Gionee Marathon M5 Plus review: Powerful performer


Gionee’s Marathon M5 Plus was launched in China last year. However, the smartphone reached Indian shores only in April this year. The M5 Plus is the sixth addition to the Chinese manufacturer’s Marathon line-up, and the most expensive too.

Bearing a price tag of Rs 26,999, Gionee Marathon M5 Plus is an upper mid-range smartphone. As such, it is bound to face tough competition from the likes of Xiaomi Mi 5 and OnePlus 3.

We spent some days with the handset to find out whether it’s capable of making a mark for itself in the fiercely contested Indian smartphone market. Here’s our full review, of the Gionee Marathon M5 Plus.

The Marathon M5 Plus comes with a slightly tinkered design, especially when compared to previous devices in the Marathon line-up. The non-removable back of the smartphone houses a 13MP rear-camera module with LED flash in the centre. The rear also has the refreshed Gionee logo.

Gionee Marathon M5 Plus has a 2.5D curved display, surrounded by a metallic frame and rounded corners. The front houses the earpiece, the usual array of sensors and a 5MP front camera. There’s also a ‘Home’ button, flanked by soft-touch ‘Back’ and ‘Task Switcher’ keys. During our testing, the keys offered decent feedback. However, using them in the dark proved to be a bit of a problem as the keys aren’t backlit.

Coming to the sides, the power button, volume rocker and microSD card tray are placed at the right. On the other hand, the dual-sim card tray is located on the right. At the bottom, you get a 3.5mm audio jack and microUSB port.

The Marathon M5 Plus has a 6-inch Full HD AMOLED display with 1080×1920 pixel resolution, with pixel density coming at around 368ppi. During our time with the phone, the display produced vivid colours with a fair amount of accuracy. Viewing angles were really good, as was sunlight legibility.

All said, the unibody design and high- resolution display can be definitely considered as the highlights of the Marathon M5 Plus. However, the 6-inch screen is quite a handful and not that easy to use with one hand.

Coming to the call quality, it was good. The phone managed to latch on to networks even in areas with weak signal reception. Same was the case for GPS lock-on, which worked without any hiccups.

Like most other similarly priced phones, Gionee Marathon M5 Plus comes with a fingerprint sensor as well. During our testing, we found the fingerprint sensor to be fairly responsive.

The Marathon M5 Plus sports a 13MP rear camera with LED flash and a 5MP front camera. The camera app comes with standard features such as HDR and Panorama. As for our test shots, they offered good detail and natural-looking colours in both well-lit and low-lit conditions. The 5MP front camera clicked some good selfies as well. All in all, we were quite happy with the picture quality. Also, the rear camera supports 1080p video recording.

Overall, we found the cameras and overall performance of Gionee Marathon M5 Plus to be more than adequate.

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