Smartphone Review – Gionee Dream D1 is a Quad Core Beast

Gionee Dream D1Just a couple of days back I shared some first look hands-on pictures of China based handset manufacturer GiONEE’s quad core Android smartphone Dream D1. Though in India there are already many quad core smartphones from Indian handset companies, this one still has its own charm. Gionee is one of the leading handset manufacturers in China.

GiONEE Dream D1 came with a small cute box which contains the smartphone with battery (non-removable), 16GB microSD card, charger cum USB cable, earphone, two back cover, warranty papers, screen guard, after sale service center list, user manual and other documentation.

Currently there is floods of quad core smartphones in India. Almost all Indian handset companies has launched their quad core smartphones with different display sizes. Micromax, Karbonn, Lava, Xolo, iBall, Celkon, Maxx Mobiles, Zopo, Zync and others – every one has quad core Android devices under their range, thanks to MediaTek’s revolutionary yet affordable quad core chipset series.

Hardware

Shipped with MediaTek’s affordable quad-core platform MT6589, it is a beast with terrific hardware – 1.2GHz Cortex A7 Quad core processor, 1GB RAM and PowerVR SGX 544MP GPU.

Dream D1 System Info Benchmark

We used Antutu Benchmark – which is easy to use benchmarking tool, available free on Google Play Store. Dream D1 scored 12,473 which proves its powerpacked performance during multimedia and gaming.

dream-d1-performance-antutu

Software

GiONEE D1 comes with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean with custom UI. Gionee however provides a preloaded app to change theme, wallpapers and effects. There are lots of preloaded apps like Facebook, Twitter, NetQuin Antivirus, Clean Up, Compass, Notes etc along with regular Google apps. There are also lots of .apk files are given with to install from with your choice.

default-ui-dreamd1- Homescreen

It’s built-in File Explorer has some advantages, it has three tabs – Browse (sorts files on their types), File (browse through folders) and FTP (for accessing FTP server via WLAN).

File-Explorer

Though the UI of Dream D1 is a altered one, custom made, Gionee has preloaded an app which helps to you to change the theme, wallpapers, and effects.

d1-ui-change-app

Though over all the Android experience is good, I find Dream D1 is OTA (over the air) enabled, means Gionee can inform you about software update and you don’t have to visit Service Centers or connect it to computer to install future software updates – just direct install the updates. It is useful feature, but with Gionee it’s sometimes irritating as it pushes some Chinese app download request. I downloaded the first – it was Baidu Browser. The problem is the app installed in Chinese UI – so I could not use it. So be careful, just ignore them.

app-download-request

 

Display

Gionee Dream D1 has 4.65 inch amazing HD Super AMOLED+ display with Gorilla glass 2 protection, up to 316ppi. It is full HD 1280x720p. The display is nicely back-lit and capacitive multi-touch is very responsive.

Multimedia – Audio, Video and Gaming

There is default music and video player inside it, and offer decent performance. But with jetAudio and vPlayer the perfomance is enhanced a lot. Sound quality is good, bundled earphones are also good in sound production as well its build quality is good. FM radio and FM recording is also excellent quality.

video playback on vplayer

video playback on vplayer

Camera

The Dream D1 packs 8 mega pixel rear camera with LED flash and a front shooter worth 2 mega pixel. The camera has lots of options including face detection, HDR capture, one-touch front to rear & vice versa conversion, some preloaded mode, panorama mode. The image quality is good, but can be better. Low light photography is below average. The flash is often high with auto mode, color production is not so good.

Sample Images:

With HDR

Gionee Dream D1- CamTest

Without HDRGionee Dream D1 Cam Test without HDR

Outdoor picture

Outdoor-dreamd1

The front camera is impressive with proper light. The 720p video recording is strictly okay.

Connectivity – Bluetooth, WiFi/WLAN, WiFi Hotspot, GPS

Dream D1 has two SIM slots – one supports 3G/WCDMA/HSPA and other one supports only 2G. SIM slots and microSD slot are well placed, and you don’t have to remove battery to get access to them. There is a bundled 16GB microSD card inside it.

