Gtel launches A7100 X3

TechnoMag Staff
Zimbabwe-based smartphone manufacturer Gtel recently launched the A7100 X3 as it continues to push ahead with it thrust to offer big battery smartphones. The new smartphone comes a few months after the launch of the Gtel A760 SL5,5 Xtra in June. GSM and CDMA Feature. One of the outstanding features of the Gtel A7100 X3 is its capacity to take both the General System for Mobile (GSM) sim cards and the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA).

This means it can take various technology for smartphones and data phones. The CDMA smartphones are data lines like the Powertel, Africom or ZOL voice based smartphones which would normally work in standard smartphones.

The GSM sim cards are traditionally supported by our Mobile Network Operators (eg NetOne, Econet and Telecel).

Design
The biggest challenge for big battery phones is how to pack in that much battery while keeping the phone thin and light.

The A7100 X3 looks quite good, with the aluminium back panel and the matte plastic on the edges.

The phone has a very simple design that would appeal to a lot of users. It tips the scales at 211g.

In comparison, the A760 SL5.5 Xtra (126.5g) is lighter and its grooved side’s panel feels much better in the hand than the A7100 X3.

Since A760 SL5.5 Xtra’s has a more curvaceous design, the A7100 X3 looks bigger than it actually is. Any way this is not a review on which phone is the best but just how far Gtel has come.

Display
The A7100 X3 has a 5.5-inch AMOLED display with a screen resolution of 1280×720 pixels.

This is a vivid display but it has a slight rose-pink tint that becomes apparent when viewing web pages.

The screen size is perfect for someone who plays games and watches movies a lot, because of the extra real estate that big screen phones tend to offer.

Wide angle visibility is good but under sunlight it doesn’t look very clear due to the display’s reflective nature.

This is where the A760 SL5.5 Xtra has a significant advantage. It has a 5,2-inch Amoled display with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels. It also reproduces sharper text and videos, and the colours seem more accurate.

Software
Gtel has loaded the A7100 X3 with Android 5.1 (Lollipop) along with Amigo 3.1 UI over it. It is a heavily customized interface with very few similarities with the way the stock Android looks visually. It comes with the usual “GTel apps” such as amigo paper, theme park, game zone, Chameleon and UC browser.

Most custom UIs tend to pre-load their phones with too many apps and end up wasting internal storage, but Gtel has installed very few apps by default.

The UI allows users to change the themes and icons. The Amigo UI also provides an app permissions feature, something that Google has added with the latest Marshmallow operating system to keep up with user demand for better control over what data their apps can access.

Performance
Capable and consistent equipped with a Quad Core 1.3 GHz processor and 2GB RAM, the A7100 X3 offers a stutter-free experience, as long as it is not stressed.

We did notice some lag and heating up while watching movies, playing games like Asphalt 8 or switching from one app to another.

The Gtel A7100 X3 devices runs on 10.9GB internal storage and 7.3 GB micro SD cards which can be expanded to 128GB.

Battery
Gtel A7100 X3’s key attraction is its 6,020mAh battery which lasted over 3 days of mixed use.

This is by far the most we have seen in a smartphone last this year. The A7100 X3 battery can also be used as a power source for charging other mobile devices thanks to reverse charge feature.

Camera
Gtel A7100 X3’s 13-megapixel camera is fast but the touch-to-focus feature is a bit slow. Though the picture quality is not very sharp, we like the colour reproduction. Pictures taken in good ambient light look natural, as do the close up shots. Low-light results are mostly blurry. And the font camera is 5.0 MP.

The camera comes with a number of additional modes such as ultra-pixel, Pic note and Magic focus.

Ultra-Pixel improves picture quality by combining five shots into one, but is a bit slow to process. Magic Focus allows you to focus on multiple objects in a single shot.

Verdict
While the Gtel A7100 X3’s definite highlight is the good battery life, it falls short in terms of the camera, the display and the overall experience.

The A7100 X3 just does better in almost all aspects. The GTeL X3 is selling for $390 with a 12-month credit option of $49 per month.

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