The highlight about this smartphone is its massive battery rating of 5000mAh. There are times when the people hate the battery life of Android smartphones. For those worried consumers, Gionee have introduced this smartphone. We have been testing the device for the past week. Now here are our thoughts on the device.
First talking about the design. The Marathon M3 does not intend to appease anyone with its looks. Rather it is more focused on a singular point. The device feels lighter for a massive 5000mAh battery. Though, it is relatively heavier than most of the devices in the market. With a metal built non-removable battery inside it, you cannot expect it to be a lighter device. It does have pretty decent look and feel, while bulkiness comes with battery size. The finishing and built quality is quite good.
The design aesthetics are clearly similar to the M2. In the front of the device, you will find the front camera with sensors and earpiece above the display. On the right side, there are Volume rocker keys and power button. The left side is empty, while there are microUSB port and primary microphone at the bottom. On the top edge of the device, there is a 3.5mm headphone jack given. The back panel is made of matte finish plastic and features the primary camera with LED flash. There is also a secondary microphone placed alongside the camera module. While the loudspeakers are located at the bottom.
Coming to the display on Marathon M3, which is 5-inch 720p, and having 294 PPI density. The display manages to be quite visible in the direct sunlight exposure. While it is not the best HD displays we have seen, compared to the Moto G 2014, which has same PPI. But it offers pretty decent sharpness and the viewing angles. We have had no complaints regarding the touch screen responsiveness.
Next up is the Hardware on Marathon M3. The device is powered by a Quad-core Mediatek processor, clocking at 1.3GHz. It is complimented by Mali-450 Graphics and 1GB of RAM. The device has 8GB of internal storage, out of which less than 2 GB of storage is available to use. As Gionee has more than 2.5GB of bloatware installed. While the microSD card supports expansion of up to 128GB, which is pretty incredible. The Gionee has also added the USB OTG functionality on the Marathon M3. It allows you to attach the flash drive to access media directly from it.
The gaming is pretty good on the device as we didn’t experience any lag on the pre-installed games. While there is a noticeable lag in the games like Asphalt in high graphics. Though, it won’t bother your gaming experience much. And also you don’t have to worry about the battery life while playing heavy games. As it would easily last for around two days, depending on your heavy usage. The battery juice can last for around a week, if the device is on standby with little usage from time-to-time.
As for the software, the Marathon M3 is running on Android 4.4.2 Kitkat OS. It is layered with Gionee’s customized interface. It is not exactly the Amigo UI we see on the flagship Gionee devices. But the interface does resemble the Amigo UI elements. As there is the Amigo paper and bunch of other apps are pre-installed on the device. Compared to the UI on M2, the customized OS on M3 feels more polished and organized. Well, it is not the greatest interface, but it manages to provide some good features. It is a recommended UI for users who like to customize their smartphones a lot. As there are lots of ways, Gionee has provided to change those looks.
Talking about the camera on the Marathon M3. The primary camera on the device is 8MP and comes with LED flash. It is exactly the same camera module, which is present in the M2. It allows you to take decent photos during daylight, as we experienced that. While the photos in low-light were missing the details as the visibility is very low. When using LED flash, the photos seemed to be washed out as the brightness was too much on the most part of the subject. And even when the subject was placed quite far.
With a large battery size, this device is a sure catch, but it has its cons too. While the most annoying part is the bloatware. Gionee has been known to provide an unnecessary number of apps with their handsets. While Marathon M3 is not an exception. Whereas some users like that they have got pre-installed apps with their handsets. While many doesn’t want a smartphone that is full of bloatware. To uninstall these apps, users need to root their device. Which is somewhat of a hectic task for first-time users.
Another thing that Gionee might have done better is regarding the availability of the device. Even though, it has been announced in India, it is hard for consumers to get this phone. Because it is only available on eBay, the device has not hit the offline stores yet.
With decent specs sheet and performance, the Marathon M3 is quite a good catch in this price range. Only if you can compromise the fact that it will come with bloatware. While the USP of the device remains the same, which is the 5000mAh battery rating. Comparing its weight, the device is little lighter in weight against the Redmi 1S. It is quite amazing for the battery that is more than 2 times the size of Redmi 1S. You know, at the price of INR 13K you can’t ask for the high-end specs.