Dream D1 has all standard Android connectivity – Bluetooth, WLAN/WiFi, WLAN Hotspot, GPS – all worked smoothly without any hiccup. Magnetic Sensor is there.

Battery

It has a 2100mAh battery, which is non-removable by users. The battery back up is quite average. You need to charge it everyday night as battery drains out with every day use of voice, text, data, music, video and gaming.

There is no mention of SAR, not even on their website. However on a blog it says, 0.639 W/kg @ 1g (head) and 1.01 W/kg @ 1g (body).

Bottomline

Like other quad core smartphones from Indian brands, GiONEE Dream D1 delivers what it promises. But somehow priced at Rs 15K+ over online stores and from a little known brand in the country it may not be well-received. Well the fact is Dream D1 is one of the first few handsets from Gionee in India. We hope that Gionee will create a brand presence in the country which will help to find its own niche in the market.

Pros

  • Quad core processor & 1GB RAM gives smooth Android Jelly Bean experience
  • Front Camera is quite impressive
  • Battery backup is over all good
  • Very light weight

Cons

  • As it’s OTA enabled, Chinese apps download request may come
  • Rear camera can be better
  • Rooting & third party apps is tough to find
  • After sales service centers are limited in number

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  • Deepak November 2, 2013 2:42 pm

    just bought did yesterday on d eve of dhanteras and got to admit boss delivering such specifications at only 13500 is outstanding..
    I was a little confused about spending dis amount on a Chinese brand even I saw the 720p super amoled screen light up I was more than sure about quality of material dat gionee had put into dis device
    and den deer are more cherries on this top
    quad procedureh that can smoke anything u through at it.
    the 8 mp full HD recording camera can even put giant like samaung to same.
    browsing net and witching full HD vedio is a pleasure to takes u to believe that it is a dreams cum true….
    I am really happy to my money on dis as DTS sound delivering really brings a lot to or ears
    does go are still confused should really give try…..its my personal recomandation

  • BILLMATT October 26, 2013 2:56 am

    Gionee dream 1 is a good phone . I recommend it for you only

  • Mohammed Naeem August 18, 2013 11:04 am

    I have bought this photon a week ago its very nice phone I like it and its much more better than samsung or nokia as its worth of rs.15000. display is so sharp and clear and Os and system speed is also good.
    over all nice mobile.

  • Sudhakar August 8, 2013 3:03 pm

    I got this phone (D1), 3 months back. For the first 2 and half months it was pleasure for me to use the phone. After that on one night, I had kept the phone aside before sleeping and also confirming the atleast 25% charge is still available. But to my surprise the phone did not ring the alarm next morning.

    When I got up for some other sound, I checked the mobile. It was off. I thought may be for some strange reason, the battery could have gone down and tried charging it. Nothing could be seen on screen. Then I let it charge for 1 hour.

    After that also when I tried switching on, it did not work. Later I charged for 2 more hours. That also did not help. Then in the afternoon, I went to a GIONEE service center in Bangalore. They checked my mobile for 1 and half hours and said they need to retain the phone as it cannot be resolved immediately. And asked me call and come back on next day.

    When I called them the next day afternoon (day 2), they said, when the battery drained the mother board got short circuited. And said they will fix it and give next day.

    Next day (day 3), when I called in afternoon, they said, they have fixed the problem and quality check is in progrees. And I can collect in evening if every thing is fine. But I called them back in the evening, they said, battery is gone and they need to replace it.

    For the next 5 days, they kept telling me that, they haven’t got the battery they have ordered and asked me wait and call back next day. On the 8th day, sick of calling and waiting, I gave service feedback on GIONEE website. The GIONEE people from Delhi called me on the 9th day in response to my feedback and informed me that they understand my problem and they will check and get back.

    On 9th day, when I called the Bangalore service center again, they said, they have received the battery and I can collect the mobile that evening. When I went to the service center in the evening, the battery was still in another shop. After I asked for my mobile, they went to the shop and got the battery after an hour. I waited for another 1 and hour to to have it fixed.

