Very recently, I decided to
go into the smartphone market and get myself a budget smartphone that will not
frustrate me. I had several options but I was very particular about this challenge.
I didn’t want to spend about #30,000 on the phone. Shortly, I was stuck on two
phones to use – Gionee M7 Lite and Tecno Pouvoir 3 Air. I eventually got both
of them and use each one for a week to know which one is the best to get. Both
phones have similar prices so I was expecting identical performances. A look at
the specs-sheet of both phones and I couldn’t be more surprised.
The Gionee M7 Lite is a 5.5” HD display with a resolution of 1132 x 540 pixels and a notch which houses the front camera. That might sound awful on paper when you compare with a phone like Tecno Pouvoir 3(not the Air variant) which costs about #10,000 – #15,000 more. However, the display is quite okay – I’m not quite sure of what I was expecting but the phone really didn’t disappoint me on that aspect.
LCD Display, 1132 x 540pixels
Camera: 8MP camera with flashlight
Camera: 5MP camera
internal storage with support for up to 128Gb SD-card
4,000 mAh battery
The phone measures 141.80 x
68.30 x 11.35mm and weighs about 183g. This means you have a small phone that
weighs a lot. The Tecno Pouvoir 3 Air looks a lot bigger when placed
side-by-side with this phone. However, I didn’t really miss a big screen as
this phone has its 5.5” display in an aspect ratio of 19:9 so that it is
compact and taller. I was quite unnerved by the weight at first but I got
pretty used to it after a while.
The Gionee M7 Lite looks
absolutely beautiful at the back. I got the mixed purple and blue color and it
looks great in my palms. The polycarbonate finish at the back was also neatly
polished so it gives you a nice touch and feel. The camera and single flash-light
was situated at the left corner and the fingerprint scanner was at the center.
I was quite surprised there’s
a phone in 2019 with a removable battery but I couldn’t judge because this is
the budget-phone range. I had to remove the back case and remove the battery
before I could install my nano-sim cards and SD-card. It wasn’t as smooth as
using a sim-ejector pin to remove the sim-tray from the side of the phone like
you have on other phones but it wasn’t really a headache.
On the software side, Gionee
M7 lite is powered by a 1.2GHz processor, 2Gb RAM and 16Gb internal storage.
This is exactly what a phone like the Tecno Pouvoir 2 offers. It runs on
Android 9 Pie which is the latest Android OS update, with Android Q still in
beta mode. I was pleased to notice that the phone doesn’t run any custom
Android skin and bloatware. The preinstalled applications were Google’s apps
like Playstore and Chrome, and other proprietary applications like Clock,
Messages and Phone. I was quite unsatisfied with using Files app by Google and
Google Photos for my pictures but this isn’t any problem because there are a
lot of amazing applications of the Google Playstore.
The phone runs neatly without
a lag in my two weeks of testing and it could keep applications fairly well in
memory. I tested its memory management and I found it kept apps remained in
their state about 40% more than the Tecno Spark 3 2gb RAM variant.
Speaking of camera, I knew
there would compromise on this department and I wasn’t wrong. The Gionee M7
Lite comes with 8MP rear camera and 5MP camera for selfies. I was honestly disappointed
with the selfie camera by just looking at the specs-sheet and I wasn’t
expecting it to be a good shooter. Unfortunately, I was right. The rear camera
works just fine – don’t expect a lot of details in your pictures though. The
selfie camera was, however, disappointing. The stock camera app would force the
pictures you take to flip without even giving you the option to turn it off.
You could solve this by downloading another camera app from the Google
Playstore though. It’s important to also note that there is no flashlight
present on the front of this phone.
Before comparing this phone
directly with the Tecno Pouvoir 3 Air, let’s discuss the battery and
accessories. Gionee M7 Lite ships with a 4,000 mAh battery which sounds pretty
cool on paper. I wasn’t too impressed with the battery life, however. I found my
battery getting lower sooner than I expected but maybe it’s one of the
compromise I’d have to make.
I was totally pissed by the
quality of headphones Gionee shipped with this phone. It provided very little
or no bass and it was not noise-cancelling at the very least. I had to get
another headphone before I could properly enjoy the 3.5mm headphone jack
present on the phone. Surprisingly, both headphone jack and USB-C port are at
the top of the phone.
Gionee M7 Lite vs Tecno Pouvoir 3 Air
Choosing between both phones
wasn’t very easy but I had a favorite and it was the Gionee M7 Lite. One of the
turn-offs of the Tecno Pouvoir 3 Air was that it has only 1gb RAM and runs on
Android Go. Android Go is the variant of Android that offers you the stripped-down
basic versions of Google’s apps. You get the Google Go, Youtube Go, Maps go and
others. Honestly, I spend my time watching a lot of videos on Youtube, using
the Google app for News and other web searches and the Maps application for
navigating, so it was frustrating to use the Go version of these apps. The
applications could get better in terms of functionality and user-experience
through software updates but I found myself longing for the full apps on my
Furthermore, the Tecno
customized skin, HiOS, has some funny but annoying way it handles memory management
and like I’ve said earlier I couldn’t compare the experience of using both
phones. If you care about these things more than camera and battery which the
Tecno Pouvoir 3 is better at, then the Gionee M7 is a recommended buy. You won’t
regret you made that decision. Well, after getting used to the weight of the
Interested in this phone? Buy Now for #29,750:
Continue reading below