GadgetsLab .indd

Operating System: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
CPU: Quadcore 1.2 GHz Cortex A7
LCD size: 4.5″
Physical Dimension: 128 x 68 x 9.8mm
Weight: 134g (including battery)
Band: GSM 850/900/1800/1900
Internal memory: 4GB ROM+ 1GB
RAM; microSD support up to 32GB
• Duai-SIM/dual standby capacity
• Extra battery
• Camera and video buttons are
present side-by-side for ease of use
• Uninstallable NQ Mobile Security
The Gionee GN708 is good news for those who want good value for their money. The phone offers more options at a competitive price.

Gionee is sort of an unusual name for a brand of smartphones, but for a company that wishes to stand out, it gets the job done. You may have already heard of Gionee Smartphones, a new player in the rapidly expanding mobile phone industry in the country, but if not, keep reading. You might like what this brand has to offer, starting off with Gionee’s first quad-core smartphone, the GN708.

The first thing I noticed about the Gionee GN708 was that it looks an awful lot like the iPhone from the front, except that its slightly bigger and wider-almost the size of the Samsung Galaxy 54. The rouse is blown through the phone’s softtouch plastic back cover that gives a rubbery texture.

The phone itself has a 4.5-inch qHD multi-touch capacitive display; that’s a 960 x 540 pixel IPS screen that looks sharp and clear. The front of the GN708 has the standard Android capacitive keys that include Menu, Home Screen, and Back. Above the screen is a 1.0MP camera, a speaker grill, and a sensor, and on top of the phone is a 3.5mm headset jack and a microUSB port for charging and data transfer. At the back, near the bottom left corner, is the loudspeaker. The Gionee GN708 is a dual-SIMI dual-standby phone. It’s battery is a 21 00 mAh affair, and you even get a spare in the box! This way, you get an extra value for your money and a few extra hours of talk time. Just remove the used battery, swipe the extra one in, and charge the other one in the included external charger, so you have a fully charged battery whenever you need it.

The phone interface is fair-tomiddling. With a quad-core processor running on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the GN708 runs fairly smooth. The phone has an interesting theme going on, with boxed, cartoony icons. Customizations to the theme, wallpaper, or effect, however, can be made by going to the “Change” application. The widgets are not part of the application drawer, but you can install them by pressing on the home screen for about two seconds, prompting the widgets menu to pop up.

There’s a good bunch of apps preinstalled into the Gionee GN708, including Opera Mini, WeChat, GameZone, Fishing Joy, Kingsoft Office, and NQ Mobile Security, which generally comes with Gionee Smartphones. NQ Mobile Security has its own widget on the screen and clicking “Optimize” supposedly clears up some space and memory for you. This is good if you like your phone to help you do just that, but it’s somewhat annoying if you don’t, because you don’t get the option to remove it.

With the GN708’s 8MP camera, you can change modes with a one-tap gesture. Unfortunately, it has neither Panorama nor Multi-angle modes. In Camera mode, the buttons for taking photos and videos are present side-by-side for ease of use. You can quickly switch from taking photos to taking videos without the need to go to Settings. With the video mode, you get 1 080p Full HD video recording.

I went ahead and played Iron Man 3: The Official Game to test the GN708’s gaming capability. The volume was great and the graphics were impressive, with smooth 3D rendering. There was no input lag when swiping, and tilting worked fine as well. Since the phone has a quad-core processor, it handled the games pretty well that I didn’t encounter any problem.

All in all, I think the Gionee GN708 is a great phone with a decent size. The 4.5-inch qHD screen is actually beautiful. The phone’s camera may not be the best, but it’s still quite impressive, plus it does its job-can’t complain about that. It runs games magnificently, what with the Quad-core processor and 1GB RAM. I didn’t particularly like the GN708’s custom interface and boxed icons, not to mention, NQ Mobile Security, but this really depends on individual taste. Finally, this phone is great for those who want good value for their money.

Screen Shot 2014-02-05 at 1.31.04 PM


First published in Gadgets Magazine, July 2013

Words by Janelle Bustilla