 and M5.
Specifications and Software
The company has stuck to same internals as we have seen in the Marathon M5, which has a quad-core MediaTek MT6735 SoC, 3GB RAM, and 32GB onboard storage. This is good seeing that Gionee Marathon M5 Lite price is somewhat similar to the Marathon M5. Other features are also similar, including Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi b/g/n, FM radio, GPS, Miracast, and USB OTG. There’s a slightly smaller battery of 4000mAh, though the company still claims to offer multiple days of usage.
The Gionee Marathon M5 Lite runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop with Gionee’s Amigo 3.1 skin running on the top. The smartphone offers almost similar experience to any other Gionee smartphone.
The stock launcher is a single-layered interface that offers options to customise the transition effects of icons on the home screen. A quick way to change the wallpaper from the home screen would be nice rather than going into the setting. Quick settings and toggles are in Control Centre, which you can access by swiping up from the bottom, whereas drop down shade is for notifications. The Setting app offers Smart Gestures feature which enables touchless functionality for media and web browsing.
Most pre-installed apps can be removed excluding some like Chameleon, which allows you to change the theme by selecting complementary colours from anything that you click with the camera; GStore, an app store for games; Theme Park, which allows you to select from multiple themes; and Mood Card, for picture message templates. TouchPal 2015, Gionee Xender, WPS Office, DU Speed Booster, etc., are some of the pre-installed apps that can be uninstalled.
Seeing the specifications of the handset, it is no wonder that M5 Lite is capable of handling most tasks without any lag. General app performance and multitasking are efficient as you have 1.6GB RAM at your disposal. 4G also works great, and the handset barely heats up during regular usage.
3D games like Dead Trigger 2 also runs smoothly. The handset scored decently in benchmarks with 3D Mark Ice Storm giving it 5749 points, and AnTuTu scored it 33,022.
Multimedia support also works well since stock video player manages high bit-rate video file efficiently also it features DTS audio enhancement. With it, the back mono speaker delivers great loud audio for music and videos. The music app allows DTS audio and customizable equaliser setting. The audio quality from the headset is not that good, and also it doesn’t have a good fit when worn.
There are slight issues when it comes to light metering from the rear camera. The bright area seemed to fade out and close up clicks are inflated. The pictures are passable, but it lacks details and sharpness when zoomed. The camera app offers multiple shooting modes, like Pro mode. Low-light shots were quite impressive, and the detail and autofocus speed are great.
Video recording can be taken up to 1080p which is good thanks to the software stabilisation. The rear flash is good as long as the subject is at the adequate distance. The 5-megapixel front camera takes decent shots under good light.
Battery capability is the main highlight of the Marathon series, and while the Gionee M5 Lite delivers, it is not up to the expectations. It would last a day and a half with regular use, and it could last for about 11 hours and 47 minutes of video playbacks. And the battery takes nearly four hours to get charge fully from zero that is a painful point.
The Gionee Marathon M5 price is Rs 12,999 and with such a price tag this handset feels expensive. If you are looking for a better battery capacity, then stick to the old Marathon M4, as apart from aesthetic, there is not any noticeable change.
It got a slimmer premium body and whole day lasting battery but apart from that there isn’t much. The bundled accessories are also not that good.
The company might be taking the Marathon series bit too much. All the recently launched smartphones look similar. So, it time Gionee should take a step back and think what is really required.