Product Listing

Gionee ELIFE S5.5 - A Thin Slice of Android Heaven

By Lionell Go Macahilig - 9 Sep 2014
Launch SRP: PhP21999

Introduction and Physique

Introduction and Physique

Last month while I was covering a local product launch and using a smartphone to take photos, one of the female promodizers asked me regarding the brand and model of the device in my hand. Some of the things she pointed out regarding the smartphone are its thinness, nice white color, and metallic build. In this day and age in which smartphones are ubiquitous and it seems that vendors are primarily focusing on their internal specifications, it is interesting to learn that consumers, particularly females, are still very conscious when it comes to devices’ physical respects. Manufacturers have been banking on consumers’ discriminating perception on device aesthetics since the years when feature smartphones were very popular. One of the aspects of smartphone aesthetics which manufacturers have been fighting over is thinness. The smartphone that I was using during the event coverage that I mentioned is the Gionee ELIFE S5.5, one of the thinnest octa-core smartphones in the market today.

One of the most attractive features of the Gionee ELIFE S5.5 is its 5-inch Super AMOLED display. Super AMOLED panels are known for their brilliance and sharpness.

Locally launched in July, the ELIFE S5.5 was brought to the country by China-based Gionee three months after the ELIFE E7’s release. The ELIFE S5.5 that we have is the white version. It is also available in black. The top and bottom sides of the smartphone are subtly curved, while its four corners are quite rounded. Looking at its bronze-colored sides, the ELIFE S5.5 clearly manifests its use of a metallic housing. Because the housing is metal, the sides are tapered to reduce sharpness. The ELIFE S5.5 is 5.5mm thin, dethroning the likes of the Huawei Ascend P6 (6.18mm) and the Vivo X3 (5.57mm) which were once identified as the thinnest smartphones in the market.

Boasting a thickness of 5.5mm, the ELIFE S5.5 (left) is much thinner than other octa-core smartphones such as the MyPhone Agua Infinity (right).

The back of the ELIFE S5.5 is also covered with a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 panel to enhance the phone's durability and premium aura.

The metallic casing of the ELIFE S5.5 is unibody, hence, its battery module is non-removable. The SIM slot is external and it can be opened by pricking the pinhole on it by using Gionee’s supplied key or a needle. The ELIFE S5.5 also does not have a slot for microSD and it primarily depends on its 16GB ROM for storage. Users may expand the smartphone’s storage by using a regular USB flash drive (a USB OTG adapter will be needed), micro-USB flash drive, or by subscribing to a cloud-based storage service.

Clad in a unibody metallic chassis, the ELIFE S5.5's battery is non-removable. Gionee has placed the SIM-slot on the right side of the device. It can be accessed by pricking the pinhole with the supplied pin or a needle.

On the front, the ELIFE S5.5 presents a 5-inch Full HD touchscreen. It is based on a Super AMOLED display panel. Hence, when put side by side with a smartphone that uses a regular IPS LCD touchscreen, the ELIFE S5.5 will definitely stand out because of its display’s brightness, sharpness, and brilliant colors. When using the ELIFE S5.5 under bright sunlight, simply set the phone’s brightness to the maximum level and everything will remain legible and visible. Both the front and rear sides of the ELIFE S5.5 are protected by Gorilla Glass 3 panels, enhancing the durability and elegant aura of the smartphone.

The cardboard box of the ELIFE S5.5 also contains a smartphone cover, screen protectors, USB OTG adapter, and the SIM slot key, apart from the usual micro-USB cable, USB charger, and earphones.

In retail stores, the ELIFE S5.5 comes with a simple cardboard packaging, bundled with a typical micro-USB cable, USB charger, and earphones. The smartphone also comes with a leather-like cover, plastic screen protectors, OTG USB adapter, and a key pin for the SIM slot. The earphones’ cable is flattened, similar to those of Beats’ earphones, which intent is to lessen entanglement.