Gionee P5L first impressions: a first look at the most affordable LTE smartphone

“The Gionee P5L is the cheapest LTE smartphone available in India”

At the PLUGGED IN tech show in Bangalore today, Gionee unveiled a duo of budget LTE devices – the P5L and the V6L. The P5L is the more affordable of the two, and incidentally, is also the cheapest LTE-enabled smartphone in India. Priced at Rs 10,000, it’s cheaper even than the XOLO LT900, which is another affordable 4G-capable smartphone. We had the chance to go hands on with the smartphone at the event to bring you our first impressions.

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The Gionee P5L features a 4.7-inch display – the same size as the Redmi 1s, but thanks to a smaller frame, is easier to use with a single hand. The display features a resolution of 854 x 480 pixels. The screen seemed fairly smooth during our brief usage. The colours are vibrant, but slightly oversaturated. While the screen is clear enough for most tasks, the low pixel density of 208ppi results in jagged edges around text. 

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Above the display sits the 2MP fixed -focus front camera, earpiece, sensors and notification LED. The bottom features a row of Android capacitive keys. The primary microphone is a tiny notch below them. 

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The P5L isn’t the slimmest smartphone – measuring 8.9mm in thickness – but owing to its small display, it still feels compact to hold. Coming to the port and button placement, the power button and volume rocker are located on the right spine. The buttons felt slightly flimsy to the touch, almost as if they would fall off after a few days of use. The 3.5mm audio jack is located on top, while the micro-USB port is at the bottom. 

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The back panel houses the chrome-tipped 8MP primary camera, flash and secondary microphone on top and a loudspeaker at the bottom. The rear cover can be pried open to reveal the 1,800mAh user replaceable battery, two micro-SIM card slots and a microSD card slot.

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When it comes to the internals, the Gionee P5L is powered by a quad-core MediaTek MT6582 processor clocked at 1.3GHz. The chip gets MediaTek’s MT6290 modem to equip it with LTE capabilities. For memory, the device offers 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD.

The Gionee P5L runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat, overlaid with Gionee’s custom Amigo UI. The smartphone comes in two colours – black or white. While the black variant features a matte finish, the white model is glossy. The smartphone is slated to go on sale across India next month.

LTE capabilities aside, the P5L offers a very average set of features for its asking price. Smartphones such as the ASUS Zenfone 5, the original Moto G, Xiaomi Redmi 1s and the Huawei Honor Holly all offer better specifications for the same or lower price. That said, Gionee should be commended for paving the way for affordable 4G smartphones, and that’s exactly what the P5L represents.
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