As Indian operators prepare to launch their LTE services by January-February, one phone after the other is getting launched claiming the title of best LTE phone in India.
While last week saw the release of the Lenovo Vibe X2 at Rs 19,999, this week, it’s the Gionee Elife S5.1, priced even lower at Rs 17,500. Two weeks ago, LG launched the LF60, India’s cheapest LTE phone priced at just Rs 15,000.
In addition, the HTC Desire 820q, also LTE-enabled, started selling at Rs 22,400.
In other words, in about three weeks, the price of LTE phones have gone from Rs 30,000-plus to the Rs 15,000-20,000 range.
The question naturally is, which is the best LTE phone in India in this price range.
The cheapest of all, LG F60, can easily be discarded for the simple reason that the phone is really a very basic model with LTE slapped on top.
But today’s launch, the Gionee Elife S5.1 is no lightweight.
Despite being priced affordably, the Elife S5.1 comes with an HD (720p) AMOLED display, and the phone itself is was reportedly recognized by Guinness as the world’s slimmest.
The Elife S5.1 also comes with a 5 MP wide-angle front camera, an 8 MP rear camera, a quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal memory (non-expandable), and a 2100 mAh battery.
In other words, the phone is no lightweight. Without LTE, we believe the phone would have been priced at Rs 14,000.
This would be currently our pick for the best LTE phone for those looking for a compact phone.
At five inches, however, there is the Lenovo Vibe X2, which offers far superior specifications at just Rs 2,500 extra.
That said, the lower resolution of the Elife S5.1’s display is partly offset by the fact that it is made using AMOLED technology, which gives a special vibrancy to the colors as seen in Samsung phones.
The Gionee Elife S5.1 has not yet been launched by big ecommerce retailers like Flipkart and Snapdeal, but is available on eBay from top-rated seller bberry.stores.
While there is confusion about which bands of LTE is supported by the phone, bberry says the phone supports LTE in 2300 MHz band. We believe the phone will be compatible with Airtel and Aircel’s LTE networks, as well as with Reliance’s upcoming LTE network.
As such, the phone offers a great alternative to those looking for a compact LTE device. In addition, the Gionee S5.1 is also likely to see its price fall to the Rs 15,000 level in about 1 to 1.5 months, while the Lenovo model will not see any price drops for at least the next three months.
The Elife S5.1 comes with Android JellyBean, but with a special Gionee skin on top.