Mobile Reviews

Gionee A1 Plus vs HTC U Play: two sub-$500 smartphones that you can lay your hands on

Gionee A1 Plus vs HTC U Play photo

On one corner, we have Gionee A1 Plus which is all about its huge 6-inch screen and on the other – there’s HTC U Play which is all about being playful.

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A1 Plus had just hit the market, and there’s been a lot of positive response so far. Let us begin by taking a closer look at its specs as per below:

  • 6-inch Full HD IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen with 1080 x 1920 pixels or ~367 ppi pixel density
  • Metal body
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Mediatek MT6757T Helio P25 chipset, Octa-core (4x2.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4x1.4 GHz Cortex-A53) processor, Mali-T880MP2 graphics and 4GB RAM
  • Dual 13MP + 5MP primary camera with f/2.0 aperture, phase detection autofocus and LED flash
  • 20MP secondary camera with f/2.0 aperture and 1/2.8" sensor size
  • 64GB internal storage + microSD expansion slot up to maximum 256GB
  • Android Nougat 7.0
  • Non-removable Li-Ion 4550 mAh battery with Fast battery charging
  • Dual-sim and 4G LTE
  • April 2017 release date
  • 449 Euro or ~$484 USD price tag

First and foremost, you should take note that the A1 Plus is indeed huge. With its intimidating 6-inch Full HD IPS screen, you have to test it out first and see whether you are up for it. There’s no point getting a phablet this big, but having trouble handling it. Two-handed operation is definite unless you have pretty big hands.

The A1 Plus is wrapped up in a beautiful metal body that also comes with a fingerprint sensor. This seems to be the norm these days.

Under the hood of the A1 Plus is the high-end Helio P25 chipset paired with a fast octa-core processor, great graphics and 4GB RAM. This combo should prove to be powerful enough to run just about anything that you throw at it, and still have some spare left in the tank.

The highlight of the show is definitely on its amazing camera setup. The primary camera comes with a 13MP+5MP dual camera setup with all the usual goodies that is sure to capture some of the most amazing photos around. Not content with that, a 20MP selfie camera is there to let you shoot some of the best selfie shots. With the A1 Plus, you get the best of both worlds in one device.

Moving on to storage, 64GB of internal storage is available which lets you store tonnes of photos in high-res and install lots of apps and games that you like. If you need more space, just pop in a microSD card which can easily boost it by 256GB.

A huge 4550 mAh battery is available which can easily power up the phablet for at least a day or two in between charging.

Last but not least, the latest Android Nougat 7.0 OS is available. This means that all its hardware prowess is complemented with the latest operating system which brings about the latest features, functions and enhancements.

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With that covered, let’s turn our attention to U Play. It is the playful 5.2-inch smartphone that fits perfectly in your hand. It reflects U, with a sophisticated new liquid surface. It listens to U, adapting sound to your unique hearing. It captures the best U with its Ultra Selfie cameras. And it even learns from U, becoming a companion that evolves and gets to know you better over time.

Such bold words coming out from HTC’s website, let’s take a closer look then at its specs as per follows:

  • 5.2-inch Full HD Super LCD capacitive touchscreen with 1080 x 1920 pixels or ~428 ppi pixel density
  • Metal and Glass body
  • Gorilla Glass protection
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Mediatek MT6755 Helio P10 chipset, Octa-core (4x2.0 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4x1.1 GHz Cortex-A53) processor, Mali-T860MP2 graphics and 3GB RAM
  • 16MP primary camera with f/2.0, 28mm, OIS, phase detection autofocus and dual-LED (dual tone) flash
  • 16MP secondary camera with f/2.0, 27mm and 1 µm pixel size
  • 32GB internal storage + microSD expansion slot up to 256GB maximum
  • Android Marshmallow 6.0
  • Non-removable Li-Ion 2500 mAh battery with Fast battery charging
  • Dual-sim and 4G LTE
  • February 2017 release date
  • $499 USD price tag

If you are on the lookout for a smartphone that isn’t so big, then perhaps a 5.2-inch size might just fit you. It also introduces a new and beautifully contoured liquid surface that is designed to reflect the best you. Hold it up and you will appreciate the smartphone’s symmetrical construction and the way it transforms light as you turn it around. To achieve this extraordinary look, HTC has developed an entirely new process where colours bond to the glass in multiple layers to reflect light beautifully - adding brilliance and depth from every angle. Then the glass is moulded evenly around the sides and edges, using extreme pressure and heat to mimic the natural surface tension of liquid; folding and bending the surface to create a perfect blend of metal and glass.

Under the hood of the U Play is in the mid-range area, with the available Helio P10 chipset, an octa-core processor, good graphics and 3GB RAM. This should combine well to give you a solid performance without any major issues.

Camera-wise, the U Play is equipped with a 16MP-16MP camera combination that gives you great pleasure in taking photos. The smartphone features Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) for twice the shutter time with less blur. PDAF speeds up autofocus so you don’t miss a moment. There’s also Auto HDR which makes taking difficult back-lit shots surprisingly easy.

Moving on to the selfie camera, U Play lets you easily switch between 16MP and UltraPixel™. Now you can choose between the unparalleled 4x light sensitivity that UltraPixel offers (perfect for candlelit dinners), and the high-resolution detail that 16MP provides.

One last thing worth noting is the introduction of HTC Sense Companion. It is your personal companion that will always be learning from you. It can suggest that you dress warmer and leave a little earlier for work if snow is forecast in your area. How about a reminder to take with you a power bank if you are going for longer trips? Or a restaurant to recommend for the weekend and make the booking reservation for you?

U Play also has a built-in voice recognition. It will be able to recognise your voice and respond to it accordingly. Just say the word to unlock your phone, take or reject incoming calls, snooze or dismiss an alarm, send messages and even begin hands-free navigation. Very convenient, right?

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When you are spending close to $500 USD, you would expect to have a lot of things out of the smartphone. Here you can find a large 6-inch Full HD screen with great metal body, impressive hardware, great dual 13MP+5MP camera, amazing 20MP selfie camera, large 64GB storage, huge 4550 mAh battery and the latest Android Nougat 7.0 OS to give you a phablet like no other. It is also slightly cheaper by $15 USD which makes it even more promising.

Gionee A1 Plus is expected to be available very soon for approximately 449 Euro or ~$484 USD. It is said to be available in Gray and Mocha Gold colour.

HTC U Play is all about wanting to give you serious fun playing with the smartphone. It is also one that will grow together with you, the more time you spent on it. With great look and feel, good hardware and great camera; you should consider getting it if you want something small in size but big in features.

HTC U Play is currently available for $499 USD and there are four colours for you to choose from - Brilliant Black, Cosmetic Pink, Ice White and Sapphire Blue.

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Eza EzamieEza Ezamie
Category: Team WhaTechCompany about: Tech junkie by profession and passionate about anything from the digital world, movies, games and reading. He loves writing and hopes you enjoy his writing as much as he does. Eza, is also known as Don in the virtual world, but don’t him me wrong, he's not a mafia type he's really a nice chap and a devout family guy.