    I got my mobile back in swithed-on condition. I was happy but slightly unhappy because screen gaurd was removed! Requesting for screen gaurd did not help.

    While I was using my mobile on the 9th day, I found two issues. 1. The “dotted” speaker piece was missing at the top. 2. The proximity sensor was not working properly. That is, after bring down the phone from ear, the screen was not showing anything till the other person disconected the call.

    The next day morning (10th day), I went back to the service center and informed them about the two problems I had observed. For the first problem, they said, there will NOT be any peice there and another person from the same service center said, there will only be cloth(?) which has been removed as it was holding dust!

    For the second problem, they checked for next 1 hour and said, the sensor is not working properly and they have made a explicit order for it now. During that 1 hour, they also said, they found the “dotted” speaker part(!) and placed it.

    Next day (11th) was a sunday. So they said, I may get my mobile back on monday evening or tuesday morning. When I called them on monday (12th day) after noon, they said, I will get on tuesday evening or wednesday morning.

    On wednesday (14th day), I called them up in the after noon, and asked them keep my phone ready that evening whether the sensor is fixed or not – with the idea that I can get back to them when they say that sensor is received. Till that I planned to used it with the problem.

    But, when I went to them in the evening, and took the phone in hand, the phone was not switching on. At this point, I has argue for all the trouble I was facing. They said they will check. After half n hour, they said, as the battery is empty it requries boosting. And asked me to wait for another hour.

    When I asked, why it requires boosting and why not just charge it and give back, they said, when any bettery goes down fully, it cannot be brought up just by charging. For this also I had to argue as I had used other phones and mr friends also never faced such a problem where the battery is fully down and they could not charge their mobile. For this argument, they said, we are the service guys and we know how mobiles work. All mobiles including samsung, iphone, nokia has such problem.

    After total of 1 and half hour wait, they asked me to come tomorrow as they were not able to boost and it and its time them to go home. This was yesterday and today is 15th day with out my GIONEE Dream D1.

    Last but not the least, they are not even ready give a replacement in order to reduce my waiting period. Please suggest.

  • maulesh July 24, 2013 1:10 am

    Dear sir,
    Recently, I bought Gionee Dream D1 from Dealer of Gujarat.
    Before buying , I checked all reviews & videos posted on net regarding the product. I like all features & configurations of Dream D1, and put order of it. When I received the mobile, I noticed that the company hadn’t provide 2 Pcs. Of  Back Covers which are very much useful to protect sides & corners of mobile Case. Instead of back covers , I got 1 Flap Cover which is not very much convenient to me. I would like to request you to send me those Back covers as it is mentioned in all reviews of Dream D1. I also like to request you to update the OS.
    Thanking you.

    Regards,
    Maulesh

  • chinna July 18, 2013 8:17 am

    its very good.now iam using this mobile.exlent perfamence and vedio recording .cam clarity super.battrey backup minmum 10 hours and maximum 15.totally working good .any dought call me my no 9966975698.chinna

  • ajay July 4, 2013 9:59 pm

    Using the phone for 3 months now. Excellent device. Delivers on all specifications mentioned. If u r screeching for a budget smartphone, this is it. Value for money.

  • hareendra kumar June 23, 2013 8:49 pm

    i am using this phone for the past one and half month, its very easy to use, 3g speed is excellent, photo and video clarity is excellent, can record full HD videos @ 30fpr. video playback is also smooth as butter.

  • Sajid June 10, 2013 3:55 pm

    Nice explanation. If you can provide review for XOLO Q1000, that would be great.

  • Sabarinathan June 6, 2013 6:17 am

    Its always better to your known indian make for privasy and other issues with chinese make

  • Ganesh June 5, 2013 12:10 pm

    A few suggestions:
    > There is nothing terrific about the CPU. It’s moderate at best (it performance is close to 2 generations old Galaxy Note 1)
    > The inbuilt memory is very low as when you upgrade to JB > 4.2, App2SD will be disabled.
    > The push notifications to install application is an intervention of privacy. This is the worst I fear about Chinese phones.
    > The scenery selected for HDR photo is NOT suitable. The outdoor shot would have been a better choice to test the HDR.